Easy Dave,Originally Posted by 707562714B7B737D78626D140 link=1237373639/0#0 date=1237373639
Keep a hand on the jug. If you cant hold it, you probably wont want to drink it either ;)
Easy Dave,Originally Posted by 707562714B7B737D78626D140 link=1237373639/0#0 date=1237373639
Keep a hand on the jug. If you cant hold it, you probably wont want to drink it either ;)
giggled like a schoolgirl.....Originally Posted by 79263E282328242D2D2E2E262A254B0 link=1237373639/1#1 date=1237373867
So many people use gloves and or become desensitized to heat and that is why many places sell coffee that has milk added that has had the crap burnt out of it.
I use a 3 sec rule.. Once I can not hold my hand on it for 3 sec or longer then getting too hot.
Ha! So true, but perhaps AngerManagement is being a tad more empirical in saying.....Originally Posted by 1E41594F444F434A4A4949414D422C0 link=1237373639/1#1 date=1237373867
The 3 second rule certainly works for me. However chefs, blacksmiths and anyone else with asbestos hands should come up with a plan B.Originally Posted by 6D424B495E614D424D4B49414942582C0 link=1237373639/2#2 date=1237375510
Cheers for the answers guys; I generally use the 2-3 second rule but was unsure if there was a better technique.
I guess the best option would be to get a thermometer!
The right temperature is yours to decide.
Ask yourself or your guest, how hot do you like it?
Iced, ready to drink or extra hot.
Before steam was used to heat milk, a tradtional macchiato was served with a teaspoon of cold milk.
I know a snob who wants his cup heated and the milk boiled.
He spends $8 a day at his favourite local and walks past cafes that serve coffee in a glass without a handle because he assumes it will be Cold.
Is he wrong? Absolutely not. It suits his taste.
I recall a post here regarding a customer asking a Barista, can you make it nice and hot?
Barista replied, I can make it nice or hot?
I would pull him aside and explain customer service again or show him the door.
Barista could/should be defined as placebo ( I will please)
The majority of coffee consumed worlwide is instant, boiled water and some cold milk. Might be close to 80 degrees.
Still it is satisfying the majority of coffee consumers.
With coffee there is a massive change in flavour, body and aroma by adjusting the brewing water temperature. This applies to milk temperature too. Overheated milk actually stinks.
Natural sugars in milk are affected by heat.
To answer your question and help improve your milky coffee.
Steam wand should be pointing to one side of jug.
Put temperature feeling hand on the opposite side of jug.
When finger tips are uncomfy, count to three.
Served in a preheated cup and allowing for time to table/client or *your relaxed spot.
This suits most.
Try and educate, find a brew that doesnt need milk or sugar.
I believe the luke warm brews served are due to high rents and expenses. Most cant afford for a client to sit and linger over a coffee for half an hour. make it cool, drink it quick or order another.
Call me crazy but I use my ears.......and man it hurts! ;)
After many years, I only threw away the training wheels a few months ago. Just from the sound, I seem to know when to cut the steam. The first few times, I tested myself against the thermometer & the temp was spot on.
Thermometers are cheap.
Buy one and keep it in your drawer at work.
Take it to the machine when you make a coffee and take it back to your desk when youre done.
The guys where I last worked kept losing filter baskets so I ended up taking my own.
It got carried to and from the machine.
you are 100 % right
that comes from experience.
you can hear the milk.
You may have heard the welds melt on some jugs at some never to be revisited outlets too?
Interestingly when I first got my Rancilio Silvia I would heat the milk until it was uncomfortable to hold I would give it a few seconds more like quite a few people told me. When I actually got around to getting a thermometer I soon realised that I was not heating the milk as hot as I though it was. (I guess 3 seconds on a commerial machine is equivalent to 8-10 secs on the Silvia). I can now say that a thermometer makes my milk very consistent. I take the milk off the heat just when it hits 60 degrees and I find that there is about 5 degrees lag so it ends up at 65 degrees. That is what works for me. I am just about to get a La Cimbali M21 Junior to replace my Silvia so it will be interesting to see the difference in steaming milk and time it takes. Cant wait!
Just made a coffee and didnt heat the milk up as much as I usually do; it was much much better. I had been heating it until it was too hot to touch for 2 seconds, this time I heated it until it was bearable for about 3 seconds. Not an exact technique by any means, but seems to work well enough.
Cheers for the help!
