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Thread: Latte art and size of jug

  1. #1
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Latte art and size of jug

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Does it matter? I'm new to this and find it hard! I'm wondering of its because I'm using the smaller 400ml jug to do single cups.

    My foam seems fine although it sometimes seemed a little thick instead of silky. Perhaps thats why its making it hard for consistent flow. Am I doing something wrong?

  2. #2
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Are you using full cream or low fat milk brokenvase?

    A good trick i can recommend is if you are steaming enough milk for one cup, do it in the 400ml jug then transfer milk into a 600ml jug. Pour into the cup.
    The reason behind this is the milk coming out of a bigger jug comes out at a shallower trajectory into the cup, and you can get the tip of the spout closer to the surface of the coffee. This will assist in pushing the leaves out. Use a jug with a defined spout.

    Apart from that, the foam should look like wet paint in consistency. If you introduced too much air during the steaming process, it may be too stiff, be difficult to pour and be prone to separation from the milk. Next attempt, try and "stretch" the milk until you only just hear the tch tch sound, then when it;s around 30 degrees C, put the tip below the surface to roll.
    Heat to only 60-65 Deg C as well. Higher temps will have adverse effect on the foam consistency.
    Swirl the milk in the jug before pouring.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Latte art and size of jug

    Hmm... I was taught to stretch the milk till 40deg. Will try to 30 and pour to bigger jug. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Yes to the stretching to 40, but don't pour into bigger jug just yet. You still have to texture the milk til 60-65 C in the same small jug, and then only pour into the 600ml jug for easier pouring into the cup thereafter. Texturing the milk after stretching breaks down big bubbles as well as heating to the required temperature.

    Enjoy the art and let us know how you go. Post a few pics if you want in the art gallery.

  5. #5
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Latte art and size of jug

    First I have to be able to create something that looks like something first. Feels like I'm a long way off.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    For some people including myself, failures brings a drive to improve technique and seeking of advice and tips.
    Latte art can be daunting in practice after seeing countless videos on Youtube.

    Don;t worry too much on the art at first. Focus on getting the microfoam right and practise getting the coffee tasting good.
    Pour from a height then when the cup is 2/3 full bring the jug down and just pour a blob into the middle of the cup. Then taste.

    Does it taste good? How is the texture and mouthfeel? Is it bitter or sweet?

    After you mastered that, attempt at doing the same step, and then when the cup is almost full, lift and pour across the blob. Now you have something that resembles a heart.

    When you've done a few of those, you can do the heart again but wiggle the jug when pouring the blob, then do the same lift and pour across. Now your heart looks like it has a design.

    When starting out in latte art, start with hearts. They are easy to do before trying the others like tulips, rosettas etc.

    Have fun doing it. When you enjoy it, success comes easier. After all you can drink the results if you don't get it right which is not a loss
    David8 and micktleyden like this.

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    Junior Member micktleyden's Avatar
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    Latte art and size of jug

    I have been struggling with art too, the best I have been able to manage is some odd looking blobs!

    I'll deff give your tips a try too sideways!

  8. #8
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Latte art and size of jug


  9. #9
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    That's a good start. Better than mine when i first started out. .

    There's a quite a few bubbles on there, and i'm not sure if it's due to beans that's too fresh or the milk had too much air. That's why it's important to texture the milk once the stretching stage is over to get the wet paint consistency.

    That glass looks like the perfect one for my next tip. Next cup you pour, rest the jug on the rim of the glass so that the spout pours the milk into the center of the cup.
    Pour with a thin stream. When 2/3 full, use the rim of the glass as the pivot, pour faster so that you get a blob happening.
    When almost full with about 1 and half cm left, lift and draw across at same time.
    The act of lifting and pulling across pulls the crema of the espresso into the middle and shapes the heart. Don't be afraid to pull across over the other side of the edge of the glass. You can always clean it up after.

    Will have to give that Tapatalk a go next time. When it comes to smartphones or anything new technical stuff, I'm the noob.

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    Brokenvase did you pour that out of a 600 mm jug?
    That's pretty good. I'm no where near that.

