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Found 19 results

  1. Hi everyone I am still getting through gallons of milk trying to get a decent technique on my Alex mk2. I am a self confessed novice, so would like some opinions on these few attempts - specifically if they are microfoam (for flat white / latte) or if they should have no visible bubbles at all. If they are supposed to have no visible bubbles, how on earth is that achieved? I am managing to get a really good whirlpool effect in the jug, I introduce a little bit of air at the start and then swirl with the tip below the surface. I tend to tilt the jug back and towards me to aid the swirl effect. I have tried adding less air (like only one or two pssstts) but then it just comes out a watery version but still with the same small bubbles. Every time I do this (and be it whole milk or semi skimmed) I get this small bubble type effect. Also, the coffee I made in the photo - I always end up with bubbles in the end result - so I am assuming it's not correct?! (single hole tip, rocket steam arm with no-burn sleeve removed, 1.2bar boiler pressure which drops and stays at 1bar during steaming). Machine was descaled fully on Saturday night, steam tip is clean. Thanks
  2. On the odd occasion i need micro foam milk it's very hit&miss, using cravendale milk as supposed to be very steady, question is, milk from fridge cold as this takes a bit longer to steam say to 70c or do you steam milk at room temperature.
  3. We are now on a health kick and full fat milk has disappeared from the fridge. I am finding it more difficult to steam skimmed milk and seem to get a harder foam, which is difficult to pour rather than something that was beginning to approach micofoam. Is this just my lack of ability of is there something about skimmed milk that makes it more difficult to steam? Paul
  4. Is there a minimum amount of milk you can get away with and still get a good microfoam? For a Cortado or Macchiato for example. I am failing to get any foamy milk, just floating froth and I wondered if you need enough milk for the foam to form without the milk overheating. I'm using a La Pavoni fitted with a single hole tip. I'm using semi milk (just tescos own brand).
  5. Most of the information I have read for frothing milk seems to involve two stages – stretching and then incorporating the stretched milk to make a micro-foam. I was intrigued to see a video ( about 1 minute in) on YouTube where the barista didn’t seem to do anything other than place the steam wand in the jug of milk (albeit he seemed to place it carefully), switch on and leave it alone to get on with it. This appeared to produce perfect results without any further intervention. My limited attempts to reproduce this have not been successful so far. Has anyone else had success with this method – or does it require the steaming power of a commercial machine to make it work?
  6. Hello folks, i have owned an ascasso espresso machine (the Arc model i think) for a couple of years and although it made decent coffee, there was something missing when compared to my favourite cafe's latte's, and also the milk would microfoam up quite nicely but i could never get the consistency to pour nice latte art patterns properly. Realising that i could never be able to spend £thousands on a proper barista machine, i came across these Fracino machines for around £660 which i enquired about at fracinoshop.com and the guy there told me that they produce barista quality coffee which sounded good to me but still a lot of money....so i thought about it and bit the bullet and went back to him and bought the Cherub model which was delivered yesterday, and after the age it took to peel off all the film from the chrome my thoughts were this is a nice solid (and heavy) machine that dwarfs my ascasso machine and looks nice. After a few practise shots to get the correct grind for this machine i was duly impressed by the quality of the coffee extraction, 27 seconds double espresso with tons of rich crema....but.....when i came to froth the milk my attempt ended with milk everywhere (it is awkward for a left hander to use the steamer). A few attempts later the steamer is very powerful, maybe too powerful for 1 latte or cappuccino, and not much microfoam. So reading around, i discover that people are buying different steam wand tips to improve this and would like to get maybe a 2 x 1mm holed tip and a 4 x 1mm tip so i can practise getting better foam for good latte art. My 1st question is how on earth do you change the tip,what size,the best ones to get? I would hate to break the wand and have tried doing it by hand but it won't budge. My 2nd question is, i also read about these VST filter baskets i might invest in but there are so many sizes to choose from i'm not sure which size would be a perfect size to swap for the larger basket that comes with the Cherub... has anybody bought 1? Are VST baskets the same diameter as the stock basket? Did you notice any difference in the coffee compared to the stock basket? I am quite happy with the coffee i pull with the stock equipment but i may as well improve if that's what they do, especially as xmas is coming and i am quite into making coffee and would love a nice microfoam on my milk, and while the Cherub gives tons of steam,i feel that the wand tip lets the machine down on that count. My Ascasso had the tube with the hole in the side on the steamer and found that you could get good microfoam but wasn't quite good enough for latte art pouring. Still, for £160 i found it to be a reasonable home espresso machine, but you know how it is when you get the bug and want to improve on the coffee you make. Sorry that my post is so long and hopefully you didn't fall asleep reading it but this Fracino machine is a different ball game to what i am used to. Thanks for reading, Azza.
