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Gah - Latte art failures and successes with different jugs

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  • Gah - Latte art failures and successes with different jugs

    So Im an amateur barista with a Breville BES860. A combo grinder/espresso machine. It came with this standard milk jug.

    [img]http://www.breville.com.au/media/catalog/product/cache/11/image/463x348/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/b/e/bes860xl119_4.jpg
    [/img]
    Now, attached are some latte art pictures, all made by me. These hearts/rosettas were made with the standard jug, Ive been practicing for a while now and im starting to get a technique that suits me.

    After a while of getting reasonble rosettas with this jug, I thought, hey why not get an Incasa jug, like the ones they use out at cafes and try? So based on comments Ive seen on CS as well as other sites, now I have both 600ml and 400ml incasa jugs, but I can NOT, for the life of me, get a decent rosetta with these jugs. I either cant get the milk to  billow up the crema, and on the occasions that it does, the foam refuses to sit on the crema when I jiggle backwards. I either get a blob on one side of the cup, or a completely brown surface, the crema never broke. Th foams there, its just that all the milk dives below.

    I texture the milk the same way for both standard breville and incasa jugs, stretch til slightly warm to the touch, then dip below and allow it to whirlpool till heated. This usually gives me very nice milk for latte art for the Breville jug. With the Incasa jugs, I tried stretching it below what I normally do, thinking that the foam was to thick and perhaps i need to get it thinner. Nope, same old milk dives below all crema.

    Ive tried several pouring techniques, cup tilt before pour, pouring without tilting, pouring from a distance/up close, swirling the milk during pour to loosen up the crema. No matter what I do with the Incasa jugs I cant get any decent art. Im pretty discouraged right now as half the stuff I see on youtube are using Incasa style jugs. This is frustrating beyond belief for me  >

    Could it be my technique? machine? I dunno, all I know is the spout on the Breville jug is a bit more pointy... :-/






  • #2
    Re: Gah - Latte art failures and successes with different jugs

    Possible for you to take a video of you doing the latte art so we could comment on your technique?

    Also you could just be going through a rough patch it happens. When youre working as a barista I find that you may make one or two coffees that dont look as pretty but because youre banging out coffee after coffee, you get the chance to make another one straight after. This gives you lots of opportunity to practise.

    Milk is cheap. Buy some and practise your latte art pouring.. if you want to save on beans you can use something like soy sauce as the base for practising on. (Just dont drink your soy sauce latte)

    Anyway at home you dont usually make the volume to be able to practise, and when you make coffee after coffee your technique gets better quickly.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Gah - Latte art failures and successes with different jugs

      Thanks for your input Gary, Ive got a couple of videos. Having bought the Breville back in early April, Ive been practicing a lot, Ive spent a fair amount on milk and cheap beans already to practice  ;D

      Reason why Im kind of pedantic about this whole jug thing is that Im going to be working at a soon to open cafe, I wanna to give myself a bit of a headstart on getting used to pouring with what I see being used in outside cafes. I know I can get latte art right, refine it and get better at it.

      Anyways, here are 2, in my opinion not so great videos. First one I remember the initial pour felt a bit dodgy but I decided to keep the recording anyway.

      [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p0072Wco18[/media]

      This second one I was just doing for fun to show some family and friends. Cant really see my pouring motion, and the milk by my memory was pretty thin, but I was content with the results.

      [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfG7M-zmKZo[/media]

      Keep in mind that both these videos are using the standard Breville jug

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Gah - Latte art failures and successes with different jugs

        Originally posted by 022F2F330C2525400 link=1305793072/2#2 date=1305811956
        Ive been practicing a lot, Ive spent a fair amount on milk and cheap beans already to practice

        This might actually be where your problem is, and not the milk jugs.

        If you get cheap beans they are probably already stale and will produce bad crema. While you dont need crema for latte art, if the crema dissipates quickly it could be contributing to the problems.

        Alternatively I might suggest that you are not texturing your milk enough at the start.
        Originally posted by 022F2F330C2525400 link=1305793072/0#0 date=1305793072
        I either get a blob on one side of the cup, or a completely brown surface, the crema never broke. Th foams there, its just that all the milk dives below.
        This to me sounds a little bit like your milk is separating. If your milk has separated then it will be almost impossible to do any kind of latte art.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Gah - Latte art failures and successes with different jugs

          Hmm, but I find that if I texture past what I normally do, a massive blob of foam just pours out into the centre, no control at all. About the beans though, despite the fact that yes, the quality of the espresso and crema isnt great, for practice purposes, I can still get art out of the Breville jugs, no problems.

          And could you elaborate on the milk seperation? Im assuming you mean that the foam seperates into thick pastey froth at the top of the milk in the jug when left too long. Im usually swirling the milk till I pour though.

          Im really not too sure at the moment. Perhaps theres a reason why the standard jug is wider at the top than the bottom. Maybe I should steam milk in an Incasa jug as I normally do, pour it back into the Breville jug and see what I can do with that as a test.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Gah - Latte art failures and successes with different jugs

            Hey Boos,

            Ive found that I have that same problem as well.
            Using my Sunbeam jug, I have no problem with pouring, but once I switch to the 400ml Trenton which I just purchased, things start to fall apart.
            I think the problem is, like Gary mentioned, the milk is separating. No matter how much I swirl the milk, there isnt enough room in the smaller jug for the foam to be reincorporated with the milk.
            I now generally texture in the 400ml, but transfer to the Sunbeam 600ml to pour, with great results.

            Best of luck,

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Gah - Latte art failures and successes with different jugs

              Thanks for you input jaysonlew, Ive tried pulling a shot then steaming and pouring milk as well as the other way around. I just find that I cant get any control regardless. Fresh steamed milk still pours out into a blob or a very deformed rosetta ;D

              Would another reason be because of the lack of length and power of the wand (at least in the case of the Breville) that results in improper incorporation of the foam and milk?  I get the feeling that this may be the case for the 600ml Incasa, it does feel a little deep for the wand. Perhaps even for the 400ml one as well. Maybe this is why the Breville jug is so wide at the top and shorter than the 600ml Incasa, allowing the wand to extend further into the milk and the added space allowing for better whirlpooling.

              But then again I definitely cant rule out my inexperience as a factor. Will need to try steaming in an Incasa jug then transfer it back into the Breville jug and try a pour there.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Gah - Latte art failures and successes with different jugs

                I always texture my milk in my 400mL Trenton jug and have no problems getting shiny microfoam for latte art. Then again I do have a Rocket which has ample steam. I havent ever used the machine you have so I dont know how Id go on it.

                Originally you were saying that you got the new jugs because you thought thats what youd be using when you start your new job as a barista. If so, then it wont matter how they work for you on your home machine and itll matter more how they perform on the machine you have at work.

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                • #9
                  Re: Gah - Latte art failures and successes with different jugs

                  Also just a thought... steaming on a little domestic machine like a Breville/Sunbeam is a LOT different to the steam power that comes out of a commercial machine. Just something else to think about.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Gah - Latte art failures and successes with different jugs

                    Yeah I definitely took that into consideration when ran into this, i just didnt think Id be battling so hard with one and doing fine with the other

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