The Perfect Foam: How to Whip Milk for Cappuccino

The Perfect Foam: How to Whip Milk for Cappuccino

Cappuccino is probably the most refined combination of coffee and milk. Its subtle taste and aesthetics are due to its main attribute, the thick, airy froth. If you learn how to properly whip milk for coffee cappuccino, you can enjoy a magical drink without leaving home.

The right milk

The quality, fat content and temperature of the milk are of utmost importance for making a real cappuccino. The product is suitable if it meets the following conditions:

  1. Protein content should not be less than 3%. Otherwise you can not achieve a viscous, enveloping structure.
  2. Fat content should be no less than 2.5%. A diet product will settle instantly.
  3. Temperature no higher than +6⁰ C. Milk must be precooled in the refrigerator.

Don’t miss: What’s the best milk for cappuccino

To whip up foam for a cappuccino, only unboiled milk is suitable! It must be pasteurized factory or whole, homemade product.

6 Ways to Whip Milk for Cappuccino at Home

There are several popular ways to make foam for cappuccino at home. They vary in duration, difficulty and the need for technical equipment. But everyone can find a couple of suitable methods.

With the coffee machine’s cappuccinator

The cappuccinator, or steemer, is a tube with a hole and a regulating knob on the body of the coffee machine. First, you need to put the machine in steam mode. When the steam coming through the opening of the steamer is no longer wet, it is time to start.

The best container for whipping milk is the pitcher. This is the teflon mug with an extended spout, which we see in the hands of baristas when making cappuccinos or lattes. If you don’t have professional utensils in your kitchen yet, you can replace the pitcher with a small carafe or a tall metal mug.

Питчер и капучино, фото

The container is filled with milk to a maximum of half. On the pitcher the border is marked by the beginning of the spout. The stamper tube is immersed in the liquid by half of the nozzle (head). In the process of whipping, the cappuccinator will deepen itself.

The nozzle should be at a slight inclination to the plane of the bottom of the mug. Install the nozzle not in the center, but in one of the visual quarters.

As soon as the foam acquires external smoothness and homogeneity, the device should be turned off. Another indicator of readiness – the mug will start to burn your hands. That’s why baristas hold the pitcher not by the handle, but with their palms by the body. Your hands feel hot, it means the foam is ready.

On the automatic cappuccinator

Advanced models of coffee machines are equipped with an automatic cappuccinator. With this equipment, it is possible to whip milk for cappuccino at home without any effort. The liquid under pressure is drawn into the machine through a tube. Inside, the milk is intensively mixed with steam. When ready, you get a nice stable “cap”.


Put the milk in a bowl over low heat. Turn the mixer on to medium speed after it has been immersed in the liquid. The main thing is not to overheat it. When the milk has become hot, you should turn off the fire and continue whipping. It is better to transfer the finished foam immediately into a cup with coffee.

French Press

A little warmed milk is poured into the flask of a French press to one-third of its volume. After closing the lid, you must actively whip the liquid with the piston for about 40 seconds. The movements should be fast, but not abrupt. Now the flask with the piston down to the end should be slightly rotated, so that the mixture becomes homogeneous.

Before whipping the cappuccino foam, make sure that the flask of the French press is absolutely dry!


This is one of the most time-consuming ways to whip milk for a cappuccino at home. It is important that there are no water droplets left on the whisk. The milk is heated over low heat while stirring at the same time. In this case, the whisk should be in an upright position, and the rotations should be fast, with a large radius. If you have experience with the whisk, the cap will appear in a minute.


Another way to froth milk for cappuccino at home without a coffee machine is to use an ordinary glass jar. This old technique resembles a modern shaker. The jar, filled with liquid half or less, close a very tight lid. Within 30-40 seconds, the container should be shaken vigorously to make the milk “swell”. Now the jar is placed in the microwave for half a minute. This helps the foam to gain density.

Hand Cappuccinator

This handy mini device runs on batteries. Its action is identical to the whisk, but requires no effort. A good option when you only need one cup of cappuccino.

Вспениваем молоко

Little secrets to great froth

A few helpful tips for beginner coffee makers:

  1. The milk is heated to 60⁰C. And this is 1 minute in the microwave at 600 watts or until steam appears on the stove.
  2. A good pitcher should heat up, that is, transfer the temperature to the palms of your hands. You should not buy any others.
  3. The pitcher should be “blown” before whipping to clean it. Afterwards, too.
  4. To get rid of large bubbles, the pitcher is tapped on the table with the bottom. This is a tip of the hat for either method.
  5. Espresso
  6. should be made at the same time as the foam.

  7. The vessel with the finished foam should be gently swirled several times before pouring it into the cup. This will keep the milk from separating.

Each of the above methods takes approximately the same amount of time (up to a minute). A whisk, mixer, or jar will help whip up a nice, airy foam. But its main disadvantage is its low density. The cap on the cappuccino will not last as long as you would like it to. The drink needs to be garnished quickly and drunk immediately.

A more stable and smooth structure is obtained when using a French press. The perfect result, on the other hand, can be achieved with a mechanical coffee machine stamper. This is how a lush decoration is created for cappuccinos in coffee houses.

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