JerDGold Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2013 Posts: 142 Location: Chicago, IL Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Grinder: Baratza Vario Drip: Chemex
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2014, 7:13am Subject: Poll: Milk First or Espresso First On Rancilio Silvia?
I've been steaming milk first and then pulling my shot, as I'm of the opinion that the Espresso is the most important part. Classically I'm only an espresso drinker, but have recently started making milk drinks. I read that with milk drinks (especially lattes, less so cappucinos and even less macchiatos) milk is the star and not the espresso. I find that when steaming milk first and pulling shot second, my milk has seperated by the time I get my machine down to temp and get my shot pulled. Sometimes I even re-mix my formerly pretty foam back into the seperated steamed milk. What are everyone else's thoughts?
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2014, 7:17am Subject: Re: Poll: Milk First or Espresso First On Rancilio Silvia?
Seems like you answered your own question.
Always espresso first, steam second for me. It takes literally 10 seconds to get to steaming temperature and another 30 seconds tops to steam. you prob spend that much waiting for it to cool before drinking (I don't use a silvia of course).
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 8,204 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32 Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Msl. Com. brewers Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2014, 7:39am Subject: Re: Poll: Milk First or Espresso First On Rancilio Silvia?
Darned if you do and darned if you don't.
Espresso first... the machine is at a stable temp (PID) and your shots are more consistent, you need to wait to come up to steam, your espresso cools and you loose crema.
Milk first, the milk starts to seperate, the boiler is brought down to below temp with the water filling the boiler, the boiler temp is wacked and the machine is not temp stable when the shot is pulled, even if the PID is at the right "number" The espresso is fresh, the milk stale and the shot could possibly suffer.
That all said, my normal use on vacation with a PID for both brew and steam Sylvia is to pull the shots first when the machine is stable then steam milk. This is a personal preference, there really is not a wright or wrong way, it is what you prefer.
In real life, my name is Wayne P. Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
Not with a Silivia, both things take considerably longer.
I don't use a silvia of course.
It's been awhile for me too. But it seemed to me that before parting with my SBDU twenty years ago that espresso for latte degraded less in the 90 seconds + it took to bring the machine to steaming temp and steam a latte's worth of milk; than milk degraded in the similar amount of time it took to cool the machine down and temp-surf it back to brew temp.
Even if you have a machine which allows you to pour milk the second you finish brewing the espresso, a latte isn't going to be much like fresh espresso anyway. I don't see steaming the milk first as a way of preserving the esresso as making much sense. On the other hand, a latte is ALL about the milk.
FWIW, the most cost-effective way to get good steaming performance (two large size lattes in a row in less than 90 seconds) is via HX. Because it's mostly a matter of boiler size, with few exceptions, prosumer HXs tend to recover faster and therefore be much better steamers than prosumer DBs.
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2014, 10:00am Subject: Re: Poll: Milk First or Espresso First On Rancilio Silvia?
For the 6½ years I had a Silvia I ALWAYS pulled first and steamed second. You are about to pour at least 4 ounces of milk into 2 ounces of espresso. If the espresso quality was that important, then just drink the espresso! ;-)
For most new home users, getting microfoam to last any length of time using the "quality" of milk most consumers drink is quite difficult. What little is lost in an espresso that sits for an extra two minutes or so would be unrecognizable in all that milk.
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 3,622 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2 Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,... Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2014, 11:37am Subject: Re: Poll: Milk First or Espresso First On Rancilio Silvia?
Like Randy, I used Silvia for about 8 years and I always pulled my shots first, then steamed the milk. Midway into that, I took my barista training class at Klatch, and Heather recommended doing it that way as well...because the milk is the featured part of the drink.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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