texturing the milk

Texturing the milk.

This is a continuation of my series on steaming milk.  So far you have gotten the milk ready, started steaming, and introduced air into the milk stretching it, which in the process increases the volume.  Now you want to texture the milk.  

At this time the goal is to submerge the wand a little deeper.  The truth is that you do not need to submerge it much more and you in fact have to submerge it even less than you might have because the volume of the milk has been increasing, so if you do nothing with the wand it is equivalent effectively to lowering the wand.  That is one point I should have emphasized more in the last entry, that the position of the wand relative to the surface of the milk is what is important, rather than just the height of the pitcher alone so the right spot moves with time.

Now that the wand is submerged a little deeper, the tsk tsk tsk sound stops and things should be very quiet.  You now just want to mix the milk as much as possible so that the thicker milk and the thinner milk combine to form a truly uniform milk.  

The common goal, and a good one is to have the milk form a whirlpool.  The faster you can get it whirling without creating bubbles the better.  The tricks you can use to try to achieve this includes changing the depth, moving the wand closer to the edge or more towards the center, and finally tilting the pitcher more or less.  For each pitcher, machine, wand, and user the best combination will be different, but do not sweat it too much because there are lots of good ways to do it this and it is not a razor edge operation where a slightly different location will make dramatically different results.  This is definitely easier than stretching the milk because moving up or down a tiny bit will not introduce huge bubbles that destroy the microfoam.

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