Whether you simply add cream to brewed coffee, or steam milk for a latte—coffee and milk are a match made in heaven. The creamy sweetness of the milk tames the bitter edge of a rich, bold cup of coffee. The result is a perfectly balanced beverage.
Adding cream to coffee is a straightforward affair; the only challenge is to decide between half-and-half, full fat or a non-diary variety. But in the world of specialty coffee drinks, milk is usually steamed, which can be a complicated process. Steaming milk brings out its natural sweetness and gives it a pleasant, foamy texture. Steamed milk can be mixed with espresso to make lattes and cappuccinos.
Steamed milk is common in cafes, but anyone can learn to make steamed milk at home; however, it does require proper equipment (usually an espresso machine). To find out more about making steamed milk at home, see “How to Steam Milk”. Another option is to make frothed milk. Frothed milk is similar to steamed milk, but it’s not the same quality (think “cheap knock-off”). That being said, it is easier to make and doesn’t require a full blown espresso machine. Find out about making frothed milk at home, check out “How to Froth Milk”.
Note: Don’t confuse “frothed milk” with “milk foam”. Milk foam is the foamy milk on top of a cappuccino; it is a component of steamed milk. Frothed milk is similar, but has a very different consistency.
If you are interested in leaning how to steam or froth milk, our guides can help you get started.
- “How to Froth Milk with an Electric Hand Mixer“
- More guides coming soon!