Milk​ Frothers​​

Milk​ Frothers​​

Milk steaming and latte art are the two fundamental skills of any barista. Both are not easy to master, especially when you are just starting, but I have good news: choosing the right milk tank will help a lot.

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There are many different milk frothers on the market. They differ in color, design, size, shape, nozzle type, weight, and they are all designed and distributed by different brands worldwide. So, how do you know which milk jug is the best with so many choices? Well, it depends on your needs.

The Requirements

Let's start with the essential thing to look for when choosing a milk jug: width.

First, you need a kettle wide enough to produce a "vortex" effect when steaming milk. This vortex will break down your large bubbles and create microbubbles. Do you ask what micro-foam is? When milk is fully aerated and heated evenly, it will produce micro-foam, resulting in velvety, silky, shiny milk. This milk tastes good and has the best texture for free-pour latte art designs.

The Size You Need

Most milk cans are 350ml and 590ml of two sizes. However, if your coffee bar requires it, you can also find smaller or larger pitchers. Generally speaking, 355ml and 590ml kettles should have similar base sizes, so the width should not be a choice. When choosing a milk jug size, the most important thing you have to consider is how much milk your drink requires. When it comes to milk-steaming and frothing, you don't want your pitcher space to be too full. If it is out of space, you will not be able to immerse the tip of the steam wand in milk for good ventilation. If it is too full, the milk will overflow when steaming. The ideal amount of milk should be placed directly below the bottom of the spout, approximately one-third of the top of the jug.

The Best Material

You need a kettle made of high-quality stainless steel to keep the temperature consistent when you steam the milk. That being said, when you steam the milk to about 70°C, that jar will heat up with the milk. If you feel uncomfortable with the heat of the stainless steel kettle, you can always look for a kettle with a Teflon coating to protect your fingers and hands.

The Spouts

Although experienced baristas and professionals may use any milk jug to create flawless latte art, some designs use specific spout shapes to make it easier to pour freely. This makes these kettles easier to learn and mentor—and easier to compete with. Red hearts and tulips are where most people start their latte art journey. But simplify it a bit, and you will pour out "lumps": the foam pours out nicely and smoothly and is more or less round. The best pitcher to produce these spots will be the classic spout pitcher when you are just beginning to understand things. They allow the foam to flow out evenly in a relatively round shape.

To harden, Rosettas will use these wide nozzles, but you can choose a slow stop (fewer and thicker leaves). They are also suitable for waves! On the other hand, traditional rosettas and delicate latte art (such as swans and peacocks) are ideal for narrower and sharper spouts. This gives you more control over the detailed design. There are many classic-style pitchers. They are versatile enough for all kinds of dumping, such as Incasa or Joe Frex. Motta's pitcher can provide a more curved spout for your heart and tulip layer if you want to make the pouring round and even. The Barista Gear kettle offers a more acceptable and sharper water outlet for complex latte art dumping.

Use Handle or Not?

Whether you need a handle depends on how you hold the jug when you pour the water. Some people find that handleless pitchers give them more flexibility when dumping. It can also have the top of the pitcher better, giving you better control and precise control of the spout.

On the other hand, you need to remember that you are steaming milk reasonably high. If you choose a pitcher without handles, I suggest buying a pitcher with good insulation. We have covered many points in this article, but the most important thing when choosing a milk jug is whether you are satisfied with it. It must provide you with the right weight, balance, and heat control. You should also pay attention to the control during pouring. How you hold the pitcher, when you need to use more pressure, and when you taper—all these should be taken into consideration.

What works for one barista may not work for the next. So try different pitchers, find your favorite, and hone your skills. Obtaining the right milk jug is the first step to improving steaming milk, latte art, and overall barista skills.

How Much Milk Do You Need When Frothing?

Do you feel guilty about filling the bottom of the spout with the milk jug every time you make a cup of coffee? First, feel ashamed of yourself, and second, you are not alone. Pouring to the bottom of the spout is a bad habit that has been passed down from generation to generation, and we are here to clarify the facts.

How Much Milk Is Needed for Start?

First, you need to ask yourself, "What cup do I use to make this coffee?". Knowing how much liquid you need to end will indicate how much milk you need to start. You only need enough milk in your milk jug to fill the cup, minus the coffee. Secondly, "What coffee am I making?". The only difference between pure white coffee, latte coffee, and cappuccino is that the amount of air you add when steaming milk will produce different amounts of foam. Pure white requires only a small amount of air to produce about 5 mm of foam, so you need to start with more milk. Cappuccino, which requires about 15 ml of foam, requires more air, so you need to start with less milk and raise it to the same target filling level as pure white. Your latte is somewhere between pure white coffee and cappuccino, with about 10ml of foam.

How to See How Much Milk is Needed to Start with?

Not all cups and kettles are the same. So do this simple test with water to see how much milk you should put in your jug.

  1. Fill your cup with water to the amount of coffee you want.
  2. Pour water into your milk jug.
  3. Pour it back into your cup, representing the amount of water in the espresso.
  4.  Once you have finished frothing the milk, the remaining amount in your jug is now at the desired level.
  5. You need to pour out the water representing the foam you will add.
    1. For flat white, pour out 5 mm of water.
    2. For a latte, pour out 10 mm of water.
    3. For cappuccino, pour out 15 mm of water.
  6. Your kettle will have the amount of water you need to start using.

"It's hard for me to spin my milk at such a low level."

If you are trying to rotate the milk and maintain the correct angle of the steam arm, your kettle may be too large to hold the amount of milk you want to froth. The standard milk jug in most cafes and homes is around 600ml. If you only need to fill a small cup of approximately 200ml, this is far from enough. We recommend that you buy a smaller milk jug, such as a 360 ml milk jug pitcher, which can hold an appropriate amount of milk, while allowing you to rotate the milk and make it have a good texture.

The wasted milk costs you more than money.

If you have leftover milk, you are keeping money. This may seem harmless at home, but it can be costly over time in cafes. If you own a coffee shop, you should understand the waste of baristas because it will cost you a lot of money in 1 day, let alone a whole year. But this is not just a waste of milk, but leaving the taste in the cup. When you froth the milk, you are changing the structure of the particles and increasing the flavor of the milk, especially the foam. The protein in the milk separates and accumulates in the foam, making it the sweetest and most delicious part of the milk. After the milk foams, it begins to unravel, and when you pour it out, the foam will be the last thing that comes out of the jug. If you have leftover milk, you are leaving the best milk. If you use all the milk in the jug, you will make coffee that tastes better.