Disappearing Milk During Latte Art Attempt - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
ZebcoKid (original poster)

#11: Post by ZebcoKid (original poster) »

Hello All,

Thank you for the input on my "Disappearing Milk...."

I watched the video, and picked up a couple ideas. I think I have been heating the milk just a bit much. I purchased a thermometer so I can get a solid feel for it...then I can tuck it away.

Also...emradguy, I think you are correct too in the inadequate incorporating the microfoam with the remainder of the milk. This morning I poured the heated milk into a second pitcher. Although the art wasn't a Rembrandt, it wasn't a Rorschach either!

Thanks again, everyone.

David

Monsterzero

#12: Post by Monsterzero »

Dave, just curious, what was your milk temperature that you were getting and are now adjusted to? I've failed trying to pour latte art and I just use the "green" section on my thermometer to stop my milk stretching.

ZebcoKid (original poster)

#13: Post by ZebcoKid (original poster) »

Monsterzero,

My thermometer arrives tomorrow. I have seen (read) many times that the mixing (introduction) of air into the milk should stop when the milk is body temperature, and the blending should stop when it's too hot to hold. I think I've been allowing the first part of the process to get too hot.

David

coffeechan

#14: Post by coffeechan »

Sounds similar to what's been happening to me that I corrected. Either injecting air beyond the ideal temperature and also steaming too hot (likely because I wanted to maximize the time to incorporate the milk). I've sped up my injection and cut the steam earlier to get better latte art pours. There will be a degree of residual carryover temperature rise after stopping. I wouldn't worry about a completely bubble-less smooth top microfoam, a few bubbles are okay to tap out and swirl prior to the pour.

I found that injecting air beyond the milk turning warm leads to a rougher top to the milk foam and overheating during incorporation causes faster separation and maybe thicker top. Thermometer is handy to troubleshoot.

ping279

#15: Post by ping279 »

It took me a couple years of practice before I could really get a good handle on latte art. Like others have said, a thermometer will help to make sure you're hitting a good temperature range. I've found that too much or too little crema can also lead to milk disappearing below the surface. It's a fine line but can be helped by making sure you get the milk and crema evenly incorporated in your initial milk pour. Circulating the milk around the mug in a circle can assist in creating an even "bed" to then make art on.

Milk consistency also plays a huge part of latte art. Making an almost paint-like viscosity from frothing the milk is a good target to aim for. I've found the easiest way to create this is to keep the wand tip just below milk surface to make that sucking sound for the first little bit of steaming. After about 10 seconds of that (depending on how quickly your milk steams) I will push the tip a little lower to switch to a solely whirlpool effect in the milk which will keep the foam incorporated while the milk continues to reach temperature. Hope that helps!

emradguy
Supporter ❤

#16: Post by emradguy »

ZebcoKid wrote:Monsterzero,

My thermometer arrives tomorrow. I have seen (read) many times that the mixing (introduction) of air into the milk should stop when the milk is body temperature, and the blending should stop when it's too hot to hold. I think I've been allowing the first part of the process to get too hot.

David
Yes, exactly this! It's a very, very common mistake! I shoot for "no longer cold", rather than "warm" to tell me when to stop the 'stretch' and focus on the 'roll' (aka vortex or whirlpool). You really don't need a thermometer, if you are actively listening to your hand feeling for these cues and, in fact, I haven't used one for years. Once you do get yours though...you'll have to look at both the dial and the wand in the milk, and feel for temp changes in your hand, all at the same time but, it'll be a great learning phase for you.

ZebcoKid (original poster)

#17: Post by ZebcoKid (original poster) »

Monsterzero,

I thought that this would be the case - not really needing the thermometer - using it solely as a learning tool. I figure for the amount I've spent on the machine, grinder, cups, etc., another $10 for a thermometer was a worthwhile investment. I just might save on coffee and milk in the future!

With gratitude,

David