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Thread: Three hole steam tips

  1. #1
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    Three hole steam tips

    I have been using my Faema Family the past few days that I rebuilt and it has a three hole steam tip. The only other machine I can think of having the three hole tip as standard is the Breville dual boiler.

    I find that it is very easy to control the milk and always end up with great microfoam, more so than with two hole or even single hole tips. The holes are very small but as there are three, the steam power is still good.

    Are there many other machines with three hole tips from the factory? I would recommend an upgrade to a three hole tip for my customers over a two or four hole I think based on my experiences.

  2. #2
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    Pavoni. Many opt for a single hole aftermarket! I was going to, then I just worked out how to use it properly.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    I have found that if the holes are too large in diameter then the steaming happens very quickly without much room for error, especially on small quantities.

    I had used a 4 hole tip with 1mm holes and it was still quick and very controllable.

    I have used a twin hole with success (Bezzera - didn't measure the hole size) but on the Alex Duetto the twin hole I find a bit tricky, the holes are 1.5mm dia.

    I have used the breville dual boiler and it's a breeze to get great microfoam but I find it a little slow. Haven't measured the holes but they appear quite small.

    Cheers

    Cheers

  4. #4
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    As you have found, its all dependent on the size of the holes and therefore the volume of steam released per steam capacity of the individual machine/model. Also the angle of the released steam. But in the end....the size of the holes VS capacity of machine I believe.

    After that it probably means nothing...(which is "better", 4,3,2 or 1 hole VS size of holes VS the angles of the steam release VS the capacity of the machine VS the size of the jug ie volume of milk being textured VS anyone's particular technique.....that's just a bunch of confusion in terms of working out if one thing is better than another

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    I might grab some blank tips from Coffee Parts and drill out some different 3 hole designs in them to see how they perform on larger machines and thermoblock machines.

    I do notice that the three holes are very small, more like needle sized holes really. Thus, the steaming takes longer but like you said, it's a match for the power of the machine.
    The Pavoni, Faema and Breville all operate on the same steaming principle, using a small boiler so they're not all that powerful.

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    I have just gone from a Sunbeam EM7000 that has a one hole steam tip to a commercial two head machine that has 3 hole tips.
    I have yet to learn how to make good froth with the big machine. It seems that the steam is way too much, particularly if I want to make only one or two cups. Yes, I can regulate the flow of steam, still I was so used to the little thing that this is like driving a V8 after a pushbike.
    Any tips as to how to use it?

  7. #7
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    I found that the three hole tips were suitable for small to medium power machines only. A large commercial machine which usually has a 4 hole, sometimes more, steam tip for fast steaming is impractical for home use, particularly if you are inexperienced with commercial machines.
    The three hole tip on a commercial machine will still be emitting too much steam I would think.

    I advise swapping the tip for a two hole tip, available from Coffee Parts. This will limit the steam output capacity and make it much easier to control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    I found that the three hole tips were suitable for small to medium power machines only. A large commercial machine which usually has a 4 hole, sometimes more, steam tip for fast steaming is impractical for home use, particularly if you are inexperienced with commercial machines.The three hole tip on a commercial machine will still be emitting too much steam I would think.I advise swapping the tip for a two hole tip, available from Coffee Parts. This will limit the steam output capacity and make it much easier to control.
    Yep, it has 4 holes. Funny how since I started to ask questions on this forum in relation to buying a commercial machine for my holiday place, all I got was naysayers discouragement.
    Every single question was met with one form or another of this being the wrong choice.Well ... I bought a commercial machine second hand,shipped it interstate, got it serviced sitting on a table on my back veranda, hooked up to my garden hose. Paid for a new pump and for a second grade service by a second grade technician, got no answers to the most basic question here.
    Installed it in my weekender and very proud of it, since it happened to be as easy as installing a dishwasher despite the naaaa all around here. Now it is working on its first few coffees and I asked how to lift the water level ....
    Yes, you got it, no answer in 5 days. Never mind, figured out by myself. Big whoop ... Loosen one screw and pull up a sensor and tighten the screw back...
    And now I ask how to froth the milk with this steam wand whit 3 holes that turned out to be 4 ... Naaaaaa I can't do it!
    No way can this ignorant petulant greenhorn be able to make a decent froth with a commercial machine !!! Naaaa go back to a Target machine for the next 10 years, may be you learn and then come back and ask again.
    Yes I bet it is so hard that I'll learn in the next day or two.
    Sad really.
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    Greenhorn has no tolerance for answers he does not want to hear.

