Ah, that first moment getting the milk steamed right and having that beautiful snow-white circle of milk break the surface of crema. My first success wasn’t really beautiful but it was an achievement. It isn’t as easy as it seems and there is a skill to it for certain; this craft I so eagerly want to perfect.
I’m at the point now where my espresso shots are consistent and good. Steaming the milk is still hit and miss, but mostly hit, and I can gauge the temperature by hand now which is building confidence. The initial pour to mix the milk and the espresso to create a base, an even brown canvass where the art takes form, is also coming along well.
It’s the art itself which is proving elusive. I build that base and then lower the milk pitcher for the committed pour that is required to break the surface and start creating an image. This is where things start to fall apart for me. One good advancement is that I am no longer ‘surprised’ by the milk breaking through, but what to do with it is the next step for development. Keep pouring and you get that bold white circle – pull the milk through it and you get a heart. Stop the pour, push another milk dot into it, and then another and then pull it through – and you get something like what is pictured here.
This was my cappuccino from yesterday; Saturday morning. The espresso shot was nice. The base was a smooth and even brown. The milk was again not placed right and as the cup was filling faster then my skills allowed for detail, you can see how it started to break apart and lose all symmetry. That’s alright though. I’ll keep trying and will get there eventually. I’ll share a series of pictures from the past in future posts but this is this weekend’s attempt and the baseline from which I am progressing now.