How to get the most foam out of your coffee, according to science

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If you’re here, chances are good that you already love coffee. Of course, we all know that the things that make coffee so delightful aren’t just the flavor, but also the smell and texture. Yes, there is nothing quite like a smooth drink with a nice layer of foam on top to tickle your senses as you enjoy your favorite beverage. Well, I’m going to break down exactly how to get that perfect amount of foam for every cup of coffee.

Grind your coffee beans medium-coarse.

The ideal grind size for espresso is a medium-coarse grind. For French press, it’s a bit coarser, but still medium-coarse. And for paper filter brewing, it’s—you guessed it—medium-coarse again.

This consistency in grind size can help you get the same kind of foam out of every cup of coffee regardless of how you brew it.

The fresher the beans, the better.

Coffee beans lose flavor over time, so it’s important to keep your beans fresh and grind them as close to brewing as possible. If you can’t buy them directly from a roaster, look for an airtight container that will protect the beans from excess moisture and heat (which cause them to lose flavor).

Don’t have an airtight container? Make one! If still in its original bag, cut a small hole on top of the bag big enough for your finger, then re-seal with tape. Place this bag inside another plastic bag (it doesn’t have to be airtight) before storing it in the fridge or freezer.

When brewing, use room-temperature water.

When brewing your coffee, remember that room temperature water is best. Water that is too hot will cause the coffee to over-extract and make it taste bitter or burnt. If your sink isn’t clean enough for you to stick your finger in and check the temperature, use a thermometer instead! Water that’s too cold will cause the coffee to under-extract and leave you with a weak brew.

A good starting point for brewing is 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 Celsius) if you’re using an automatic brewer like a Keurig or Nespresso machine; 175 degrees Fahrenheit (79 Celsius) if you’re using a French press; 190 degrees Fahrenheit (88 Celsius) if using an espresso machine; or 205 degrees Fahrenheit (96 Celsius) for pour-over methods like Chemex or Hario V60 drippers.

Get yourself a burr grinder instead of a blade grinder.

A burr grinder is a better option than a blade grinder. The reason for this is that burrs are easier to clean, more consistent, and less likely to break down over time. This means you can expect your coffee machine to last longer—and you won’t have to go through the hassle of replacing it as often!

The second reason why you should use a burr grinder instead of a blade grinder: consistency in size and shape. With blade grinders, the size of your grounds varies greatly depending on how long it’s been used—and some people even prefer using coarser grounds because they think they taste better! But with a new burr grinder (like one from Baratza), every batch will be exactly the same size as every other batch so that no matter how much coffee gets brewed or how many times someone uses it throughout their day—it’ll always come out looking beautiful on top with just enough foam surrounding each cup before being drunk down into its warm deliciousness below..

Stir, don’t shake the espresso.

The next time you’re in a coffee shop, pay attention to how your barista pours your espresso or cappuccino. I bet you’ll see them stirring it with a small spoon to make sure that the water mixes with the grounds evenly, and then they’ll top off the cup with foamed milk.

Stirring is better than shaking because it allows the water to mix more evenly with the coffee grounds. Shaking also helps to release any clumps of grounds from their resting spot at the bottom of your cup (even though we’re told not to stir our cups), but this can lead to bitterness as well.

Let your coffee rest for 30 seconds before pouring it into your cup or glass and enjoy!

Letting your coffee rest for 30 seconds before pouring it into your cup or glass will help you get the most foam. Try pouring the espresso into a cup first, then adding the milk. You can also add the milk to your espresso and stir it in well. Another option is to heat up some milk and then pour that over your espresso shot.

These tips will help you get maximum foam out of your coffee.

  • Use a burr grinder instead of a blade grinder.
  • Use room-temperature water.
  • Use fresh beans, and grind them yourself to ensure you’re getting the best possible flavor from them.
  • Stir the coffee with a spoon instead of shaking it in order to get more foam out of your drink.
  • Let your coffee rest for 30 seconds before pouring into your cup; this allows time for bubbles to form and gives you better foam!


That’s all there is to it. The next time you’re craving a cup of joe, try these tips out and let us know what happens. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us at

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