Our top milk steaming tips

If you haven’t noticed the current trend for different types of milky coffees, you’re either a tea fanatic or haven’t frequented your nearest coffee spot in a while. Whether you’re after a smoothly textured flat white, or frothing for a foamy latte, here are some tips and tools for achieving that warm, comfort inducing hug in cup.
From personal experience, we’ve found that using chilled, full cream milk produces the best results. Some may beg to differ depending on the equipment they are using, but trial and error is your friend until you find out what works best for you.
Note: We’ve even tried frothing farm fresh milk bought from a market and it failed to froth at all.

So, what’s the difference between microfoam and cappuccino foam?

The essential difference between a flat white and a cappuccino is the milk texture. A flat white should have velvety microfoam, with a texture similar to wet paint or warm honey. Ideally, the tiny air bubbles should be barely visible to the human eye and it should be able to be poured from the pitcher without separating into milk and frothy foam.
Rancilio Silvia
A cappuccino consists of lighter, fluffier foam, often spooned onto the coffee because it is too aerated to pour. Different steaming techniques will yield these different drinks, here are some handy tips:

How to be a master milk steamer in 4 easy steps

If you have a home espresso machine, try these steaming tips for a tasty flat white or cappuccino.

1. Fill the jug with just under 1 cup of milk for every cup of coffee you want to make. The milk volume should increase by about two thirds after steaming so make sure you use a pitcher that is large enough.

2. Initially, place the tip of the steam wand at the surface of the milk and begin steaming, playing with the surface of the milk aerating it as finely as possible. It should make a sound like that of paper tearing. The volume of milk will increase the minute air bubbles are introduced through the super heated steam. After the volume has grown by about 2/3 (and before it gets too hot – a milk thermometer is ideal for this) place the steam wand just below the surface of the milk, holding the jug at an angle to create a circular motion – a mini whirlpool inside the pitcher – which will mix the micro bubbles into the rest of the milk thoroughly and heat it evenly.


Cup one hand against the side of you pitcher while you do this. As soon as the side of the stainless steel becomes too hot to touch, you’re done. We love the Motta Stainless Steel Pitcher, with it’s angled pouring spout, which is ideal for creating latte art.

Useful tools for fuss free milk froth

You don’t have to have an espresso machine to enjoy a creamy cuppa at home. Here are some neat tools to check out:


  • The Bialetti Tuttocrema makes a decadent froth for up to six cups of coffee by simply sitting on the stove and few pushes of the pump.
  • One of our favourites, the Aerolatte Steam Free Milk Frother is fun to use and stretches out warm milk to a frothy delight in a few minutes. Use this with chilled long life milk for best results. Here’s more info on how this milk frother works.
  • Electric milk frothers like the Dualit Milk Frother provide a consistent froth at the touch of a button, and are very easy to clean.

how to make coffee with Nespresso Umilk

So whatever your coffee preference folks, there’s no reason why café quality coffee can’t be enjoyed in the comfort of your home. Happy sipping.