  7. Hi, i need some advice! When I first got my machine in June, it only took a short while to begin achieving decent quality microfoam, due to lots of watching videos and reading tips beforehand. Before long i was getting done reasonable attempts at latte art to match. Good texture, sweet and delicious, see the picture: However, since about October, my microfoam has gradually gotten worse and worse. Its no longer a nice consistency. It doesn't integrate as well. The taste is still ok, but the texture is wrong. Also, whilst it may initially look like good microfoam from the top of the pitcher, with that glossy meringue effect, once pouring it becomes apparent that the microfoam is not the same texture throughout and once the drink is poured, bubbles begin to appear very quickly. This is shown in the second picture - no latte art here as it wasn't worth trying, but those bubbles appeared in seconds. Now i can't think of anything in particular that's changed in my technique. I've re-researched how to make good microfoam and started from scratch, to see if I've just forgotten, but whichever method i use, i get "ok" at best. Anyone got any ideas? Steam pressure seems fine by the way. Thanks for any help
  8. For some time I've looked at those great cappuccinos you see at the competitions and wondered how they get such nice latte art on a cappuccino. They're not pouring off the side of the jug, I know that much! So tonight I'm reading the WBC rules and the definition of a cappuccino is: So if I undertand correctly, it's a single shot, i.e. approx 1 oz, in around a 6 oz cup, with 1cm of microfoam... which I'd estimate being about 1 oz. So in a 6oz cup thats a ratio of 1:4:1 Dangerously close to a latte, no? At the very least this definition helps me understand how the latte art is achievable. It also means I can now start pouring my cappuccinos differently at home and work!
  9. Hi I've had a Gaggia Tebe machine for about 6 years and whereas I get a very decent espresso, I've always been unable to get consistent results when it comes to foaming milk. As I figured it was something I was doing inconsistently, I've now rigorously standardised my technique, but I still can't seem to isolate what the issue is. For example, as an experiment, yesterday I foamed up four different jugs of milk, all from the same bottle, kept in the fridge at the same temperature; jug kept in the same fridge between frothings; allowed 15 minutes for the machine to settle between frothings; same quantity of milk each time; ensured the wand was at the same position and angle each time; steamed to the same temperature according to my thermometer (70C); and allowed the jug to rest 30 seconds before tapping on the counter. The results were very varied. The first one developed big bubbles which when banged down made it all collapse too much so there was a bit of foam but very little; number two was as close to perfect as I ever get i.e. a relatively decent microfoam. Number three was in-between the first and second, which would be my average result; and number 4 was closer to number 2 than 3. Any advice would be very welcome as I just can't get my head around this One thing I would say though, and not sure if it has a major bearing or not. Some days I notice that the Tebe seems to be much more "pressured" than others i.e. when I open the valve some days there is a huge rush of steam, other days it's nothing as great. A fault with the machine, perhaps, although it's been like that ever since I bought it? Del
  10. Does anyone know where I can purchase a milk to perfection milk pitcher? Or is there a similar type of jug that you would recommend?
  11. Gaggia Classic in great condition for sale. 2006 model pre-philips i.e. larger solenoid / higher wattage Usual mods done (OPV adjusted, rancillio Silvia steam arm installed with a twist!) I found the Rancilio steam tip itself was still not good enough for microfoam so I fit an additional attachment mounted onto the steam wand which I have used on other machines with excellent results. You get a smaller diameter hole making it dead easy to make your microfoam with the added bonus of it now also being a no-burn easy to clean situation. It is also completely removable if you for some reason do not get on with it, unlikely.. which leaves you with the standard Silvia arm. Had been descaled before putting it away, however it has been run on filtered and bottled water. Haven't used it for 2 years now as I have other toys and I'm not allowed any more kitchen surface real estate.. You will get in addition to the standard portafilter (not to be split), A botomless portafilter + a tripple basket A knockbox A tamper A blind disk Enough Cafiza and Citric acid for a lifetime Looking for £150 collection from London, can arrange to deliver myself within London on a weekend if within North Circular boundaries. Although not keen on posting, I will at the buyers risk post with ParcelForce for an extra £15. Will pack extremely well, I promise.
