Friday, April 20, 2007

Making Perfect Milk with Miss Silvia

Actually, the perfect bit was just a hook. I'm not at all confident that I am yet making perfect milk with my Rancilio Silvia, but I thought that I would write down some of the things I'm doing in my pursuit of a better cup of coffee. This article is probably of little interest to those who don't like coffee, so I won't feel offended if you push off at this point ... honest.

  1. The first thing I am doing is trying to give myself a little more steaming time to get the milk right. I keep my milk chilled and the milk jug in the freezer. I reckon this gives me a few extra seconds to get the milk right before it's "cooked".
  2. Next, I am making sure that the steam is dry before starting steaming. At some point after flicking the steam switch on and before the heating light has gone off, I am turning the steam handle and letting it run into a spare jug or cup. I do this till the steam runs dry.
  3. Once the steam light is off, I am pouring my milk into the jug I have just removed from the freezer and beginning steaming. To start with I steam to get as much volume as possible while not letting the bubbles get too big. I'm aiming to have the steam wand just below the surface so it makes a sort of slurping noise, while having the steam wand at the lower left corner of the jug so that the milk swirls round the jug in a fast whirlpool. If the bubbles start appearing to large, I lower the steam wand a little.
  4. While doing this I keep my hand under the left hand under the jug to measure the heat. Once it's too hot to touch I assume the milk will be at perfect temperature with another few seconds steaming.
  5. I am aiming (for a latte anyway) to get milk where the volume has almost doubled, but I can see no visible bubbles. The surface of the milk should have a velvety sheen. If I get these two factors, plus the milk isn't too hot, I figure I have done a good job.
Thats how I do it anyway. Let me know if you have any tips for me, or you do it differently.


David Kaspar said...

Great advice, especially about making sure you have dry steam.

Except for the jug in the freezer, my milk routine is identical.

Perfect espresso shot together with perfectly steamed milk perfect cappuccino makes! :-)

Anonymous said...

Dearest son-in-law,

with all this attention to detail in making the milk perfect, I shall suggest to naaman's wife that in the future (long term maybe) that you would be the PERFECT preparer/deliverer of baby/ie's nightfeed bottles.

Love your dearest ma-in-law under a palm tree in a far country

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!