I've heard varying opinions and ideas on the shelf life of an espresso shot. somewhere along the line it's been taught to the masses that a shot is good for a matter of seconds. I don't buy it. It takes longer to drink that 10seconds!!! Even with what I would consider conservative guidelines, a shot is good for 2min. I'll qualify this as my opinion because some will disagree with that. None the less, based on my experience, pulling the shot then steaming is still by far the lesser of two evils here.
So what I'm unhappy with is both the consistency/texture of the milk as well as the amount of actual microfoam I get, if any. When I first started out, I would get large bubbles and stiff foam sitting on top of flat milk. I've been able to get the bubbles smaller in the foam, but it often still sits on top of the milk, and the rest of the milk still seems flat.
Obviously can't say with 100% confidence, but I'm going to say you're over stretching the milk. Partly because it's a common "mistake" and overstreching yields dense foam atop flat milk. that combined with you steaming first, you'd be hard pressed to get anything but seperated foam and milk.
Ok I see what you mean. I was referring to that screaming sound you hear right at the start of this video lasting much longer throughout steaming the milk. I think I get the difference between the ch ch ch sound and a sh sh sh sound now after watching this and reading the posts. I think before I was unsure if the ch ch sound was too loud of a sound or not, but I see now that it is not. I'll have to try again now with this new knowledge! :)
Actually the video James posted is a solid (and please be wary of most things espresso on youtube). That's exactly what youre looking for. You're machine will make things happen a lot slower which is actually good for training. when things happen as fast as they do on a comercial machine there's little room for error.
Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 2,371 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: Vario W
Posted Sat Dec 17, 2011, 1:08pm Subject: Re: Mastering microfoam
The video with the idea of using soap is a great one. I had micro foam down on my steam toy krupps but the Oscar is giving me fits. Too much power is not always a good thing. I also hated wasting the milk on practice. I will log off and start steaming soapy water to get practice on my Oscar. Thanks for the other milk frothing play list. I will watch those also.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder. My coffee treasure map... Click Here (maps.google.com)
shmulibaby Senior Member Joined: 14 Nov 2011 Posts: 44 Location: NYC Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra Grinder: Rossi RR45, Krups Conical Drip: Melitta single cup Roaster: Popcorn Popper
Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011, 3:16pm Subject: Re: Mastering microfoam
Question on practicing with soapy water: When done correctly, does the soapy microfoam permeate the entire cup or is it limited to the surface? Every time I tried practicing with soapy water, there tends to be a layer of soap foam on top with ordinary water beneath it. Thanks.
Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011, 3:50pm Subject: Re: Mastering microfoam
If steamed correctly, soapy water will perform much like milk. That is, it should be well-mixed right off the steam, taking a minute or so for the foam to gather at the top. If you try steaming soap and pouring it into a glass vessel, and do the same with milk, you can see they have the same effect.
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 1,795 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto II Grinder: MacapM4T, Macap M4, OE Lido,... Drip: Espro press; Aeropress Roaster: internet
Posted Mon Jan 2, 2012, 10:33am Subject: Re: Mastering microfoam
regarding the sound question...
I took a one day barista class with Heather Perry (klatchroasting) several years ago (my only formal training). for those who don't know, she's won the US Barista Championship twice and took 2nd place at the World Barista Championship in Tokyo in 2007
In her class, we spent the entire afternoon session (over 3 hours) on latte and cappuccino milk and went through 10 gallons between 4 students...using commercial machines. We did not use thermometers (although I always had before the class). She also taught us to listen (the main poiint of this post) for "little whispers" in the stretching phase while lowering the pitcher nearly imperceptibly, and then, instead of plunging at body temp, to just stop lowering the pitcher.
It has worked very well for me.
I would recommend taking a class somewhere, if you can. It'll help your shots immensely as well.
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