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Espresso: Latte Art and Etching
Taking the first steps, feedback?
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Discussions > Espresso > Latte Art > Taking the first...  
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TriHard
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TriHard
Joined: 24 Feb 2011
Posts: 36
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket R58
Grinder: Compak K10 Fresh
Posted Fri Sep 21, 2012, 6:19am
Subject: Re: Taking the first steps, feedback?
 

glcoffee Said:

I'm using an Izzo Alex II and on the steaming arm, I have reverted back to its two hole tip (more on this later).

Posted March 14, 2012 link

Very nice...you have made great progress!  BTW, what is the story behind the move back to the 2 hole tip as you said earlier?  Are you still using that tip?  What is your positioning of it relative to the pitcher?
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glcoffee
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Joined: 15 Feb 2012
Posts: 67
Location: Los Angeles, CA & Taiwan
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Izzo Alex II
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:43am
Subject: Re: Taking the first steps, feedback?
 

TriHard Said:

Very nice...you have made great progress!  BTW, what is the story behind the move back to the 2 hole tip as you said earlier?  Are you still using that tip?  What is your positioning of it relative to the pitcher?

Posted September 21, 2012 link

Thank you.  I started with the 4 hole tip first and almost always over frothed/scaled the milk.  Then I found it was a lot easier to use the 2 hole tip as it somehow allowed more room for errors.  Since then, I have made a few changes to my equipment:  using a smaller pitcher (12oz as oppose to 20oz) and am now using the 4 hole tip.   I fill the milk to about 5-6oz and position the wand at a slight angle into the pitcher.  The cup is a 8oz latte cup.

When pouring, I have the cup in my left hand at a slight tilt and start from the top to bottom.


Still have lots of room for improvement and any tips would really help.

 
“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
C.S. Lewis, The World's Last Night
------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------
I am Taiwanese.
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Crosshatch
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Cardiff
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Fri Dec 28, 2012, 2:06pm
Subject: Re: Taking the first steps, feedback?
 

It seems you are almost there :)

From your last picture you have nice 'waves' at the start and I think the only flaw was from when you pulled down to create the stem? (Might be wrong)

A couple of the guys at the shop are at this stage and they are improving by letting the waves settle a tad (maybe a second wait, not much) before pushing down to create the stem. This settling makes it harder for the waves to be pulled down together (which before created a bit of a blob at the top). Also worth trying to tilt the pitcher at a slightly higher angle as to not let as much milk/foam pour over your waves and pull them together.

Hope this helps, you've improved a lot, once you get the perfect couple of leafs it gets a lot easier... Becomes muscle memory rather than a thought out process :)
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RussK
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RussK
Joined: 6 Jan 2013
Posts: 40
Location: Mississippi Delta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Alex II
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Type B
Drip: Bunn DV TC / Chemex / Hario...
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 7:30pm
Subject: Re: Taking the first steps, feedback?
 

 Since then, I have made a few changes to my equipment:  using a smaller pitcher (12oz as oppose to 20oz) and am now using the 4 hole tip.   I fill the milk to about 5-6oz and position the wand at a slight angle into the pitcher.  The cup is a 8oz latte cup

Hi, I am using exactly the same setup as this and am having some struggles getting the results that I would like. Could you tell me how long it takes you to froth 5 or 6 oz in the 12oz pitcher. BTW I wish my drinks looked as good as yours. I am about ready to pull my hair out! Thanks
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Jan 7, 2013, 2:52pm
Subject: Re: Taking the first steps, feedback?
 

It takes me 20 seconds or so to froth 4 oz in 12 oz pitcher.  I sink when my digital thermometer hits 40 which is 5 degrees up from the start and about as many seconds and then stop at 100 and it coasts up to 140 +

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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Pourista
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Pourista
Joined: 20 Dec 2012
Posts: 19
Location: Davis, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Mishka's Medium Roast
Posted Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:53am
Subject: Re: Taking the first steps, feedback?
 

I agree with Helen.  5 seconds or so of adding air in the beginning is all you need.  As the steaming continues, the milk continues to expand until you're done.  The more time you have for the milk and foam to roll and heat up, the better.  That's why having a cold pitcher is best.  Common mistakes are usually adding too much air at the beginning and then not having enough time to roll the milk and foam together.  It is a bit of touch and go with the amount of air added to the amount of milk in the pitcher.  The more milk you have, the more air you need to add and 5 seconds probably won't be enough for say 12oz+ of milk.
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RussK
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RussK
Joined: 6 Jan 2013
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Location: Mississippi Delta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Alex II
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Type B
Drip: Bunn DV TC / Chemex / Hario...
Posted Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:15pm
Subject: Re: Taking the first steps, feedback?
 

