What do you think of this nanofoamer for latte art?

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#1: Post by Snidel337 »

I recently saw this KS project and i wonder what is the opinion of you guys?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/su ... nanofoamer

Looks interesting for a lever machine combo (like a flair espressoforge or a robot)

I tend to think its a little over priced but the design is nice and the induction stove jug sounds nice (i had some issues finding one with a nice tip and induction compatible).

But i'm so new to latte art to even be able to analyze the design, so opinions are more than welcome :)

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#2: Post by Espressoman007 »

I agree it's a bit pricy. My concern would be how long could that kind of a motor last. In my experience similar frothers tend to last for a while, and then they stop working. I am not kind of a person who drinks or makes lattes, but if there is an insurance that they would last, I might buy one for fun. It is strange that no one responded to your question, I would also like to have a bit more info first hand.

Cheers man!

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#3: Post by myso »

I have a similar milk frother from IKEA (produkt). It cost 1€. It definitely feels 1€. BUT it can definitely save a screw up attempt at micro-foam. It is like cheating steaming. You basically unlock infinite vortex.

Nowadays I mostly use the milk frother to churn matcha but in my experience 1€ frother can definitely produce a nice enough foam for latte art from microwaved milk. You just need to strech the milk for 5 or 10 seconds like nanofoam suggests and keep turning the milk for about a minute to incorporate all the air into the milk.

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#4: Post by Bluenoser »

I got my nano-foamer a week ago.. So some background on my Latte Art journey..

After 2 years.. I can do the hearts and tulips.. The rosettas are not great.. I still need to work on the exact right texture of milk and I'm starting the pour too late and don't have enough definition in the 'leaves'..

I started on a Delonghi Dedica .. quickly ripped the panello wand off and just used the single hole rubber tube.. then graduated to a Pro500HX.. I also ripped the no-burn tube out of that to get more steam power..I've used normal frothing wands and I've tried the french press method.. I've used a Bellman Steamer that was borrowed from a friend for about 3 days.. I am really interested in the nanofoamer because I think rather than chase $6k power machines.. I'll eventually use a good grinder and a manual machine as the daily driver.. but I drink a lot of milk based drinks and I enjoy doing the Latte Art thingy.... so need good microfoam. so.. just searching for a good foamer that can do narrow, well defined lines.

The Pro500HX can do good foam. The only limit is my ability. The bellman is not bad.. my results weren't as good as with the 500, but similar. There are some good threads on HB about getting the best out of the bellman. The french press and wand were a bust for me when I tried to do rosettas.. Tulips and hearts were okay.. Doing rippled tulips/hearts (wiggling jug) were hit/miss.. mostly miss and rosettas had no great definition.

All my trials with the Nanofoamer used 200ml of liquid.

Here's what I've found with the nanofoamer, and this is only after a short trial with it.. I've only used it on a couple of milk drinks.. I used it a lot on water and soap trying to get the right texture.. On the few milk drinks I did, my foam was very 'loose' and flowed too freely to get any good definition. I found the 'on' button could be improved. It takes too much force to press (on mine) and can be tiring if you are making 2 or 3 drinks. It should be a toggle style so you don't need to continuously hold it in. (sometimes when I move the wand, my thumb is in an awkward position as I attempt to continue to hold it in) I next tried about 3 different sets of batteries in my house because I found the power in the motor was underwhelming. I can get the air into the milk in the first 10-20 seconds, but when I go to bury the wand by dipping it just so the screen is not visible (you actually tilt it a bit and put it closer to the side). the rotor slows and it feels like the air is not incorporating effectively. (this may just be perception). The web site says it makes great micro-foam in 20 seconds.. 10 to bring in air, and 10 to incorporate it. I can't get close to the 10sec of incorporation because it seems to slow down too much. The videos I've watch of other people trying it seem to show them also having the same types of problems and often they take about 1 minute, rather than 20 seconds for their process. It might be that I don't need as strong a whirlpool as I think in order to incorporate the air.

So for me, it doesn't seem great yet. If I watch most current videos on this wand, most people can only make basic tulips.. I don't see anyone making great rosettas which is the mark of good quality microfoam.

Now most of these early videos by new owners end by saying they don't have enough skill to use it yet and they seem pretty happy with it... I plan to attempt a bunch more milk drinks soon.. Need fresh batteries so I can rule that out.. But its not quite as easy/good out of the box as I had hoped. I will say that I find it better than the $5-20 foaming wands with the wire circle on the end (I tried 2 different models). But, I was expecting a little more 'grunt' from the motor.

My goal was to see if I could get foam as good as on the Pro500.. and maybe that is not realistic.. Right now I can't match Bellman quality. But it might be I need more experience.

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#5: Post by Espressoman007 »

That doesn't sound very appealing about Nano. The only thing about it that intrigues me and is different from other hand frothers is that mesh and different kind of propellers. But other than that, the motor is very questionable, as you mentioned, I would assume that frother with a cord would be much better. Among many cheap I've tried, which all died after a while, IKEA's was the best for the price (didn't' last long too), even if I had to buy a new one every month or so, I wouldn't' complain. I can make a decent micro-foam with IKEA's frother, but NANO is advertised like a real beast, hm. I like these little gadgets, but only for reasonable price. I hope it will end up being a good investment (toy) for you, rather than disappointment.
I recently bought a Silvercrest milk foamer from Lidl. It was cheap and it makes incredibly thick foam, so it's not micro-foam for lattes, rather for some kind of cappuccinos. But perhaps with switching manually off at the right moment and then turning on again and continuing, perhaps there is a way to turn that foam to micro-foam, hm, maybe. I think if they made a better program (mode) with whirling, it would do a better job for latte. I'll play a bit with it to see if it's possible. Those kind of milk foamers are much better than hand ones, because they have powerful and reliable motor.
It would be interesting to hear more about Nano foamer.


