The froth is one of the main components of any type of cappuccino, and it usually takes up about 1/3 of the entire mug when made correctly. It makes the cappuccino taste creamy and rich, and is great at holding chocolate shavings or cinnamon powder for those who like to add a little something different to their drink.
Froth Using a Machine
Many top quality cappuccino machines come with a froth option, which makes it very easy to get a perfect froth for a cup of cappuccino. You start by pouring cold milk into the steaming pitcher, and then insert the steaming wand directly into the milk. The steam tip should be left just below the surface of the cold milk, and the pitcher should be tilted as the steam starts to build.
You will want the steam to be slow and only hitting the surface of the milk, in order to prevent big, soapy looking bubble from forming. Instead, a nice froth consisting of small bubbles the size of a pin. Once the milk reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the wand should be placed into the bottom of the pitcher, still avoiding large bubbles. The milk will churn from the steam wand, and this should continue until the milk reaches 140 degrees.
The wand should be removed once the milk has reached the ideal temperature, since it will still continue to rise even after the steam is removed. Make sure it does not get over 180 degrees though, since the milk will actually scold. If large bubbles have formed, you can either let the milk rest and the bubbles go down, or tap the pitcher on the counter a few times to break them up.
The steamed milk can then be added to your favorite espresso, and it is best to use a flat butter knife or rubber spatula to pour out the steamed milk first. Once most of the milk is emptied from the pitcher into your espresso, you can top it off with the froth you just made.
Froth without a Machine
It is possible to learn how to froth a cappuccino without using a cappuccino machine, since froth is made out of steamed milk. A small sauce pan and wire whisk is needed, and cold homogenized milk should be added to the sauce pan. The heat should be set just above medium, and you should begin whisking to prevent the milk from boiling.
As the milk starts to heat up, you will want to start beating it a little faster. The bubbles will begin large, but will condense and become smaller the longer you beat them. The volume of the milk will begin to increase as it heats up, and it is essential to keep it in constant motion to prevent it from boiling. Boiled milk will ruin the flavor of the froth, so you will have to start over if it occurs.
Once the milk has about doubled in size because of the bubbles, it is time to take it off the heat source. You can continue using the whisk since the pan will still be hot, and your froth will be ready once it has doubled in size and all bubbles are the size of small pins. You can then pour it right on top of your espresso, and you will have an amazing cappuccino.
An amazing cappuccino doesn’t require a trip to your local coffee joint, since you can learn how to froth a cappuccino right from the comfort of your own home. It is possible to do it with or without a cappuccino machine, and you can have gourmet cappuccinos with amazing froth in no time.