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Steaming observation on my NS Oscar
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Discussions > Espresso > Latte Art > Steaming...  
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,972
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Aug 28, 2012, 8:36am
Subject: Steaming observation on my NS Oscar
 

Steaming observation at the latte art class I had this weekend. I used a 3 group NS machine after attempting to get microfoam on NS Oscar and I could not get the turbulence in the pitcher that I saw in the larger machine.  I thought about turning my pstat back up but I am pretty sure I still did not get that much disturbance in the force, I mean milk.  After much thought, I got out the smaller pitcher (holds about 6 oz half full and 12 at the brim) I picked up on a whim at goodwill and I believe this is the ticket.  I have to stop steaming a lot faster as the smaller volume of milk is heating faster than my digital thermometer can respond.  But it was a very pretty microfoam and it was closer to the speed of milk steaming of the larger machines.  Oscar can do lovely cappa foams in the large pitcher but I think to get easy microfoam I need the small one.  It is much easier to get a strong vortex with the smaller pitcher.  I can't ever seem to get a good vortex with the larger one.  Even with the large espro pitcher I was not really happy with the vortex.  I guess I need to get a smaller one of those as well.

updated with measurements.

 
Coffeenoobie

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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
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Posted Tue Aug 28, 2012, 10:59pm
Subject: Re: Steaming observation on my NS Oscar
 

Your experience shows that the size of the pitcher has to correlate with the steaming power of the machine. As a rule of thumb one might say that the bigger the boiler is the more steam it'll produce. Your Oscar should be able to handle a 500 ml milk pitcher.

 
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,972
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Aug 29, 2012, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Steaming observation on my NS Oscar
 

I am sure a pro could make microfoam in a large pitcher on Oscar.  And he can heat the 20 oz espro and I can make microfoam in it.  But not as consistently easy to get the vortex at the end.  Especially if the stretching puts the milk in the narrow part of the neck. But to use the reg pitchers and make easy microfoam I am suggesting a tiny one- this one, when filled to just where the spout starts is 6 oz.  It is about 12oz at the brim. I am not sure what size the pros would call that, I just measured water in it to post numbers.

 
Coffeenoobie

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e53er
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e53er
Joined: 21 Apr 2002
Posts: 162
Location: L.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Solis SL90
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Solis Maestro
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos
Drip: KMB, Hario V60 dripper
Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Thu Aug 30, 2012, 9:52am
Subject: Re: Steaming observation on my NS Oscar
 

Could you describe your technique? Are you stretching with the wand at the center of the pitcher, moving it off to the side for the vortex? I have both small and large pitchers but the quality of the microfoam is about the same.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,972
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Aug 30, 2012, 5:14pm
Subject: Re: Steaming observation on my NS Oscar
 

Yes, I am sorta in the center for the stretching maybe not dead centered.  I then move to the side for votex and tip the pitcher.  I am not saying I can't get a vortex with the big one, it just takes a while for me to get all the milk moving and I run out of time. (i.e. it gets to hot)  So, because I am not getting a strong vortex the whole time I end up with a good foam but not all of it is the smooth micro.  And if I mess up really bad it is a very nice wet fluffy egg foam.  If I am really not on my game I get a very nice smooth dry cappa foam that stands up nicely and I could top a lemon pie with.  I really think this wand/tip is best at making those cappa foams.  I am not talking about ending up with large soap bubbles I am talking a nice but not micro foam.  Yes, I am a bit of a perfectionist... I should be happy with my nice foams but damnit, I want to make latte ART!

 
Coffeenoobie

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

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Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,972
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Aug 30, 2012, 5:16pm
Subject: Re: Steaming observation on my NS Oscar
 

I can probably make a video this weekend if husband holds the camera for me so you guys can give me advice.

 
Coffeenoobie

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

My coffee treasure map...
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Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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frank828
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Espresso: GS3
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Drip: Brazen, CCD, Aeropress, V60,...
Roaster: Behmor, Air Crazy
Posted Thu Aug 30, 2012, 6:25pm
Subject: Re: Steaming observation on my NS Oscar
 

I've been working on my steaming and I'm pretty much going through the same issues that you are.  I haven't been able to make any good microfoam either.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,972
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Sep 1, 2012, 11:43am
Subject: Re: Steaming observation on my NS Oscar
 

Ok I am going to post a photo of the world's sadist rosette but it is a quantum leap forward from anything else I was able to do.  I made a pretty good heart for my husband's coffee right before this one. Disclamer: I had to run to the back of the house with the cup to show my husband then find the camera so it looked a bit better before the travel time...

Coffeenoobie: rosette.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
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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hotwasabipeas
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hotwasabipeas
Joined: 19 Aug 2011
Posts: 180
Location: Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: KitchenAid ProLine
Drip: Keurig Vue, B70,Tassimo T65,...
Roaster: Wear Ever Popcorn Pumper...
Posted Sat Sep 1, 2012, 8:43pm
Subject: Re: Steaming observation on my NS Oscar
 

Hey Noobie are you using the original steam tip?  I bought the reduced-pressure tip from Chris' Coffee and it's working well for me with my small 12 oz. pitcher.  I can get microfoam pretty much every time I steam but my pouring skills aren't great yet and I haven't been able to get an amazing rosetta.  Hearts and apples are easier for me.   Also I think my cups are too wide and shallow, compared to a typical cappuccino/latte cup,  and they are too big for the amount of milk that I use so I can't get the microfoam to start forming in the cup early in my pour.  I tend to run out of microfoam so my rosettas tend to look less full than what is expected.   Here's what my typical "rosetta" looks like:

hotwasabipeas: 003.JPG
(Click for larger image)

 
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,972
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Sep 1, 2012, 10:19pm
Subject: Re: Steaming observation on my NS Oscar
 

I have both tips but the original has the chrome striped off from bad cleaning.  I use Chris' tip.  I was under the impression that they recommended a wide cup with a rounded bottom for art.  I found a cup that fit that at goodwill for a $1.  I did not know at the time it was a vintage collectible.  New Castle PA Shenango cup that was made for dinners so they are very well made and durable.  I believe mine is from the 50's.  I bought 3 more off ebay I thought would match but I think they are newer and less aesthetically pleasing.  They are thicker with a chunky rim.  But they hold the heat, can take a beating and they still have the rounded bottom.

Your foam looks smoother without the random large bubbles that mine has.  You could try a smaller pitcher and report back what you think.  The instructor said to almost dump the milk in, I was going too slow and holding back.

 
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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