Steaming Oatly oat milk issues

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

#1: Post by clokwork »

I'm fairly new to simple latte art. I find when I steam my oat milk, I tend to get too much froth. I assume I'm introducing too much air. My technique is to put in just the very tip of the wand off center. I steam until my hand gets quite uncomfortable to the heat. I get a good swirl going each time. The power of the GS3 quickly adds perceived volume to the pitcher due to the power, so I was thinking I didn't have to lower the wand into the oat milk any further.

I tap the pitcher on the counter to get rid of excess bubbles and swirl. I pour fairly gently from about maybe 3 inches until I want to make a heart and then get the pitcher spout very close.

Do any flaws immediately stick out in my process?

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Jaroslav
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#2: Post by Jaroslav »

Is it the barista edition?

Depending on the pitcher (I use the one that came with my Linea), I like to submerge at least half of tip (if not the whole) tiny bit left off centre, full blast and let it swirl, then really gently let a few small surps of air in by pulling the pitcher down just a few millimeters. It may seem not enough at first, but will result in just enough foam. Sometimes when I'm too sleepy, I slip the pitcher too low and let too much air in at once, it gets foamy. This takes some practice and I can't recommend enough to stick with one pitcher.

Not like I'm some latte artist but it took a lot of practice before I could get nice oat milk constantly :) I also recommend Califia barista edition (just recently became available here in Ireland) over Oatly. The taste is much more neutral, Oatly is overly oaty and sweet.

Another thing I've learned is that plant based milks get hot very quickly. I usually stop once the pitcher only starts getting close to be too hot to hold (even before you can't hold it anymore, if that makes any sense). Overheated oat milk will result in dry and overly foamy texture, this is where most coffee shops fail at serving nicely steamed plant milks. I recommend you stop before the point where most people tell you to stop - before it's uncomfortable to hold.

I hope this helps!
Jaroslav

crwper

#3: Post by crwper »

For Oatly Barista, I use a technique very similar to the one described by Jaroslav. In terms of basic positioning, I follow the advice given by Lance Hedrick in his latte art series:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL ... jfIQt8Q_0j

I start with the tip fully submerged, then bring it up until I hear it drawing just the slightest amount of air in (just a faint "psss"). As air is added, the surface will come up a little. I chase it for a few seconds, raising the tip just a tiny bit to keep that faint sound, then submerge the tip so that it just sets up a rolling vortex. How long you chase it will determine how much air is added, so if you find it's a little too foamy, you can submerge the tip just a little sooner next time. Once the tip is sumberged, I go until the pitcher is uncomfortable to hold, turn off the steam, then remove the steam wand from the pitcher.

Like Jaroslav, I find that if I'm not payng attention, or if the swirling action gets a bit too pronounced and the tip gets one big slurp of air, it's best to spend the rest of the time just using the vortex to roll that in. If I get two big slurps of air, I've got a cappuccino instead of a flat white. :-) It seems like it's really tricky to find that balance with oat milk, getting just the right texture, but I do think it's possible with practice.

Michael

Nyles855

#4: Post by Nyles855 »

Slightly off topic, but does anyone find that oat milk tastes a bit off when steaming it? I read that it can handle a higher temperature than regular milk, but man it just tastes off after steaming it - even the barista edition.

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Kaffee Bitte

#5: Post by Kaffee Bitte » replying to Nyles855 »

I have found some cartons can have a stale taste at times, but this taste is there if steaming or drinking cold. However the off flavor you are probably tasting is from taking it hotter than milk. i think it has a slight burnt cereal flavor Don't believe the "can steam hotter than milk" hype. It's bull. I steam to 130 to 140 range. About 150 degrees and above the foam goes big and bubbly and doesn't even satisfy for a cappaccino foam any more. My best latte art foam and cappaccino foam have always been closer to 130 deg.
Sadly this makes microfoam difficult since you have a smaller window for steaming.

The above folks pretty much described foaming oat milk as I learned it. One thing I might add though is if going for microfoam is to aim to keep the tip in a zone of quiet. If its loud reverberations you are too deep. If it is making the hiss or even the slight bacon popping sound you are too high. If you can ride the quiet zone (and oh boy does it like to change) you should end up with a nice microfoam. The method of slipping air in with a pssst or two can stiffen the foam quickly though can be good if you don't have a significant amount of bubbles from shaking the carton prior to pouring. If you are starting with bubbles from the shaking bury that tip and ride the quiet. Those bubbles will incorporate as microfoam in the quiet zone.

Sometimes I will also lessen my steam column as I near the end to slow the creep of larger bubbles if going near or above 140

Oatly is a bit easier overall to get nice foam but isn't as good in coffee too me.
Califia farms is my favorite in cup but also requires slight variations in technique compared with oatly. It's been a nice challenge getting good art from califia.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110
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OK31
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#6: Post by OK31 »

clokwork wrote:I'm fairly new to simple latte art. I find when I steam my oat milk, I tend to get too much froth. I assume I'm introducing too much air. My technique is to put in just the very tip of the wand off center. I steam until my hand gets quite uncomfortable to the heat. I get a good swirl going each time. The power of the GS3 quickly adds perceived volume to the pitcher due to the power, so I was thinking I didn't have to lower the wand into the oat milk any further.

I tap the pitcher on the counter to get rid of excess bubbles and swirl. I pour fairly gently from about maybe 3 inches until I want to make a heart and then get the pitcher spout very close.

Do any flaws immediately stick out in my process?
Not to throw the topic off kilter but I found Oatly and califia barista blends difficult to work with and the flavor is meh. On a recent trip I visited a cafe where they used planet oats I just am not sure which specific version but they recommended this brand minor figures and got myself the organic version. https://us.minorfigures.com/products/organic-oat-milk. Although on a pricey side if you buy a small case it is definitely a good one. I'm far from an artist but have finally been able to get a process down on my LM where I can get a decent flower. To make more palatable sometimes I put a touch of honey into the shot and mix before pouring the milk.

Milligan

#7: Post by Milligan »

crwper wrote:Once the tip is sumberged, I go until the pitcher is uncomfortable to hold, turn off the steam, then remove the steam wand from the
This never worked for me. I'm a wimp when it comes to heat. I use a little thermometer :D

I've heard some baristas go by the sound change as the milk/alt gets to the right temp.

clokwork (original poster)

#8: Post by clokwork (original poster) »

Thank you all. This is some great information. I have found a sweet spot where I can get latte art with Oatly, but it always settles as pillowy foam that doesn't have good mouth feel. I agree with some others in that Oatly doesn't taste as good steamed as it does in an iced latte. I still prefer it to Califa regarding flavor, hot haven't tried to steam Califa personally yet.

jdrobison

#9: Post by jdrobison »

I preferred Califia flavor to Oatly and found their barista blend to be better for microfoam and art, too.