MikeNH Senior Member Joined: 2 Dec 2012 Posts: 18 Location: Nashua, NH Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sun Oct 13, 2013, 2:43pm Subject: Lattes don't seem to be hot enough...
Hey all! Just recently got my setup together and I have a few questions. For background, I'm using a Quickmill Alexia with a PID and a Mazzer Mini.
When I finish making my lattes and go to taste them, it seems they aren't very hot, unlike when I go to a cafe if I take a sip immediately after getting the drink it's usually very hot. I typically pull the shots first and then steam the milk second, but I just tried the converse and I'm not sure which I prefer or if either has anything to do with it. The machine takes almost twice as long to get from steaming temp (260f) down to brewing temp, than it does going from brewing temp to steaming. Not sure if the milk sitting there for 2 minutes is worse than the espresso sitting there for a minute... I sped up the process by running water/steam through the brewhead to bring the temp down, but then I'm constantly having to refill the darn water tank which is quite annoying...
Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 3,045 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Oct 13, 2013, 3:28pm Subject: Re: Lattes don't seem to be hot enough...
Personally, I find most places steam their milk too hot and take forever to cool down enough to drink. As I can steam and pull at the same time, the 135-140 milk temp I aim for, makes my cappa's drinkable right away.
I would rather let my espresso sit for a minute than my milk for 2 minutes, given the choice.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
Posted Sun Oct 13, 2013, 4:46pm Subject: Re: Lattes don't seem to be hot enough...
I had your exact equipment as my first "real" setup. I can make your prep easier and faster. **assuming your machine has been on for at least 40 minutes**
Pull water through the group head into your cup to preheat it as you grind, dose, and tamp.
When ready to pull your shot, dump the hot water out of the cup and wipe dry. Warm cup keeps your drink much warmer.
Lift lever to pull shot.
As soon as you lift the lever, flip the steam switch on. This will not result in anything more than about a 1 degree temp increase in the boiler and will not be seen at all at the group head, but it'll cut your steam wait time in half or more.
As soon as your shot is done, purge your steam wand for about 5 seconds into an empty pitcher, rag, or sponge - will help create a little head space for better steaming.
You want to start steaming just before your boiler hits steam temp and cuts off the heating element. Each machine is different, so look at your PID to determine when this happens. Remember it, and from then on, start steaming about 5 degrees below that point.
Stop steaming when the pitcher is too hot to the touch - ~ 160 degrees absolute tops, better at about 145.
Your drink should be too hot to gulp but hot enough that you have to sip it.
Hope this helps.
Oh, always pull your shot before steaming on a single boiler. Getting your boiler from steaming temp down to brew temp takes forever, not to mention the hotter temps mixed with the thermosyphon mean your group head temp will be higher than your PID offset, so despite thinking you are pulling at say 200 degrees you could be a bit higher. Just how much...you need a Scace or EricS thermometer to know for sure.
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