I dont like heating it up as much as the others, because I want to drink it now. I find that the ones where it is too hot, you wait to drink it and all the froth from the milk which was incorporated in the coffee, has floated into the mouse and gone away, leaving a thinner coffee.
For me definitely cooler is better. Firstly i like to drink my coffee straight away, and secondly you can actually taste it. I use the 3second(ish) rule. When i got my EM i decided i didnt want to use a thermometer forever, so why not just learn without it. It works for me.
.......most of the time.
I have just received my La Cimbali M21 Junior and this is a totally different beast to the Silvia! My fist few pitchers of milk were just a mass of bubbles and thin milk. Tried blocking three of the four holes with some toothpicks to resemble the Silvia steam wand and I am able to get reasonable results doing that. I have tried practicing with some water and a drop of dish washing liquid and my technique is improving - still not the silky smooth results I was able to achieve with the Silvia - but Im not missing having to wait for the steam to heat up! I still think I will keep using the thermometer as I like to know exactly what temp I am heating up to and keeping it consistent - However it seems that it is around the 3 seconds mark after it is starting to burn the fingers on the bottom of the pitcher to reach the 60-65 degree mark.
Out of interest can anybody recommend any steam arm/tip combinations that would bolt up to this machine and be more suitable for steaming smaller amounts of milk?
Most professionals judge milk temp with:
a) touch. Im a subscriber to the, "if you cant hold it with the palm of your hand, its too hot" school. Remember, use your palms on the side of the jug. Fingertips are a lot more sensitive to heat.
b) sound. If you can texture a just of milk consistently, with the same amount of foam each time, youll get used to the sound pitch. Use sound in conjunction with touch to judge milk temp. Beware, when you start steaming for different drinks, i.e. stretching less for flat whites or stretching more for capps, the pitch will change. Which is why I recommend when starting out to stretch the same amount every time to get used to the sound, then you can thin your milk out by splitting.
c) sight - tertiary to touch and sound.
After steaming hundreds of litres of milk, you fine tune your ability to get the milk within the acceptable temperature window (60 to 65 deg C, some may prefer hotter). A 5 degree C window is a big target to hit, even without a thermometer, but even I need to recalibrate my hand with a thermometer every once in a while!
I generally give it a few secs after it becomes too hot to touch the jug.
The pitch lowers as the temp of the milk rises, at a certain point/ sound I simply know it is hot enough. Overheated milk sounds as wrong as it tastes and the jug begins to scream once the milk is really boiled.
It is of course too late but overheated milk looks wrong too, thin and watery and it wont hold a good texture.
I used to have a customer that requested I heated the milk to 90C + every time, I cringed at the sound it made and could only ever make a watery looking flat white but thats how he liked it.
I remember many years ago, while trying to get a drinkable beverage out of some french roasted beans, being instructed that the French version of milk coffee--café au lait--was actually made with milk that had been heated to scalding temperature! This was from a coffee fancier with several years of experience in Paris.
I tried it, and it worked.
Now I like my doppio ristretto piccolo latté with beans just on second crack, and the milk at 60°C.
I had a laugh a thermometer will cost you around $3.50! A small price to pay for perfect temp. Maybe you could make a few excellent coffees for your colleagues and rent the thermo out to them to recoup costs! ;)Originally Posted by 6D687F6C56666E60657F70090 link=1237373639/0#0 date=1237373639
Hi can I just ask where to get a thermometer a good accurate type please for this thankyou :)
I only just bought a thermometer and realised I have been making quite cold coffees for some time, using the rule of where I couldnt hold my fingers to the jug for more than a few seconds. Thermometer is now showing about 45 degrees, and milk is a lot hotter and better texture, but it seems to stall there for some reason...
Good idea to calibrate it by immersing in gently boiling water and seeing if it is around 100° or so. If it still stays at 45° then your thermo may be faulty. This also gives you an idea of the tolerance of your thermo. If the reading is much above or below 100, then figure this in your readings.Originally Posted by 4E51534C53535A230 link=1237373639/19#19 date=1240188122
Some thermos can be adjusted but I wouldnt do that.
Trial and error. Heat some milk. Taste it. Too hot? Too cool? Try again. Eventually youll just know.
I reckon thermometers are too slow if youre only steaming for one or two small coffees. (if youre using a reasonably powerful machine) At the rate that the milk heats up, the thermometer cant keep up! Plus theyre fiddly, annoying and dirty. And you need to keep them calibrated.
So if you cant tell, I dont like thermometers!
