If you’re looking to rock like a pro barista, you need to perfect the art of microfoam — that glossy smooth steamed milk that makes latte art possible. It’s really not that difficult to pull off once you know the step-by-step process:
- Keep your steaming pitcher in the refrigerator/chilled
- Start with icy cold milk (about 34F degrees)
- Begin steaming by getting the milk to spin rapidly clockwise, then
work the surface of the milk for about 15 – 20 seconds in one of the
- Standard Steam Wand: Bring the tip of the steam wand to the top, so that it just barely breaks the surface to suck in air and milk
- Panarello Steam Wand: Submerge the wand so that the top of the
milk and the air intake slot or hole are even, allowing milk and air to
be drawn in evenly — if you submerged it above the air intake, you’ll
just steam the milk; if you submerge it well below the intake, you’ll
end up with fluffy, bubbly foam
- Plunge the steam wand all the way into the milk and then roll the milk for the remainder of the steam
- Temperature-wise, your milk should measure between 140F – 180F
degrees — if it’s too cold, it will be chalky; if it’s too hot, it
will be scalded
- Tap the pitcher on the counter to settle the milk and force any air bubbles to the top
- Prior to pouring, roll the milk slightly around the pitcher to
incorporate the foam and the milk. The milk should have a shiny, glassy
smooth surface that is free of any bubbles
- Pour to make your favorite latte art
More visually inclined? Check out our video.
If you have an espresso machine which features a panarello tip on the steam wand (such as a those from Saeco or DeLonghi), learning how to steam milk to your preference can take a few tries. Here are some tips on how to produce different kinds of milk textures using this type of steam wand:
- Super Fluffy Foam: If you keep the air intake (hole or slit) above the surface of the milk, you’ll create big foam and bubbles.
- Steamed Only: Fully submerge the air intake in the milk to produce steamed milk with no foam.
- Microfoam: Keep the air intake level with the milk, drawing in equal amounts of milk and air.
- Overflow Watch: If your foamed milk is about to overflow from the pitcher but it’s not up to your preferred temperature, simply submerge the wand completely (up above the air intake) and continue to steam.
If you’re planning on transporting or storing your machine, it’s important that you drain the boiler of any residual water from the last use. The main reason is so that it doesn’t freeze, expand and damage the internal components.
Here’s a guide on how you can drain your boiler before you store or ship it. This care tip is essential to the longevity of your machine, so don’t skip it!
We love DeLonghi’s Alicia Moka Espresso Maker because it’s very portable and easy to use. Utilizing the Italian Moka method for espresso extraction, this compact unit makes a rich, tasty brew anywhere near an outlet.
Great for the home or office, the Alicia also has a detachable base, which makes it very easy to clean and serving espresso is a snap.
You may be sensing a theme here…keep it clean! The best way to keep your machine out of the repair shop and performing optimally is to regularly maintain all of its components.
Your machine’s brew group is arguably the most important part, so taking the time to keep it in tip top shape means it will give you delicious espresso shots for years to come.
We’ve compiled some how-to tips for each of the basic styles of home espresso machines. If you need more assistance, refer to your user manual or give us a call.
Striking design and fool-proof functionality combine in the Nespresso Lattissima. This eye catching superautomatic espresso machine is perfect for those of us that are morning-challenged. The patented coffee capsules take out all of the guess work around coffee grind level, tamping, etc., and are incredibly easy to clean up after your single cup is brewed!
The Lattissima also features a removable milk container, which you can fill with your favorite kind of milk and then store in your refrigerator between uses. Groggy mornings are made infinitely easier by placing your chilled milk container in the stand, popping in a coffee capsule and brewing a single cup of espresso, cappuccino or lungo at the touch of a button. Enjoy!
Sometimes you feel like a drip…sometimes you don’t. Er, sorry. We know there’s a time and place for espresso, and if you live with someone who loves drip coffee and isn’t too hot on espresso drinks (or vice versa), these DeLonghi 2-in-1 models may just be the compromise that keeps your mornings peaceful.
Featuring programmable brew times, a flavor selector, milk frothing wands and simultaneous espresso & drip coffee brewing, these units will save you counter space and time.
We just added several new DeLonghi Drip Coffee Makers to our line! These Italian crafted machines have tons of wonderful features, including programmable timers (so you can wake to the aroma of freshly brewing coffee!), an ‘Aroma’ button that will initiate a time-released extraction sequence to give you a rich, full-bodied brew and Pause & Pour functionality so you can grab a cup of joe quickly without waiting for the whole pot to finish brewing.