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  • Flat white?

    Ive been so hard at work trying to get good microfoam that it seems that all i can make now is a latte...

    My flatmates drink usually dink flat whites, but i seem to have forgotten how to make them :-[

    I tried plunging the steam wand into the milk to create a whirlpool immediately (without creating foam first) and left it like that until 70C, but i still got about 1 and a half centimetres of foam. help?

    victor.

  • #2
    Re: Flat white?

    If you can make a latte, you can make a flat white. Just serve it in a cup instead of a glass.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Flat white?

      70c?? YIKES! Id be stopping quite a bit earlier than that..... say 55c.

      But thats just me

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Flat white?

        Yeah,

        70 C is a bit too hot for sure, will most likely be starting to burn the milk ..... 55-60 is plenty hot enough.

        Re: trying to get decent foam... theres been lots contributed by CS members on the subject and a quick search of the forum will turn up lots of useful info, as will this site for example.... http://www.home-barista.com/espresso...lls.html#_milk.

        Basically though, this is what you need to do..... Select the size of jug best suited for the amount of milk you want to texture, i.e. you dont want the milk filled any higher than half-way... just to the bottom of the pouring spout detent is about right. For best results the jug should be chilled in the fridge to the same temperature as the milk, about 3-4deg C.

        Once youve done this, open the Steam Valve Knob slightly with the Steam Wand directed over the Drip Tray to remove all traces of condensate (water). Place the Wand in the jug and immerse about 25-35mm from the surface. Open the Steam Valve gently until you get an active swirling motion happening with the milk when the jug is tilted slightly toward you and away from the Wand. Then, lower the Jug until the Wand Tip is barely immersed under the surface of the milk and you notice a very slight slurping kind of noise, a series of ssshhh sounds.

        Providing you have the milk swirling around the jug really actively, you should be able to notice that your milk volume is increasing or stretching, as the foam is being developed and becoming entrained in the milk. You dont want to see any really big bubbles at this time as it will mean that the milk has become too aerated and micro-foam will be difficult to create. Once you have stretched the milk such that it has increased in volume by about 30% or so or no more than 40deg C, you can plunge the Wand (raise the jug) until the tip is immersed about 25-30mm from the bottom of the jug to heat the milk up to the desired temperature. Always maintain a vigorous whirlpool action in the milk by keeping the jug angled toward you and away from the Wand.

        Once the milk temperature has reached 55-60deg C, turn the Steam Knob off and the Steam Switch if applicable, then remove the jug. If you notice a few largish bubbles in the milk, just tap the jug gently on the bench a few times and swirl the milk around in the jug to try and incorporate the foam into the body of the milk itself, as much as you can. Once you are happy with the appearance of the foam, it should appear very liquid and wet, not foamy as such.... then you can get stuck into making your Lattes and Cappas, etc.

        In the end, it all comes down to practice, practice and more practice. I guess if theres any one thing that helps to make it work for you more than anything else, its to try and get the milk swirling ASAP as you raise the tip of the Wand to start the stretching process. This means you need to pay attention to the amount of steam being directed into the milk.... not enough and the milk wont swirl vigorously enough, too much and youll be blowing bubbles . Also need to pay attention to the position of the Wand in relation to the jug to ensure that once the whirlpool is established, you maintain it right through to the completion of the stretching process. Sounds like you need to do a lot at the same time, but once you break it down it doesnt take too long before it becomes second nature.... thats where the practice comes in 8-).

        All the best,
        Mal.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Flat white?

          Thanks for the advice Mal - you are too kind... Im sorry... my first post was a bit ambiguous i guess. I really hope you didnt put much effort into writing that... Or at least I hope its helpful for others who still cant do it properly.

          I am having no problems getting the microfoam at all, especially after reading article after article on the subject. Ive been trying to perfect this skill since my sunbeam days.

          My problem is that I cant get a _small_ amount of microfoam for flat whites. I seem to get either nothing at all, or almost 2cm of the stuff. I cant seem to get the 1-2mm. Last time, I plunged the wand into the milk almost straight away and still got about 1.5cm.

          about the temp... the red zone on my thermometer is between 65 and 70... and from what i have read in previous articles, thats where it should be? I have never had a problem with burnt milk.

          victor.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Flat white?

