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Thread: Milk Texturing Question

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    Milk Texturing Question

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have what is probably a very basic question. I bought a Cafe Ristretto the other day and have been practicing texturing while Im waiting for some beans to arrive.

    My question is, is the entire jug supposed to consist of microfoam or is it just a portion of the top. Im using a milk thermometre when the milk gets to about 60 - 65 degrees I have a few millimetres of shiny foam on top and the rest is just hot milk.

    Even so, Im having fun and cant wait till my beans arrive.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    I think its supposed to be microfoamy milk all the way through immediately after you steam the milk. It starts to separate after that slowly...
    How you get that is when youre steaming milk, get it swirling around the jug from as early as when youre stretching (swirling while stretching).

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Newbean
    This is called stretching the milk

    I foam up to double or just a bit over 50% volume for cuppa-chino, To give it that stiff micro cap on top
    However you need about 40% - 50% increase in volume for latte art

    Well that works for me others may have another method

    P.S. I am not to good at latte art but I keep on trying

    KK

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Hmmmm, I can increase the volume of the milk but apart from the first few millimetres it just looks like hot milk to me with no bubbles of any sort or any sheen. I guess I have to get more milk and keep on practicing.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Newbean, unless youre willing to either drink a lot of coffees or hot chocs (or worse still, waste the milk) try practicing with just water to try and get the swirling motion happening as early as possible.

    Personally, I find placing the steam wand close to the side of the jug allows me to get the milk rotating in a circular motion.

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    Senior Member benandfaith's Avatar
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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    I too place my wand close to the side of the jug and create the swirling motion which folds the frothed milk in with the rest of the milk at the bottom.

    I have also found that you really need to start this swirling motion (I think the technically term might be whirlpool action) fairly early on - I do it by feel - once the jug starts to feel slightly warm, I sink the wand significantly below the surface to get it to start swirling. By this stage, about 30% increase in volume has occured and as the steam swirls the milk, it increases a bit more up to around 50% increase, but its microfoam throughout as opposed to stiff foam sitting on the top.

    The other factor may be steam power - I have a Silvia and the steam power is a lot greater than the Cafe Ristretto... I haved used Ristretto and similar machines and it did require a slightly different technique and timing, but the principles are basically the same I think...

    Hope it works out for you!

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    I get the whirlpool going from the very start, just at the top of the milk, wand close to the edge of the mug. For small amounts of milk (enough for 1 - 2 coffees) there isnt much of a need for plunging the wand.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Also, a lot of instructional booklets that come with the machines would tell you to start steaming after the boiler goes off, or if the "ready" light comes on to indicate its ready. What happens then is the boiler is no longer actively boiling the water into steam. To get the best steaming out of the machine, ignore that instruction and start steaming before the boiler shuts off so that the boiler is still going as you steam and throughout the entire steaming process.
    what you might need to do is activate the steam button and use a stopwatch to time how long it takes before the boiler shuts off. Next time you want to steam milk, start steaming 10 seconds before the time you had the boiler go off. If the boiler goes off in the middle of steaming, try again the next time 20 seconds before etc...

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    I havent used any pro equipment, only a Sunbeam EM3800 and a Breville Ikon and I have to say that while getting the head at the right height above and then below the surface at the right temperatures is important Ive found that the most important thing to getting microfoam is that you have the whirlpool going, especially after you sink the tip and start stretching it (is stretching right?) ... that way youre incorporating your textured bubbly milk with the warmed milk below it.

    Thats what Ive found is increasing my milk quality more than anything, the whirlpool! The temperature and getting the tip at the right height I found easy, but the consistent whirlpool is what is evading me at the moment :)

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    My machine has a 4 hole tip and it takes 5 to 8 seconds to get perfect results

    I hold the tip right in the centre of the jug at 90 deg steam holes just under milk "dont be tempted to add more air keep tip just under"
    And after it starts foaming I slowly move jug to one side untill wand touches side of jug and untill foaming is complete

    I have not had experience with your machine and it may take a few seconds more than my machine
    but you can give my method a try it cant hurt

    But the best tip I can give you is use a 300ml jug it is 100% easier with a small amount of milk.

    KK


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    Ali
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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    New Bean have you seen the Sunbeam DVD or put your name down for attending the Sunbeam coffee course. I am going to the course in a few weeks but found the DVD pretty good to get me started.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Hi Newbean, using full cream milk gives better microfoam than skim milk, it tends to texture the whole jug and then separate gradually, whereas skim separates quickly and concentrates at tip of the jug.
    Full cream also makes a sweeter flat white or latte than skim.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Ive given it a few more goes since I last posted and I think my steam wand placement needs some work as Im finding it a bit awkward to get the right angle to keep the whirlpool going and keep the wand submerged. Maybe this has to do with the size of the jug like you said Koffee Kosmo.

    I havent seen the Sunbeam DVD, where would I get one?

    Theres a least a bit of progress. My last attempt seemed to have a thicker look to it than before when I swirled it.

    One thing Ive learned is that the wand can shoot out a lot of hot water for the first few seconds and then very wet steam for a few seconds after that.

    I only ever use full cream milk, not a big fan of skim :)

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    I dont think it was mentioned before in this thread, it might help to tilt the jug a bit too with the steam closer to the side that lower.... or experiment and see which tilt works to have the swirling motion. For small boiler machines, the 300ml jug is a must.

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    Ali
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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Quote Originally Posted by New Bean link=1213516502/0#12 date=1213690398
    I havent seen the Sunbeam DVD, where would I get one?
    Mine came with my machine (I have a 6910). Why dont you call customer service and see if they can send you one? It really helped me get a better angle and place the jug so that I now get a whirlpool more easily.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    I just sent Sunbeam an email about the DVD. Hopefully I might hear back tomorrow.

