Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
microfoam and latte art w/ starbucks barista
Cafe Espresso Machines
Video reviews, nationwide installation, leasing options... Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, La Marzocco.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > microfoam and...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 2 of 4 first page | last page previous page | next page
Author Messages
yobob
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Nov 2003
Posts: 24
Location: Southeastern Arizona
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbies Digital Italia,...
Grinder: Bodum Antigua
Vac Pot: Bodum eSantos, French Press
Drip: Melitta 1:1, thinking about...
Posted Wed Dec 17, 2003, 8:46am
Subject: Re: microfoam and latte art w/ starbucks barista
 

Okay, I'm hooked.  I viewed some of the videos (don't they make it look easy?  Wish it were so!)  

So now I've got something to practice . . . and practice . . . and . . .

Anyway, this leads to another question for anyone that does this sort of thing.  Obviously this technique works for lattes, but would it also work for cappucinos?  What would the ratio be?  (I currently do the third espresso, third steamed milk, and third "floating" foam.)  What would be a good size cup for a double?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Tomasz
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Dec 2003
Posts: 1
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: starbucks barista
Posted Tue Dec 30, 2003, 2:27pm
Subject: Re: microfoam and latte art w/ starbucks barista
 

Bloocanary,

Thanks for posting your tips on creating latte art using the star$ barista. I've been trying to learn all I can about how to make latte art at home and I think your tips have brought me closer than ever to cracking the code :-) It's interesting how in order to make a really good latte I had to do pretty much exactly the opposite of what the star$ instructions said.

Anyway, I'm making some pretty amazing lattes as far as taste goes. The shot is great and the milk foam seems to be right. But the art evades me. I pour the milk into the shots in the cup and it sinks in nicely. My only problem now is that it never really comes back up. I'm not getting that white blob in the middle to manipulate into a pattern.  I suspect that at this point it's probably just a matter of perfecting my pouring technique. Just curious if you've run into this too.

Also you mentioned that you were using the nonpressurized PF. I'm not sure where I can find something like this, nor am I sure if it's really necessary. Have you had any success with the standard PF?

Thanks for your help!

- Tomasz
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Contact via ICQ Link to this post
bloocanary
Senior Member
bloocanary
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 362
Location: SAN FRANCISCO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: solis maestro
Vac Pot: yama (imploded)
Posted Tue Dec 30, 2003, 3:58pm
Subject: Re: microfoam and latte art w/ starbucks barista
 

Tomasz Said:

I pour the milk into the shots in the cup and it sinks in nicely. My only problem now is that it never really comes back up. I'm not getting that white blob in the middle to manipulate into a pattern.  

Posted December 30, 2003 link

if it's actually microfoam and not just heated milk, then you could try adjusting your pouring speed and height.  i think if you pour high and thin (thin stream), it will tend to dive in and sink ... when you start wanting the blob, try pouring closer to the surface and a little faster.  i could be wrong though, this is my impression from watching it and trying it less than a dozen times.  the idea, i think, is that a thick stream that doesn't hit the surface too hard will have a better chance of floating.  try that, let us know how it goes.

Tomasz Said:

Also you mentioned that you were using the nonpressurized PF. I'm not sure where I can find something like this, nor am I sure if it's really necessary. Have you had any success with the standard PF?

Posted December 30, 2003 link

well, necessity is subjective ... i'm sure the vast majority of starbucks barista owners out there love their pressurized PF.  however, the coffeegeek opinion (which i agree with) is that a pressurized PF will get you consistently "mediocre or ok" coffee, whereas a nonpressurized PF will give you more range -- which means anything from terrible to excellent.  it also means you have to practice more, and use just the right grind with just the right beans.  no more store ground or blade ground generic coffee.  so if you're happy with what you have, there's nothing wrong with sticking with it.  if you're looking for a better shot, then yes, a nonpressurized PF is essential.

with the nonpressurized PF, the crema definitely looks much more natural and thicker, and it definitely tastes better with practice, and with good beans.  a bit more trouble though, yes.

you can order the nonpressurized PF directly from saeco ... search these forums, i posted their phone number somewhere.

j
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
jim_schulman
Senior Member
jim_schulman
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,772
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Tue Dec 30, 2003, 4:36pm
Subject: Re: microfoam and latte art w/ starbucks barista
 

bloocanary Said:

kinda ugly, but it's *something* ... my first latte art :-)

Posted December 11, 2003 link

It's excellent for so short a practice time; took me ages. If your milk usually floats, try frothing with the tip slightly deeper, at the point where there's not much noise of any sort, rather than the standard recommended "sucking noise" This creates a denser/more liquid foam. When you pour, the contrast won't be as large, but the lines will be finer.

