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Thread: Discuss: Milk Vs Water and Detergent

  1. #1
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    Discuss: Milk Vs Water and Detergent

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Now I have posted this and had some disagreement so happy to discuss and get others peoples opinions.

    I was doing retraining with a new account recently and we had moved onto milk. The girl I was working with asked why we were wasting milk when we could just use water like at her previous training. I queried this and she explained that this major non sponsor roaster based in Brisbane had used water and detergent as a complete replacement for milk in training.

    I was begining to explain the differences in texturing, temp and taste *8-) when she pulled out the detergent gave it a big squirt into the milk jug, added the water and jumped to the machine in a flash ready to demonstrate what this roaster had taught them in the session.

    She begun texturing and low and behold the water actually did texture and act like milk but abliet in this scenario very bubbly and not a true simulation.

    Now my problem with this to clarify in a edit and respond to the corresponding posts is:

    A. If your doing training at your premises you can afford to use milk and not do an obvious cost cutting method like this commercial roaster had.

    B. The amount used was not a light drop but a good old squirt and when coupled with no after flush for the steam wand as part of the training program increases the chance of it getting back into the boiler and subsequent taint.

    C. Do you really want this major roaster teaching all the accounts out there to practise at work using water and detergent between coffees? Looking at some of the steam wands in cafes that havent been cleaned I would rather prefer not to have soap in my coffee thanks. *;D



  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Who ever knew we were wasting all that milk on practice?

    If memory serves me correctly, this was initiated by someone within our ranks at least a couple of years ago but the amount of detergent used was miniscule... About one drop I think. Also, I cant see how this is likely to cause problems with the machine... Probably a lot more hygienic than with milk being sucked back inadvertently,

    Mal.

  3. #3
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    Re: Who ever knew we were wasting all that milk on practice?

    Yeah, when I first heard this idea I wasnt very keen to try it. BUT... I eventually did and it works surprisingly well! I havent seen or tasted any negative effects to my machine, although Ive only done it a couple of times.

    Of cause, its not actually milk so there is only so much you can practice with it, but its good to get used to a steam wand. And yes, you only a tiny bit of detergent. Like the smallest drop of detergent that you can get to come out. If youre worried about the machine, could you follow it up with a jug of plain water to wash it out?

  4. #4
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    Re: Who ever knew we were wasting all that milk on practice?

    Scott Rao *(anyone think hes well respected? *what was that book he wrote ... *.. The Professional Baristas Handbook *;D ;D ;D) .. .. let me find the vids

    here he is teaching a complete n00b latte art

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

  5. #5
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    Re: Discuss: Milk Vs Water and Detergent

    Let me clarify and edited first post accordingly:

    1. I do not advocate nor will ever replicate using detergent and water in place of milk in training. Especially as a COMPLETE REPLACEMENT as had happened in this person circumstance. I believe training is about letting the individual use their senses to understand why they are doing something in a particular method and then adapting accordingly. Obviously this isnt a option when using water in place of milk as a replacement.

    2. Watched Scott video and he did some beautiful work with it however I strongly suggest if you are going replicate this at home to make sure you thoroughly clean the steam wand and milk pitcher afterwards and give the steam wand a mighty good purge.

    Happy steaming!

  6. #6
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    Re: Discuss: Milk Vs Water and Detergent

    I used it a few weks ago as a guide to help me find the sweet spot for sucking in just enough air when I changed machines.
    It certainly helped - and for people who dont feel like wasting 2L of milk just practicing I think its a valid option. A quick purge of the wand before (and after) is always done too.

    I think that its a short term solution though. Surely someone steaming multiple litres of milk every day would pick it up quick enough?

  7. #7
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    Re: Discuss: Milk Vs Water and Detergent

    Yep Ive used it. Showed it to a friend the other day with a soy sauce shot. She said that she will have to watch me making coffee from now on so she doesnt get a soy soap sud drink.
    No big problem as long as you purge after use.
    Regards
    Crisp Image

  8. #8
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    Re: Discuss: Milk Vs Water and Detergent

    Quote Originally Posted by 66564D434C504156774D4041240 link=1242910296/0#0 date=1242910296
    Looking at some of the steam wands in cafes that havent been cleaned I would rather prefer not to have soap in my coffee thanks.Grin
    Some hot soapy water is probably the best thing you could do with some of those steam wands. ;D

    Ive used this method a few times when practicing. While not a complete replacement, I do think it has its place.

  9. #9
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    Re: Discuss: Milk Vs Water and Detergent

    I agree Supreme that it should not be used as a complete replacement but Ive tried it, as per the video, and its a good method to save a few jugs of milk initially for a newb.

    Remember, the person that showed you was doing it wrong by putting a huge squirt into the jug.
    IMO this partly contributed to your reaction.

    There can be many means to an end.

  10. #10
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    Re: Discuss: Milk Vs Water and Detergent

    It looks like an ideal way to learn the art of finding micro foam. Perhaps if youre going to pour on a shot of good coffee you could use milk then. I will certainly try it when I get home so i can get the hang of the 4 hole steam tip my machine has. I mastered the old domestic and am yet to steam the milk quite as well though I got close at lunch time today when I went home.

  11. #11
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    Re: Discuss: Milk Vs Water and Detergent

    The place I first went to used milk but it was recycled milk. We all had to tip out our milk into a large container and they cooled it down and poured it back into milk bottles.

    YUK !!!


    My advice is use home brand milk that has been marked down, almost out of date. You should be able to pickup 2ltrs for 99cents or less.

  12. #12
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    Re: Discuss: Milk Vs Water and Detergent

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B5C5857745657525C40390 link=1242910296/10#10 date=1243850392
    My advice is use home brand milk that has been marked down
    Ive found that is not so good. Our homebrand milk I used last was a little watery and steamed much like hilo would and it was hard to get a decent microfoam that would hold body when poured into the coffee.



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