Hi everyone! I have been practicing milk steaming at home and have not been very successful. I have been using cheaper whole milk just because I go through so much when practicing. Is it because I am using cheaper milk or do I just need way more practice?

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Yes, the quality of the milk matters - but mainly with regards to taste.

For practicing, commercial milk should be just fine.  Just keep practicing!

I agree with Jay, but I think it's important to ask, what exactly are you practicing? Have you gone through training by someone with good experience? When I started out, I practiced hours a day. Then someone with a little more experience worked with me and I practiced what he taught and improved drastically. Proper method is essential!

Another issue may be the machine. Some may not have enough pressure to get the type of foam you're looking for, or require slightly different technique. Some machines may have a "wet" steam that will drive you nuts and get you nowhere.
Thanks Jay and Phil for the info. Now I can eliminate the worrying about the milk, and concentrate on technique. And to answer your Phil, yes I was trained by someone with good experience and when I was trained I did really well during that time. Then I bought a used La Pavoni Bar espresso machine to practice at home and could not get the milk to steam right. I can get it to where the milk is somewhat velvety but has larger air bubbles along with micro bubbles. I would like to ask you what wet steam is?
Edwin, wet steam essentially just what it sounds like. Some machines, possibly due to poor design or normal wear and tear after years of use and in need of repair and replacement parts, will appear to leak water out of the steam wand while the steam wand is in action. This wet steam can affect the quality of you foamed or textured milk negatively, usually causing larger bubbles instead of nice velvety microfoam. My suggestion to test would be to simply engage the steam wand and see if it drips for a second before drying up and blowing out pure steam. If the wand continues to spray water the entire length of time you have it open, then you have a "wet" steam issue.

I'd hate to give you inaccurate information on exactly how to correct it or what to replace, but there are plenty of great service techs on here that would be able to help if that is determined to be the issue. I'm guessing Brady may chime in on this,he tends to have the best responses for the service questions on here.
I do notice that there is water along with steam coming out of the steam wand. Thank you Phil for the information I really appreciate you taking your time to help a newbie.

Agree with Jay for practice cheap milk is fine, but it really all boils down to the taste of the end result

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