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  • Tepid cappuccinos

    Can anyone explain to me why pretty much all the trendy cafes in Melbourne (and possibly elsewhere) seem to make lukewarm cappuccinos? I assume its deliberate, since it happens consistently each time I order a cappuccino in a particular cafe, and also across a wide range of trendy establishments -- Seven Seed and Proud Mary spring to mind, although its the same to varying degrees in most trendy cafes Ive been to in inner Melbourne.

    Personally, I like a hot (not scalding, but hot) cappuccino that I can sip from while chatting or reading, and enjoy for at least five minutes, with the last bit still retaining some heat. The insulative froth of a cappuccino lends itself to this style; when properly done, it can be a lovely cozy wintertime drink to enjoy at leisure. Instead, I find myself having to hurriedly drink it down before it gets any colder.

    I understand that cappuccinos will be cooler than say, an espresso for example, but these are lukewarm when they come out, making the last third of the cup quite cool indeed. Is this done to cater to the busy take-away crowd? To avoid legal action in case of accidents? A nod to the cappuccio tiepido? Am I just in the minority?

    This doesnt seem to happen in less trendy cafes, or out in the burbs, but seems isolated to well-reviewed, popular cafes. The only problem is, these other cafes have bad tasting stale coffee, bad froth, service, food, premises -- well, everything except for the temperature at which they serve their cappuccinos. Somebody please explain this to me. :-[

  • #2
    Re: Tepid cappuccinos

    Originally posted by 7471686F040 link=1285135879/0#0 date=1285135879
    This doesnt seem to happen in less trendy cafes, or out in the burbs, but seems isolated to well-reviewed, popular cafes. The only problem is, these other cafes have bad tasting stale coffee, bad froth, service, food, premises -- well, everything except for the temperature at which they serve their cappuccinos. Somebody please explain this to me.  
    There in lies your answer...

    Do a bit of a search and you will find plenty on the issue of Scalding Coffee and the reasons why it is no good for you....

    60C to 65C at best and it will cool down rather quickly... A hot cup will assist. It is about re learning those bad habits.

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    • #3
      Re: Tepid cappuccinos

      Might be time to consider ordering a Long Mac with extra foam instead if you want a hotter milk styled coffee. This will be well over 70 degrees in the cup.

      They will be steaming the milk to 60-65 degrees MAX so as not to destroy the sweetness and sugars in it. If you want scalded milk and have to add extra sugars then the Golden Fleece styled Crappachino is still available from select Kwality establishments but really best avoided if you like good coffee ;D

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      • #4
        Re: Tepid cappuccinos

        Originally posted by 696C7572190 link=1285135879/0#0 date=1285135879
        Can anyone explain to me why pretty much all the trendy cafes in Melbourne (and possibly elsewhere) seem to make lukewarm cappuccinos?
        Ive never encountered lukewarm shots but the best cafes serve their coffee at lower temperatures than most consumers expect, simply because most consumers are used to the scolding hot coffee that pretty much all average cafes produce.

        One of my favourites, Maling Room in Canterbury, actually have signs up telling customers that they serve their coffee at the correct temperature and if they want it hotter, they need to ask when ordering.
        Its a good approach for those accustomed to scolding coffee.

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        • #5
          Re: Tepid cappuccinos

          i hate burning hot pensioner coffee.... lol

          usually a bad sign off things to come taste wise.... :P

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          • #6
            Re: Tepid cappuccinos

            I certainly dont like overheating milk, and do try talking customers out of it, though will do so on a customers request.

            If I only wanted them to have it the way I think it should be had, there would be no sugar, no syrups, no 12oz cups, and rarely any milk.  

            If there is an espresso bar anywhere that does this then I figure they also have the right to refuse to overheat the milk.  Until then....  :

            In relation to the question, heating milk changes its structure. Overheat and it will become thin and impart a burnt taste to the coffee; get it right and its silky smooth and naturally sweet.

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            • #7
              Re: Tepid cappuccinos

              Originally posted by 60657C7B100 link=1285135879/0#0 date=1285135879
              Somebody please explain this to me.
              Seems to me the best way to get the answer is to ask the particular cafes.




              Originally posted by 735259595E44370 link=1285135879/5#5 date=1285140451
              If there is an espresso bar anywhere that does this then I figure they also have the right to refuse to overheat the milk.  
              Soup Espresso Nazi Cafe

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              • #8
                Re: Tepid cappuccinos

                I certainly dont like overheating milk, and do try talking customers out of it, though will do so on a customers request.

                If I only wanted them to have it the way I think it should be had, there would be no sugar, no syrups, no 12oz cups, and rarely any milk.  

