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Thread: Calming the shakes.

  1. #1
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    Calming the shakes.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    How do you guys calm your nerves in moments when you wish to do latte art? I find that without a single mg of caffeine in my body, properly rested and a quiet atmosphere, my hand still shakes a bit when Im pouring the milk. Really off-putting and frustrating.

    This might sound ridiculous, but would lifting weights and building muscle in the arm actually cause more control? Haha..

  2. #2
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    Re: Calming the shakes.

    I thought the shakes would help the rossettas! *:D

    Seriously though, I have found that it has taken me 3 years of barista work to truly control the pour to get that lovely thin pour needed to put the finishing touches on a rosetta.

    I find that gripping the jug in an open hand wrapped all around instead of clasping the handle can add some steadyness. I will post pictures if you are unsure.

    Ive had after dinner coffee at our cafe after my 25th for the 20 of us and the art i poured was above standard. Maybe try evening out the caffeine with a tipple or two.

  3. #3
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    Re: Calming the shakes.

    Its not so much my hand holding the milk pitcher, as it is my other hand holding the cup! Haha, guess I should always just pour art with the cup on the bench ;(

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    Re: Calming the shakes.

    Maybe some research into how surgeons keep steady hands is needed?

    I do advocate holding the cup though. Sliding milk down the sides can be affected by the angle. Im going to keep this in mind my next shift to see just how often i hold them though.

  5. #5
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    Re: Calming the shakes.

    I keep the cup on the bench.
    You can tilt it with it still touching the benchtop and lower it gently back down as it fills.

    Alternately just leave the cup flat on the bench and learn to pour like that.

  6. #6
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    Re: Calming the shakes.

    Id forgotten that phase of early learning. Its only now that you comment on it that I even recall it happening.

    It automatically improves as you focus less on the holding and more on the pour and flow.

    My hands dont stay still - they both work together to get the final result. I pour with my right. The left moves the glass gently around whilst preparing the canvas, then holds fairly still at an ever-reducing angle while the leaves are poured, followed by a combined movement for the stem.

    And I didnt learn it this way - its just the way it happens. Focus on the pour, density and flow of the milk and the rest will come.

  7. #7
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    Re: Calming the shakes.

    Try these tips:

    *Change the fingers that you use to hold the pitcher. *IE; if the majority of you "hold strength" is applied using your Index finger and your thumb, change this to your middle finger and your thumb. *This will free up your index finger for finer control. *Same applies to the hand holding the cup.

    * drop your shoulders - *most people will be pouring from a "stressed" muscle state. * When you carry a bag on your shoulder, you automatically raise that shoulder to create a bump, so that the bag doesnt slip off. *Some people "develop" these muscles so well that when you look at them front on, that shoulder is always held higher that the other shoulder. *Most people, when they hold anything in their hands, will automatically use the same muscle groups that raise the shoulder. *The point of lowering your shoulders is to activate your back muscles. *Ask yourself: *does your shoulder come closer to your chin as you pour? * If it does, go the opposite way. *You want to activate your "latissimus dorsi" muscle group. *This will provide a much more stable platform on which to control your arms, and ultimately your hands. * When you hear that someone looks "relaxed" when theyre pouring, look at their shoulders.

    Activating your Lats, makes it easier for you to activate your "core" muscle groups (as per pilates) .. or as in "Tai Chi" activate your "dan tian" *The DanTian is considered your physical center of gravity. *Its located about three finger widths below and two finger widths behind the navel. *Being connected / grounded leads to more stability.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B243D2B28510 link=1253440237/3#3 date=1253449945
    Maybe some research into how surgeons keep steady hands is needed? *
    And an exercise used by brain surgeons: *Get 5 matches (yes the wooden type).

    Pick up a match with your thumbs
    then
    Pick up a match with your index fingers
    then
    Pick up a match with your middle fingers
    then
    Pick up a match with your ring fingers
    then
    Pick up a match with your pinkies

    You will end up holding five matches all parallel, *hold that for as long as you can. *Once youve mastered holding all five. *Do it faster. *Try walking / running around without dropping the matches. *Check your shoulders. *Then change the order of doing the pick ups.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B464B5A5D485B290 link=1253440237/0#0 date=1253440237
    This might sound ridiculous, but would lifting weights and building muscle in the arm actually cause more control? Haha..
    short answer: Yes ... but if you train the right muscle groups as per above, you dont need a lot of "training". The idea is to get the "neuro links" in your brain activated. To some people this comes naturally and they wouldnt even be able to describe what it is that they are doing. Find what works for you, and always be open to try something different. It may not work straight away, but its the action of doing it that is important. Giving your brain the opportunity to explore unused neural pathways is a easiest way to learn something new.

    Enough of this rant
    Have fun * ;)



  8. #8
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    Re: Calming the shakes.

    Breathe my friend breathe!, watch your breath as you pour - you will find your breathing becomes shallow or even stops. Extending the exhale will alow you to relax more. Become less focused on the end result and more on the process of the pour.
    Someone should write a book Zen and the art of coffee making *:)

  9. #9
    A_M
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    Re: Calming the shakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0D21322E213333400 link=1253440237/7#7 date=1253858710
    Breathe my friend breathe!, watch your breath as you pour - you will find your breathing becomes shallow or even stops. Extending the exhale will alow you to relax more. Become less focused on the end result and more on the process of the pour.
    Someone should write a book Zen and the art of coffee making *:)
    Actually it is not unlike shooting and what happens when you looking down a high powered scope.. You can even see the beating of your hart. Thus when shooting you learn to slow the rate down, smooth out your breating and squeeze the trigger in line with your bodys rhythm.

    Not un like when pouring a good milk drink... The trick is to get rid of the shakes first with a couple of shots.... But not toooo Mannyyyy ::)




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