Thanks for the replies. I believe that overstretching is indeed my problem. I get a head of thick, fairly dense foam with almost no bubbles but pours out in a blob at the end of the pour. Certainly not anything considered art quality. Practice makes perfect I guess. :)
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:57pm
Subject: Re: Taking the first steps, feedback?
 

Sounds like you have figured out what to work on.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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JedSezZed
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Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 1
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 9:30pm
Subject: Re: Taking the first steps, feedback?
 

Anything beyond the replies above that you'd like to add?  Or to emphasize the success you've had with some of those comments?  

I'm about a year behind you and would love to make that sort of progress in 6 months. :-)
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glcoffee
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Feb 2012
Posts: 67
Location: Los Angeles, CA & Taiwan
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Izzo Alex II
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 3:06am
Subject: Re: Taking the first steps, feedback?
 

Crosshatch Said:

It seems you are almost there :)

From your last picture you have nice 'waves' at the start and I think the only flaw was from when you pulled down to create the stem? (Might be wrong)

A couple of the guys at the shop are at this stage and they are improving by letting the waves settle a tad (maybe a second wait, not much) before pushing down to create the stem. This settling makes it harder for the waves to be pulled down together (which before created a bit of a blob at the top). Also worth trying to tilt the pitcher at a slightly higher angle as to not let as much milk/foam pour over your waves and pull them together.

Hope this helps, you've improved a lot, once you get the perfect couple of leafs it gets a lot easier... Becomes muscle memory rather than a thought out process :)

Posted December 28, 2012 link

Thanks for the encouragement.  All of my pours are in 6oz cups.  I have notice characteristics of a cup becomes a huger factor in terms of pace and proximity of your pour.  For cups with wider openings, I tend to be a lot closer and much slower.


glcoffee Said:

 Since then, I have made a few changes to my equipment:  using a smaller pitcher (12oz as oppose to 20oz) and am now using the 4 hole tip.   I fill the milk to about 5-6oz and position the wand at a slight angle into the pitcher.  The cup is a 8oz latte cup

Hi, I am using exactly the same setup as this and am having some struggles getting the results that I would like. Could you tell me how long it takes you to froth 5 or 6 oz in the 12oz pitcher. BTW I wish my drinks looked as good as yours. I am about ready to pull my hair out! Thanks

Posted November 30, 2012 link

I normally fill the milk to about one finger below the bottom of the spout.  Letting the milk sit a bit almost helps for lower powered machines.  Time is not really a variable as other factors your should consider are milk temp, steam pressure, steam head, and if you are going for a latte or cap.  I used whole milk, briefly stretch the milk and spent most of the time warming it (hot to hold, but not to touch).

Coffeenoobie Said:

It takes me 20 seconds or so to froth 4 oz in 12 oz pitcher.  I sink when my digital thermometer hits 40 which is 5 degrees up from the start and about as many seconds and then stop at 100 and it coasts up to 140 +

Posted January 7, 2013 link

I'm really not a fan of saying X seconds since you should really be going about it by sound and touch.

Pourista Said:

I agree with Helen.  5 seconds or so of adding air in the beginning is all you need.  As the steaming continues, the milk continues to expand until you're done.  The more time you have for the milk and foam to roll and heat up, the better.  That's why having a cold pitcher is best.  Common mistakes are usually adding too much air at the beginning and then not having enough time to roll the milk and foam together.  It is a bit of touch and go with the amount of air added to the amount of milk in the pitcher.  The more milk you have, the more air you need to add and 5 seconds probably won't be enough for say 12oz+ of milk.

Posted January 8, 2013 link

The variance for me is really the temperature of the milk and what type of steam pressure I have to work with.

RussK Said:

Thanks for the replies. I believe that overstretching is indeed my problem. I get a head of thick, fairly dense foam with almost no bubbles but pours out in a blob at the end of the pour. Certainly not anything considered art quality. Practice makes perfect I guess. :)

Posted January 8, 2013 link

I had this issue at first.  When it is overstretched, try to give your pitcher a few good swirls or even dump some out from the top.  What you want is a paint like density.

Coffeenoobie Said:

Sounds like you have figured out what to work on.

Posted January 9, 2013 link

I'm still pouring a bit too fast for my own liking and have yet to perfect a rosetta :(



My latest creation:

http://i.imgur.com/EvI73l9.jpg

I think the tail could have been a little cleaner on my part.

 
“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
C.S. Lewis, The World's Last Night
------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------
I am Taiwanese.
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