  11. #11
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Latte art and size of jug

    That's a 400ml :P too lazy to pour to the bigger one...

  12. #12
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Latte art and size of jug

    Quote Originally Posted by sidewayss View Post
    That's a good start. Better than mine when i first started out. .

    There's a quite a few bubbles on there, and i'm not sure if it's due to beans that's too fresh or the milk had too much air. That's why it's important to texture the milk once the stretching stage is over to get the wet paint consistency.

    That glass looks like the perfect one for my next tip. Next cup you pour, rest the jug on the rim of the glass so that the spout pours the milk into the center of the cup.
    Pour with a thin stream. When 2/3 full, use the rim of the glass as the pivot, pour faster so that you get a blob happening.
    When almost full with about 1 and half cm left, lift and draw across at same time.
    The act of lifting and pulling across pulls the crema of the espresso into the middle and shapes the heart. Don't be afraid to pull across over the other side of the edge of the glass. You can always clean it up after.

    Will have to give that Tapatalk a go next time. When it comes to smartphones or anything new technical stuff, I'm the noob.
    The bubbles Are definitely from the crema and coffee. Not sure why. It's like big and almost soapy looking...

  13. #13
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Not to worry.

    First of all, does the coffee taste good? If it does not taste good, it does not matter how good your art is, IMO it needs to be fixed.

    We'll take one variable at a time. Try a different batch of beans, perhaps a bag from a reputable roaster or if you have roasted your own, those same beans that you've roasted a while ago should have de-gassed by now.

    What machine are you using? Is there sufficient steam power?

    Are you using full cream or skim milk? Try a different milk. Milk can and do go "off". Steaming should stop when jug feels too hot to touch.

    Does it happen all the time or occasionally?

    Are you filling the 400ml jug up the halfway mark? (halfway would yield approx 200ml for one cup if you fill to the bottom part of the spout or slightly above of the bottom of the spout, not knowing what make of jug you have, you may want to measure the liquid)

    Only look at these questions one at a time and take it from there so that you know exactly where the solution lies. Take your time.
    Last edited by sidewayss; 30th August 2012 at 02:10 PM. Reason: i forgot something/s

  14. #14
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Latte art and size of jug

    Quote Originally Posted by sidewayss View Post
    Not to worry.

    First of all, does the coffee taste good? If it does not taste good, it does not matter how good your art is, IMO it needs to be fixed.

    We'll take one variable at a time. Try a different batch of beans, perhaps a bag from a reputable roaster or if you have roasted your own, those same beans that you've roasted a while ago should have de-gassed by now.

    What machine are you using? Is there sufficient steam power?

    Are you using full cream or skim milk? Try a different milk. Milk can and do go "off". Steaming should stop when jug feels too hot to touch.

    Does it happen all the time or occasionally?

    Are you filling the 400ml jug up the halfway mark? (halfway would yield approx 200ml for one cup if you fill to the bottom part of the spout or slightly above of the bottom of the spout, not knowing what make of jug you have, you may want to measure the liquid)

    Only look at these questions one at a time and take it from there so that you know exactly where the solution lies. Take your time.
    Thanks for your response and help I know it's the bean. It tastes alright. Just gassy I think. Everything else is fine. Good milk. Yes to frothing with the 400ml Jug. I now learnt to watch. To dip in at either 2/3 full or at 35degs...

  15. #15
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    ""To dip in at either 2/3 full or at 35degs..."" quoted.
    To dip means putting the tip of the steam wand below the surface to texture the milk once reaches 35 deg or lukewarm, which serves the purpose of incorporating the bubbles into the milk. This also breaks down the bubbles into microfoam.

    Spending more time with your machine and practicing will improve the coffee.

    Doing a barista course is a good investment.

  16. #16
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Latte art and size of jug

    I had a laugh! Caption this!... Or try to reproduce it... :P

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1346840493.339229.jpg

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    Drowned Albino Gekko?
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  18. #18
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Latte art and size of jug

    Graduated from drowned albino gecko to this :P

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1351718766.484340.jpg

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    Senior Member WiredArabica's Avatar
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    Great progress - well done!