    Time for the ignore button to be implemented.
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  10. #10
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    Not sure what your problem is, sorry that people didn't reply to your questions in a timely manner I guess? I struggle to take seriously whiny rants on internet forums.

    I have offered you the advice that if you swap to a 2 hole steam tip, you will have an easier time steaming the milk and get consistently good results.
    If you practice enough with the 4 hole tip, I'm sure you will get good results too.

    Change to a 2 hole tip or keep at it with the 4 hole tip, I don't really care.

    Edit: I'll give you some actual advice with the 4 hole tip as I realise I have neglected to do so.
    Don't bother with trying to make a whirlpool, there's too much power. Keep the tip submerged at all time and focus on keeping the milk moving in a consistent fashion, hard to describe. The sheer volume of steam entering the milk will take care of the microfoam usually.
    Also, I'm not a barista nor have extensive experience with commercial machines. I've used enough of them to get a basic idea though.
    Maybe a barista will chime in with some other tips.
    Last edited by noidle22; 26th September 2015 at 10:12 PM. Reason: info
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  11. #11
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    I'd say you're steaming pretty well already.
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post

    Edit: I'll give you some actual advice with the 4 hole tip as I realise I have neglected to do so.
    Don't bother with trying to make a whirlpool, there's too much power. Keep the tip submerged at all time and focus on keeping the milk moving in a consistent fashion, hard to describe. The sheer volume of steam entering the milk will take care of the microfoam usually.
    Also, I'm not a barista nor have extensive experience with commercial machines. I've used enough of them to get a basic idea though.
    Maybe a barista will chime in with some other tips.
    That wasn't too hard...simple thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBeanGenii View Post
    Greenhorn has no tolerance for answers he does not want to hear.

    Time for the ignore button to be implemented.
    I say that for someone on the low two digit scale you are catching up to the snob spirit rather quick. The ignore button is default here. Tolerance for answers?what does that even mean? What answers? The one I got for complaining about attitude?
    Last edited by Marc1; 27th September 2015 at 12:05 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc1 View Post
    I say that for someone on the Lowe two digit scale you are catching up to the snob spirit rather quick. The ignore button is default here. Tolerance for answers?what does that even mean? What answers? The one I got for complaining about attitude?
    "Joined 2007" He's clearly been around for long enough, reading plenty of posts from new members (like myself I might add) making fools of ourselves.

    Noidle22 really did offer you a suggestion. You wanted to "regulate the flow of steam", and his suggestion was to regulate with a 2 hole steam tip... or to practice. No need to take offence at that. I'd prefer soak in all the suggestions around here, rather than turning my nose up at them.

    In my steaming troubles, I went and read a few other threads that had plenty enough information for me not to comment on another one. I'm getting better, not there yet, but have been enjoying myself.
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  15. #15
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    My experience is that there are very few poorly designed tips: 2,3 or 4 hole. There are however plenty of examples poor technique!

    Agreed that smaller holes often well suited to those on a more powerful machine...
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc1 View Post
    Yep, it has 4 holes. Funny how since I started to ask questions on this forum in relation to buying a commercial machine for my holiday place, all I got was naysayers discouragement.
    Every single question was met with one form or another of this being the wrong choice.Well ... I bought a commercial machine second hand,shipped it interstate, got it serviced sitting on a table on my back veranda, hooked up to my garden hose. Paid for a new pump and for a second grade service by a second grade technician, got no answers to the most basic question here.
    Installed it in my weekender and very proud of it, since it happened to be as easy as installing a dishwasher despite the naaaa all around here. Now it is working on its first few coffees and I asked how to lift the water level ....
    Yes, you got it, no answer in 5 days. Never mind, figured out by myself. Big whoop ... Loosen one screw and pull up a sensor and tighten the screw back...
    And now I ask how to froth the milk with this steam wand whit 3 holes that turned out to be 4 ... Naaaaaa I can't do it!
    No way can this ignorant petulant greenhorn be able to make a decent froth with a commercial machine !!! Naaaa go back to a Target machine for the next 10 years, may be you learn and then come back and ask again.
    Yes I bet it is so hard that I'll learn in the next day or two.
    Sad really.
    I had a laugh! Hey - you forgot to ask me: I'd be pleased to help you out. I'm a yes man. You got this.

