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  1. #1
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Surfing the foam hole
    Ladies and gentlemen, I do believe I have FINALLY learned the trick to making foam for cappuccino. If you've never done this you might think it's easy but it's not. It requires a knack, a kind of zen-like sense of where the milk is, concealed beneath the burgeoning foam, so that you can, as one afficionado puts it, "surf the foam hole" in order to get as much foam as possible from your milk.

    Well I done did done it tonight. Finally. Granted it was with skim milk which is easier to foam than whole milk, but I did it nonetheless. Hubby pronounced it good, and being homemade it was a hell of a lot cheaper than Starbucks.

    Amen and pass the cocoa powder! :slurp:

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Cool
    isn't it great when a plan comes together?


  3. #3
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Yeah Herb, it's been a struggle, having to drink all my failed abominations. lol!

    Couple of things are important.

    1. Make sure the steam nozzle and tip are clean and dry.
    2. Use a handled stainless steel pitcher for the milk.
    3. The milk and the pitcher should be very cold.
    4. Open the steam release valve all the way and let 'er rip.
    5. Surf the foam hole to get the most foam and the best foam (called microfoam by the experts).

    It's part science and part art and completely worth it. I expect I'll continue to have spectacular failures but what the hell...it ain't no hardship drinking espresso, ya know? (Especially since my failures usually get a compensatory splash of Kahlua.)

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager jonlevine's Avatar
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    Another little tip I can share from my days behind the bar:

    After creating the foam, let it stand undisturbed for about 30 seconds. This allows the foam to condense a little, making it thicker and more sturdy. Then you can dollop it on and it will form a nice little tip at the top.

    Enjoy!

  5. #5
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    You now have content and an educational system for your next content site devoted to "homemade it was a hell of a lot cheaper than Starbucks."

    Now you just need, "Expresso, Cuban Cafe", then us from Miami folks can finally travel.


  6. #6
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Thanks Jon for that tip. I am in awe of anyone who has worn the title "barista."

    Jorge, you're right...I do have content! :duh: I gotta write me an article about my adventures in pursuit of microfoam.

    Jorge, what's different about Cuban espresso? I'm using a very good (and expensive) imported Italian grind. Traditionally in Italy espresso is served with grated lemon peel. How is it done in Cuba? (You can't hear me but I'm pronouncing it coo-bah.)

  7. #7
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    No offense to anybody else, but I, as a true coffee lover, am mortified by the very idea of putting foam on top of coffee.

    Remember the story of how Jesus created a big mess at the money-changer's tables at the church bazaar? If he were here today he would go postal in Starbucks for hurtin' certain.

    Coffee with foam on top is like sex using cheap condom.

    Coffee lovers of the world must unite and fight the power that wants to drape the foam over the coffee and pull the wool over our eyes to extract 5 bucks for a cup.

    Next thing you know they'll be putting crushed ice in our beer, like the fountain drinks at McDonald's and Burger King.
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  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Sheri's Avatar
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    I don't know about any of that stuff, but I will nominate Rhea's thread title for the "thread title that sounds dirty, but isn't" award for the month.



    Sheri

  9. #9
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    davidh, how the hell would you know how Jesus drank his coffee? :sheesh: Some people just can't stand to see anyone else having any fun.

    Sheri, I chose the title for just the reason you mentioned. I figured I'd get more people to read it that way. (This marketing stuff comes in handy sometimes.)

  10. #10
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Seriously Sheri , I wasn't quite sure what I'd expect to see when I saw the title

    Congrats Rhea Achieving a perfect foam is crucial for a real cappuccino. I'm too damn lazy to keep cleaning the nozzle so I just go to Starbucks
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  11. #11
    Internet Cowboy
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    Congrats on your conquest Rhea, but I agree with David. Foam has no place on coffee unless it is a cup of the styro variety holding the drink. Community In Between Roast, straight up...that's a good cup of coffee. Black and strong!

    On a side note, when I lived in Miami I went shopping at the Publix in the Gables. They sell Cuban coffee there. I would have a few shots of that and be zooooooming up and down those aisles!

  12. #12
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Real coffee lovers are happy to drink it any way at all. Except decaf. :P

  13. #13
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Hey Haiko, if you're heading to Starbucks wouldja bring me back a vente cappuccino and a package of madeleines?

    Thanks, man!

  14. #14
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    :sheesh: Some people just can't stand to see anyone else having any fun.
    Rhea one day I will treat you to a cup of my special brew.

    You'll have to fasten your seatbelt and pin down your wig first.
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  15. #15
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    You're on David. But don't underestimate me. I'm one of those people who drinks a pot plus a day and the last thing I do before bedtime is have another cup.

    I can drink it hot, cold, foamy, straight, au lait, with a twist, with a shot or with a dollop of mold on top. In fact the only way I won't drink it is decaf.

  16. #16
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Do you get up in the middle of the night, have a cup of coffee, and then go back to bed?

    Perhaps we are soul-mates
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  17. #17
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Nice of you to ask, but I already have a soulmate and I'm not finished with him yet. The only way he'll drink coffee is cappuccino but other than that he's pretty cool.

  18. #18
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Starbucks hates me. I always ask for a medium black coffee. They have no idea what to do.

    My wife makes 'chino at home, so I will share this tip with her.
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  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager parmstro's Avatar
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    More foam wizardry...
    Having worn the barista title for a turn, another trick that I found was, once the milk is foamed, giving the steel jug a few solid whacks on the counter (obviously not so hard that the milk slops out). It helps the foam compress by getting rid of some of the larger, less desirable bubbles.

    I discovered this while working in a fancy hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand and as the head barkeep, I was responsible for anything from coffees to cocktails. I have to say if there were only two things I did right there, they were my cappuccinos and my margaritas (the unblended variety). Boy could I use the latter right now.

    11am isn't too early, is it?

    P.

  20. #20
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    I've been outdone!

    A couple of days ago hubby said he'd like to try making cappuccino and asked if I'd mentor him. No problem. He poured milk, closed valves, filled the coffee filter and got everything right. And when it came time to foam the milk it became apparent that hubby is the zen master of making microfoam. His first try at it he aced it! Woohoo!

    I relieved myself of 'cino duty and reassigned it to hubby. He now wears the mantle of barista at our house. (But I still gotta do the cleanup.)

  21. #21
    Member HarveyC's Avatar
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    Real coffee lovers are happy to drink it any way at all. Except decaf. :P
    Agreed. Although I must confess, I'm not too keen on foam, although it's growing on me with a nice latte - I'm getting one of these this week, so I'd better get used to it

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