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Thread: Reverse Stretching

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Reverse Stretching

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    From reading up on "how tos" and watching youtbe vids, they seem to suggest that when stretching the milk, the jug should be raised to keep the wand just below the surfact of the milk.

    My technique is quite different, I lower the pitcher to keep the tip on the surface of the milk / bubbles, then when "stretched" I raise the pitcher so that the tip is lowered into the milk to texture / heat (when I first turn on the steam, there is quite a squeal, I raise the tip until I get a hissssssss instead).

    Have I read the how tos wrong, or am I doing something totally wrong.

    I saw a bit on TV the other night with NZ Barista champ Luciano saying that the milk should have enough elasticity in it to bounce back when moved with a spoon. I tried mine, it doesnt.

    I often get quite thick foam when steaming milk (on both the Ikon and my 6910), is it technique?


  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Re: Reverse Stretching

    I think you read the "how tos" wrong.

    I dont know about the Ikon but it took me quite some time to relearn on the 6910 after using my Expobar because the Exi has so much more steam power.

    As for the thick foam, yes its technique.

  3. #3
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Perth, Western Australia

    Re: Reverse Stretching

    Ive just gone from a Silvia to an Isomac HX and the increase in steam power took me quite a few tries to get a technique in place.
    With Silvia I had the best results with a 300ml jug and it seemed to get a lovely rolling action going and produced great microfoam, 600ml was good but not to the level of the 300ml jug.
    With my Isomac after several jugs of Mr Whippy I started getting the microfoam I was looking for. I had to adjust with having the steam wand on the left and Im still coming to terms with that part of the technique.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: Reverse Stretching

    Sen, your basic technique is right.

    To change the quality of your foam into microfoam requires a bit of playing around with your size jug (smaller is easier with less powerful machines), wand positions (the oclock positions), refining the wand depths (as youve already discovered) and whether you can get a whirlpool or tumble happening in your size jug.

    I suggest starting with a 300ml jug, and fill it half-way with water. Start steaming as usual and watch the water swirl. Try to get a tumble or whirlpool happening.

    Then drop into your local supermarket and buy 3-6 litres of milk just for practise.

    Have fun! :)

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