Steamed milk is a key component in many coffee drinks, from lattes to cappuccinos. But achieving the perfect texture and temperature can be a challenge, even for experienced baristas. In this blog post, we’ll share simple tips to create velvety, frothy milk every time. Whether you’re a home barista looking to up your coffee game or a coffee shop owner looking to train your staff, this post will provide you with everything you need to know to master the art of steaming milk for coffee.

Mikhael Bou Rjeily, founder of mischu coffee and winner of best cappuccino awards in South Africa in 2011 and 2012, shares his six easy steps to steam milk and get velvety textured foam.


  1. Use fresh, cold, good quality milk (either dairy or vegan).
  2. Purge the water out of the steam wand.
  3. Hold the pitcher’s handle with your left hand. Place the steamwand in the pitcher’s spout, insert it 1cm only into the milk, point it towards the pitchers bottom right corner. Tilt the pitcher slightly to the right.
  4. Open the steam to high enough pressure that forces the milk to swirl clockwise then use your right hand pull the pitcher downwards to make a soft hissing sound that should last for 1-3 seconds continuously while the milk is still cold.
  5. Raise the pitcher by couple of centimetres only and ensure that milk continues swirling clockwise up until it reaches 60-65 degrees Celsius or your desired temperature.
  6. Place the pitcher on the counter, wipe clean then purge the steamwand immediately.
  7. Start swirling the micro textured milk clockwise and counter clockwise as fast as you can up until it goes super glossy like pouring cream’s texture.
  8. Pour the foamy milk ASAP from 5-10 cm away from the espresso surface, as soon as the cup is half full, drop the pitcher to rest of the cup’s edge and continue pouring at the same steady speed in the center of the cup. As soon as the cup is almost full, pull the pitcher at a slower pace forward and upward.

To level up your coffee skills, why not try a Barista School course in Cape Town or Johannesburg?