Can't get cappuccino foam right

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

#1: Post by Cappucin-Monk »

Hello everyone I'm a new 'home barista' thats been trying to get the right cappuccino.I currently have the ariete Retro Espresso machine.Ive pulling both single and double shots of espresso and then trying to steam milk to get a tasty cappuccino.Whats has worked best so far is a double shot since when I try make a cappuccino with a single shot I don't taste the coffe at all just hot milk.But even with the double shot I don't get exactly the Taste I'm looking for.Sometimes too much coffe taste others just milk.Not that much foam what's so ever.So here's what I do.

First I pull the espresso shot.I use 2 table spoks for a double shot and one table spoon for a single one.I turn on and leave it till I see the coffe go blonde for the double shot it take 23-25 second from when the espresso starts pouring and for single shot 17.

Because I can't make an espresso and steam milk at the same time with my machine I first make the coffe them wait to get to the right temperature for the steaming.I steam with a small stainless pitcher which I fill a bit below the center.Not under the spout just a bit below.

my steam wand has one tip and I tilt it towards the side of the pitcher.I turn the steam wand all the way and i introduce air into the milk with the tearing paper sound till I get a lot of foam and feel it getting hot then put the steam wand in the milk for texturing I don't know if my steam wand isn't powerful enough but I can't create a vortex like the ones you see on YouTube but there's definitely some movement there going then I stop when the is almost too hot to touch not when it is when you can still hold it but feel your hand burning.

Then when I pour it I have the pitcher close to the cup tilt and pour a third way into the crema straight to get crema right around the foam.I usually have some leftover milk.When I taste it just tastes like hot milk I can't taste the coffe at all nor it is that much foamy.

I even tried to cool the pitcher to allow me to get more stretching time but still it's was the same.

I tried both 6oz classic cappuccino cups for a single cappuccino and 10oz ones for a double nothing really worked.

Is my machine too weak?Is my technique wrong what should I correct?

Thank you everyone for your help!

P.S I use whole milk.

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#2: Post by cafeIKE »

  1. Measure 120g of milk
  2. Steam until volume of milk doubles maintaining frying bacon, not tearing or ripping sound, by keeping tip just under surface
  3. Plunge tip and move to side of pitcher so as to get a good roil [lots of motion, but almost no sound]
  4. When the pitcher is too hot to touch, stop.

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#3: Post by Nunas »

Try stopping your shots before they blonde. I know it's counterintuitive, as you'll have a bit less espresso, but the espresso you produce will be more intense. Also, IMHO, your cups are too big for a true cappuccino taste. I use 6-ounce cappuccino cups for my doubles.


#4: Post by brianl »

I pull with a dose of 16g and a final weight of 15g. I froth until 90 degrees and then submerge at an angle until 120 degrees (this mixes it well). I found that any hotter than this and it loses the sweetness.


#5: Post by Iconicred »

a couple of things are going on here. i think it looks like your machine uses a pressurized portafilter and that is not generally going to get you a great shot of espresso. Also, by your description are you using pre-ground coffee? It would be better to have a consistent fresh grind with whole beans. Also weigh your beans and weigh the output of espresso, generally rule is 1:2 in around 25-30s as you probably know. These steps will give you a better espresso.

Your milk foaming is a separate issue and it may be a lack of steam pressure and not your technique because it sounds generally correct. You could try a nanofoamer that I see some people have used wit good results maybe. But yes, if you try to get enough steam in to double volume of milk that would help. Also tap the jug and it will even out the nanofoam in your jug