How to choose right size/shape frothing pitcher

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.

#1: Post by EspressoGirl »

I have a Gaggia Classic and make one cappuccino each morning (about 4 0z. milk I think).

I have a 16 oz stainless pitcher that bows out near bottom and it seems to be too big to get the wand in the proper milk zones for microfoam.

1)What would be right volume size for about 4 oz. milk?

2)What is the difference between the straight, bell-shaped and the shape I currently have (it has a sharp angle outward below middle)?

Wouldn't straight give me the best way to get the wand to the proper depth?

Thanks for advice.

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#2: Post by Bushrod »

I use a 12 oz (350 ml) Motta for drinks that size. Works great. ... ngpitchers
Rich A

LMWDP #131

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#3: Post by roastaroma »

Ciao Sarah,

If you have not yet modded the Gaggia's steam wand, you'll have an uphill struggle to get microfoam, regardless of the pitcher. Assuming you have taken off the outer panarello sheath, the plastic nozzle is definitely on the short side. You might want to try one of these: ... o_Wand.cfm

Re pitchers, I used to think the bell shape would be better for a rolling wave (toroidal) with the wand in the center, pointing straight down. Nowadays, though, I'm not sure the pitcher shape really matters -- I now use a straight-sided pitcher with my Lusso's 3-hole steam tip, and it works brilliantly.

BTW, I agree with Bushrod that a smaller pitcher will likely produce better results when you're steaming for 1 drink at a time.

Happy Frothing,
"Non è la macchina, è la mano."
LMWDP #223


#4: Post by Marshall_S »

For an inexpensive 12 oz. pitcher (which I fill with about 4 to 5 oz. of milk) this was recommended by a
number of people and I've been very happy with it- ... tcher.html


EspressoGirl (original poster)

#5: Post by EspressoGirl (original poster) »

I already changed the wand attachment to the one you show. It was DEF'LY necessary. Too bad they just didn't make a normal-sized metal wand instead of the short one with the silly plastic piece they think will "help" people to steam.

But what size pitcher are you using for 4 oz milk? I was thinking 8 oz, probably straight, or will that be too short?

EspressoGirl (original poster)

#6: Post by EspressoGirl (original poster) »


This looks like it may be just right.


I am still interested in any other opinions as well...


#7: Post by Beezer »

I like the 12 ounce straight sided pitcher from espressoparts. Cheap and effective. You do end up wasting some milk on a standard cappuccino since you'll need to fill it halfway up, and you only need to use four ounces or so of milk. I suppose a 10 ounce pitcher would be even better to avoid any waste.
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#8: Post by cannonfodder »

4oz of milk, 8oz pitcher. You have to have room for the milk to stretch but 4oz in a 12oz pitcher could be difficult on your machine. The milk will be thin in the bottom of the pitcher, the wand may not reach it very well and the thin pool of milk will have a tendency to blow out around the wand and open a big air space which will blast dish water bubbles into the milk.
Dave Stephens

EspressoGirl (original poster)

#9: Post by EspressoGirl (original poster) »

I have measured my steam wand and it is 3 inches long. I know this comes into play too. So I am hearing that for my 4 oz. milk, either 12 oz, 10 oz or even 8oz. I am probably going with straight sided. Given the length of the wand, any new advice or something to tip the scale as to which size is best?


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#10: Post by cannonfodder »

Short wand needs a short pitcher. You could always split the two extremes and start with a 10oz for size comparison.
Dave Stephens