  12. I bought a Dualit Espressivo last month and am more than happy with the espresso it produces. I'm less happy with the steam wand however. First off: it's really short! I bought a smaller jug than the one I had, but it's still not ideal. Does anyone know if the wand is replaceable / upgradeable? I'm happy to open it up if I know what I'm looking for; I'm used to doing basic repairs on appliances and have a set of calipers incase anthing needs measuring. I've been practicing making microfoam with it for a few weeks, with limited success. Following advice from a post I found I ditched the silicone attachment, which seemed to be useful only for creating large quantities of macrofoam. I can get microfoam going, but when the milk (soy) gets to about 40 degrees and I plunge the wand; there doesn't seem to be enough pressure to get a vortex / whirlpool going and fold it into the rest of the milk. The end result is a layer of foam on top of warm milk. It also takes a bloody long time! The temperature light goes on and off a few times whilst you're steaming. Is it possible that it's just not good enough to create microfoam with? I'm aware that bad crafts people always blame their tools, so I'm willing to persist with it if I know it's theoretically possible and just a problem with my technique
  13. Hi all, I'm considering buying a Alex Duetto II... The main features I'm after being: Dual boiler. Rotar pump. PID. Dual pressure gauges. Pre-infusion. Large (ish) water tank. I've done a load of comparison research against the La Spaz S1 and the Expobar Leva. I'm pretty happy that I've got the right machine in sight, but I've read a bunch of stuff online about issues people have had moving from something like the Silvia (1 hole in steam wand) which I have at present, to the AD II (4 holes in steam wand). Does anyone have any experience of this switch and the way they had to change their technique to continue getting good microfoam?? Additionally, is it possible to change the steam wand on the AD II to have just a 1 or 2 hole steam wand?? ---------- The other thing I have read about is the AD II generating too much heat when both boilers are left on. I presume this is more an issue with the steam boiler? Is this an issue that anyone has had much experience of?? If so how bad was it? Many thanks! Steve
  14. With my milk! About twice I've got milk perfect, but then I can never do it again, even if I do exactly the same thing. Ive got temp tags, a thermometer and a 20 oz jug and I've just also bought an espro toroid 20 oz jug to see if that helped but I still can't get it right. The main problem is I don't get any proper microfoam until the very last few ml of milk at the end of the jug, by which time the cup is full and there isn't enough milk foam to even attempt latte art, I just end up with a dribble of white foam on top. With the toroid, I tried just sticking the wand in the middle about half way down.. That didn't work, so I tried the usual way with the tip just above the surface for a while and then in the centre, that didn't work.. I tried the usual tip above the surface for the whole process and that didn't work... I'm using whole milk and the rancilio wand, and I know I can do it, as I have before, just why can't I do it consistently?
  15. For some reason when I drink an iced coffee bought outside my stomach seems to digest it comfortably. But when I make a hot pour over at home topped with micro foamed milk it seems to fill me up and make my stomach not so happy.? The coffee I make is always carefully made, beans weighed and ground by me, temperatures and brew times controlled and tastes excellent; not God shots but pretty good. I don't know the answer but my thinking is perhaps I should add some of the hot milk first to the mug and only micro foam the remainder, placing it on top with a spoon and effectively reducing the quantity of air in the brew? Plausible solution or not?
  16. Does anyone have any useful tips to make milk steaming a bit more systematic and consistent? I know my machine and I know what I'm doing but every single time I get a slightly different result from my milk, some days it's too thick, some days too thin and some days perfect, with no really significant change in my approach. What I don't have is sufficient understanding of what looks exactly right - I take a guess as to whether to pour some off or start again but sometimes when I think it's perfectly silky and paint-like it just flows out as foam - it's getting right on my ****! Thanks for any tips.
  17. For sale ESPRO Toroid milk pitchers minus original box. I have one 12oz and one 20oz pitcher that have been barely used and are in excellent condition. These pitchers are beautifully designed and solidly constructed with a fantastic feel in your hand. Pictures attached, sorry if they appear sideways .. :/ I believe most of you will know about these pitchers and how ridiculously easy it is to produce good quality microfoam, but if not please check out the link: http://espro.ca/toroid/ Its main advantages being: READY - AIM - FIRE - Perfected milk flows are created by the unique shape, which includes a simple bump in the centre and the unique wall shape. Aim at it for a perfect toroidal (donut-shaped) milk flow. Aim beside it for a perfect vortex. Steaming as easy as ready - aim - fire. FEEDBACK THAT IS EASY TO SEE - Looking down into the steaming pitcher, you can see an even flow of milk coming up all sides of the pitcher. Easy to see. Easy to teach. Easy to achieve consistent microfoam! HARNESS ALL THE STEAM YOU HAVE - Not all machines have a ton of steam! The pitcher's patent pending shape amplifies your steam, efficiently directing the milk flow along the walls and back to the steam tip. Perfect milk flow is achieved by design, not by chance. Prices including postage to UK: 12oz: £16 [sOLD to Deejaysuave] 20oz: £20 [sOLD to Gadgetz] Any questions, fire away. Christos
  18. I've just finished using my first couple of pints of whole milk. What a revelation! Dead easy to get really silky microfoam and even latte art is much easier. The reason it's taken me so long to get around to trying whole milk is the many people here and elsewhere saying that semi-skimmed is fine. Don't believe a word of it! If I'd known how much easier and tastier it is I would have switched ages ago. So, if you're having problems steaming or with the latte art, give it a go.
  19. Morning all, is there a way/has anyone attempted to modify their classic so the steam wand can be pulled out at an angle? (Business end further away from the machine) my machine has a Silvia wand which swivels out around the pipe as a pivot point but I'd like to be able to angle it to aid getting jugs in and out, and one of the instructional videos on microfoam suggested the wand needs to be at an angle of about 70 degrees.
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