I thought Id jump in here and share my method of achieving the best possible milk texture on my Lelit. If you own a Sunbeam 3800, 4800, 5800, or a Cafe Roma or Venezia, Imat, Nemox or anything with a similar steam arm to this..
..then you might find this method helpful :)
I found that making sure the boiler is ON while steaming is very very effective so firstly prep the steam by releasing all the pressure and having the boiler kick back in . Start steaming from this point. If your machine runs steam with a thermoblock like my older Sunbeam then try allowing the steam to build by running it into an empty pitcher or something.
Firstly make sure your milk and jug are cold - fill the milk to just the bottom of the spout (or between the 1/3 and 1/2 point)
If you have a left side or right sided wand, hold your pitcher pointing inwards so the handle is outward.
Have the steam wand resting straight up against the forward side of the pitcher (closest to you).
Slightly tilt the jug on an angle towards yourself so the far edge is up higher. This allows you more working room with the short steam wand.
From here open the steam and use the handle of your portafilter and the side of your hand to keep the jug steady during the air-incorporating process. (And unsteady hand could make you slip a little to low and bring massive bubbles in to the milk).
Next keeping the angle of the pitcher, incorporate air at consistent rate. If you lower and raise the jug slightly and repetitively - it creates more opportunities for you to misjudge and accidentally slip and get big bubbles.
Give it enough air so it quickly raises the level of the milk by a couple of centimetres (obviously depending on the drink youre making. ie cup of cino give it some serious froth).
From here change the angle of your jug to the slightly flatter level, keeping the wand pretty much running up along the side of the jug closest to you.. this gets you quite a good roll, creating a smooth wave rolling towards you and back under.. Its not the whirlpool effect most people are after although with a short vertical wand - this is probably most effective.
Finally let it get hot enough and wait until the steaming completely shuts off before removing the wand or you might get a few accidental bubbles on top.
As far as timing goes, every machine is different and there are many variables. For myslef on my Lelit I find I need to incorporate air for 1/4 of the total steaming time. The majority is rolling.
On higher power machines you dont need to roll the milk for as long to incorporate all your (hopefully micro) foam.
Purge and clean the wand ASAP.
Now go ahead and pour that latte art youve been lusting after.
Hope this helped.