How To Make Cappuccino Foam

Cappuccino foam is the frothy milk floating on the top of a cup of cappuccino. When made by a good barista, this foam can be delicious. If not made correctly, it won’t have the correct taste or texture. Luckily, with a little practice, it is easy to make perfect cappuccino foam to top your own homemade cappuccinos. Here’s how to make cappuccino foam:

  • Ingredients and supplies:
  • Milk
  • Espresso machine with steam wand
  • Stainless steel steaming pitcher
  • Thermometer (preferably clip style) for steaming pitcher
  • Plastic pitcher
  • Clean rag
  1. Read the espresso machine instructions. This is particularly important if you have not used your espresso machine very often. There are some safety tips to keep in mind, particularly when steaming milk, which can get quite hot. The procedure for steaming milk is the same when using most espresso machines, but you should read the manual to be sure that you know the correct procedure for using your particular machine.
  2. Fill the milk pitcher. Fill your stainless steel pitcher about 1/3 full with cold milk. Place the thermometer in or on the pitcher to enable you to monitor the milk temperature as it is being steamed. Then, set the pitcher aside.
  3. Prepare the steam wand. Once your espresso machine is on, you’ll want to clear the steam wand. To do so, place the wand in a plastic pitcher, and turn the steam wand on. Expect some hot water to come out. Discard this water.
  4. Steam the milk. Now, slowly insert the steam wand into the milk. Keep the steam wand in the milk; if you lift it above the milk’s surface, it can make a mess. Tip the pitcher slightly so that the steam wand is pointing at the edge of the pitcher’s bottom. This will cause the milk to stir itself around the pitcher, ensuring that it all gets steamed.
  5. Continue steaming. Gradually lower the milk container, remembering to keep the wand in the milk at all times. Make sure that the milk keeps moving around the pitcher’s edge. Watch the temperature carefully; stop steaming when the milk is about 145 degrees Fahrenheit and has the texture that you prefer in your cappuccino foam. Do not let the milk burn, which will happen as it approaches 160 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Pour the foam on top of your drink.  Carefully pour the milk foam on the top of your cappuccino.
  7. Clean the steam wand. Now, clean the steam wand thoroughly. Use the plastic pitcher again to let out any remaining hot water, and then clean the wand itself using a clean rag.

Although cappuccino foam is very easy to make with an espresso machine, it is also possible to make this foam if you don’t have such a machine. Though it may not be quite as authentic as real cappuccino foam made using an espresso machine, it will taste the same. Simply pour warm (not cold) milk into a blender, and then blend it until you get the consistency you want in your cappuccino foam. 


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