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Thread: Upgraded to new machine & struggling with milk texture

  1. #1
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    Upgraded to new machine & struggling with milk texture

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,
    Weve upgraded from a Sunbeam EM6910 to an Isomac Tea. The shots are fantastic - much better than the SB. Im struggling with the milk though - on the SB I was (usually) able to get a smooth, creamy texture with no (or very few) bubbles. With the Tea the steam is much faster, and I think thats part of my problem. The milk is not as creamy, and has a lot of small bubbles in it. Ive had the machine since Friday, so 5 days now. I think part of my problem is to do with the shape of the steam arm - on the SB it came forward of the machine & on the Tea it sort of has to go sideways to fit in the jug. The milk is only cheap WW lite, but is the same as we were using on the SB. Can anyone give me some tips to improve my texturing? Where do you position the jug - in front of the machine or to the side?
    Cheers, Geoff

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Upgraded to new machine & struggling with milk texture

    I personally put the steam wand on the inside of the spout and towards the side of the jug and this gets my whirlpool going. I usually use a 300ml jug and the milk is done in around 20-30 seconds (I havent actually timed it).
    I work with the wand out to the left side of the machine (Expobar).

  3. #3
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    Re: Upgraded to new machine & struggling with milk texture

    IMHO as a newbie this is what Ive noticed:

    I dont have an Isomac Tea but have had to teach myself on the VBM which also has powerful steam. I use the same position of wand in the spout and towards the side as just mentioned and a 300ml jug. But sometimes I still get the small bubbles. I think its when Ive let too much air in. It only takes 2 or 3 chh chhs. If I do a fourth I get the bubbles!

    Id like to hear what others suggest.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Re: Upgraded to new machine & struggling with milk texture

    I hear you G-dog.

    I also had to re-learn technique on the Rancilio Silvia after having the Sunbeam for quite some time, but now that im used to the power of the Silvia, theres no turning back and theres nothing like a boiler full of steam :)

    The same technique on the Sunbeam may not suit the Isomac as you discovered.

    A Synesso commercial machine is another level again.

    Theres a couple of different ways to go about it.
    You can angle the wand out, start the tip a cm under the milk on either your left or right side, whichever youre comfortable with.
    Start with moderate steam pressure, once the whirlpool gets underway, bring the tip to surf the surface until you hear the chh chh tearing paper sound until warm, then bury the tip back to 1 cm under the milk and let it stay there til too hot to touch!
    Once you get used to that, try a higher steam pressure setting until youre ok with it.

    Another way is the KK method as outlined in the forum.
    Try that as well and let us know how you went.

    Gary at G

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    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Upgraded to new machine & struggling with milk texture

    Im not a great fan of limiting the amount of pressure you use. It adds another variable that you dont need to have.
    As per WhatamIdoinghere?, it doesnt take much to go from nice microfoam to "Where the hell did all those bubbles come from?"

    I reccommend full power on the steam and try to keep your movements to a minimum and dont be afraid to tip a few litres of milk down the drain in the interests of training.

  6. #6
    Senior Member topshot's Avatar
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    Re: Upgraded to new machine & struggling with milk texture

    Hi G-Dog,

    Have a look at this tread;

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1220959662

    You might find an answer for yourself there.

    Stick with it, microfoam will happen :)

    Warren

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    Re: Upgraded to new machine & struggling with milk texture

    Keep at it G-Dog...youll get there. I upgraded from the 6910 over 6 months ago and my microfoam went to hell for a long time, but like me, you will adapt to the faster machine. Dont think about what used to work for the SB...it wont work with the new machine. Success started to come for me when I stopped the lengthy SB process and only incorporated air for a very brief moment, then plunged the tip to heat. Good luck !!

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    Re: Upgraded to new machine & struggling with milk texture

    Thanks for the replies, Ill keep working on it. The quality of the esspresso is so much better than the SB, I just need to get the milk right (or learn to like long blacks).
    Cheers, Geoff

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    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Re: Upgraded to new machine & struggling with milk texture

    Quote Originally Posted by 686F7A6C6177513F3737370E0 link=1311678520/4#4 date=1311746717
    dont be afraid to tip a few litres of milk down the drain in the interests of training.
    You can use the ex- training milk for iced chocolates or coffees. Dont waste them.

    Gary at G

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    Re: Upgraded to new machine & struggling with milk texture

    I recommend the use of tap water and a drop of detergent as a way of practicing the art of learning how to get your milk texturing right. It works very well and you do not end up wasting milk.

    After all your trying to get the whirlpool happening and until you can get that consistently and on demand, you could waste alot of milk.

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    Re: Upgraded to new machine & struggling with milk texture

    Just an update - Im heading in the right direction. Ive got rid of most of the bubbles, just need to get it a bit creamier.
    Geoff

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    Re: Upgraded to new machine & struggling with milk texture

    HI Geoff,
    Great to hear that you are on your way! Ive been reading your trials with texturing - its all so confusing at the beginning but its a blast once you get the basics down! I have to say that the type of milk seems to make an impact on the texturing too. We use organic milk and at the moment its really quite difficult to get a heap of froth for a cappo........... and by the way, black is the way to go! :)



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