Total Newbie - Took me a few days to figure out frothing...

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.

Postby Kenyon1976 » Jan 06, 2019, 1:06 am

After a few tries I had the routine down (warm coffee cup, heat coffee extractor, etc.) but couldn't figure out the frothing. The language was a bit convoluted and a little misleading in some videos and forums. Three O'Clock position, you have to find the right milk, blah blah blah. I even went to a barista who told me that I had a home machine so that was the problem, steam wand isn't commercial grade..

Then I watched a simple video (finally found the right one). Half pitcher, chilled, milk isn't critical but 1-2% is probably best. Put wand in just below surface, when the steel cup gets warm to the touch move wand so top part touches side of pitcher and you get swirling effect. Run until temperature is just hot enough to be unpleasant to hold (in the bar they used a thermometer, not required in my opinion). I got perfect micro foam on my first, second and third attempt.

So excited, next is latte art!

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Postby guijan12 » Jan 06, 2019, 8:02 am

Welcome Peter.
That's how it works: trial and error. :P

And absorbing wisdom from the internet, of course. :idea:



Postby jwCrema » Jan 06, 2019, 2:48 pm

I am still working on it 5 years later. It's a journey, not a destination.

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Postby Radio.YYZ » Jan 07, 2019, 11:00 am

I am still not 100% on frothing and art, but i only do about 155ml of milk everytime.

Chris Baca did a video recently on this, its a good one:

Good Coffee: Technique/Knowledge > Grinder > Beans > Water > Machine


Postby Bluenoser » Jan 10, 2019, 8:06 am

Kenyon1976 wrote:. I got perfect micro foam on my first, second and third attempt.

So excited, next is latte art!

Grin. Show me a picture of a great tulip and Rosetta. Your definition of perfect may be redefined. I might have been a slow learner.


Postby DaveB » replying to Bluenoser » Jan 10, 2019, 10:23 am

He did say "next". While I'm capable of exquisite microfoam, I'm languishing in the "next" phase - and am going nowhere fast. 8)
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Postby hbn » Jan 10, 2019, 6:19 pm

Kenyon1976 wrote:...Then I watched a simple video (finally found the right one)....

which video? you can't tell us that and then not link the video!!! TIA :)


Postby DaveB » replying to hbn » Jan 10, 2019, 8:53 pm

FWIW, the 13 min Chris Baca video linked in post #4 is by far the best on the subject I've seen so far.
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Postby jwCrema » replying to DaveB » Jan 12, 2019, 1:31 am



Postby Bluenoser » Jan 12, 2019, 4:55 pm

I have used 2 different machines for foaming. I've found that the more pressure in the steam wand, the more consistent the micro foam. For instance, in my HX, at 1 Bar, I found that it was challenging to have the same quality of micro-foam at the end of the pour as in the beginning. Even with polishing. At 1.4 bar, it was better. Newer machines up that to 2 bar, but things happen very fast and one's technique needs to be better. (I've never used 2bar) The very fussy quality of the micro-foam is not evident until you start pouring various designs of latte art. It's easier to do tulips with foam that has a bit too much air, but if you want those lower 'leaves' to wrap around, then the foam has to be thinner and more consistent to get the white foam to swim more fluidly. Latte art has much stricter demands on the consistency of foam (and your crema has to be solid to act as the base)

More foam makes the drink taste good, while too little foam (hot milk) tastes terrible and so I always err on the side of too much air and thus it often kills any good latte art I hope to do. I often bail out in mid-pour to the 'heart'. :)