Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Almost There, Kids!

Getting the right milk texture to pour latte art out of my Jura Capresso Z5 is a nightmare. The milk "steam" option on the milk nozzle really just produces hot milk, and the milk "foam" option produces ungodly amounts of foam. It's great for adding milk to coffee, or for producing cappuccinos, but for a perfectly poured latte, it's a bit difficult.

I have to switch back and forth from steam to foam to keep the foam matrix well-integrated with the greater body of milk fluid. Some extra swirling afterwords helps, but it can't fix a bad steam.

Still, I'm happy with the progress I'm making. I had to develop new pouring patterns to compensate for the milk, but it looks good.

This is the first one I did that looked good enough to call actual latte art. This was after a lot of wasted coffee and milk, one day.

This one is puffy, with large bubbles, but the definition of the art is much better. This one was a few days after the first.

And finally, my most recent one. Great foam. Great definition. I microwaved water in the cup beforehand, so the drink was blazing hot. Possibly the best drink I've ever made.

Obviously, I've still got a ways to go before I reach this guy...

(Added 4/21/09)

Woot. It's not as good as my onion above, but it's still good, and I'm getting better.

If anyone is interested, to get the milk just right, I use cold whole milk, and dispense steamed milk for 20 seconds. Then I set the nozzle halfway between max-foam and steam and dispense for 15 seconds. Then I dispense steamed milk to fill the 12oz pitcher 95% full. Make sure to give the pitcher some good whacks on the counter to pop the big bubbles and swirl for a good 10-15 seconds. In retrospect, I would have bought a 20oz pitcher. It makes it a lot easier.


Anonymous said...

Aron I think you're espresso is pouring too hot It might be the picture but I see too dark oil spots on the crema Just a thought M @ UN coffee

Aaron MC said...

Hi Mark,

Nope, that's cocoa. A jolly good dusting of it helps to accentuate the art lines. It also tastes really freakin' good.

If anything, my machine pours too cold, some of the time. Without any way to monitor boiler temp, it sometimes comes out under 150 if I use it too much in a short period of time.