the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur

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Steaming milk is hard

Yesterday evening I suddenly found myself craving a London Fog1. While a sensible person would have craved something easier to prepare, like water for example, I found myself jonesing for something that I probably couldn't make. I had tried making these in the past with mixed success by whipping up cold milk with a hand-held milk frothing device and then microwaving it afterwards, but the results were usually as messy as they were unsatisfying and I decided that it was time to haul out the heavy artillery.

I have a stove-top bronze-age espresso maker that I inherited from my mom when I moved into my basement suite back in the 80s. I seldom use it because it makes me nervous - in fact I think this may be the first time it has seen daylight in close to 10 years. I dusted it off, rinsed all of its parts and checked the fittings. I was mostly concerned about the state of the rubber fittings, but none of them appear to have deteriorated over the years. I filled it up, struck up a flame on the stove and sat back to let it build up steam.

I am guessing that my mistake was in not knowing the first thing about how to steam milk; the baristas make it look very simple. I'm no barista. Ultimately I wound up with a container of hot milk with about 1/4" of reluctant foam on the top (which dissipated as soon as I poured it into the tea and flavoured syrup). I suppose I could have kept stubbornly steaming the milk, but I didn't want to scald it beyond the point of being usable. The final product from my experiment was a drinkable, if somewhat disappointing hot beverage.

Steamed Milk: 1
Me: 0

Our other cats sit, or lie about the house; Merry drapes.
Merry Drape

1 I don't know how many version of this drink there are in the wild, but the one that I know is made from vanilla-flavoured steamed milk and Earl Grey tea.
Tags: london fog
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