Being a barista is so much fun! You get to work with one of the best, most widely consumed agricultural product in the world. And you get to have fun doing it! There are few main things to consider when you become a barista. When it comes to making and serving coffee, you will be working with primarily three main ingredients: coffee, milk, water.
Today we will focus on milk and the steaming of milk.
During your barista training you will master milk steaming techniques and know the basic differences among the most common espresso-based drinks.
Today, we will discuss the notion of milk in our coffee. If you are a coffee drinker, you know how important milk can really be to a coffee drink. Sometimes the type of milk (what farm it's from) and the fat content can impact the taste.
In most coffee shops in the United States, many coffee shops use whole milk as a default serving choice. Of course, this can change, if the customer request 2% milk or even a milk substitute such as almond milk, rice milk, etc. For now, let's stay focused on the idea of using whole milk.
Steaming is used to heat up froth and foam the milk before adding it to the espresso shot.
Usually there are 10 steps to correct steam the milk used for your coffee beverage:
1. Purge the steam wand. (This ensures it's clean and free of any milk debris)
2. Grab the appropriate sized pitcher for your coffee beverage.
3. Pour the milk into the pitcher and return the milk into the fridge. Submerge the tip of the wand into the milk.
4. When you start steaming make sure the wand is fully submerged. Move it towards the surface until it stops making noise. Froth the milk by steaming close to the surface. Leave the wand directly at the top so it can pull in the surrounding air to create foam.
5. Use smooth motions, avoid any jumping movements and create a whirlpool in the milk.
6. When you create the desired amount of foam, dip the wand just below the surface to start heating the milk. The wand will pull in the milk instead of air and circulate the foam towards the bottom. Continue heating milk until it's 140F.
7. Turn off the steam. The milk will continue heating till about 150F.
8. If you did everything correctly there won't be any large bubbles on the milk. If there are large bubble, knock them out on the counter. You may also need to swirl the pitcher. You want the consistency to be that of glossy white paint. Then serve.
9. Rinse the pitcher with cold water in the sink or with the pitcher rinser.
10. Purge the wand and wipe it clean with a wet towel.
There are some drinks that you'll be preparing very often, so it's a great idea to learn about them right now with the help of this online barista training course.
Cappuccino vs. Latte
These are the two most common espresso-based drinks. These drinks are made with the same espresso and milk base but with a few differences.
A cappuccino contains more foam, about 2/3 of milk, while latte contains only half an inch of foam on the top.
Latte can also contain different syrups. Cappuccinos don't usually contain syrup as you don't want to mix up the foam.
When making a latte you should pull the espresso straight into the syrup. Then steer syrup and espresso shot while pouring the milk so that it's evenly mixed.
Americano doesn't contain milk. It is two shots of espresso with hot water.
First you add the hot water, then pour the espresso shot over the water.
An iced latte is made similarly to a common latte, but only with cold milk and ice.
First pour the espresso into the milk. Then pour the ice so it doesn't melt. Stir with the syrup.
Specialty drinks are make exactly like a latte except with additions and syrups. For example a mocha has chocolate syrup and with cream on top.
Another example would be a white chocolate raspberry swirl, which contains white chocolate syrup and raspberry syrup and cream on top.
The process of creating blended drinks starts with filling a cup with ice. Next pour blended beverage base until it just covers the ice.
Add the syrup you need for the drink. Add the espresso shot and then blend.
Latte art is not mandatory but it'll show your skills as a barista – and it's a lot of fun and very appealing to your customers. The customers are always happy to get a cappuccino with a nice latte art on top of it. In our special article read about the latte art techniques and the step-by-step guide of how to create different types of latte art.
Online Barista Training: Milk Steaming and Drink Building
This has been a brief overview of milk steaming. For more information on how to properly steam and pour milk for your coffee beverage, visit our blog.
Barista Training Academy is your premiere online barista training resource for learning how to be a barista, how to land a job as barista, and all the aspects of starting your career in retail coffee. For more information visit our blog.