Friday, December 12, 2008

Making a better latte

Expanding and refining my 11 steps to a fine latte...

Go for a double. Making a double-shot really is much easier than preparing a single. I think it's due mainly to the larger basket that masks any inaccuracies when dosing. Also, with the Rancilio Silvia and baskets by Lamarzocco (Rancilio's single does not work for me), it is easier to tighten the portafilter using the double-shot basket.

These are my usual steps:
  • Make sure the machine is heated up well
  • Press the steam switch
  • Fill a large (250 ml) cup with milk nearly halfway
  • Let out steam until it comes out dry, but don't let the lamp go off
  • Stretch the milk to the top
  • Depress the steam switch
  • Sink the wand and heat the milk thoroughly
  • Bump the cup to get rid of larger bubbles
  • Wipe the steam wand clean
  • Insert the portafilter into the (doser-less) grinder
  • Test the brewgroup to see if the temperature is right (no extreme steaming)
  • Dose into the portafilter
  • Tamp well
  • Brew the shot (about 27 sec for 30/60 ml - single/double)
  • Old - Pour it through the milk
  • Old - Rinse the shot glass with some extra hot water
  • Clean the group head, basket & portafilter
  • Enjoy
I have now found that the result is _much_ better when steaming the milk in a steaming pitcher and pouring the result onto the espresso, brewed into the preheated cup. Now I can enjoy my single-shot as much as one half of a double shot. Surprising but replicable.

BTW, I very much enjoy my Ilsa Anniversario lattiera. It makes steaming even more fun.

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