It takes a lot of practice to get the feel for it, and I still miss the perfect foam about half the time, even on a way easier frothing machine.

 
Jim Schulman
www.coffeecuppers.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
bloocanary
Senior Member
bloocanary
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 362
Location: SAN FRANCISCO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: solis maestro
Vac Pot: yama (imploded)
Posted Wed Jan 7, 2004, 7:32pm
Subject: Re: microfoam and latte art w/ starbucks barista
 

oh i found this in my digital camera ... forgot i ever had a repeat success.  this one was a rushed one too ... so i have no idea what i did right.  plus, as you can see, the foam is a little too bubbly.  done with 2 week old illy, but i somehow managed to maintain some good crema which floated up to create the dark background.

since then though, my attempts have been sad ... maybe it's because i switched to 2% instead of whole ... i hope so.  and as i mention in a post in Q&A, for some reason i got perfect microfoam with a steam toy at home ... and here at school, i can't make anything any more with the barista.  weird.  the pour is pretty much all milk, followed by a tiny bit of "glop" ... which forms kind of a blobby pattern that makes me wanna cry.  oh well :-)

j

bloocanary: PC220007_smaller.jpg
(Click for larger image)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
flippant
Senior Member
flippant
Joined: 1 Sep 2003
Posts: 235
Location: Oslo, Norway
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Wed Jan 7, 2004, 7:34pm
Subject: Re: microfoam and latte art w/ starbucks barista
 

That looks great :)
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Contact via MSN Messenger Link to this post
bloocanary
Senior Member
bloocanary
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 362
Location: SAN FRANCISCO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: solis maestro
Vac Pot: yama (imploded)
Posted Wed Jan 7, 2004, 11:07pm
Subject: Re: microfoam and latte art w/ starbucks barista
 

thanks ... if only i knew how i did it ... ... in the meantime, back to hot bubbly milk ...

j
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
bloocanary
Senior Member
bloocanary
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 362
Location: SAN FRANCISCO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: solis maestro
Vac Pot: yama (imploded)
Posted Thu Jan 15, 2004, 11:20pm
Subject: Re: microfoam and latte art w/ starbucks barista
 

my current theory is that it has to do with the angle of the wand (which will be different for different types of machine, of course).  when i keep the wand pretty vertical, or angled slightly toward the center of the pitcher, there's too much turbulence to get anything more than silence-slurp-silence-slurp.  

in light of that, i recalled someone mentioning trying to keep the milk swirling even while stretching ... so proceeded to angle the wand about 10 degrees right of the machine, and 15 degrees forward.  that way, theoretically the force of the steam is travelling tangent to the side of the pitcher, in addition to toward the center.  that set up a pretty strong swirl, and i was able to get almost a constant tccchhhhhh-tccchhhhhh.  unfortunately, i seemed to just get a lot of bubbly foam that would separate almost immediately.

after a dozen poor attempts like that, i adjusted the angle so it was more like 15 degrees right, 10 degrees forward.  that set up a slow swirl, and some significant turbulence (like big swells that pop up and then die down, sort of randomly around the pitcher.  i was able to get a tch-tch-tch, which was great.  the foam was thick with slightly large bubbles, but i think that's because i stretched too long (a little past 100F).  foam didn't separate and poured quite nicely.

i think the key is to play with the angle like that.  what you're trying to get is a slight swirling, plus a sort of a beating action ... think of whipping cream or beating eggs ... you try to create some random, violent turbulence.  if things are too regular, it may not be a good thing.  when i pointed the wand toward the center, or straight down, i got unmanageable but relatively small (1-inch swells?) around the wand ... and what seemed to be happening was that the steam was shooting into the milk, and pushing milk up on the other side.  when i angled it too much tangentially, i got a smooth, fast whirlpool that didn't give the milk a chance to foam.