This.Originally Posted by 786B1D0 link=1237373639/6#6 date=1237378889
I tell the girls at work: you hear that? Its your milk screaming in pain! Avoid that! ;D ;D ;D
I use a Cimbali Junior. Its gone for 15 years now and hasnt missed a beat. It did come with a funny looking steam nozzle - single hole in a larger tube with a hole in the side of the tube. i was told it was for learners and infants, however i have been using this nozzle with smooth silky results since i bought the machine. Great for small volumes.Originally Posted by 103D38222530382360510 link=1237373639/13#13 date=1237984051
I like to use a thermometer but most are irregular and need regular adjustments
Touching the side of the jug is too inaccurate and the milk will be more then likely cooler. Touch the base of the jug for an accurate temp feel when the base is 3 sec hot then it will be right
Sound is what most busy barsitas rely on and I believe it to be the most accurate temp gauge; i dont know how to explain this but after years of spinning milk you stop the steam instinctively
Smell is important too as milk goes from perfect 60-65 to burnt stench really quick only a couple of seconds difference from a hot 70degree latte to a stinky 80degree latte.
Why would anyone want to add another uncontrollable factor into getting a good coffee :o
If you can measure it you can control it ;)
Using your hand as a sensor IMHO is too subjective. It works for the very experienced - or so they say - but every time Ive had a cappa that was too cold or too hot you can bet the barista didnt use a thermometer :(
Its quite simple.
I steam milk, look at/observe/cut my shots and check what order is coming up next all at the same time. Using a thermometer means I have one more thing to look at - without I can feel and hear (once you know the machine) the temperature of the milk freeing up my eyes for other tasks. Throughout the day (usually in slow periods) I will use a thermometer to calibrate my hand and make sure I am in the ball park.
I find inside my mind, it works best like a clock as well as sound, heat, texture, I know it takes this and this much milk to heat up in this and this amount of time, with a combination of so much heat, that much sound and this look.
Using a thermometer is a good way to get yourself adjusted to a new coffee machine you arent familiar with, but once youve been on a set machine for days, even months on end, you can pretty much get it right each time. Id say its soy that throws me off.
thinking about it, i realise over time ive come to rely on touch, sight and sound all at the same time. I have a thermometer, but discovered very quickly after buying it that it moved too slowly and wasnt any more reliable than touch.
the last time I thought my milk might be a little cool, the person I made the resulting FW for commented as much. I find touch, sight and sound are just fine for assessing if my milk is hot enough.
I count to 5 after its too hot, but what I consider too hot to hold, my wife can hold for longer, I used the thermometer while learning how long I could hold it for and got used to it that way.
Very subjective - like others I use my palm and calibrate with a thermometer regularly - ALWAYS check your thermometers in boiling water as they are not NATA calibrated measuring devices and are subject to irregularities from the factory - some of mine have up to 10ºC variation :-?...
I agree, its very subjective.
I have a thermometer, but i tend to turn the steam off when the milk smells sweet, and the steam sounds a little more sharp in the milk. usually, this is around 55 DegC. just how i like it. not too hot, not too cold...juuuuuust riiiiight :)
I must say, looking at some earlier posts I made about using a thermometer 6 months back in March, man have I come a long way in the coffee journey. *:-[
I will take back that using a thermometer on a commercial machine is useful. From cold milk to hot milk (around the 60-65 degree) *in a small jug takes 15 seconds or so. If you have a thermometer in while you are steaming you will boil the milk before the thermometer even reaches the 65 mark. It is so simple now just holding the bottom of the jug until uncomfortable and a second or two longer. You can hear the sound it makes. I guess it is just practice! Putting the thermometer in just to check from time to time is helpful to confirm your consistency. Im looking forward to the next 6 months of learning!
I just boiled some water and poured in into my milk pitcher and the thermometer only reached 85 and eventually nudged up to 90.
So i guess that means that i should use my thermometer as a guide only.
The last couple i have made have been up around 60 degrees and they milk did have that pong about it....
The thermometer wasnt an absolute cheapy...it was around $10....do they vary or should the be just used as a guide?
Unless it was individually calibrated and certified it is a guide only. :)
Boil some water in a saucepan and try the thermometer in the gently simmering water. It should, of course, read 100°C at sea level.
Depending on how far it is out, Id also try it in some puréed ice cubes to see how accurate the 0°C is.
I judge my milk now by sound and feeling the bottom of the jug. When I get it too hot the taste of the coffee really deteriorates and lets me know. Since I drink coffee for the taste, too cool is always a better option for me.
