While at the norwegian barista championship some weeks ago, I got the chance to play with some big commercials like the la marzocco linea, the rancilio classe 10 and a conti. The *really* nice fact was that the supply of milk and coffee was seemingly endless. I could make espresso and steam mlik until I got bored and too buzzed on caffeine. The first times I tried to steam I couldn't get it right. After studying the technique of the baristas I managed to adjust my method and got really nice results. Fact is that one has to be *very* careful with the tip placing when stretching, and then work to get a generous roll in the pitcher afterwards. Still I felt I had the basics covered from my time with Silvia, and it really didn't take long before I felt comfortable. The difference is in speed and power. I've since adapted the technique on my Silvia too and it works even better than before. More consistent.
It's a bit hard to describe the technique with words, but I basically do is place the steam wand along the ridge of the spout at an angle. I then concentrate on getting the milk to roll all the time, even when stretching.
I also spent time talking to the baristas who were there. Among them were last years world championship winner Fritz Storm. He's a really nice guy. I actually found out that he used an innova grinder in the championships because of its excellent adjustment mechanism! Now that's what I call a compliment! 3/01/2003 11:10:00 AM