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Thread: Its all in the jug?

  1. #1
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    Its all in the jug?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have been using a bog standard 600 ml jug. No idea of the manufacturer. I had been trying to do latte art, more because why not than for any real desire to be able to do it. Im hopeless at anything requiring fine motor skills so thought it was probably just my lack of co-ordination.

    I just bought a 400ml rattleware jug, mainly because I needed Grindz and figured a smaller jug would be good since I only ever do milk for one (even when I have a group I do each drink separately) so was going to have to pay shipping anyway. Its much easier to get good microfoam and suddenly without trying too hard I can do simple (albeit crappy) rosettas.

    Id imagine good baristas could probably do art with a bucket but figured it worth sharing my experience for those who wish to do art but are struggling. It may be as simple as buying a $15 jug.

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    Quom a 600ml jug is OK if you want to make two coffees but, as youve discovered, its too big for making milk for one.
    Its all about the depth (and I imagine to some degree the width) of the milk in the jug.

    Now that that youve worked it out my next question might seem silly but would you have tried steaming milk for one coffee in a 1 litre jug?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F5B41434C572E0 link=1284588396/0#0 date=1284588396
    Id imagine good baristas could probably do art with a bucket
    Probably, but theyd more than likely half fill the bucket, just like you should half fill the jug.

    I think theyd struggle to steam 150ml for one coffee in a 9 litre bucket (see my 1 litre question above).

  3. #3
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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    I agree with Quom and Thundergod. I was using the 600ml jug and could not get good results no matter how hard i tried. Went and bought a 400ml jug and the difference is amazing...rosettas are still a way off but its improving every day. ;)

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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1A263B202A2B3C29212A4E0 link=1284588396/1#1 date=1284599275
    Now that that youve worked it out my next question might seem silly but would you have tried steaming milk for one coffee in a 1 litre jug?
    It was more that I was working with what I had, I knew it was too big and had been looking for a smaller jug for a while but couldnt justify the cost and postage since I thought it would make a minimal difference. I live in rural Vic so we dont have many stores that sell milk jugs. Even when I go to Melbourne the catering shops in malls and the House and Gift type stores all only seem to stock 600ml jugs as the smallest option. Even quite a few coffee places on the net only stock 600ml+ jugs.

    I was shocked by the difference. I knew that the jug was too big, but I had no idea 200mls and a small change in body shape and spout could make so much difference. To my way of thinking the spout on a 2 litre milk jug would be the same as one on a 200ml jug since it will always be tipping milk into the same receptacle. So since I was getting suitable microfoam I thought there was no issue with the jug.

    I only ever filled the 600 ml with just enough milk (well usually there was a bit of foam at the bottom, which there still is on the 400ml jug). I think the limitation was the spout. The new jug is more of a bell shaped design which seems to help foaming (not that it was bad before, but is easier and thicker) and the spout is quite pointed which offers better direction and limits the flow when tipping.

    What I thought was my limitation or lack of skill was actually down to the tools I was using. It was quite an affirming experience as in most things requiring any dexterity Im the issue. This made me think it may be of some help to people making the same mistake of blaming themselves.

    I thought a smaller jug made sense and saw it as a want rather than a need so I wasnt expecting it to be night and day. Im blown away since its like finding the missing piece of a puzzle which is massive when you are talking sub $20. The last time I had an experience like this was when I upgraded my grinder and machine, which cost a ton more. Not that Id be willing to trade them for a milk jug :p.

  5. #5
    levercrema
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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    I use a 350 ml jug and steam plenty of micro for two 160 ml cappas. For a single its perfect, especially for the bigger 200ml cups. I always struggled with a 600 for singles.

  6. #6
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Jugs????? (Slight diversion)

    I just measured how much milk I usually steam for my piccolo latte, and it is a maximum of 85 ml (cold).

    Does anyone know of a good jug that will microfoam 85 ml (or less) satisfactorily? My current 420 ml jug is too big, and Im getting tired of having to steam twice as much milk as I need.

    How do the 300 ml or so Motta or Toroid jugs handle small volumes? Id love to say that "money is no object" but importing a 200ml Alessi will run me close to $200!

    Greg

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    Quote Originally Posted by 15203735053D203F333E36520 link=1284588396/5#5 date=1285423981
    How do the 300 ml or so Motta or Toroid jugs handle small volumes?
    Morning Greg, Ive had a 300 ml Motta for about 12 months, no problem at all steaming around 85 ml of milk and they are nicely finished.
    I also own a larger cheaper 600 ml stainless jug, the Motta is my choice every time for a single cup. :)

  8. #8
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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    i recently got hold of a 360 ml Rattleware jug - seems to be a good size for the single cup....havent tried the toroid but keen to at some point

  9. #9
    mft
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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    Ive also had good experience with an espro jug, so has my girlfriend.. as she is a beginner she finds it easy to use.



  10. #10
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    Thanks for the input, yall.