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#6: Post by Bluenoser »

Bit of a follow up.. First the best video I've seen for reviewing the Nanofoamer is below.

After watching the video below, I am getting better results. I found 2 things that made a difference..
1) fresh batteries.. in fact the video recommends getting rechargeable as the speed of motor drops off when batteries are not at peak and it mentions only doing 7 shots before you may need to charge batteries..
2) Not mentioned in this video, I found that the milk jug can affect performance. My better results are slightly taller and narrower jugs. My super sharp that has a wider bottom is harder to get a good vortex.

I have not tried more than 220ml of liquid.

I still find on mine that the switch is damn hard to hold pressed for a minute. I'll try to post some art as I get to practice more.. but when I followed the video below, I got much better results. I am using just water and soap at this stage. I'll try to post some milk trials in following weeks.

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#7: Post by Bluenoser »

Last follow-up on my trials with the NanoFoamer..

The right-hand image is a rosetta on my Pro500HX which has a good steamer.. about 1.2bar .. I removed the no-burn teflon tube for increased power and dryness. From that you can see good definition and a certain texture on top that you don't quite get on the other two.

All pours use about 200ml or g of milk.

I did a bunch of trials on water/soap with the nanoFoamer then graduated to milk.. The first several trials were busts.. I used a bunch of AA batteries laying around the house.. Some were new, but "dollar-store" variety. After watching the video posted previously, I invested $30 to get 4 Duracell AA rechargeable with the recharger. That made a huge difference.

So I probably did about 4 that didn't work out and then got the one on the left.. The milk was quite watery compared to the steam-wand variety. I attempted a few more with water/soap, then a couple with milk that didn't quite work out and then got the middle pour. That wasn't bad.. Not the same texture as the steam wand but very drinkable. It was pretty creamy..

There is a learning curve with the NanoFoamer and it really helps to have experience with a steam wand so one knows what type of foam texture to shoot for. I'm pretty fussy on my Cappucinos and I think the nanoFoamer will do good milk for those. I *do* need to practice more and can see why many say they don't have enough experience.. If my Pro500 dies and I need to look for an alternative milk-frother, I'll use the nanoFoamer, but likely I'll buy the newer Bellman steamer which can come with a pressure gauge on it.. ($200 in Canada). I find that one advantage to a steam wand is that the milk is hotter when you are finished. With the foamer it is cooling constantly while making foam.. just the opposite with a steam wand. My Cappucinos were warmer with the steam wand, which I preferred. I also suspect a good steam wand will have a bit better texture than the Nanofoamer extrapolating from my trials over the past few weeks.

I was heating the milk on the stove in the metal milk pitcher with a thermometer set for 140F,.. the idea was the pitcher would be hot and keep the milk hotter.. but it was still cooler than a steam wand when I was done frothing. I did not try the microwave for heating milk.

I've tried the cheaper frothing wands and the french-press method and I do find the nanoFoamer superior to those.. However, my ability at this point is not to the point where it can equal a steam wand.. but that may be just my lack of time using it. I am not a fan of the "On" button. It takes too much force to hold and as you move the wand around it is easy for it to deactivate and stop spinning. However, it does a pretty good job overall.

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#8: Post by Bluenoser »

4 month follow up:..

I like the NanoFoamer more now.. I had borrowed a Bellman for a few weeks and it was not as good as I had anticipated. The work-flow was more difficult.

Bellman: had to keep on burner to keep consistent steam.. with 150ml of milk it was a bit too powerful, I had to modulate the knob. The knob and handle can get very hot! Very easy to get too much air.. For Bellman, a small burner induction (with metal disk underneath) might be better.. as would a pressure gauge which they now make for extra.

Benefits of the NanoFoamer.. Much easier to predict when ready and get a fast workflow. Put on kettle. I put 150ml milk into the microwave and set for 45 seconds (this gives 140F) Prep coffee and put into Robot PF. Pour kettle boil into PF and turn on MW. Pull shot. Get milk from MW and put into pitcher. Use NanoFoamer for 45 seconds.. Pour latte art.

Nice workflow and zero water added to milk. A steamer will add 10% (generally). Latte art is as good as I could get on my Bellman, but not as good as the fine lines from the steam wand on my 2L HX boiler at 1.4 bar. Those who have lived with a Bellman longer can surely get better art .. but the NanoFoamer is actually pretty good. The rechargeable batteries are a must. My thumb is stronger now and I don't mind the button as much. :)
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#9: Post by Petyot »

Interesting... I got mine a few weeks ago and I am still in the learning curve. Can't say if I love it or hate it... I had some good results but much of the time I end up with a pitcher full of something that is useless for a Latte.

I really do think that they should have put a different button. My finger is also getting stronger but not enough yet. I have tried different pitchers but didn't noticed big differences between pitchers.

Anyway, for the price, it is worth a try.

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#10: Post by Bluenoser replying to Petyot »

I think secret is you only need a few seconds of air.. then incorporate.. 5 seconds will give too much air and often I was bringing in air when I was trying to incorporate. Narrower pitchers are good if you are using only 150ml (g) of milk..