            Hey Victor

            I too used to take milk upto about 65 degs. Never again! Im getting much much nicer milk now. The basic rules I stick to are:

            1) Start with the milk and jug as cool as possible. My jug lives in the freezer.
            2) Get the whirlpool going asap and keep the milk folding over and over itself as much as possible
            3) Never continue to introduce air into the milk after 35 degs - doing so creates milk which is noticibly less sweet
            4) At a max of 35 deg, dig that tip in and continue to whirlpool to a MAX of 55 degs. I have tried stopping later and the milk gets worse and worse. 55deg to me is the perfect spot. This assures the milk has the max sweetness and taste. I can easily tell a difference in taste between milk stopped at 55 deg and that stopped at 60 deg.

            Ben

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Flat white?

              ill try a lower temp... maybe that will also decrease the amount of foam i am getting =)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Flat white?

                Hi again,

                The problem with pulling the jug as the temp hits 65-70deg C, is that the overall temp will still be increasing and hitting the region where the proteins start to coagulate and burn. Definitely gives an off flavour to the milk. Ive found that after the jug is pulled away from the wand, the temp can continue to rise by another 5deg C or so.

                Mal.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Flat white?

                  Hi victor,

                  Try using a little less steam pressure; stretch for a short amount of time so that you get a just noticable amount of "runny" rather than dense microfoam and then plunge on a lower steam setting. Make sure you have a whirlpool, but a less vigorous one.

                  Ive found that if your steam pressure is high and you have a very vigorous whirlpool going, you can still be whipping air through the milk unintentionally.

                  Your mileage may vary

                  Lachlan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Flat white?

                    So if a flat white is a latte without 10mm of more aerated textured milk in it, what it a long black with a dash of milk?

                    Lets face it, most cafes would not produce a discernably different product if you asked for both, other that being served in a glass and a cup.

                    Boris  :-?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Flat white?

                      Boris- Aust standard is 30ml espresso, textured milk and 1cm textured microfoam on the latte- and 1cm or less on the flat white. A latte is served in a glass and the flat white in a cup.

                      That said, Perth interprets a latte in a beer stein sized glass (as does Bris) and charges accordingly. Having just returned from Perth (Dundborough) my g/f ordered a strong t/a latte and got a double shot, 12oz ripple wrap cup of underextracted crap espresso swill and reheated milk...and how much would you pay??? How does $4.30 sound?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Flat white?

                        Aust standard for long black is doppio espresso 50-60ml over water- so a long black with milk is watery, whereas a flat white is milky

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Flat white?

                          It makes me wonder about the propagation of these standards. Fine and beaut to have them, but when 90% dont have a smick, how are they ever going to change? This morning I ordered a latte, and a cappa. I swear they were made the same, the lass even spooned roadhouse merang on top and asked if I would like some chocolate too!. God give me strength. >

                          Boris.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Flat white?

                            Originally posted by Boris link=1141608833/0#12 date=1142331188
                            It makes me wonder about the propagation of these standards. Fine and beaut to have them, but when 90% dont have a smick, how are they ever going to change? This morning I ordered a latte, and a cappa. I swear they were made the same, the lass even spooned roadhouse merang on top and asked if I would like some chocolate too!. God give me strength. >

                            Boris.
                            There, there Boris,

                            Down boy, down I say . I think in this situation, one must adopt the persona of the Master trying to be patient with a wayward student..... as in Master/Grasshopper ,

                            Mal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Flat white?

                              Originally posted by Mal link=1141608833/0#13 date=1142430704
                              There, there Boris,

                              Down boy, down I say . I think in this situation, one must adopt the persona of the Master trying to be patient with a wayward student..... as in Master/Grasshopper ,

                              Mal.
                              Unfortunately Mal that only works when the grasshopper is willing to learn, which has not been my experience with most cafes. They either dont care or insist theyre doing it correctly. I think Master Po would need to apply his staff to their nether regions to convince them otherwise. :P

                              Java "Take this peeble from my hand" phile
                              Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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