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Espresso: Latte Art and Etching
My first attempt at Latte Art with my new machine (Andreja Premium)
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Discussions > Espresso > Latte Art > My first attempt...  
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mattwells
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Joined: 18 Oct 2005
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Location: Portland, OR
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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2007, 3:35pm
Subject: My first attempt at Latte Art with my new machine (Andreja Premium)
 

Okay, normally I am not one to blame equipment for anything, but I think this time I was right.

I had never had any luck with getting microfoam with my Expobar.  Jasonian is far more skilled than I am, and is getting it done (he has my old machine), but I couldn't.

I just purchased an Andreja Premium and thought I would give the whole "microfoam/latte art" another shot.  I think I did okay for my first attempt with the Andreja.  No clue what it is (a heart/tulip/onion - I don't really know the latte art terminology either), but it turned out okay.

I tilted the latte bowl towards me a bit and then poured starting at that corner.  I gave a little wiggle as I poured.  Now I need to figure out how to make this repeatable and how to do different things with it (and be able to control what I am doing).

Any input is appreciated.

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MarkPrince
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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2007, 11:46pm
Subject: Re: My first attempt at Latte Art with my new machine (Andreja Premium)
 

Nice work!

BTW, I don't think it's the Expobar's fault per se.

It's the tip, most likely. Microfoam can easily (did he say that?) be done on very inexpensive machines - I've produced it on everything from a Krups to a LM, and almost literally everything in between (including some super autos).

In all my experience, the biggest drawback to producing microfoam can be the tip itself on the wand. But even that can be overcome - for eg, some Capresso super autos come with a "slider" wand - slide the wand up a bit, and it's an auto-frother. Slide it down, and it's a poor man's manual steamer. It's not very good, there's no definitive axis points to swirl the milk with at first glance, but a bit of finessing, and a bit of work, and you can get pourable microfoam.

Ironically enough, one of the most difficult machines I've had when it comes to doing good latte-art microfoam was the prototype GS/3. That's because it came with a 4 hole acorn tip just not suited to it. Once I swapped that out for a 3 hole long tip, everything was gravy.

Mark

 
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KanChan
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Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 16
Location: Malaysia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Baby D
Posted Fri Feb 23, 2007, 1:04am
Subject: Re: My first attempt at Latte Art with my new machine (Andreja Premium)
 

Hi there,

I just got my first espresso machine 2 weeks ago, a Gaggia Baby D.
I wonder if anyone manage to do Latte Art on a Baby D?

I manage to get some microfoam, surely better than starbucks. I dump the frothing device after using it a day. That device can make a lot of foam, big big foam.

I try with the naked wand, but it is just too short. Finally, I remove the major part from the frothing device and use only the top part. It extend the naked wand by 1.5cm and end with a single hole tip. Amazingly, for the first time i manage to get some decent tiny foam, makes a great capa.

Can you really do pourable microfoam for Latte Art on such a machine? Almost all I know about espresso, I learnt from CG. I even dreamed about it in my sleep. When I got the Baby, I was having so much fun... until I try to pour some Latte Art. It was frustrating.

Any great tips from all the coffee geeks out there?

Regards,
Kan Chan

P.S: Before someone mention, I did read the Milk Frothing Guide (3 times).
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Jasonian
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Jasonian
Joined: 8 Aug 2005
Posts: 3,856
Location: Lubbock, TX
Expertise: Professional

Posted Fri Feb 23, 2007, 3:27am
Subject: Re: My first attempt at Latte Art with my new machine (Andreja Premium)
 

Nice!  

Mark, I will say that it is most certainly the tip.  3 holes, each a bit larger than it would need to be if it were a 1 hole tip for great foam.  

I've been able to get good foam, but nothing spectacular like what I'm used to.  

A single hole and a double hole will be on the way shortly.

Microfoam on my Gaggia was never a problem.  

KanChan Said:

Hi there,

I just got my first espresso machine 2 weeks ago, a Gaggia Baby D.
I wonder if anyone manage to do Latte Art on a Baby D?

I manage to get some microfoam, surely better than starbucks. I dump the frothing device after using it a day. That device can make a lot of foam, big big foam.

I try with the naked wand, but it is just too short. Finally, I remove the major part from the frothing device and use only the top part. It extend the naked wand by 1.5cm and end with a single hole tip. Amazingly, for the first time i manage to get some decent tiny foam, makes a great capa.

Can you really do pourable microfoam for Latte Art on such a machine? Almost all I know about espresso, I learnt from CG. I even dreamed about it in my sleep. When I got the Baby, I was having so much fun... until I try to pour some Latte Art. It was frustrating.

Any great tips from all the coffee geeks out there?

Regards,
Kan Chan

P.S: Before someone mention, I did read the Milk Frothing Guide (3 times).

Posted February 23, 2007 link

I poured art on a regular basis with my Gaggia Coffee.  

