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Thread: Latte art quality milk texture

  1. #1
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    Latte art quality milk texture

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    After what seems like a lifetime, Im finally some semblance of a rosetta. Still not quite perfect but these are my observations. To those of you who are getting nice rosettas consistently, please comment on the following observations to see if Im on the right track to getting that perfect rosetta:

    1. Ive started steaming milk without a thermometer, had been very hesitant to not use it in fear of burning the milk but having discarded the thermometer, I find that Im watching the milk more and detecting the changes in colour and texture which then results in a milk texture which is better and more consistent than "stretch to 35 degrees and then plunge the wand deep to 65 degees"
    2. Milk that Ive managed to get some form of art - the texture is one that you can describe as creamy. When Im swirling the jug just before pouring, the one that comes out better artwise tends to be creamy thick, thicker than normal milk anyway.

    But it seems theres that delicate balance of where the ideal thickness needs to be at.
    Too thin (not stretched enough) and I get a flat white and the leaves of the rosetta barely comes out even towards the end.
    Too thick and I get fat leaves, more like a christmas tree than a rosetta.

    3. "When the milk is well textured, the art pours itself" - I get told this on more than one occassion. While I havent found this to be true ie. art pouring itself, when the texture is nicely balanced, thick but not too thick, I find the pouring part easier, especially at the forming of the leaves. It still doesnt pour itself, the rate of pour ie. how much milk comes out, there seems to also be that zone where the leaves will just form out nicely. If i dont tilt the back of the jug enough, nothing froms on the surface. Overtilt and too much comes out and I dont have enough time to form the leaves and the cup is full to overflowing. At the same time, when overtilting, whatever pattern i try to form in that short time also ends up more "blobby", anywhere from fat leaves to cream blob.

    4. Still getting better rosettas on the Gaggia Carezza than the Silvia. What are the observable differences?
    I get more stretching time on the Gaggia because the initial steam is weak but it builds up stronger which works out great for the swirling phase. I have sufficient time to correct the tip position in the stretching phase.
    On the silvia, the steam is much stronger and heats up quicker so if i dont stretch enough in that short time, what I end up with is what i end up with.
    Not sure if dry steam is the problem with the silvia. With the Gaggia, the bleeding process is simple. Hit the steam switch, count to 5 and bleed for 2-3 seconds and its dry steam after that. Weak, but dry. I start steaming pretty much immediately after the boiler is on the whole time.
    On the silvia, a lot of water comes out during bleeding and it seems as though after the initial gush (approx 60ml), spurts of water comes out in between the dry steam after that.

    Any comments or further tips to improve the art?

  2. #2
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Latte art quality milk texture

    My art work fluctuates from ok to pretty tragic, the best results I achieve is usually with full cream milk, it seems to texture a lot better, through the week I use skim milk and it makes good microfoam but it separates from the milk, its good for capos but not for latte art. I find with Silvia if I try and do a small amount of milk in my 600ml jug I get no joy at all, with it half full it seems to get a better swirling action and does not heat up as quickly, I usually back off on the steam on smaller amounts and that does help.

  3. #3
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    Re: Latte art quality milk texture

    For that reason I use a 300ml jug, the incasa 300ml one. For a standard latte glass, I fill up the 300ml jug to just below the spout indentation and its perfect.

  4. #4
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Latte art quality milk texture

    NewTo..............I took your advice and got myself a 300ml jug today, I was down the local shops, went past kitchen shop and they had just what I needed for $10 so I grabbed one and raced home to give it a test run.
    I half filled it with full cream and texured away, the swirl pattern was excellent and rolled the milk at a rapid rate without injecting too much air into the milk, so now I will be using this for my single drinks and the 600ml for dual lattes etc......all I need is heaps of practice to get rostettas down pat!!

  5. #5
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    Re: Latte art quality milk texture

    Unfortunately my latte art attempts lately seem to have taken a turn for the worse. Just when I thought I knew what to look out for to get that silky texture, still getting the silky texture but it deosnt seem to translate into art during the pour.
    Thing is, it was going so well too for the last couple of weeks, but for some unforeseen reason, it just didnt come out again although I did pretty much the same Ive been doing when I got the leaves of the rosetta to form nicely.

  6. #6
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Latte art quality milk texture

    NTE - went through that phase too where I completely lost it.
    All is well again.
    Dont despair.

    greenman - I use my 300ml jug the most.

    When starting out I bought an extra 600ml jug, now I have 2 of them and they get used the least.

    My wife drinks long blacks so even when making two coffees I only need the smaller jug.

    So I bought another 300ml one just in case I need to do a skim milk coffee when guest are over.
    That way with 2 of each I have enough to mix and match depending on how many coffees Im making and what types of milk.
    I get out more coffees between jug rinsing that way.


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    Re: Latte art quality milk texture

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1205197621/0#5 date=1206185849
    NTE - *went through that phase too where I completely lost it.
    All is well again.
    Dont despair.
    What did you do to get the mojo back?

  8. #8
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Latte art quality milk texture

    My mojo ebbs and flows, some days I can pour ok rosetta, apple etc, other days no matter how fastidious I am it all turns abstract, one concession is it still taste wonderful!!!

  9. #9
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    Re: Latte art quality milk texture

    I think my problem is not so much the steaming part but the pouring. Somehow at home, I tend to pour slower which means less of the white bits come out and I have to consciously tilt the back of the jug higher (which also means more is poured out in less time) and jiggled at the same time and then the "leaves" start forming... Still a work in progress. Somehow at work, I dont seem to have that problem so much. I think it may be because at work Im sort of rushing anyway to make my coffee given that my coffee making is during company time.

  10. #10
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    Re: Latte art quality milk texture

    nte and gm,
    im in the same boat. nte - interesting that u can steam after 5 seconds of hitting the steam switch. on mine, i hit switch, bleed then count to 25 before steaming, which usually keeps the green light from kicking in. once that green light kicks in though, its all over baby...bye bye steam

    my art has also gone from average to fairly crap..this could be a global phenomena here folks :)

  11. #11
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    Re: Latte art quality milk texture

    roknee, I dont start steaming at 5 secs after hitting the steam switch. I bleed the wand for 2-3 secs at the 5 second mark. Then I close the steam, get my jug (already have milk in jug because if I fill the jug then, the green light comes on and as you say, bye bye steam) and start steaming. The initial part of the steam is relatively weak, which is ok at the stretchign phase because it gives me a little more room for error and get it right. Because the boiler is still going, the steam builds up as I go and is at its strongest in the swirl phase which is perfect. BTW, I use a 300ml jug. I have no such luck with a 600ml jug on the Carezza. My Carezza steam wand has also been modified with the silvia one. I dont seem to have too many issues with getting latte art on the Carezza. My problem is with the Silvia.



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