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Milk part 2 - Understand how much milk you need when frothing milk for coffee

Milk frothing Masterclass with Luke Floyd - Owner & operator at Artisti Coffee Roasters & i-milk.


Are you guilty of filling your milk jug to the bottom of the spout for every coffee you make? Firstly, shame on you, secondly, your not alone. Filling to the bottom of the spout is a bad habit that has been passed on from generation to generation and we’re here to set the record straight.



How much milk do I start with?

Firstly, you need to ask yourself What cup will I be making this coffee in?”. Knowing what how much liquid you need to end with, will indicate how much milk you need to start with. You only need enough milk in your milk jug to fill the cup, minus the coffee.

Secondly, “What coffee am I making?”. The only difference between a flat white, latte and cappuccino is the amount of air you add when steaming the milk to produce a difference amount of froth. A flat white will only require a small amount of air to produce around 5mm of froth, therefore you will need to start with more milk. A cappuccino that requires around 15mls of froth will need more air, therefore you need to start with less milk to allow for it to rise to the same goal fill level as your flat white. Your latte will be between the flat white and cappuccino at around 10ml of froth.


How to test the amount of milk I need to start with.

Not all cups & jugs are the same. So do this simple test with water to see how much milk you should start with in your jug.

  1.     Fill your cup with water to the desired amount you’d like your coffee to be
  2.     Tip that water into your milk jug
  3.     Tip back into your cup an amount of water that will represent the espresso shot
  4.     The amount left in your jug is now at the desired level once you have finished frothing your milk.
  5.     Now you need to tip out the water that represents the froth that you will add.
    1.     For a flat white, tip out 5mm of water
    2.     For a latte, tip out 10mm of water
    3.     For a cappuccino, tip out 15mm of water
  6.     You will now have the amount of water in your jug that you need to start with


“I’m having trouble getting my milk to spin at such a low level.”

If you’re struggling to get the milk to spin and the right angle of your steam arm, it’s likely that your jug is too big for the amount of milk your trying to froth. The standard milk jug in most cafes and homes is around 600ml which is far to big if you only need to fill a small cup around 200ml. We would advise buying a smaller milk jug like a 360ml milk jug pitcher  that will hold the right amount of milk for one cup while allowing you to spin your milk and texture it well.


Wasted milk is costing you more than money.

If you’ve got leftover milk, you’re leaving money behind. At home, this can seem pretty harmless, but in a café, over time this can be very costly. If you own a café, you should really look at how much wastage your baristas are making as this is costing you a lot of money over 1 day let alone a whole year. But it’s not just about wasting milk, it about leaving flavour behind in the cup. When you froth milk, you are changing the structure of the particles and increasing the flavour of the milk, especially the froth. The proteins of the milk will separate and build up in the froth, making this to the sweetest, most delicious part of the milk. After you froth your milk, it begins to separate and as you pour, the froth will be the last thing to come out of the jug. If you have leftover milk, you are essentially leaving the best taking milk behind. You will make better tasting coffee if you use all of the milk in the jug.


How to froth milk & what is the best temperature for milk?

We answered this in our last milk training blog, check it out here.


Buy milk jugs online.

There is plenty of milk jugs on the market, some are even in the hundreds of dollars! We're got our sites set on doing a video and blog on the differences in all jugs, but at this stage, we know what works and that is to keep it simple with the Rhino range of milk jugs.

These are the milk jugs that we supply to our cafe partners and we sell like hotcakes to our online customers. 

360ml Rhino Milk Jug Pitcher // 600ml Rhino Milk Jug Pitcher



1 comment on Milk part 2 - Understand how much milk you need when frothing milk for coffee

  • Don Cameron
    Don CameronMarch 01, 2022

    I’ve got a 360 mil jug and I find it almost impossible to open up the steam wand to its fullest and still keep the milk in the jug. I know in your video you suggested that this could be sorted out by putting a toothpick into one of the steam holes. However I Am not sure how to progress once I can steam the milk with the toothpick in the steam wand tip. I’m afraid that when I finally remove the toothpick I will still have the same problem. My new Isomac Zaffiro Due seems to have a incredible amount of steam power. I had no problems with my Saeco Via Venezia onto which I installed a breville steam wand. But that was because it had a small boiler and consequently very modest power.

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