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Thread: Microfoam is over rated................

  1. #1
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    Microfoam is over rated................

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    ................. particularly when "I" cant make it........................ :(

    Got my Sunbeam, lovely machine. Im already very happy with my Cafe series grinder, the quality of my friends coffee blends, BUT, do ya think I can microfoam? Nup! :P

    Im making very nice, errr...................... flat whites I think! ;D One day Ill make a latte................

    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    practice and patience... go and buy a couple of 3L cartons of milk and just waste them - just steam a cup, and see how it comes out and then chuck it and move on. for less than 10 buck you can do probably 50 jugs of milk in an hour or 2 and refine your technique. money well spent, as the would probably take you weeks to do that many cups if you were drinking them and theyll all probably be crap... worth it in my mind

    also, jugs are important - there is one that i got from coffeeparts for about $10 that ill happily recommend too...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Have you done the Sunbeam training course?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Darky, if you post up your current method of frothing milk, we might be able to help you adjust your technique to get what youre after!

  5. #5
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Thanks all.

    No, no course. I simply dont have the time for it. Since my wife no longer works Ive been working full time plus OT keeping us afloat. My recently purchased machinery is a thankyou to "self" for excessive hours worked over the holiday period.

    Technique, well I dont really have one. I stick the jug up and attempt a rolling thingo, usually not achieving it. By the time the milk has boiled in the jug its still not rolled as I continue on my venture to make a "3rd degree burn flat white" (instead of a latte).

    Since last night I have read and re-read texturing strings. I may be a little more educated now, but still dont really know what Im doing.....................

    Lucky my friends beans are top notch and the flat whites are fine (when they cool down)....................

    Cheers, darky................

  6. #6
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Keep persisting Darky, you will get there, find the sweet spot in your jug, once you find this you will get the swirling action required to foam the milk. When you start, place the steam wand in the centre of jug just under the surface and stretch the milk, it may sound like a jet engine bring the nozzle up until it sounds like swooshing noise, do this until milk increases in volume then go to sweet spot and texture milk, hold palm of hand under jug, when it gets too hot to hold give it another 10 seconds (you can remove your hand) and hopefully you will have microfoam and nicely textured milk. Bang the jug on counter top a couple of times and swirl contents around and then pour your latte art!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. #7
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Darky, Darky, Darky.............heres a tip for free...........


    ..........just put a coupla hiclones in the steam wand and youll be LAUGHING ;) ;)

    cheers,

    buff

  8. #8
    Senior Groupie LindaD's Avatar
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Quote Originally Posted by Darky link=1202125639/0#4 date=1202195752
    Technique, well I dont really have one. I stick the jug up and attempt a rolling thingo, usually not achieving it. By the time the milk has boiled in the jug its still not rolled as I continue on my venture to make a "3rd degree burn flat white" (instead of a latte).
    Hi Darky!

    Just a couple of helpful hints for you.

    1. Texturing will come. A small note, dont overfill your jug, usually just underneath the start of the spout (roughly 1/3) and just submerge the tip of the wand, NOT the whole thing, as this starts the squeeling! ;D. Hold your jug straight, and you will find the milk will do the "whirlpool" thing.

    2. Cradle the jug with your spare hand. When it gets too hot (roughly between 45*-50*) you will be unable to hold it. This is normally the right temp unless you like extra hot. If thats the case, take your hand away and let it go for a little longer, then stop...(or you could use a thermometer!!!)

    3. Dont move the jug, none of this up and down motion! Keep the wand tip just under the surface, and you will find that you will get this awesome microfoam!

    Hope this helps
    -Linda

  9. #9
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Quote Originally Posted by buff link=1202125639/0#6 date=1202203209
    Darky, Darky, Darky.............heres a tip for free...........


    ..........just put a coupla hiclones in the steam wand and youll be LAUGHING ;) ;)

    cheers,

    buff
    Dear Mr (or Ms) Buff,

    Thanks a stack for your input. Are these "hiclones" available as an option from Sunbeam? Has anyone else had any success using this mod?

    Ill give Sunbeam (or the Good Guys) a call tomorrow and see if I can get some.

    Price?

    Cheers, darky...............

