A pure espresso, if prepared in the right way, is fantastic. But an espresso also lends itself perfectly as a basis for some important variations with milk. Just think of the cappuccino or caffè latte.
Just as with the preparation of the espresso, one must adhere to some rules of thumb when it comes to making and adding the milk to the espresso. In this article we will discuss the most important and basic points for making a delicious coffee:
Milk that is foamed may not be hotter than 75 ° C.
Preparing a good espresso is a matter of craftsmanship and control. If the barista has all the cooking parameters (grinding, dosing, tamping, etc.) under control and is confident that all process parameters have been set correctly, the preparation of a good espresso is not an art… The preparation of a good cappuccino or caffè latte is, however.
Start foaming with a clean stainless-steel container of at least 0.3 litres. A tapered can provides the most foam yield and the least chance of splashing.
Make sure that the espresso machine is at the steam setting if necessary and gives the ‘steam ready’ indication. Then turn the espresso machine steam button open briefly to drain any residual (condensation) water.
Now hold the end of the steam pipe deep in the milk and fully open the steam knob for maximum steam output. Immediately afterwards you bring the jug down so that the steam pipe just touches the milk surface. You hear a hissing sound that indicates the formation of beautiful little foam bubbles.
Note: If you keep the jug low, the steam is blown on the milk, and large bubbles are formed, and there is a chance of splashing. If you keep the container too high (and put the pipe too deep into the milk), then there is no foam, and you only heat up the milk.
In the correct position of the jug and the steam pipe, therefore, an amount of milk foam is formed. By always lowering the jug, you will always foam more milk and ‘pull’ the foam upwards. This is called stretching.
When the milk has grasped a temperature of 40 degrees, bring the steam nozzle (at a small angle) to the bottom of the jug so that the milk starts to rotate (rolling). This effect is of great importance for the formation of tiny bubbles (microfoam).
If the milk has reached the right temperature, stop the steam supply and end the foaming process. For an excellent result, stir froth the milk for a short while and then pour it into the espresso.
Note: With some espresso machines, you should cool down the water temperature in the boiler after steaming to prevent damage from overheating. Consult your manual for this.
Too Hot Milk:
Adding hot milk to espresso is the fright of every espresso and the death kick of cappuccino, latte or other espresso variation prepared with milk.
Milk that is foamed above 75 ° C burns and the taste of the milk becomes bitter and sour at the same time; this taste cloudiness is irreversible.
By adding this milk anyway, the emulsion of the crema layer burns; the syrupiness of the espresso is broken, and the thickness (viscosity) of the espresso drops to the level of water.
What to do:
1. use the thermometer; This is how you make good milk froth, a good cappuccino or caffè latte.
2. If the milk has been burned, discard this milk.
The result of adequately frothed milk should be a nice smooth unit of small bubbles and warm milk. This ‘microfoam’ can be mixed beautifully and thus promotes proper mixing of the espresso and milk.
The well-trained barista can create all kinds of figures (latte art) through the mixing of the microfoam and the espresso cream layer and hold national and international championships.