Trouble Steaming 2% Milk - Page 3

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

#21: Post by Sideshow »

Plinyyounger wrote:2% doesn't make a difference. If you are getting a screeching sound then the tip is way to deep rather then shallow.
This is my experience too. The screeching sound typically indicates that the steam is blasting against the metal of the pitcher. Too high up, and it'll be breaching the surface and you'll notice that easily due to the spattering and large bubbles.

I use 2% and get great results every time. Like others have said, milk brands often make a difference. And, at the risk of starting a war, ultra-pasteurization makes a difference for some folks. For me, I can't say that it makes a difference in texture, but I can notice a difference in flavor. Same with grass-fed v. standard milk. Grass-fed gives me a better flavor, but it's obviously more expensive.

Also, make sure you're using an appropriately sized, ice cold pitcher. I didn't see anywhere in the thread as to what sized pitcher you're using, but you want to make sure the pitcher you're using is appropriate for the volume of milk that you use. I typically froth one drink at a time and don't like to waste. I use a 10 oz pitcher, filling it to about 3.5-4 oz depending on the drink. It's a little on the low side for the pitcher, but I've become adept at handling it. The more milk, the more forgiving the process will be up to a point, and then you just need a bigger pitcher.

Don't despair. Milk texturing was actually the hardest part for me to learn. I was making very good shots long before I was making good textured milk. Milk is all touch, and you just have to put in the time develop that sense.


#22: Post by SandraF »

This is a little different, but affects the steamed/frothed milk. Once you're done, do you tap the pitcher on a hard surface a few times to help dissipate any larger bubbles? I do, then sort of move my wrist side to side (holding the pitcher, of course) to incorporate it all.

I am able to see an island of overly "stiff" froth in the center, sometimes, that does not integrate with the rest of the micro foam. I try not to have that "island". Just feedback.