Ideal serving temperature for steamed milk

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savoryperksCS

#1: Post by savoryperksCS »

howdy guys,

My name is Dante and my Brother and I are getting ready to open up a coffee shop here in my home town and I had a question on steaming the milk.

What would be ideal serving temp?
we're currently going up to about 140 but its not tasting quite hot enough. but i mean everyone has their own preferences.

thanks in advance for the help.

Beezer

#2: Post by Beezer »

I believe 140-150 is considered ideal. No higher than 160, or you risk burning the milk and ruining the flavor.

Also, never re-heat the milk after it's been steamed once. Throw out any leftover milk from the last batch, rinse the pitcher and refill with fresh, cold milk. Resteaming milk will result in some really awful flavors.

There are some great milk steaming tips here:

http://coffeegeek.com/guides/frothingguide
Lock and load!

savoryperksCS

#3: Post by savoryperksCS »

Awesome.
Thanks for your help. I'm kind of a scrub around here.

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HB
Admin

#4: Post by HB »

I'm curious what other shop owners have to say, but my guess is that 140F will be too cool for most customers. I target around 150F, though my sister prefers it hotter. Adding five degrees and super-heating a ceramic cup with steam boiler water is enough for her. At most cafes, she'll ask for extra hot, which they interpret as "Scald the milk, please." :shock:
Dan Kehn

Bluegrod

#5: Post by Bluegrod »

160 degrees is about the perfect temp. I keep my fridge at 34 and my steaming pitcher in the freezer and when its time to steam this combo produces awesome micri foam

IMAWriter
Supporter

#6: Post by IMAWriter »

HB wrote:I'm curious what other shop owners have to say, but my guess is that 140F will be too cool for most customers. I target around 150F, though my sister prefers it hotter. Adding five degrees and super-heating a ceramic cup with steam boiler water is enough for her. At most cafes, she'll ask for extra hot, which they interpret as "Scald the milk, please." :shock:
150 for me as well. I don't measure anymore, as with the small pitcher, I can sort of feel when it's right. But a while back, I stuck a thermometer in, read 149, shut down the steam, poured the contents in my usual haphazard manner, and it was awesome, bay-bee!
I will admit I use only organic whole milk. That might make a bit of difference, as well.
I just don't like that after-taste I was getting up at the 160 area.
I don't need to chill the pitcher, as the Cremina is a steam-demon.
Rob
LMWDP #187
www.robertjason.com

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another_jim
Team HB

#7: Post by another_jim »

Proteins start curdling very quickly at around 150F to 155F (they curdle, but very slowly, at lower temperatures). This curdling first stiffens and ultimately destroys the foam. However, the milk sugars don't really sweeten up until 140F to 145F. So good frothing requires finishing in a fairly narrow band, around 145F to 150F. This doesn't mean the milk is ruined if you do it a little cooler or hotter; but it does mean you could have one better.

Most people consider a water temperature of more than 145F as scalding. However, the milk foam has a much lower heat transfer capacity. For instance. you can stick you hand into a 400F oven for 5 seconds without problems, but not into 200F water without getting scalded, and the foam is mostly air. This is why some people who are only sipping the foam may consider properly frothed milk as too cool. If you train your people to froth to the right temperature, you can also train them to tell customers that the coffee will taste much hotter than the foam

Paper cups have very low specific heat, so preheating it is not an issue. Ceramic cups should be preheated to 140F to 150F as well. In general, the warming tray on the espresso machine will work fine.
Jim Schulman

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malachi

#8: Post by malachi »

I hate milk that's been steamed to over 150f.
It loses all the sweetness so quickly.
In addition, integrity of the microfoam goes to s**t.

If people feel it's too cold - fill the cup with boiling water first.

Had a customer who always wanted an extra hot latte to go.
Complained all the time that it wasn't hot enough and that it would "go cold in the car."
Started serving it to her in a double to-go cup and told her I was steaming it much hotter.
She was happy.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

IMAWriter
Supporter

#9: Post by IMAWriter »

malachi wrote:Had a customer who always wanted an extra hot latte to go.
Complained all the time that it wasn't hot enough and that it would "go cold in the car."
Started serving it to her in a double to-go cup and told her I was steaming it much hotter.
She was happy.
Chris, same sort of "trickarooski" we audio engineer/producers do with folks that want a vocal overbearingly loud in a mix. We have a "dummy" fader, and scoot it up about an inch. The next play-back, they say, "OK, much better."
Of course, I don't do that anymore. :lol:
Rob
LMWDP #187
www.robertjason.com

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SlowRain

#10: Post by SlowRain »

Here's a blog entry that may fit with this discussion, especially when you have to explain your milk temperature to your customers.

I've been ordering low-temperature cappuccinos for a few months now, and I enjoy them. My local haunt said they still have a problem converting a lot of regulars over to the low-temperature idea. They want it piping hot, I'm guessing because they can sip it over a longer period. However, I do like malachi's method.
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