Yesterday, while I was making my morning cappuccino when I was feeling a little frustrated that even after my lesson I could not attain the density and texture I needed to make the holy grail of cappuccinos. I know, with all the madness going on in the world it is a trivial thing to fret about. And yet, I fret nonetheless. In a way, it keeps me sane. Some people go fishing. I make coffee.
Anyway, I'm feeling frustrated over my lame milk skills and without really thinking about it I put the jug under the steam wand again and open it full-throttle for a few seconds. The milk swirled around a bit and, blammo!… the perfect texture.
I was sure I could not recreate this, but I'll be a monkey's uncle, I'm consistently pulling it off. It seems like what happens is when I steam it the first time it runs out of pressure, so then when I close the valve the pressure builds up again and then I can get the much sought-after swirling action. Every machine is different and maybe this is just a quirk of mine, or maybe I'm doing something wrong to allow it to lose pressure. Whatever it is, I'm glad to have found a workaround.
Now some designs are actually starting to emerge and I'm trying to get the hang of jiggling the pour and controlling the speed of the pour. It's crazy, I know.