    I had a nice chat with Pedro (Coffee Parts) and he recommended the Motta. He also said that very small jugs had issues with poor quality microfoam due to the high speed of texturing. The thick Motta does slow texturing down a bit (good) but he finds he would still texture more than he needs for his drinks just to ensure the quality.

    Motta ordered.

    Greg

    ps.--I also had a chat in an kitchen store with a woman who said she owned a café previously. Her advice was to steam lots of milk, scrape the thick foam into the cup and put the jug and milk back in the fridge for the next coffee. :P

  11. #11
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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    Hey Thanks Guys for this thread. all my queries answered. Motta ordered :)

  12. #12
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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    In all seriousness, why are you guys spending so much money on Mottas? Theyre not even that good (imo). Do yourselves a favour and purchase an Incasa jug for $12 with the defined spout. Its most likely the jug of choice for most professional baristas and your latte art and hip pocket will thank you for it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    Agreed, bought a 600ml one for $12 and got change left over for another 400ml one and it does the jobs well. Lasted me 7 months and still looks good in the finish department.

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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    Haha ohhh i thought the smallest was around 600ml..... time to get a smaller jug i think - sometimes its even ahrd to get the steam tip to the surface of the milk:S

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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    Thanks also, good thread. I thought I might try the Incasa and upgrade but cant seem to find a 400ml, do they make one? Anyone point me to where I can buy one online?

    (Have spent too long googling & browsing and getting more confused and sidetracked :) )

    If Incasa dont make one is there another decent brand <$20 or should I "man up" and buy a Motta?!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    I have a
    Quote Originally Posted by 272C25282F3D440 link=1284588396/14#14 date=1288256652
    "man up" and buy a Motta?!
    Dont know about manning up, but I will say that I much prefer the Motta to the generic 600ml jug I have.
    The Motta has a much nicer finish and feel about it (hasnt improved my art though) if you are the type who appreciates quality and appearance buy a Motta, if your not worried about this aspect buy whatever suits your pocket, it will probably do the job just as well.
    Im even contemplating replacing my 600ml jug with a Motta. ;)

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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    Quote Originally Posted by 18242D3520410 link=1284588396/15#15 date=1288259864
    (hasnt improved my art though)
    I havnt noticed many (any?) top notch cafe/espresso bars that use anything but generic jugs.

    ..having said that, I really like my Cafelat jug :)


    Edit: just read Davids reply and I concur.
    Quote Originally Posted by 7557514A4D4751220 link=1284588396/11#11 date=1288024728
    In all seriousness, why are you guys spending so much money on Mottas? Theyre not even that good (imo). Do yourselves a favour and purchase an Incasa jug for $12 with the defined spout. Its most likely the jug of choice for most professional baristas and your latte art and hip pocket will thank you for it.

  18. #18
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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    Actually, I now have the opposite problem to the OP.

    I can do 600ml+ jugs but I tried my 250ml last night and whoa, I ended up with jug (cup) full of foam.

    Hmm.. new challenge.

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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    Ive just starting using my glass Pyrex measuring cup (its 250ml, but holds about 400ml) for frothing and, as a result, have finally achieved a very good microfoam. *For latte art I suggest getting something else, but for cinos and lattes its as good as any stainless steel jug in my opinion.

    Because it has a reversed tapered shape - wide top and narrow bottom - it has given me some flexibility to work on the angles and technique. *Ive read the various comments about having the tip just under the surface of the milk. *But that in itself is not correct - it needs to be on the surface where the tip creates low pressure on the surface of the milk which draws in atmospheric air into the milk. *In doing so, the milk swells back onto the tip folding the milk and the air together, giving you the perfect microfoam. *The key is in the sound - have it under the milk and youll get a muffled sound. *Draw in air and milk together and the pitch changes dramatically - the higher the tip the better as long as you dont make a bubble bath. *As I said, the Pyrex jug (around $6 and made in USA) has been the perfect tool to enable me to learn the trick of achieving microfoam. *But for latte art Im about as useless as a lumberjack attempting origami.

  20. #20
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    Re: Its all in the jug?

    Well, 2 weeks after getting my Combi I finally am getting the hang of the thing. Have since bought a 600 pitcher for doing more than one cup at a time and was surprised at how much longer it took to heat the milk to 60c, but its logical seeing theres more than twice the milk. Anyway, seeing Ive had a lot more practice with the larger jugs (like the Pyrex) I thought Id give the old 250ml stainless Breville jug one more chance, with the end result being a supremely rich microfoam as good as the best Ive ever had from cafes. I also now have a great convexed American tamper that snugly fits the 57mm basket. My next step is to try home roasting, but for now Im just savouring some of the best coffees before I go the next step. Its true with everything Ive always read, which is that good machines require a good hand, as theyre not created for consistent average results by people who dont really want to make an effort. The same with the frothing - you have to develop the feel and the ear to get the desired result. Im now at the level of confidently making friends and family great cups that I now theyll love!



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