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How to steam milk

Learn how to steam milk.

If there’s ever a way to enhance the quality of your coffee or hot chocolate, it’s by adding steamed milk to your cuppa. This greatly improves the quality of the milk, as well as the overall consistency and texture, and makes for a better brew. Whether you are looking to find out how to steam milk at home or are a coffee shop looking to improve your milk steaming - we can help. Here at Cafe Du Monde, we have an array of tips and tricks to ensure you and your customers are drinking the very best - as well as passing on the knowledge, expertise and guidance you’ll need when deciding to invest in a machine and products for your business, to suit its individual needs.

How to steam milk without a steamer or espresso machine

Firstly, a great tip for steaming milk is to remember that using fresh, cold milk is advised for the optimal texture. Full fat milk is also recommended for microfoam, and if it’s frothy milk you prefer, then opt for skimmed milk.

If you aren’t an owner of a steamer or espresso machine, then there are ways of using household appliances to steam milk including a handheld frother. This is a cheaper alternative that is easy to use and clean, however the milk texture won’t be ideal. A french press is also useful after you’ve heated the milk. Simply pour it into your French press and push and pull the plunger to double the milk in volume and create a microfoam. Too much milk in your press will result in spillage - so be warned of the potential mess. A stove or microwave are also common methods for steaming without tools or machines. Gently heat the milk using a whisk; it will work just as well, but will take a lot longer - so while they’re not viable for businesses, they are ideal for those making a brew in the comfort of their own homes.

Cafetiere pouring

How to steam milk at home with a steam wand

Using a steam wand is one of the common methods if you don’t own a machine to automatically steam milk. The process begins with pouring milk into a metallic pitcher. Remember that less is more, as once steamed it will increase its volume.

Once the milk is poured, you’ll dunk the tip of the steam wand just below the surface of the milk and start pulling the air into the milk, creating a hissing sound for around five seconds. During this time the fat in milk expands to create foam. Once you’ve pulled enough air into your milk and stretched its volume, move the steam wand further down - but not too far - and tilt the jug so that you’re able to spin the milk in a whirlpool to incorporate the bubbles into the rest of the milk. You’ll then heat the milk until it becomes too hot to touch and looks shiny, a bit like melted ice cream. Finally, the pour, which is a two-phase approach. As most of the foam is on top, the first pour should be to incorporate the creamy milk with your coffee. The final pour ensures that the foam is on top. This is where you might want to create some latte art - practice makes perfect! For perfect steaming using a wand, beware not to pull air for too long using the wand or to overheat the milk. Failing to find that ideal spot for a whirlpool may also prevent the perfect steam.

Commercial Coffee Machine

It’s much easier with an espresso machine

Although we’ve provided you with some useful methods for steaming milk without the expense of an espresso machine, those methods are commonly used by people making an odd coffee at home, opposed to businesses specialising in creating the perfect brew - and doing that lots of times every day.

Espresso machines such as the La Spaziale features handy levers that make milk steaming extremely easy and automatic, as it allows for a quick ‘on and off’ operation.The Astoria Espresso machine also has a steamer that makes the process effortless, and is engineered to produce steam in quantity, without interfering with the coffee brewing. The Storm offers, as standard, an anti-scald and cantilevered steam wand, which is great for safety and can be returned to the basin, when not in use.

These machines available from Cafe Du Monde mean that steaming milk can be a process which takes place effortlessly at just the touch of a button.

Commercial Coffee Machine

Why would you want steamed milk?

Some say that the secret to great coffee is milk, steamed milk. It compliments coffee by bringing out the flavours during the steaming process which enables the fats in milk to expand and create foam often enhancing the sweetness.

The most common use for steamed milk is for hot drinks only such as latte’s which are made with one-third espresso, two-thirds steamed milk and one cm of foam. Other fabulous options are for cappuccinos.

Happy steaming!

Latte Art In Coffee Mug

Our Range Of Espresso Machines

Astoria Storm Commercial Espresso Machine


The Showstopper… A beautiful machine paired with experienced engineering.

Jura X8 Commercial Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

Jura X8

The robust, versatile and professional coffee solution. The X8 is incredibly versatile: it can prepare the full range of speciality coffees finished with milk and milk foam as well as black coffees.

Astoria Pratic Avant Commercial Espresso Machine

Astoria Pratic Avant

A workhorse machine with a striking retro design.



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