Tip #1:  Ditch the frothing attachment.

 
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KanChan
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Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 16
Location: Malaysia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Baby D
Posted Sat Feb 24, 2007, 10:48am
Subject: Re: My first attempt at Latte Art with my new machine (Andreja Premium)
 

Yahoo.... today I manage to get some really decent microfoam from my Gaggia Baby D.
It's pourable but I'm still far from producing latte art.

Well, at least it tasted so GOOD.

Thanks guys for all your tips.

Regards,
Kan Chan
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Jasonian
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Jasonian
Joined: 8 Aug 2005
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Location: Lubbock, TX
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sat Feb 24, 2007, 1:31pm
Subject: Re: My first attempt at Latte Art with my new machine (Andreja Premium)
 

If that's all it took, then you should be pouring art in no time.

 
www.AJCoffeeCo.com - www.espressotrainer.com - www.TX-Coffee.com
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KeenBean
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KeenBean
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Location: Calgary, AB
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Posted Fri Jun 22, 2007, 6:01pm
Subject: Re: My first attempt at Latte Art with my new machine (Andreja Premium)
 

mattwells Said:

I think I did okay for my first attempt with the Andreja.  No clue what it is, but it turned out okay.

Any input is appreciated.

Posted February 22, 2007 link

Hey Matt - how is it going for you now?  I think I may be having some foam struggles - which I think I had overcome for a bit, but now I'm getting dense foam collecting at the top of mine.  I see this post has been sitting a bit, so I hope you're still able to respond, as I'm very curious as to your experience and how the past several months on the Andreja has been treating you.  

KeenBean
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yellowdog
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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2007, 1:57pm
Subject: Re: My first attempt at Latte Art with my new machine (Andreja Premium)
 

Nice to read about your successes!  I've had an Expobar Lever for 3 months now; Pasquini S90 before that.  I never thought about microfoam until I got the Expobar and now all I can think about is how to get microfoam.  I'm fine with the shots I pull.  Nearly all crema and consistent.  But out of several hundred lattes I've only gotten microfoam once and was able to pour a lovely rosetta.  And the smoothness to the mouth feel was unmistakeble.

I've used the standard one-hole that came with the Expobar.  I've put WLL's 3-hole replacement on.  And I've even put the Pasquini's 4-hole tip on.  Nothing seems to work.  

I'm steaming in a 12 ounce pitcher (used 1%, 2%, whole and the one good stretch was with whole milk...) and can easily produce lots of dense "floating" foam that looks fine but doesn't work for the art and just collects at the top of the cup.  And of course under the foam is lots of hot milk.  Not smooth stretched stuff like I would like.

Any suggestions?  I would really like to perfect this and just can't figure out what I'm not doing correctly.
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KeenBean
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KeenBean
Joined: 2 May 2007
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Location: Calgary, AB
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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2007, 5:32pm
Subject: Re: My first attempt at Latte Art with my new machine (Andreja Premium)
 

yellowdog Said:

I'm steaming in a 12 ounce pitcher (used 1%, 2%, whole and the one good stretch was with whole milk...) and can easily produce lots of dense "floating" foam that looks fine but doesn't work for the art and just collects at the top of the cup.  And of course under the foam is lots of hot milk.  Not smooth stretched stuff like I would like.

Posted July 5, 2007 link

Hey Yellowdog -

That sounds exactly like the issues I was having prior to a mild change in technique - and it's all about the way I used to swirl / roll the microfoam in.  I thought I had the correct technique, but I have watched a couple old latter art vids (I can't recall from which post off hand - but go as far as 3-4 pages back in this section, and just read a few that have to do with art and frothing properly - you're bound to find at least one good one!).  I think the term whirlpool should be taken quite literally, as that really is what I am attempting to get each and every time - round and round, rather than up and down rolling.  The whirlpool spin is what really integrates my microfoam to the hot milk below.

But I did make an attempt to clarify my technique in text yesterday for someone else... here is the post.  Check that out, and see if that makes sense.  I will try make a video this weekend and post it as I am actually pretty proud of my frothing now, and feel that even if I am not getting the art out, I am managing to consistently pull that dreamy mouth-feel that you mentioned in your post... it's well worth the effort to get the technique down just for how that enhances a milk-based espresso beverages flavor.  

Cheers!

KeenBean
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ericnorby
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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2007, 11:40pm
Subject: Re: My first attempt at Latte Art with my new machine (Andreja Premium)
 

Use the freshest (local), fattiest (whole) milk you can get.  If there's a dairy nearby that sells milk to grocery stores, snag that.  I've found that organic milk (Horizon especially) separates in no time, especially when you go down in fat content.  

This is something I read in Schomer's "Professional Techniques" and it works.  Don't laugh at me, but if you get the coffee to swirl counter-clockwise, the milk turns out better.

On a downside, I realized I might be lactose intolerant today.  Thank god I love straight doubles.
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