Monday, May 7, 2007

Steamed Milk

Milk comes from a lot of different animals; goats, monkeys... even pigs and giraffes. But here at the Blue Star Café, and many other cafés around the country and the world, we use milk that comes from an animal called the “cow”. These are large cumbersome animals who mope around grassy areas eating and chewing. They produce copious amounts of milk which we procure to use for many things including coffee drinks. Steaming milk can be done right and wrong. I believe foam belongs in the ocean and not in your latte or cappuccino. Textured milk is the consistency of paint, thick and creamy. What you don’t want is foamy milk with huge tasteless bubbles.

To make textured milk, you begin by plunging the steam wand into the milk and turning it on. Introduce air into the milk for the first few seconds of steaming, then use the rest of the time to incorporate the bubbles you made in a cyclone of milk to get velvet texture. You end the process by turning off the steam when you reach the desired temperature which is between 140 and 160 degrees. I spin the milk in the pitcher to make it shiny. I usually have time to make a “rosetta” atop my lattes and cappuccinos. I rock the pitcher side to side and it lies out across the mug and I give a stem by swiping through the top. If I have the time, I make butterflies, people, logos... you name it, I make it.

What would you like to see at your café? I make a delicious Earl Grey Latte. Earl Grey in a tea bag steeped in a little water to get the flavor moving and to warm up the cup. I introduce Vanilla flavor and a dash of cinnamon before pouring my perfectly textured milk. I would be interested to hear new recipes or ideas, so please feel free to post.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great Post Joe!