    If you don't like that 3 hole (I really like the 3 hole tip - use one now and then on an Expobar Multiboiler) take off the tip and jam a toothpick in one hole and try it as a two hole. If you really like it send a brad into it and clip it off at the surface. If water starts spitting out of the steam wand lower your water level probe (but be careful- it's as tricky as maintaining equilibrium in a fission reactor with a control rod, I had a laugh!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprezzatura View Post
    I had a laugh! Hey - you forgot to ask me: I'd be pleased to help you out. I'm a yes man. You got this.

    If you don't like that 3 hole (I really like the 3 hole tip - use one now and then on an Expobar Multiboiler) take off the tip and jam a toothpick in one hole and try it as a two hole. If you really like it send a brad into it and clip it off at the surface. If water starts spitting out of the steam wand lower your water level probe (but be careful- it's as tricky as maintaining equilibrium in a fission reactor with a control rod, I had a laugh!)
    Ha ha, sure ... there are probably two or three like you around that did not google the word snob to see what it means.

    The tips are actually 4 holes.
    I had a few more goes this weekend and the milk turned out average, probably a combination of using a small amount of milk ... just enough for two cups and the fact that we had only skim milk (hate that stuff, only hate almond milk even more)
    May be I'll buy a few different tips from coffee parts to see the difference it makes.
    The Corimali machine and the Rossi Grinder work like a charm.

  18. #18
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    Well ... we are concerned with people doing the 240V shuffle. Most DIYers know that caveat though.

  19. #19
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    Hey, use full cream milk. Much more better. Skim milk is like trying to texture rice milk. Challenging.

  20. #20
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    Try the three hole, cold pitcher and fat milk.

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    Now you lost me ... the 240V shuffle? ... cold pitcher?
    i know full cream is easier to froth. Yet I have textured 2% fat milk with no problems on my one hole little Sunbeam.
    Is there a difference on the 4 holes when doing a full jar as compared to say half or less? waht about regulating the flow of steam down?

  22. #22
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    240V shuffle: accidentally touching exposed electrical connections or heating element terminals whilst poking around looking for leaks or adjusting something with the machine live.

    Cold pitcher: place your milk steaming pitcher in the freezer. Then, when you are ready to steam milk , take it out. This gives you a little more time to texture milk. Keep your milk in the fridge until right before use too.

    It's really a matter of time: time to texture. I have one hole on my Rancilio which gives me more time to texture glossy micro foam.

  23. #23
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    Some machines have specific-designed tips that texture microfoam fast (La Marzocco foam blade for instance). The four hole like your Cimbali (Carimali?) is designed to texture a larger volume pitcher quick. Steam valves and how they're designed play a part too. For example, the Expobar controls steam output really well. So does La Marzocco. A Fiorenzato flipper valve doesn't (crap).

  24. #24
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    Regulate steam output: try placing the tip on the side of the pitcher just below surface and open the valve to 30% power and get the sipping/swirling action started then lower the tip and open the valve to 50% 75% keeping the swirl going until its heated to where you like it or it just deepens in pitch - close valve, place pitcher on counter, purge wand, wipe wand clean, pick up pitcher, tap on counter, give it a swirl and pour onto your espresso.

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    Thank you mate, that was good useful advice I'll take on board. I was using way too much steam to begin with.

    240V ... not to worry. I was an electrician a long time ago
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  26. #26
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    There is an excellent thread on here with good tips on steaming.

    Some tricks for creating great microfoam

    Also you can practice technique using water with one drop of detergent to save wasting milk.

    Cheers

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    Hi there, I am new to the forum and just restoring a rather beat up Faema Family. The steam wand is missing but I was wondering if anyone has changed the steam wand on their unit? If not does anyone know where the extension piece that screws into the brass fitting coming out of the machine can be located??

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortblackman View Post
    Pavoni. Many opt for a single hole aftermarket! I was going to, then I just worked out how to use it properly.
    Well.... bugger. I've been using the 3-hole on my pavoni and never quite got the hang of it (ever!) so um.. looks like I'll be doing more reading glad this thread is here! Got any good tips specific to the Pavoni 3 hole tip?

  29. #29
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    Have you tried the strip given by Koffeekosmo? Give it a go, works very well.

    Also don't forget you can practice technique using water in the jug with one drop of dishwashing liquid.

