How to steam perfect milk for coffee at home

Steam milk latte Art

Have you ever wondered how the baristas at your local café get such silky milk? Now there’s no industry secret but there are some tips we can give to help you achieve the perfectly steamed milk at home. 

  1. Set up

Start by filling your jug up half-way with cold milk. You can go a little above the half-way line or a little below. Just be mindful that too much milk in your jug will cause it to overflow when you start steaming. But too little milk will heat up quickly and you won’t have enough time to texture it properly.

Before placing the steam wand in the milk, turn the steam wand on for a few seconds to let out any water that has built up in the wand.

  1. Positioning

Place the steam wand tip half-way in milk. This will ensure you add the air in gently instead of getting large bubbles.

Position the wand tip at 3 o’clock and have it sitting half-way in between the side and the middle of the jug.


  1. Texturing

Now that you’ve set up, you are ready to start texturing.

Turn your steam wand on all the way and be sure to add all the air into the milk within the first couple of seconds (click here to find out the reason why). If you are not too sure about how much air to add in, a good rule is to increase your original milk volume by 20%.


After you have added in the correct amount of air, raise the milk jug vertically up 1cm to submerge the steam wand tip. This will stop additional air being added to your milk which will make your foam bubbly.

Your milk should now be folding in a circular motion. Continue to heat the milk until you can touch the side of the jug but not hold it (60-65°C).

Alternatively, you can purchase a thermometer which will tell you how hot your milk is.

Tip: use your full hand (not just your fingertips) to check the temperature. Additionally, check the temperature by grabbing the side of the jug (not the bottom). This is due to the steam being pushed down towards the bottom of the jug, making the jug feel hotter than it actually is. 

When your milk has reached the desired temperature, turn the steam wand off. Remove the jug from the wand and wipe the wand thoroughly with a damp cloth

Tip: after you’ve wiped the wand, turn the wand on again to purge out any milk that may have built up inside the wand. This will help to maintain your milk wand and prevent it from clogging in the future.

  1. Pouring

Now that you’ve finished steaming your milk, it should look glossy (like wet paint). Before pouring your textured milk into a cup, be sure to swirl the jug in a circular motion to incorporate the milk and foam. You’ll want it to look like wet paint swirling around inside the jug and not like a glob of half melted marshmallow in the middle.

If you’re feeling confident with your milk texturing and want to practice some latte art, click this link for a step-by-step guide on how to pour different patterns.

Alternatively, you can contact our training team at to enquire about the various courses we run that can be tailored to your needs.

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