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  • Bubble, Bubble froth and trouble

    Hi all,

    Has anyone recently seen a decline in the amount of froth being produced by full cream milk?

    I enjoy a latte or 2 before I head off to work and have noticed for about 3 weeks that my machine isnt producing the same quantity of froth it usually produces.  I tried different milk brands but got the same result.  I tried angling, swirling and any other technique posted on this forum with little success.  I took my machine in to have it looked at and they ran some like for like tests on another similar machine and they could hardly tell the difference.

    So, am I going MAD.  Is it a conspirecy to stop people drinking lattes   .  If anyone else has other suggestions Id love to hear them.

    Cheers

    Q

  • #2
    Re: Buble, Buble froth and trouble

    Dairy cattle are finicky critters - as the season changes, particularly in the warmer dryer weather you can see a decline in both the fat and lactose content of the milk. Also the milk will get slightly warmer between the dairy farm and the dairy processor - again changing the milk a little.

    See if you can get hold of any Jersey milk (milk from Jersey cows that is) it has a higher fat and lactose content naturally and may work better for you. I am not sure on any suppliers in Victoria but those lucky bastards in Queensland can get a great milk from Coolum/noosa way that is 100% Jersey.

    Awesome stuff and I wish we could get it here.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Buble, Buble froth and trouble

      Yes, we have noticed this too. Just as I was leaving home this morning, Mr Beanmeister was swearing about the lack of froth obtained with Pura brand milk. Dairy Farmers seems to be a bit more reliable but Ive still noticed a difference with that too (probably the last month or so)...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Buble, Buble froth and trouble

        Many others have reported similar, and it is commonly attributed to the variation in the seasons, which causes changes in the production of milk in the cows, as noted above.

        Couple of weeks ago I was at the local Cadbury milk processing factory and they were noticing it was harder than normal to condense the milk due to the dryer than normal season affecting the qualities of the milk, and they get it straight from the farms.

        Our local brands, whatever they are, can vary from container to container dependng on where the milk came from, that went into that container.

        So no its not imagination, and yes it can make a big difference. I have had experience where I did everything as normal, milk texturing sounded a bit different and at the end had almost no froth, but next day using a different carton, back to normal.

        Regards
        Bullitt

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Buble, Buble froth and trouble

          Hi all,

          Thanks for the feedback. It has put my mind at ease knowing others in our community have noticed similar changes.

          I suppose with the extended dry season coming up I want hold my breath hoping the froth will improve.

          Thanks again.

          Cheers

          Q

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Buble, Buble froth and trouble

            Remember folks, were also in a very, very tough drought. Most of the feed on the ground is not great and even the stuff that is irrigated is not of the same quality as it would normally be as the growers still rely on that rain from above to help with nitrogen levels in their feed. Dont expect things to be really good until the country gets the rain it needs and the cows begin to calve and produce the milk they should be.

            Normally Autumn is supposed to be the main time we see this sort of thing but you can blame the drought for it at this time of year.

            Try and find the specialty milks that some dairys are producing for coffee and youll find that these will help acheive that froth you are looking for.

            And like Bullit, Ive experienced "bottle variation" too! Its frustrating that it can happen from carton to carton but I have found the Crema milk of Dairy Farmers to be a little more consistent than their straight milk.

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            • #7
              Re: Buble, Buble froth and trouble

              I spoke too soon about WA - just found this place!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Buble, Buble froth and trouble

                Originally posted by grendel link=1162167682/0#1 date=1162168348
                Dairy cattle are finicky critters - as the season changes, particularly in the warmer dryer weather you can see a decline in both the fat and lactose content of the milk. Also the milk will get slightly warmer between the dairy farm and the dairy processor - again changing the milk a little.

                See if you can get hold of any Jersey milk (milk from Jersey cows that is) it has a higher fat and lactose content naturally and may work better for you. I am not sure on any suppliers in Victoria but those lucky bastards in Queensland can get a great milk from Coolum/noosa way that is 100% Jersey.

                Awesome stuff and I wish we could get it here.

                I thought you wanted a lower fat content in the milk for better froth?

                Im only new to this, while ive been managing remotely decent froth, microfoam is still entirely elusive so if you could clarify that for me, thatd be great (low fat v high fat that is).

                cheers,

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Bubble, Bubble froth and trouble

                  Quote from Zakal " I thought you wanted a lower fat content in the milk for better froth?

                  Im only new to this, while ive been managing remotely decent froth, microfoam is still entirely elusive so if you could clarify that for me, thatd be great (low fat v high fat that is)."

                  Here goes,

                  Disclaimer...ultimately there is no right or wrong milk, your own preference is up to you, so IF you like Soy milk, or if you like skim or low fat or full cream.. thats OK you can make it work for you.

                  Note also we have been discussing the fact that there can be seasonal variations in the commercial milk quality due to various factors, so trying a different variety or type of milk should probably be done with at least 3 different bottles/cartons/containers to minimise some of the above noted variations.

                  Generally, (and Im referencing Jill Adams Barista book here);
                  Fat free - large volume fluffy airy foam, keep steam tip deeper in milk to reduce aeration.
                  Reduced fat - medium volume creamy thick foam, also keep steam tip deeper in milk.
                  Whole milk - heavy, creamy, thick foam, steam tip start at surface and lower as required.
                  Enhanced milks - can aid frothing by reducing big bubbles, produces creamy taste, and less variation due to seasonal factors.
                  Soy - heavy, creamy thick foam (brand dependent), dont heat past 50-55C

                  Personally I prefer the reduced fat milk, and find if the steam tip is just a bit lower I can produce nice microfoam, with some concentration. Sounds like your on your way, keep practicing.

                  Regards
                  Bullitt

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Bubble, Bubble froth and trouble

                    Id have to say that Bullitt is quite correct...

                    And I also use the reduced Fat Milk... not too milky and not too watery (re:skim)...

                    I can produce amazingly thick, dence microfoam using Long Life Skim... (only for hot chocs for my 12y old daughter).. But skim in espresso = yuck!! .. imho anyway

                    My wife likes Soy... in particular, Vitasoy So Milky Light (fresh - not long life) - this produces nice microfoam (less forgiving though) and a nice flavour (for Soy anyway).. and dont heat past 55C or Soy will curdle = yuck

                    Practice Practice Practice is what its all about...

                    Marc

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Bubble, Bubble froth and trouble

                      Ah okay, so basically microfoam can be achieved with any milk so it doesnt really matter too much.

                      From the descriptions, it looks like it might be slightly easier to get a volumised foam from a reduced fat milk, but easier to get microfoam out of full cream.

                      I think ill just stick with the "Lite" milk im currently using cos im drinking so many milk coffees while practicing i might turn into a bit of a fatty otherwise. hehe.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Bubble, Bubble froth and trouble

                        Skim milk is pretty ordinary, IMO. At the moment, Ive noticed whilst steaming it at work when you pour it out, it looks really watery, like it has separated. Not very nice looking at all. Seeing as I dont drink it, I cant comment on how it tastes.

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