    Oh - out of curiosity, are you left-handed?

  20. #20
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Latte art and size of jug

    Quote Originally Posted by WiredArabica View Post
    Great progress - well done!

    Oh - out of curiosity, are you left-handed?
    No. Why you ask?

    I know that the angle of the tulip to handle is weird. It's the first time I picked up the cup and tilted. Made a world I difference!

    Hopefully I can get consistency soon.

  21. #21
    Senior Member WiredArabica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenvase View Post
    No. Why you ask?

    I know that the angle of the tulip to handle is weird. It's the first time I picked up the cup and tilted. Made a world I difference!
    Yep tilting the cup makes things happen much more easily, must practise more Tulips myself next time I have some milk.
    Quick tip - assuming you're holding the cup in your left hand while pouring - turn the handle so that it points straight up your arm. Then when you hold the cup with the handle on the right to drink, the pattern won't be upside-down . Have the handle facing the other way if it's for a left-handed drinker.
    bcspark likes this.

  22. #22
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Latte art and size of jug

    I had a laugh.. I don't usually notice directions. But will do now

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    I normally do my milk in 600ml and split into 400ml for better control

  24. #24
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Latte art and size of jug

    Failed tulip.. Again! Getting lots of these hearts these days

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1355952735.429375.jpg

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    i would try get out of the habit of using a thermometer. Size of the jug shouldnt matter just the rate of your pour. watch more videos and read articles.

  26. #26
    Senior Member Thirteen13's Avatar
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    Im a qualified barista so ill try give you my spin.

    Firstly and the absolutely MOST important part of foaming milk is, The Milk and the Machine. If either are sub standard then your going to struggle from the start.

    I've used heaps of machines from $100 little whatever you wanna call them to +$25k full commercials and every time if either of those 2 where substandard then your already disadvantaged.
    Milk is also a personal thing, for taste, i mostly use coles full fat milk and skim milk for my gf and i can pull a "glass like" milk and thick fluffy cream like foam. So i think we are lucky with WA Coles milk. Plus its cheap too!
    I have a breville dual boiler. Not the top end machine, but has a good dry strong steam. No where near as good as some of the other machines ive worked on, but still very good.

    When your froffing your milk make sure you have the correct size jug. There is no point froffing enough milk for 6 cups of coffee if your going to make 1 then throw the rest out. And there is no point putting enough milk in a jug for 1 cup of coffee thats designed for 6 cups! The right size jug for the amount your making.

    I specifically bought a very small sized jug, but i drink Piccolo Latte's mostly for milk drinks so im using bearly any milk.

    So if your drinking a standard latte then a 100-150ml jug for 1 person is heaps.
    Ensure your milk is cold out of the fridge, i've found cold fridge milk textures way better, and gives you a bit of extra time to push air into the milk.

    To start your texturing, purge the wand so only steam is blowing out, no water etc. Once its steam, dip the end of the tip into the milk slightly off centre to the jug. Just enough so steam is being forced into the milkand causing it to move, but not so your just pushing outside air in to make big air bubbles.

    Keep the milk moving. If you want heaps of foam, then when the jug get to warm, start to lower the jug but still keep that tip dipped under the milk, this will start to "lengthen" the foam.

    If you want glassy smooth creamy fluffy milk, then when the jug gets warm tilt the jug slightly and dip the tip of the want in about 1.5-2cm and get it swirling/stretching.

    Keep feeling the jug after its reached warm and when it gets to the point where its too hot to hold your hand for more than 1 second, then its basically done.

    Depending on your art, you either need to pour straight in or spoon the foam in.

    Its too late now, but ill try to remember to take a photo of some of my art tomorrow and show you my results.
    Its something you just got to practice. When you see people in cafe's smash out latte art, most of them make hundreds of coffees a day, know the machine inside out and get constant practice. At home unless your drinking 10 coffee's a day your practice will be bit slower, so keep practicing! and good luck.

    As they progress they are getting better and your milk is looking finer. Another thing to try is use a wider topped cup. So you have more area to lay your foam.



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