I dont want to come across as Captain obvious or some other obnoxious form, but as Greg mentioned, best to check your thermometer as the water is simmering away, instead of in the milk pitcher you poured the water into. Water cooling and all that jazz.Originally Posted by 78636275343C3E340C0 link=1237373639/33#33 date=1254016308
I use the three second rule. The milk comes out as just the temperature I like it.
But there is a problem.
My wife likes it hot. She has happily approved our recent upgrade (I love my Office Control!). Therefore more often than not I overheat to her preference. And I just wait for it to slow down a little.
Any other ways to cater for the hot and not-so-hot preferences?
Originally Posted by 06030F0B030C620 link=1237373639/36#36 date=1254645457
Theres not much that taints the taste of a good brew more than overheated milk*. Try
Buying two 300/400ml jugs and steam consecutively
Nuke the missus coffee in the microwave for a few seconds to make it hotter.
*Those who believe that any milk taints the taste of espresso need not respond ;)
Near my work, the "premium option" for coffee ($4.50/cup) is the Deli.. Fresh roasted beans, top equipment, etc...
but the coffee always tastes crap; I just learned why.
They use a 1L milk jug. If i order a large flat white, theyll steam 1L of milk & pour about half in my cup..fine.
For the next customer, they top up the milk jug and steam again....so the original milk gets steamed TWICE. Can you believe this?!
This goes on all day, so by the end of the shift, how many times has the "original" milk been steamed?
^^ oops, had several tabs open and posted in wrong thread. never mind.!
just had to complain to somewhere! :-X
I use the 1 sec rule… but it’s with your palm, not your fingers. As your fingers can generally withstand higher temps – my friends a chef and he always burns his milk cause he uses his fingers as a guide (mind you he can hold a pan straight off the burner)
Regardless of the rules you use, as long as the temp of the milk doesn’t exceed 70 degrees your sweet – literally ;D. Above this and your burning the proteins :(.
Apart from feel the audible cue works for me followed by a few seconds more. Apart from this all my jugs now runs stick on thermometers that work a treat :) Thermometers now consigned to the bottom drawer with single & pod baskets and crappy plastic tamper thing
;DOriginally Posted by 556079732726100 link=1237373639/3#3 date=1237376406
Espresso Gear Stick-on-Jug Thermometer is GREAT!Originally Posted by 7D75776328282828100 link=1237373639/18#18 date=1238244351
from CoffeeParts, see:
Hey, I use the "one, two, off" rule. I keep my hand on the jug until it gets hot then i remove my hand and place it back on the jug....If I have over heated the milk- I cant hold my hand on the jug for my "one, two, off" rule but if it is right....I can hold my hand on the jug for the exact amount of time it takes me to say this.
The way I learnt this was with a thermometer, practicing and recognising how long I could hold MY hand on the jug when the thermometer was at 65C. For every person it is different. :)
You could even get a cheap thermometer from a second hand shop?? Or borrow one from your Grandma or something to practice??
I can do it by feel but the second rule varies for everyone because we all have different heat tolerance levels (IMO).
Either use a thermometer that goes in the jug until you know when the milks heated properly, or use the stick on thermometers that coffeeparts sell. These are excellent and have enabled me to teach people at work with much less drama because they are so fricken easy to use!
get a therm, its cheap insurance
I use my hand on the side of the jug, but every couple of months I use the thermometer to check the calibration of my hand.
At $10 or so its a no brainer.
I was shown by my coffee shop where I bought my machine to test the milk with the thicker part of my palm at the base of the thumb. When I found the jug too hot after about 2 seconds the milk was ready. Seems to work OK and testing with a thermometer seemed to confirm.
I think I have sensitive palms - when its too hot to hold my hand on for a few seconds, the milk still seems too cold when I drink it. I put my palm on and off for a bit, and sometimes even wait a few seconds more after this. It comes out exactly how I like it, and others seem to like this as well.
Im tentatively using sound as a secondary measure, but usually when it changes I worry Ive gone too far and so try to avaoid this!
I love the taste of steamed milk, and usually have some by itself as well as in my coffee. I count this as insurance against burning - I want to be able to enjoy drinking the milk by itself, and I like being famliar with what the milk tastes like. (Im familiar with the pudding-y taste of burned milk, so know what to avoid.)
I tend to wait until its hot too touch,
then count in my head 1 - one thousand, 2 - one thousand, 3 - one thousand, then switch off the steam when on the commercial machine at work, though I do regularly calibrate this system with a thermometer.