How To Foam A Cappuccino, Step By Step
Roasty Buds

How To Foam A Cappuccino, Step By Step

Love cappuccinos but can’t get that foam quite right? Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it!

The Milk

Start with fresh, cold milk. Whole milk works best for making foam, but you can also use low-fat or nonfat milk if you prefer. Plant-based milks work too, but it will require more practice and you likely won’t get the same results as whole milk.

The Prep

Pour the milk into a stainless steel pitcher. Make sure the pitcher is cold, as this will help the milk to foam better. Next, turn on the steam wand to purge any excess water or milk that may be left in it. This will also help to bring the wand up to temperature. Position the steam wand just below the surface of the milk, with the tip of the wand angled slightly off-center.


Turn on the steam and begin to slowly move the wand down into the milk, creating a vortex to help incorporate air into the milk. Keep the wand near the surface. As the milk begins to foam, keep the wand near the surface of the milk, continuing to incorporate air and create a smooth, velvety texture.

Steaming Tips:

  • Listen for a soft, hissing sound as you steam the milk. This sound indicates that you are creating the perfect amount of foam.
  • Check the temperature. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the milk. The ideal temperature for steaming milk is between 140-160°F (60-71°C).
  • Tap and swirl the pitcher. Once you've achieved the desired texture and temperature, tap the bottom of the pitcher on a hard surface to knock out any large bubbles, and swirl the milk to incorporate the foam evenly.


Pour the foamed milk into your shot of espresso, and use a spoon to scoop any remaining foam on top.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don't be afraid to experiment with different milk types, pitcher sizes, and steaming techniques to find the method that works best for you.