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Anyone managed proper Latte Art with the Breville BES860XL?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Anyone managed...  
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miched
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miched
Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jul 26, 2012, 4:54am
Subject: Anyone managed proper Latte Art with the Breville BES860XL?
 

Hi guys and gals!

I recently purchased my first espresso machine, the Breville 860XL. I must say, it pulls a good shot! However, I have been going out of my mind trying to get the Latte Art right. I read in the forums that many low or medium end home machines don't have enough steam power to properly create good microfoam milk.

Has anyone here managed to do this? I read Aaron's story, in which the steam wand on his machine was replaced, and suddenly he was unable to froth milk properly - until he switched back to the old tip! Do you think it's a steam tip issue, a steam power issue, or a need-more-practice issue?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Mike
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steven_meyer
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Posted Thu Jul 26, 2012, 5:33am
Subject: Re: Anyone managed proper Latte Art with the Breville BES860XL?
 

I'm going with the need more practice option.
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miched
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miched
Joined: 25 Jul 2012
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Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jul 26, 2012, 5:40am
Subject: Re: Anyone managed proper Latte Art with the Breville BES860XL?
 

Well that's good news! As I have picked up from the other posts on these boards, this machine does not have a great following, but from your response I gather that it IS possible to make good, pouring foam!

Would love to hear from other users too!

Thanks,

Mike
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
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Posted Thu Jul 26, 2012, 9:13pm
Subject: Re: Anyone managed proper Latte Art with the Breville BES860XL?
 

It appears this machine has a "pannerelo" style steam wand, aka "froth aider."
To learn to steam properly, you should lose that and replace it (if possible) with a regulation steam wand.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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miched
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miched
Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jul 26, 2012, 11:33pm
Subject: Re: Anyone managed proper Latte Art with the Breville BES860XL?
 

Yes, good advice. It's simply a tube which pulls off. Lost it by the second day. As you said, it's an aid to help new baristas make frothy milk for cappucchinos - personally, I don't care much for such frothy foam - I'm looking for that silky, slick, uniform microfoamed milk which makes the art possible.

The steam tip "under the hood", so to speak, is a single hole tip, which produces a powerful vortex in the pitcher. My question still stands, though - is it capable of producing the microfoam I'm looking for?

Still waiting for current (or past) users of this machine out there to share their experiences!  ;o)

Regards,

Mike
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SteveRhinehart
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SteveRhinehart
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Posted Fri Jul 27, 2012, 6:50am
Subject: Re: Anyone managed proper Latte Art with the Breville BES860XL?
 

Single hole tip + vortex = possible microfoam. What stands in the way of a lot of these home machines are the weird froth aiding tips, some of which aren't removable. However, if you have enough steam power to move the milk, and you can get a no-nonsense 1-, 2-, x-hole tip on it, you're all set. In your case, it sounds like you simply need some more practice with this machine.
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MisterJohnnyT
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Joined: 13 Jan 2012
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Posted Fri Jul 27, 2012, 8:37am
Subject: Re: Anyone managed proper Latte Art with the Breville BES860XL?
 

How about blocking the air intake hole on the pannarello wand, such that you only get true steam coming out from the tip?
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miched
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miched
Joined: 25 Jul 2012
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Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jul 31, 2012, 2:51am
Subject: Re: Anyone managed proper Latte Art with the Breville BES860XL?
 

OK! steven_meyer was right on the money! The "more practice" option was the right one. Got a near-perfect heart this morning on the latte - very rewarding! And very good to know that the machine is more than capable.

Thanks for all your input!

Now off to practise some more....

Mike

miched: latte_heart_sml.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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FrankyD
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Posted Tue Jul 31, 2012, 3:12am
Subject: Re: Anyone managed proper Latte Art with the Breville BES860XL?
 

That makes me jealous. I've got a long way until I could do something like that.
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miched
Senior Member
miched
Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Aug 1, 2012, 3:56am
Subject: Re: Anyone managed proper Latte Art with the Breville BES860XL?
 

Hey FrankyD!

I also have a long way to go too! To do this with any repeatability and consistency is going to take a long time!

Follow the recommendations, and don't give up!

Regards,

Mike
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