Wednesdays are for education!
We'll be taking Wednesdays to focus on education in coffee terminology. Accessibility in coffee can be as simple as understanding the jargon of coffee. Hopefully you'll find this useful and find that it helps you expand your understanding of coffee a bit more!
This week: MILK TEXTURING
If you go into any number of cafes around the world and order a latte, chances are you’ll find that your barista artfully poured a little love into your cup in the form of latte art. This is possible thanks to hours and hours of practice in the skill of latte art, but equally as important is the milk itself.
First, you’ll want to use high-quality, preferably local and organic, milk. This is both healthier for you and results in better quality steamed milk for you to pour into your drink. But how do you get from fresh, cold milk, to beautifully textured milk that'll allow you to pour a four-layered tulip in your latte? This is all done through aerating and heating the milk, using high-pressure steam from the steam wand built into the espresso machine.
Texturing milk is broken down into two phases as mentioned above: aeration and heating.
When you aerate milk, you are essentially injecting a steady stream of air into the surface of the milk, giving it texture. During this phase you are creating something called “microfoam” which is a finely textured, thin layer of foam on the surface of the milk. This microfoam is what pours out into your cup and makes latte art possible. The secret to easy aeration is having the tip of the steam wand sitting just below the surface of the milk. During this phase, you should hear an intermittent hissing noise, similar to the sound of tearing a sheet of paper. This phase only lasts a few seconds, but plays a huge role in quality of your finished drink.
Continued in the comments below! - 6 days ago