that's the theory right now anyway.  tomorrow, i'm sure it will be different. :-)

j
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
SilentBob
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 136
Location: Bremerton, WA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea
Grinder: Cunill Tranquilo
Vac Pot: Cory Electric Auto
Drip: Manual pour-over
Roaster: Whirley-Pop
Posted Fri Jan 16, 2004, 9:57am
Subject: Re: microfoam and latte art w/ starbucks barista
 

bloocanary,

If you're going to be practicing this all weekend, try this (this is my experience, your milk, pitcher, and machine may be different enough that my advice is moot...)

I use a 12 oz pitcher, and put about 5 oz of milk in it - I have to toss about an oz, but if I put 4 oz in the pitcher, the steam wand won't reach the bottom...

Don't worry about swirling the milk while stretching it.  Just stretch it at whatever angle you like for NO MORE THAN 5 OR 6 SECONDS - don't worry about temp.  If you stretch it for this minimum amount of time, you CAN get velvety-smooth microfoam (I hope).

Now set your steam wand at the most severe angle you can and still reach just below the surface of the milk, and almost up against the wall of the pitcher.  I angle the pitcher back towards me so's I can see what's going on, the steam tip is angled both upwards, and towards me and the near side of the pitcher.  What you are trying for is a CONSTANT whirlpool action with NO TCH-TCH-TCH!!  Hold it there, don't move it - the large bubbles you created during stretching should disappear.  The milk doesn't care if it spins clockwise or counterclockwise, by the way :-).  You should be able to get a little surge-like protuberance of milk just behind the steam wand - careful not to let the tip get too high, as just opposite the little protuberance there will be a little divot.  JUST HOLD THE TIP HERE until you reach 150 degrees.

This method works wonderfully for me.  The keys are:  

1)  Don't stretch the milk for more than 5 or 6 seconds
2)  Angle the tip both up and towards you, almost against the pitcher wall
3)  Once you get a nice swirl going, don't change a thing!
4)  After stretching, don't make any more TCH-TCH sounds, or you'll get "grain" - medium-sized bubbles that won't go away and will make pouring latté art very difficult.

I posted a picture on another thread titled "Unattainable latté art and the Starbucks Barista".  I should start a thread titled "Unattainable latté art with Isomac's crappy stock 2-hole steam tip"!  I can make WAY better foam with my Rio Vaporé, probably because the steam tip points down (as opposed to laterally like the crappy stock Isomac 2-hole steam tip), and the boiler size and steam tip seem well matched (not the case with my Tea).

Good luck, and I hope to see some pictures by Monday!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
bloocanary
Senior Member
bloocanary
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 362
Location: SAN FRANCISCO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: solis maestro
Vac Pot: yama (imploded)
Posted Fri Jan 16, 2004, 11:57am
Subject: Re: microfoam and latte art w/ starbucks barista
 

SilentBob Said:

If you're going to be practicing this all weekend, try this (this is my experience, your milk, pitcher, and machine may be different enough that my advice is moot...)

Posted January 16, 2004 link

cool!  thanks for the tips.  i'll try it out, although not all weekend ... will be away from my beloved machine (which theoretically will be silvia arriving today via fedex) and drinking gas station coffee all weekend.

SilentBob Said:

Don't worry about swirling the milk while stretching it.  Just stretch it at whatever angle you like for NO MORE THAN 5 OR 6 SECONDS - don't worry about temp.  If you stretch it for this minimum amount of time, you CAN get velvety-smooth microfoam (I hope).

Posted January 16, 2004 link

should i worry about the sound during this phase?  if i go at whatever angle, it's likely i'll end up with some huge slurps rather than anything approaching a tch-tch ... that was the purpose of all the wand positioning i was talking about before.  so in this approach, is it ok just to slurp up some big bubbles?

j
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 2 of 4 first page | last page previous page | next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > microfoam and...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Coffee Kids
Help folks who help folks in coffee producing nations.
coffeekids.org
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.434422016144)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+