                If there is an espresso bar anywhere that does this then I figure they also have the right to refuse to overheat the milk.  Until then....


                Cafe Racer in Elwood, Vic. refused to skinny milk/soy/decaf. for years.  It was easy to find - the crowd outside gave it away.  You simply couldnt get in.  The reasoning was that there were a gazillion places where you could get such things. Worked.

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                • #9
                  Re: Tepid cappuccinos

                  Thanks for the responses, guys. Im not looking for pensioner / American style coffee - I agree, that stuff is way too hot (82-88 C, unless things have changed since Liebeck v. McDonalds Restaurants) and a sip (let alone a healthy quaff) will burn even after 5 minutes wait.

                  Previously, I drank non-milk based coffee in cafes pretty much exclusively, and, although it might make me a bit plebeian, its this sort of temperature (~70 C ?) that I would consider ideal; can be sipped straight away without any burning, or gulped down after a minutes wait.

                  After a bit of searching, I came across this thread about milk temperature which was instructive. I love the microfoam texture that unscalded milk provides, and cant stand the fluffy, seafoam-esque froth you get on an inferior capp. Im well aware that milk scalds at 82 C, but I didnt know that its sugars start to get destroyed at temperatures above ~65 C. Is this just the early stages of scalding, or a different process?

                  Anyway, that explains why I cant have a cappuccino as hot as an espresso. However, to make sure I get a capp thats closer to 65 C (approaching my ideal) than 60 C (to my tastes, tepid), what can I ask for while still maintaining the foams integrity, and without scandalising the barista with my lack of sophistication? Will warming the cup ruin the milk? Or are the cups generally already heated? I might try that long mac with extra foam. 8-)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Tepid cappuccinos

                    Originally posted by 6D435A4A7067405A5C4A2F0 link=1285135879/7#7 date=1285141997
                    refused to skinny milk/soy/decaf. for years.
                    There are plenty of places that do this, and its not because they think it tastes better, its for their own convenience so they only have to order and work with one product.

                    So that referral doesnt address the criteria. You need to tick all the boxes....any sugar there?

                    Originally posted by 5F5A43442F0 link=1285135879/8#8 date=1285150044
                    However, to make sure I get a capp thats closer to 65 C
                    Just ask. If they wont do that they dont deserve your custom.

                    Originally posted by 5F5A43442F0 link=1285135879/8#8 date=1285150044
                    Or are the cups generally already heated?
                    They certainly should be.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Tepid cappuccinos

                      One answer could lie in the pre-heating of the cups - in my experience not many cafes do it, even the ones that serve milk at the correct temperature

                      By adding say 60 to 90ml of boiling water to each cup / glass, and then tossing same after max 30 sec in the cup, this, in my experience at least, allows milk to be steamed to the correct temperature, without scolding, and the latent heat of the cup keeps the mil warmer for longer

                      Just my five cents worth...

                      Cheers,

                      ACG

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                      • #12
                        Re: Tepid cappuccinos

                        Originally posted by 627068776B66606C6565666664767A030 link=1285135879/10#10 date=1285158063
                        One answer could lie in the pre-heating of the cups - in my experience not many cafes do it, even the ones that serve milk at the correct temperature
                        Ive certainly not noticed many doing it.

                        As an aside, i had my first coffee at Foxy this weekend just passed and not only was it lovely, but it was served at the perfect temperature.
                        The girl behind the machine (short brown hair) did a wonderful job.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Tepid cappuccinos

                          I think that it was Scootagal on here that said that she gets people ordering coffees that ask for it good and hot. She responds by saying that they can have it good or hot but not both.

                          Do you notice that the hot coffees leave an unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth like milk that has been left on the bench all morning that has been sitting at room temp for hours? Overheating the milk really does affect the taste. Overheated milk makes the coffee thin and one dimensional I find. Hot cups really help and just pulling the cups off the top of the machine, while better than out of a cold cupboard isnt as good as half filling them with hot water before a shot.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Tepid cappuccinos

                            Originally posted by 4D7274736E695845687E6B62070 link=1285135879/14#14 date=1285297973
                            She responds by saying that they can have it good or hot but not both.
                            I like it. ;D

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                            • #15
                              Re: Tepid cappuccinos

                              I ordered a take away flat white at a French Patisserie in Malvern this morning. I should have walked after I got them to tip out the first shot they poured, it was still being poured at 90 seconds >

                              I took a sip of the second drink and burnt my mouth, so I put it down and left it there. >

                              Did get a good coffee from Mr Fox on Malvern Road near the Toorong rd intersection though, bottomless portafilters even

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