Who loves the creamy foam that sits on top of a cappuccino from the corner coffee shop?
The answer, of course, is everybody.
For today’s Barista Bulletin, we’re going to teach you how to make this aesthetically pleasing and deliciously tasting foam from the comfort of your own home! We promise you won’t need to purchase a fancy espresso machine or a frother. Rather, all you’ll need is a glass of milk, a clean jar, a microwave, and about 120 seconds of free time.
How Does This Work?
Making milk foam in the microwave is a two step process: First you shake the milk in a jar to create foam, then you microwave it for a few seconds to stabilize the foam.
Without the microwaving step, the milk foam will quickly collapse back into the milk.
Note: Use 2% or Nonfat Milk
This is an instance where low-fat milks are our friends because the whey proteins they come with are critical stabilizers for milk foam. Milks that are fortified with added protein — usually reduced-fat and skim milks —are most easily foamed.
Using the Milk Foam
Once stabilized in the microwave, the milk foam is so thick that you can literally spoon it into your coffee mug. If you want a little milk as well, use your spoon to hold back the
foam while you pour a little into your coffee, then spoon the foam on top, barista-style.
How to Froth Milk for your drink in the Microwave
- Small jar with lid
- Pour the milk into the jar: Fill your jar with as much milk as you normally use in your coffee, but no more than halfway full so there’s room to make some foam.
- Shake the jar with the lid on: Screw on the lid. Shake the jar as hard as you can until the milk has frothed and has roughly doubled in volume. This will take 30-60 seconds.
- Microwave for 30 seconds: Take the lid off the jar. Microwave uncovered for 30 seconds. The foam will rise to the top of the milk and the heat from the microwave will help stabilize it.
- Use the foam: Pour the warm milk into your coffee and spoon the milk foam on top.
- Recipe Notes: Use the foam right away! It will start to dissolve after a few minutes.