    Ill have to look into getting a smaller jug. The one that came with the machine I got is 600ml.

    The beans I ordered should be here by the weekend and I can start using the milk to make coffee instead of milo.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Quote Originally Posted by New Bean link=1213516502/0#12 date=1213690398
    *snip*
    One thing Ive learned is that the wand can shoot out a lot of hot water for the first few seconds and then very wet steam for a few seconds after that.
    Dont use the hot water or very wet steam! I express that into a heat-proof glass and discard. Then I steam the milk.
    Greg

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Greg you beat me to it

    You answered exactly what I was going to say
    However I use a micro fibre cloth over the wand and let it blast.

    KK

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    I dont have the class of you two blokes, I use an old poweraid bottle for blasting into (good for refilling the tank too. /thumbs up/ ) :)


    Cheers...................Sean

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Yep, you want to see dry steam before you start. I just point my steam wand into my basin ... fortunately the Minore has a long wand and big basin ;)

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    It also helps build the steam back up. With the 6910 I find that the steam takes a few seconds to realise its turned on,so the preblast is a must do.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    The beans I ordered should be here today or tomorrow and Ive put off practicing till then...

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    I got a 340ml jug today. I gave it a go this arve but I really need to work on it. I get volume increase but not as much as I should be.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Quote Originally Posted by New Bean link=1213516502/0#15 date=1213700837
    I just sent Sunbeam an email about the DVD. Hopefully I might hear back tomorrow.

    Ill have to look into getting a smaller jug. The one that came with the machine I got is 600ml.

    The beans I ordered should be here by the weekend and I can start using the milk to make coffee instead of milo.

    Im using an EM4800, and i do have some difficulty getting consistent foamed milk using the 600ml pitcher that comes with it. It doesnt help that the EM4800s wand is almost vertical (!) and slightly bent inwards..

    Try using a 300ml pitcher. Youll find that the milk spins around a lot quicker when you get the "right angle" for your machine.. Its that spinning after expansion that makes the foam homogenous..

    Pro machines have nicely angled wands,... and even angled steam vents to make the milk spin more quickly.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Nop. They have lots of holes and steams in like seconds. Much harder IMO :D

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    The beans I ordered (from The Coffee Barun) arrived today so I got my first chance to try making an actual coffee but since this is the milk texturing section Ill stick to that :)

    Everyone who mentioned getting a smaller jug was absolutely right. Although I still havent got it right yet the consistency was much more creamy but there was only about a 20% increase in volume. Im going to play around with wand placement on the weekend since my last attempt seemed to be a lot more effective than my other ones.

    Oh, and I got a reply from Sunbeam yesterday. The only way to get the DVD is to get a machine that comes with it.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    I have a Breville Roma that doesnt have a heap of powerful steam, and only one steam setting (ON or OFF) so:

    a) I always bleed the wand first until dryer steam starts (which is still wet *:()
    b) hold my jug at a 45* angle to help the swirl commence
    c) point the wand towards the side of the jug but a few centimetres in from the side, just on top of the milk for that nice swishh swishhh sound, and to help the swirl start.

    I find that my little thermoblock machine gradually builds up more and more pressure until halfway through the microfoaming it finally reaches its peak and swirls properly so it starts incorporating the foam into the rest of the mik.

    I usually have to keep microfoaming through to 60*C, which is a lot higher than most machines have to. I use a 600ml jug with about 250ml milk usually and stretch it to about double as I make 2 larger coffees at a time. (Too big for my little machine ;))

    My 300ml jug is much quicker and easier to get the swirl started, and I can stop microfoaming at about 50*C. Ive never managed it successfully at 40*C.

    The machine at work makes microfoam in half the time or less.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Ive actually almost got it now! I can easily stretch the milk but I get a layer of still foam on top but I think this is because my wand control isnt that great yet. Still, this is major progress for me :D

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Intellidepth link=1213516502/20#26 date=1214566159
    a) I always bleed the wand first until dryer steam starts (which is still wet :()
    b) hold my jug at a 45* angle to help the swirl commence
    c) point the wand towards the side of the jug but a few centimetres in from the side, just on top of the milk for that nice swishh swishhh sound, and to help the swirl start.

    Breville Cafe Roma (gift) | Compak K3T in transit | Corretto in the making | rotten plastic tamper
    Sounds like youve got it pretty well sussed out now Id.... Wait til that new K3T turns up, youll be in coffee heaven 8-) once you get her dialled-in. Might have to get someone to shout you a new decent Tamper though, those plastic ones are definitely the pits.... :P

    Cheers :),
    Mal.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    For sure Mal, Ive lined up Pullman for the tamper job as soon as the K3T has been played with and I decide which basket I want to keep.

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Intellidepth link=1213516502/20#29 date=1214607341
    For sure Mal, Ive lined up Pullman for the tamper job as soon as the K3T has been played with and I decide which basket I want to keep.

    Yep the Pullman tamper is the way to go Intellidepth
    I found that when I switched to the Pullman everything was better
    From the extraction to the puck
    I had a tendency to over press the grinds at first but soon found the sweet spot
    KK

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    New Bean - I did the Sunbeam course a couple of weeks ago and they gave copies of the dvd to those who didnt get them with their machines :)

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Shanna7 - Thanks! I just checked the registration site and I cant even book a spot without having bought a machine that would have come with a DVD :)

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    Re: Milk Texturing Question

    Thats a shame New Bean...



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