12.05.2007

The New Steam Tips Are Here!

I feel about as excited as Steve Martin in The Jerk when new phone books containing his character's name are delivered to the gas station where he works. He exclaims upon reading his name 'in print' for the first time, "Things are going to start happening to me now!"
Well, things are going to start happening to the LRBC now. Perfectly steamed milk to be specific.

Thanks to Joel for bringing over the new tip that the folks at Coffeehouse Northwest and Acorn are already raving about. Both coffee shops work with the same brand of espresso machine we use, and both have switched at least one of the tips on their steam wands from the stock tip (pictured on the left) to a more restrictive steam tip (pictured on the right).

My first impressions? While the old tip allowed for milk to be steamed very rapidly, it also allowed for very little margin of error due to the powerful volume of steam it released. Ironically, over the past few days I have just begun to feel as though I am getting the hang of consistently steaming high quality latte milk on the Synesso (this after three months spent working on the machine). So along comes Joel with the new tip. Without making any adjustments to the pressure, the amount of time it takes to produce quality milk is increased. That said, after working with the new steam tip for a few hours it seems much easier to produce quality milk on a consistent basis.

Part of the inspiration behind us trying out the new tip is that we are hoping to talk the folks of Coffeehouse Northwest into doing a milk steaming workshop for everybody at LRBC. NW uses the same machine as us, and now with our new tip, we have yet another variable in common. Only differences left are our steaming pressures and the milk we use. Yes, those are big differences, but the thought of learning from these guys (who we consider to be in a class of their own) has us more excited than ever about hot milk.

Oh, and we are fully stocked with Kenya Thika Gethumbwini Peaberry for the remainder of the week. This is definitely among my favorite CCR coffees out there right now. Stop by for a cup, or stay and savor a French press all to yourself.

2 comments:

Tim said...

Hooray! I'm excited to have a bit larger margin of error (hopefully) with the new tips. I think it will really make a difference with drinks that require more foam, like cappuccinos, as the standard tip tends to produce much larger bubbles in the milk if you slip up at all. Also, I think it will be good for soy milk, because in my experience, soy tends to scald when steamed too rapidly, leaving a really bad flavor in your mouth. But even if nobody else is, i am excited.

Mike said...

We used a different restricted steam tip for a few months before moving back to the stock ones. I'd love to hear your opinion after awhile of usage; are customers waiting longer for drinks during busier periods? Will you bump up steam pressure to compensate?