Foamed milk and steamed milk are two different terms, but have somewhat similar meaning and purpose behind it. These are the two kinds of milk or forms of milk, which are used in making hot and cold chocolate and milk based drinks including cappuccinos, latte, coffee latte and shakes. Sometimes people do mix up these two forms of milk due to the apparent similarities of their properties and the purposes they fulfill.
But the fact is, they are different forms of milk and they differ in the way they are prepared and also in their properties. You can clearly distinguish between foamed and steamed milk by analyzing a few of the basic things about the two forms.
Here are a few points to help you distinguish between the two:
Foamed milk vs Steamed milk
Foamed milk is prepared with the help of milk frothers with or without steaming the milk.
The actual mechanism involved in preparing foamed milk is to inject air bubbles with the help of a frother into the hot or cold milk to make a soft foam using the milk.
The foamed milk is lighter, lofty as compared to the steamed milk as there are air bubbled rather than steam in it. It is soft and spreads quickly and easily.
Foamed milk can be prepared with cold and hot milk. It is better to prepare foamed milk by using cold milk as it will give better foam and foam will last longer. If you need to steam and froth at the same time you should only stay within 140-150 degrees and not more than that.
Foaming works best with skimmed milk as it gives more loft and is light in nature, but it would not stay for a long time. Whole milk is best if you need a more creamy touch, but it will be heavier and thicker and will retain its loft for a longer period of time.
Foamed milk is used in topping for increasing the exciting taste and texture of hot and cold drink equally.
Steamed milk is produced with the help of steaming wand either separately or by using a steaming wand that comes with an espresso machine.
Steamed milk is prepared by introducing steam into the milk by warming the milk.
Steamed milk is heavier and has less loft in it.
Steamed milk is hot and you may start with a lower temperature to make sure the milk will not get too hot during the steaming process. You have to retain about 150-160 degrees of temperature for best results. If you need cold foam, its not possible through steaming process.
Both kinds of milk can be used in steaming process, but whole milk is better than the skimmed milk.
Steamed milk is best for cappuccinos and lattes and hot drinks only.
By comparing, steamed milk vs frothed milk we can conclude that both give a foamy texture of the milk, but frothing or foaming, add more volume to the milk as compared to the steaming process. Also, steamed milk is only suitable for hot drinks and is meant to give a creamy texture to the drink, while foamed milk is meant to be used as the topping that stays on the top of the drinks either cold or hot drinks. So, hopefully, the point is very much clearer now, and you can select the kind of milk treatment you need for your next chocolate or coffee drink.