You come here for the big questions and big answers, Rebel. But, as important as these are, sometimes you have to indulge us with the smaller, but equally important, questions in life. Our Rebels are coffee addicts, and this time we’re talking about the fundamentals of steaming milk. But not just any milk, we’re talking about our new plant based alternative Barista Mylk.
Our new Barista Mylk is a blend of plants that works just like real dairy milk to make the silkiest, sexiest and smoothest foam for your latte. We worked alongside world-renowned coffee expert James Hoffmann to develop it (check out the process here) and in his latest episode of his ‘Beginners Guide to Coffee’ series, our Barista Mylk is the star of the show as he shares his top tips.
In his video, James takes us firstly through the science. And, the science behind it is what blows our mind at Rebel. Did you know it took us 146 recipe iterations to ensure we had the perfect no-compromise alternative? We’ll never let you settle. Anyway, back to the science of steaming milk. In this video, James fills us in on the most important factor in the process – Proteins. Proteins don’t always play ball in steaming milk but it’s the proteins that we need to get on side. Describing them as ‘long noodles’ within the milk, he explains that these proteins are naturally repelled by water (in other words they are hydrophobic). It’s the action of heating the milk that weakens these proteins leaving them ‘searching’ for anything that isn’t water within the milk to ‘latch’ onto and it’s this part of the process which actually explains how the milk ‘expands’. And, the more it latches itself to these air bubbles, the more it makes these important bubbles tighter and stronger therefore making the foam stable. Interesting, right?
But, back to the important question at hand. So, what is the James Hoffmann process for steaming milk?
Grab your tools:
- Try, where possible, to use a coffee machine with a traditional steam wand (if not available, please follow the manufacturer guide of your machine)
- Always use a stainless steam pitcher (that way you can use your hand to judge the heat)
Focus on the 3 stage plan:
- Make the milk hot – but no hotter than 65 degrees celsius (the same temperature required for dairy milk)
- Stretch the milk – it’s all about BUBBLES. We need to blow as many bubbles safely into the milk as we can.
- Texture the milk – we’re aiming for an almost marshmallow-y texture that is super soft and super silky.
Get down to it….
- Fill your jug with cold milk (careful to not fill past the start of the spout)
- Purge your steam wand to make sure it’s clean and ready for use
- Sit your steam wand within the jug so that it’s just gently resting inside
- Start steaming!
- As you’re steaming, tilt your jug and lower it slightly to bring the wand tip to the surface of the milk until you feel the vibrations and start to see bubbles.
- Keep watching those bubbles and keep a hand on the jug to measure the temperature. Until your hand is a little hot from the heat, give it an extra 3 seconds after that point and you’ll most likely be at 65 degrees celsius.
- Let your jug sit as you clean the steam wand. (We’re pausing the process as we want the bubbles to be weak)
- Tap your jug against the surface it’s on (popping the bubbles) and then swirl until you see a glossy finish in the jug
- Pour! But, make sure to gently swirl/mix the jug so that there is homogeneous mix of liquid and foam.
And, 10. Enjoy!
We’d love to see your creations with Barista Mylk. Go on, Rebels. Share pictures with us to our Instagram @Rebel_Kitchen.