My current obsession
GPO lucky door prize - cheese making DVD!
No, my current obsession isn't cheese making.
I just wanted to show off the lucky door prize I won at the GPO wine & cheese tasting event I went to the other week. I've never won anything before, so it was kind of cool. The wine & cheese tasting was part of the Sydney Italian Festival, a month-long event which ran over May/June this year.
It was fun - great northern Italian wine & cheeses to be had and all, but I want to go straight onto my current obsession:
Well, not coffee per se, but pouring a proper latte, froth and all.
Ever since my brother gave us a coffee machine as a wedding gift (too cool), I've been trying to pour the elusive perfect cup. The machine is pretty much a fully automated one, so it shouldn't be that hard right? But it's the milk frothing/steaming combo that gets me. The machine has a steam valve thingy which you stick into a jar of cold milk, and that is where my problem lies.
My goal is for the milk to have a lovely smooth, velvety texture. A random search on the internet reveals that I am not alone in this quest. I've been diligently watching a whole slew of "how-to" videos on You Tube, and jealously checking out some cool latte art at Rate My Rosetta
However the results I get vary from having the milk at the bottom and lots of bubbles on top, so when you pour you get runny milk and then a big blob of milk foam; or just a big blob of milk foam which, for some bizarre reason pours as a clump into the awaiting espresso. Actually, in hindsight that may be because I overdid the frothing, I think.
So now, every time I order a coffee when I'm out, I watch how the barista does it. I can only think of two things that may affect the outcome - the steam pressure and type of milk. The steam pressure on those professional coffee machines looks kick ass compared to our humble little home one, and whenever I buy a coffee it's usually with whole milk, whereas we only have low fat milk at home.
I cannot vary the steam pressure at home, but I can certainly try it with whole milk and see how it goes.
Of course the other alternative is to actually go to one of the many barista classes held around the city to find out. But that seems like a pricey way to learn. I think I'll keep to ogling professional baristas from a distance and practicing at home, for now.