So, my attempts at the world of milk drinks have yielded two distinct results. Pretty decent microfoam of limited quantity, or bigger bubbled foam of large quantity. My favorite drink is the traditional 1:1:1 cappuccino, but I'm having problems making it with delicious microfoam due to the above results of my steaming. My ideal is to create cappucino-art, but I feel far away from that. Any tips? I'm using a food thermometer and sinking my wand to the middle-bottom of the pitcher at 100 degrees, and finishing the steam at about 140 - 150 degrees. Also using a decent quantity of milk and able to achieve whirl pooling.
Well, I think your machine gives nice steam and I found it really easy to make microfoam after learning on a steamtoy. Sadly, not so on my own. Anyway, stretch by volume not temp and see if you don't get better results. I often sink early when I have hit the volume at like 80-90 degrees. I stink when I have stretched the milk about 1/2 an inch. The easy way to do this is put the milk .5 inch below the start of the spout, stretch till you hit the spout and then sink. Then if you still get a low volume consistently do 3/4 of an inch and try that for a while. And adjust from there.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
Baby steps. Work on consistently creating microfoam, then begin working with slightly larger amounts of milk, stretching longer and texturing more quickly. And when it comes to art, keep in mind that the ratio you mention for a cappuccino makes it very hard to get good definition in your pours. But again, start small first, and work your way up.
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