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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saraluna View Post
    I'm using a Krups coffee grinder...I was bringing the pressure up slowly because it seemed so explosive when I turned it way up.
    You need a espresso grinder, basic burr grinders such as Rancilio Rocky are not cheap, but you will need something like that or better to get decent espresso. You don't need to tamp too hard, 30 to 40 pound of pressure is plenty. For practice purpose, and to avoid wasting milk, use cold water and drop the tiniest drop of liquid dish detergent in the water, you can practice like that. See this video

    How to steam milk for Latte art taught by Scott Rao using soap and water - YouTube
    Last edited by ElPugDiablo; 12-27-2011 at 04:38 PM.
    You want cream and sugar?
    NO COFFEE FOR YOU! NEXT!

  2. #12
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    No offense, but I'd recommend real milk be used as that will allow differences in taste/texture to be detected as one learns. Using dish detergent/water is sort of like using old coffee to dial in espresso. Not really worth the effort and tail chasing that can ensue.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  3. #13
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    I may be a weakling, but 30 pounds feels "hard" to me, haha. I tried it on my bathroom scale to get a feel. That's what I meant by tamping harder than before. I've heard people say 15-20 lbs, and I've heard 30. I suppose it depends on things like your grind?

    I'm going to be working with real milk, since I'll be drinking my experiments. Shadow, I'm going to try easing back at the end instead of going hotter and hotter until optimum temp. It tends to get hot very quickly, and suddenly, in the last few seconds my way.

    I will be making lattes again tomorrow (my family is drinking my experiments too...hah!) So hoping to get more practice. I get the feeling it's going to take a lot of practice to get the right feel, but I'm looking forward to it.

  4. #14
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    A 30 lb. tamp is the "standard" most like to stick by. Main thing is to keep your tamp consistent and adjust all other variables as needed. Like I stated before, I like to tamp less/grind a bit finer as I'm going more for ristretto-like extractions. Espresso is like most other things in that you can only get so much out of it, then you look for new ways to make it more intense/flavorful. I find myself craving the syrupy/rich/heavy body 1 oz. extractions I get from my lever machine over the smoothest/most balanced extractions I've achieved with the 2 grp. Aurelia I use daily on a commercial level.

    I do recommend starting out with alot of the available steam pressure to get a nice whirlpool effect to thicken milk to what you'd like, then slow things down until the final temperature is reached. You can keep your steaming pitcher in the freezer before each use as that will give you a little more time to work with the milk until you get used to things.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadow745 View Post
    No offense, but I'd recommend real milk be used as that will allow differences in taste/texture to be detected as one learns. Using dish detergent/water is sort of like using old coffee to dial in espresso. Not really worth the effort and tail chasing that can ensue.
    None taken. In my situation, I have to train new baristi regularly, it's not worth it to start them out on milk immediately. Obviously no one is going to taste the soap and water, but texture-wise, it is almost identical, the only different I notice is soap and water heat up faster, to compensate I use a bit more water than I would have use for milk. A new barista can take 3 months to train, that is a lot of milk, its a wise dollars and cents decision
    You want cream and sugar?
    NO COFFEE FOR YOU! NEXT!

  6. #16
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    I'm going to try putting the pitcher in the freezer. I seem to be reaching max temp before I've gotten the milk where I want it. I'm actually having trouble putting it up to full steam pressure? It gets....explosive when I do this. :/

  7. #17
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    What size pitcher are you currently using and how full is it when you start? Also, how close to the surface are you keeping the tip when starting?
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  8. #18
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    The pitcher I'm using now is too large. I think 20oz. I'm getting a 12oz soon. I usually fill the pitcher up about 2/3. I try to keep the tip just a bit below the surface, angle the pitcher slightly. The full steam still causes issues, whilst I know lower steam pressure isn't giving me the results I want. Maybe it's just initially, but yesterday when I turned the steam up, I got a bunch of milk on the counter ):
    Last edited by Saraluna; 12-29-2011 at 09:33 AM.

  9. #19
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    Just keep experimenting until you find a routine that works for you. I would say practice makes perfect, but with espresso/milk texturing perfect is almost never the case. Just averaging good to great can be a challenge.

    What type of milk have you been using?
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saraluna View Post
    The pitcher I'm using now is too large. I think 20oz. I'm getting a 12oz soon. I usually fill the pitcher up about 2/3. I try to keep the tip just a bit below the surface
    try to submerge the steam tip into the milk, turn steam on at full power then slowly lower the pitcher until you hear a soft hiss. You should be able to use 1/3 milk in a 20oz pitcher and have the steam on at full power without any milk explosion. It is easier to learn on 20oz pitcher then on 12oz pitcher. The less milk you use the harder it is. Even if you want to learn on milk, you should still watch Scott Rao's soapy water video. The technique is the same.
    You want cream and sugar?
    NO COFFEE FOR YOU! NEXT!

 

 
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