Divided

Anyone else hate dividing milk? In a cafe environment, I’m well aware that steaming for two (or more) drinks at the same time, and then dividing the milk, can be valuable both timewise, and wastewise, but I never find that it works as well as steaming separately for each drink. Bit more hasstle, bit more waste, but it just seems to work better, for me. Hence, whenever I can, I prefer to steam for each drink individually. Even when it’s a large pitcher of perfectly nice microfoam, I find the temp and the texture spoils a bit more than is ideal when one divides it, especially for the second drink. I find that the latte art suffers horribly on the second pour too. Whilst we can be a very busy cafe as a whole, I guess our espresso drinks are a fairly modest percentage of everything we do, relative to some other places, and so I don’t mind the extra effort, if it means the milk drinks go out that little bit nicer… But sometimes I wonder if I’m just not dividing correctly..?

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2 Responses to “Divided”

  1. Hugo Says:

    I think of dividing as just another skill to add to the mix. I love it and I’m currently playing at four cappuccinos from one gurt jug… no prizes for guessing why… but the time you get to texture that much milk makes is silky as hell. Evening out the foam perfectly is still beyond me but… If I work it out it will make 4 capps a really, really quick job.

    Don’t forget that milk at this time of year can be a little ropey ‘cos the cows are getting all hormonal. When you swirl it, can you hear it fizzing?

    • Trevor Says:

      I agree the extra time does allow for better texture more easily. When training new staff I always get them to use more milk than they need the first few times to give them more time to texture. Steaming small amounts is always fiddley, and risky, and perhaps with that extra time, a large pitcher will always actually have a better texture than a small… But I just find that once it’s been chopped-and-changed-about, the second/final portion never seems as nice. Maybe I’m too rosetta obsessed, but if the latte art doesn’t work so well, to me, it signifies other problems too – I think maybe it’s the emulsion breaking down too much, not to mention the temp…
      But then, as you say, it might just be another skill to master.
      Also, we use only semi skimmed organic, and I know when I practised with normal full fat last year, it made things generally more velvety, which could have an impact.
      Oh no – the dredded fizzing milk! …It’s only a matter of time!

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