A frothed half and half is an integral part of the menu of good coffee shops, and rightfully so. There is an extensive fan base for those of you who like to occasionally have the heavier form of a caffeinated milk-based drink, which has thicker and creamier foam and is usually sweet even without adding sugar! If you’re a fan, you may be thinking, “can you froth half and half”? The answer is a big Yes! You can froth a half and half to get that creamy foam if you’re craving a more prosperous and creamier drink.
In restaurant menus, it is called café breve, and if you check the descriptions, you’ll find half and half-written in it. Other names for espresso-based half and half drinks that are frothed can be sighted, such as caffé breve or a breve latte.
Put your calorie counter aside for this one.
A half and half is for those of you who want to put their calorie counter aside till that next Monday and indulge in a heavy and creamy caffeinated drink. It has got the rich and creamy foam that you love in your drinks, although keep in mind that one café breve is equal to a resounding 430 calories.
Once you are a fan, though, you’ll cut your meals to indulge into a cup of frothed half and half breve drink and appreciate its silky smooth texture.
It is sweet, creamy and even the foam is heavier than your normal latte or cappuccino. Once a fan, you’ll replace your savory dessert with this.
Steam it to cream it!
Half and half has got a lot of fat content, so when you froth the half and half correctly, the result will be a thicker and more stable foam. a
The key here is to use the proper technique of using the steam wand, maintaining the correct temperature, and using a half and half that has the right temperature.
What equipment do I need to froth half and half?
Mostly, the standard equipment. Make sure you have got all of these before you start to get frothy with your drink.
- A coffee machine with a steam wand
- Milk thermometer
- A milk jug A spoon
- A Mug
- Half-and-half (use fresh, cold half-and-half, always)
Step One: Fill the jug with half-and-half
Okay, this might seem too basic of a step but do this correctly to get the next steps done quickly.
Keep space for the foam. Only fill your half-and-half less than halfway up. Fill any more, and you’ll be left with less room for the frothy cream that is the hallmark of your home-based café breve drink.
Step Two: Stick the Milk thermometer to the jug
The temperature of the half-and-half that you’ll maintain throughout the process of frothing is going to be the key to a great half-and-half at the end.
Remember we mentioned earlier to use only cold half-and-half? That is to keep the milk protein stable. Protein in the milk is responsible for holding the air inside the milk bubbles. The more stable the protein, the better froth you’ll get, and the silky smooth texture as a result of that.
The most important thing to keep in control is the milk temperature while steaming. Keep it lower than the required temperature, and you won’t achieve the froth you’re aiming for. Take it higher than the optimum temperature, and you risk scalding it. The optimum temperature at which you’ll reach the best foam is a maximum of 1600 F. The range you should aim for is 1450 F to 1600 F at all times while frothing your half-and-half.
Step three: Start steaming the half-and-half.
Don’t fully submerge the steam wand of your coffee machine into the milk. Submerge half of the wand and introduce steam to the milk. Keep the other half up as that will help raise air to your steamed milk, thereby helping create the beautiful micro foam in your milk jug.
Keep steaming for just five seconds and observe the volume of the Half-and-half increase. What you have essentially done is used the steam to stretch the half-and-half and, in the process, created the rich microfoam, which is essential for your café breve.
Step Four: Steam in full gear
Immerse the steam wand a little bit more into the milk. As you do, you’ll see your milk has started to move like a whirlpool. This does the job of eliminating any air bubbles trapped inside the liquid. Remember, you need the bubbles and the micro-foam above your half-and-half, not beneath it.
Pro tip: tilt your jug slightly, and the spin movement of the liquid will become even smoother and better! Try this a few times to get the best spinning effect.
Do not allow the temperature to exceed 1600 F at any time to avoid it getting burned in the process.
Step Four: Give a good thump to your jug on the counter
Any bubbles trapped inside the liquid half-and-half will be dispersed with a good thump of the jug on the counter. The sound produced is attractive and gives you the feeling of a barista, but more importantly, it helps you disperse the larger bubbles trapped inside the liquid.
Step Five: Let it rest.
Now, you can let your half-and-half rest while you work on your espresso shot. The rest you’ll give to the liquid will allow any bubbles to rest and give you a thick, creamy texture.
Do you know how to swirl this resulting liquid inside the jug only? You know it if you are an espresso fan.
Give this half-and-half a final swirl to thoroughly combine the liquid with microfoam. Take it easy, though. A hurricane inside the jug will only create new bubbles, and you don’t want that.
Step Six: Pour it into the mug.
This one is the key. Do this correctly, and you’ll have a coffee mug with the best representation of a frothed caffeinated drink that you usually get only at coffee shops.
You’ll need the spoon to hold back the foam while pouring the liquid beneath it into your mug. Next, pour the foam onto it. This thick, creamy, and frothed half-and-half will settle on top and hold the espresso shot on to itself when poured directly on it.
After you have poured the espresso shot, use the little remaining foam to make a uniform layer of foam to give your drink a great look.
Here you go!
Enjoy the creamy-frothed caffeinated drink you love.