  10. #10
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Quote Originally Posted by greenman link=1202125639/0#5 date=1202203030
    Keep persisting Darky, you will get there, find the sweet spot in your jug, once you find this you will get the swirling action required to foam the milk. When you start, place the steam wand in the centre of jug just under the surface and stretch the milk, it may sound like a jet engine bring the nozzle up until it sounds like swooshing noise, do this until milk increases in volume then go to sweet spot and texture milk, hold palm of hand under jug, when it gets too hot to hold give it another 10 seconds (you can remove your hand) and hopefully you will have microfoam and nicely textured milk. Bang the jug on counter top a couple of times and swirl contents around and then pour your latte art!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You should see me attempting to texture boiling milk. Not pleasant...............

  11. #11
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Quote Originally Posted by Maccas_chicka link=1202125639/0#7 date=1202203295
    Quote Originally Posted by Darky link=1202125639/0#4 date=1202195752
    Technique, well I dont really have one. I stick the jug up and attempt a rolling thingo, usually not achieving it. By the time the milk has boiled in the jug its still not rolled as I continue on my venture to make a "3rd degree burn flat white" (instead of a latte).
    Hi Darky!

    Just a couple of helpful hints for you.

    1. Texturing will come. A small note, dont overfill your jug, usually just underneath the start of the spout (roughly 1/3) and just submerge the tip of the wand, NOT the whole thing, as this starts the squeeling! ;D. Hold your jug straight, and you will find the milk will do the "whirlpool" thing.

    2. Cradle the jug with your spare hand. When it gets too hot (roughly between 45*-50*) you will be unable to hold it. This is normally the right temp unless you like extra hot. If thats the case, take your hand away and let it go for a little longer, then stop...(or you could use a thermometer!!!)

    3. Dont move the jug, none of this up and down motion! Keep the wand tip just under the surface, and you will find that you will get this awesome microfoam!

    Hope this helps
    -Linda
    Thanks Linda. Ill try.............

  12. #12
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Quote Originally Posted by Darky link=1202125639/0#8 date=1202204818
    Quote Originally Posted by buff link=1202125639/0#6 date=1202203209
    Darky, Darky, Darky.............heres a tip for free...........


    ..........just put a coupla hiclones in the steam wand and youll be LAUGHING ;) ;)

    cheers,

    buff
    Dear Mr (or Ms) Buff,

    Thanks a stack for your input. Are these "hiclones" available as an option from Sunbeam? Has anyone else had any success using this mod?

    Ill give Sunbeam (or the Good Guys) a call tomorrow and see if I can get some.

    Price?

    Cheers, darky...............

    ...not sure where to buy them...it doesnt look like any site sponsors stock them...I think theyre about $160 each, but they apparently have a 30 day money back guarantee if youre not happy with em...so nothing ventured, nothing gained etc.....

    cheers,
    (Mr) buff

  13. #13
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Darky,
    You have to find your "barista pose" use a jug full of water (to save the: trying to whirlpool boiling milk thing) and move it around untill you find the whirlpool point in your jug, how much you need to fill it ect...when you find that point move the jug down just a touch till your hear a slight hissing this is your aeration point move it back up thats your texturing point. Remember exactly how your holding everything and thats your barista pose! every time you go to your machine adopt the pose and your away.

  14. #14
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Quote Originally Posted by decafsux link=1202125639/0#12 date=1202273822
    Darky,
    You have to find your "barista pose" use a jug full of water (to save the: trying to whirlpool boiling milk thing) and move it around untill you find the whirlpool point in your jug, how much you need to fill it ect...when you find that point move the jug down just a touch till your hear a slight hissing this is your aeration point move it back up thats your texturing point. Remember exactly how your holding everything and thats your barista pose! every time you go to your machine adopt the pose and your away.
    Hehe, sounds good! Can I try it naked???

  15. #15
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Quote Originally Posted by Darky link=1202125639/0#13 date=1202380180
    Hehe, sounds good! Can I try it naked???
    Well you can, but I reckon a stray squirt from the steam wand might cure you of that habit!

  16. #16
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy link=1202125639/0#14 date=1202386932
    Quote Originally Posted by Darky link=1202125639/0#13 date=1202380180
    Hehe, sounds good! Can I try it naked???
    Well you can, but I reckon a stray squirt from the steam wand might cure you of that habit!
    Yikes! Come to think of it I couldnt make a cup for 2 days without burning myself at least once...............

