Binder-clip to hold the thermometer while steaming

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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prof_stack

Postby prof_stack » Apr 10, 2007, 4:18 pm

I saw Alton Brown doing this on Good Eats recently and tried it and like it. The "missing" part is down flat against the cup, helping stabilize the clip.

Apologies to the oldsters if this idea has already made the rounds here:

Image
It would also work on McDonalds cups! :D
LMWDP #010

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RAS

Postby RAS » Apr 10, 2007, 4:58 pm

Yeah, I saw the episode also, and was surprised that he did a respectable job with the whole process of espresso. Didn't quite agree with him on a few points, but he's certainly made improvements through the years.

For my thermometer, I use an alligator clip which is normally used in electrical testing applications - works great. the binder clip does look like a decent variation that may actually be more functional.

On a related note, the reason I "caught" the Good Eats episode was because I set my TiVo to automatically record a program based on the key word "espresso". Cool feature of TiVo. I also have a key-word search for "coffee" which had resulted in some interesting programs.
Bob

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oofnik

Postby oofnik » Apr 10, 2007, 6:29 pm

RAS wrote:On a related note, the reason I "caught" the Good Eats episode was because I set my TiVo to automatically record a program based on the key word "espresso". Cool feature of TiVo. I also have a key-word search for "coffee" which had resulted in some interesting programs.



Cool! I need one of those...
I'm going to try that binder clip thing tonight. Looks like it would work a lot better than my current thermometer clip with rubber band contraption that keeps slipping off. Argh.

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cannonfodder
Team HB

Postby cannonfodder » Apr 10, 2007, 7:48 pm

Ditch the thermometer; use your hand, ear and eye. It is just as accurate after a little practice and less fuss. Use the thermometer to check you hand sensation. The milk will change appearance as it approaches that magic point, the sound also deepens.
Dave Stephens

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prof_stack

Postby prof_stack » Apr 10, 2007, 8:43 pm

cannonfodder wrote:Ditch the thermometer; use your hand, ear and eye. It is just as accurate after a little practice and less fuss. Use the thermometer to check your hand sensation. The milk will change appearance as it approaches that magic point, the sound also deepens.


Well, CF, I did ditch my thermometer and do all that stuff by hand, ear, and eye. Worked okay, but since I use the Sama maybe 10 times per week, I fell back to the thermometer use for consistency of temps. Works for me.

Sort of against lever machine - hand grinder - home roasting principles, I know. But for now its a neat tip and the clip makes it no fuss at all, which is why I posted the pic.
LMWDP #010

Cathi

Postby Cathi » Apr 10, 2007, 8:50 pm

I think its a great tip. The "clip" that came w/mine isn't very useful. I've tried to learn to do it w/o a thermometer, but I could never quite get the hang of it.

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cannonfodder
Team HB

Postby cannonfodder » Apr 12, 2007, 2:25 pm

I think the clip is a nifty idea, don't get me wrong. A thermometer is a bit of a crutch for lack of a better term. We become reliant on it because there is no learning involved and it removes one more variable that you have to master, not that there are a lot of variables in espresso preparation :roll: . If that is what you are comfortable with, then have at it.
Dave Stephens

scottyg514

Postby scottyg514 » Apr 12, 2007, 3:54 pm

prof_stack wrote:Well, CF, I did ditch my thermometer and do all that stuff by hand, ear, and eye. Worked okay, but since I use the Sama maybe 10 times per week, I fell back to the thermometer use for consistency of temps. Works for me.

Sort of against lever machine - hand grinder - home roasting principles, I know. But for now its a neat tip and the clip makes it no fuss at all, which is why I posted the pic.




Trouble with using your hand is that the few shop's I went into that did it that way, I walked away with a luke warm $4.00 Latte.

These were reputable shops also.

I guess they'd rather me walk away with just a warm Latte rather than them burning their hand.

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cannonfodder
Team HB

Postby cannonfodder » Apr 12, 2007, 10:39 pm

If you are not comfortable using your hand to gauge the temperature, then don't. It does take practice, unfortunately, some shops don't take the time to learn/teach or just don't care. Personally, I hit 148-150 every time, it just takes practice.
Dave Stephens

Beezer

Postby Beezer » Apr 13, 2007, 11:35 pm

I just caught the espresso episode of Good Eats. I thought it was actually pretty good, but Alton needs to learn more about frothing. He recommends heating the milk without stretching to 160 degrees, then frothing the surface for a while. He was using a turbo frother and making some huge soap bubbles. So he's getting scalded milk and bath foam. Yeesh.

Maybe Alton needs to start hanging out here.
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