    Cheers

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolley View Post
    Well.... bugger. I've been using the 3-hole on my pavoni and never quite got the hang of it (ever!) so um.. looks like I'll be doing more reading glad this thread is here! Got any good tips specific to the Pavoni 3 hole tip?
    Yes - Block off one of those holes. My Pavoni Pro came with a three hole tip, but it did not have enough grunt for three. It had a brass tip, and I soldered one of them shut, and now it's much better. My Europiccola has a single hole tip and was a better steamer than the Pro until I did this simple mod, now they are very similar. I should probably mention that the hole in the single tip is a little larger than the two remaining holes in the other tip.

  31. #31
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    It's just practice. My 16 year old worked and worked on my commercial 2 group and can now texture small volume milk using the 4 hole commercial wand tip beautifully (better than i can now because he pulls most of the coffees in my house!). It is silky and i have not seen better anywhere. He is doing fantastic art and is starting dragons now. When you stsrt using a commercial its a learning curve. Try turning the pressurestat down too...you dont need it to be quite such an animal when not in a coffee shop.

    Practice, practice, practice! !!

    Cheers

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    A lot of clever things because of you learned!

  33. #33
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    It's funny. After working for a couple of years behind an FB80, Linea and Strada, I have the opposite problem. With the commercial machines, I can steam and get good results 95% of the time (the 5% is when I get too cocky and try to do to many things at once). However, when I come home to my Mitica and also to my sister's Sunbeam 7000, I need to concentrate to get a good result!

    I also train baristas from having no experience to getting some pretty decent micro-foam on a Linea within an hours time. It's really all down to practise. For me, the sheer power of the commercials make steaming milk almost mindless and dead simple. Domestic machines take a lot longer and therefore, more time to overthink it and stuff it up!
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwcalder05 View Post
    It's funny. After working for a couple of years behind an FB80, Linea and Strada, I have the opposite problem. With the commercial machines, I can steam and get good results 95% of the time (the 5% is when I get too cocky and try to do to many things at once). However, when I come home to my Mitica and also to my sister's Sunbeam 7000, I need to concentrate to get a good result!

    I also train baristas from having no experience to getting some pretty decent micro-foam on a Linea within an hours time. It's really all down to practise. For me, the sheer power of the commercials make steaming milk almost mindless and dead simple. Domestic machines take a lot longer and therefore, more time to overthink it and stuff it up!
    I find the same. Just went to a HX machine from a Breville Batista Express and it is dead easy to froth milk. In fact if anything while I'm learning it is the risk of overcooking it that I grapple with. I find the whirlpool doesn't matter so much with the three hole tip - timing and technique is helping me to perfect it. Last latte was quite good, but still not perfect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc1 View Post
    Yep, it has 4 holes. Funny how since I started to ask questions on this forum in relation to buying a commercial machine for my holiday place, all I got was naysayers discouragement.
    Every single question was met with one form or another of this being the wrong choice.Well ... I bought a commercial machine second hand,shipped it interstate, got it serviced sitting on a table on my back veranda, hooked up to my garden hose. Paid for a new pump and for a second grade service by a second grade technician, got no answers to the most basic question here.
    Installed it in my weekender and very proud of it, since it happened to be as easy as installing a dishwasher despite the naaaa all around here. Now it is working on its first few coffees and I asked how to lift the water level ....
    Yes, you got it, no answer in 5 days. Never mind, figured out by myself. Big whoop ... Loosen one screw and pull up a sensor and tighten the screw back...
    And now I ask how to froth the milk with this steam wand whit 3 holes that turned out to be 4 ... Naaaaaa I can't do it!
    No way can this ignorant petulant greenhorn be able to make a decent froth with a commercial machine !!! Naaaa go back to a Target machine for the next 10 years, may be you learn and then come back and ask again.
    Yes I bet it is so hard that I'll learn in the next day or two.
    Sad really.

    It's called Coffee Snobs for a reason...
    snob
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    • a person with an exaggerated respect for high social position or wealth who seeks to associate with social superiors and looks down on those regarded as socially inferior.
      "her mother was a snob and wanted a lawyer as a son-in-law"
      • a person who believes that their tastes in a particular area are superior to those of other people




      • Good on you for persevering...There is a lot of advice on any forum. Good and bad.



  36. #36
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    You do realize you're responding to a post made a year and a half ago by a user who hasn't been on the forum for almost a year right?


    Java "Who said what when?" phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    You do realize you're responding to a post made a year and a half ago by a user who hasn't been on the forum for almost a year right?


    Java "Who said what when?" phile
    Better late than never!
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