    Best keep the covers on..............

  17. #17
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Darky,
    If you are finding that your milk wont foam or stretch and/or wont hold the foam--try different milk!
    Here in South Australia as soon as the cows start eating dry food instead of green grass the foaming ability of our milk declines to zero.
    I have found the the A2 milk works reliably all year round. The other milk that worked for me, although I now prefer the taste of the A2, was the UHT from Devondale.
    Greg

  18. #18
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald link=1202125639/15#16 date=1202523702
    Darky,
    If you are finding that your milk wont foam or stretch and/or wont hold the foam--try different milk!
    Here in South Australia as soon as the cows start eating dry food instead of green grass the foaming ability of our milk declines to zero.
    I have found the the A2 milk works reliably all year round. The other milk that worked for me, although I now prefer the taste of the A2, was the UHT from Devondale.
    Greg
    Thanks Greg,

    I do use skim, as I try and eat as little fat as possible. Its longlife skim.............. Hmmmmmmmm.....................

    Is that my problem do you think?

  19. #19
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Darky,

    Fresh skim milk is hard to texture..... turning into largish dry bubbles quite quickly (and these collapse quite quickly as well).... not sure about longlife but with normal full cream milk it needs to be fresh and unfortunately the higher fat milks texture much easily and make better microfoam which lasts longer....

    But even with these normal full cream milks, if the fat content drops (cows on poor quality feed).... it becomes a lot harder to get good microfoam....

    Maybe reduce your fat intake in another area..... there is no doubt full cream milk in coffees tastes a LOT better..... and textures more easily!!

    Fresh skim milk can be textured.... but requires a lot more effort and careful technique to get passable results.

  20. #20
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1202125639/15#18 date=1202556409
    Darky,

    Fresh skim milk is hard to texture..... turning into largish dry bubbles quite quickly (and these collapse quite quickly as well).... not sure about longlife but with normal full cream milk it needs to be fresh and unfortunately the higher fat milks texture much easily and make better microfoam which lasts longer....

    But even with these normal full cream milks, if the fat content drops (cows on poor quality feed).... it becomes a lot harder to get good microfoam....

    Maybe reduce your fat intake in another area..... there is no doubt full cream milk in coffees tastes a LOT better..... and textures more easily!!

    Fresh skim milk can be textured.... but requires a lot more effort and careful technique to get passable results.
    Thanks Mate. I was in a local coffee house last week buying a latte, and noticed they ONLY use Pura Lite Start. maybe I should start with that one................

  21. #21
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    Quote Originally Posted by Darky link=1202125639/15#19 date=1202560295
    I was in a local coffee house last week buying a latte, and noticed they ONLY use Pura Lite Start. maybe I should start with that one................
    Whilst Pura Lite Start has only 1/4 the fat of full cream milk it has almost 9 times the fat content compared to skim milk!

    Skim milk is a bit like white water with added calcium.....( only 0.3grams of fat per 250ml) The reason that most coffee houses use something like Pura Lite Start is that it is a good compromise between taste / ease of texturing and the fat content - it being quite a bit more healthy than full cream (not that it bothers me.... I use the richest milk I can.... after all I dont drink that many milk based coffees.)

  22. #22
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    I agree with JavaB on the skim milk thing!

    Think about it folks, once you take out all the fats from milk what are you left with??

    WATER! ;D

  23. #23
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    [QUOTE=Darky link=1202125639/0#13 date=1202380180]
    Quote Originally Posted by decafsux link=1202125639/0#12 date=1202273822
    Darky,
    Hehe, sounds good! Can I try it naked???
    you could probably come up with some interesting tamping methods!

  24. #24
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    ive tried stretching longlife and its a battle - maybe you should try some light start or full cream as suggested and find out whether its your technique or the milk?

  25. #25
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    JavaB,

    Theres an interesting article from coffeegeek that suggests that skim milk is easier to texture:
    http://coffeegeek.com/guides/frothingguide/milk

    Im new to all this but would be interested to hear peoples experiences.


  26. #26
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    Re: Microfoam is over rated................

    thommo, sent you a pm.



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