Competition season has begun in earnest and we look to the stars for guidance. Learn from our national champions and you might just join their ranks in Dublin in June. So Capo Chiu. How did you do that four Capps in one go thing? Mr Babinski and Mr Licata did it too. Here’s how we’ve started teaching our baristas at Prufrock.
If you can master this you will increase your service speed by about 14% and your customer satisfaction immeasurably.
Here’s what to do:
To make 4 x 4-7oz drinks choose a 30oz pitcher. If you’re going long you’ll need to step up to a 40oz pitcher. (You probably threw those away at the start of the 3rd wave;D) You’ll need 3 spare pitchers ready as well. I certainly prefer 12oz Olympia jugs myself if the handle is actually welded on straight. Not always the case.
After aerating and heating all the milk you need, then visualise your steamed milk in 8 parts. Each part constitutes half the amount you need for each of your four drinks.
The drainage speed for full cream milk is a little slower than other milks so this advice is most effective for full cream milk milk and this should make pouring latte art will be easier.
The few seconds it takes to wipe and purge the steam wand means that Part 1 at the top of the milk pitcher is the foamiest, part two the second most foamy, right down to part 8; the milkiest. Next you start to separate out the parts, pouring part one into a spare jug, part two into the next spare and part three into the third spare jug. Then with parts 4 and 5, pour your first milk drink from the large jug. (If you prefer to pour from a smaller jug, pour parts 4 and 5 into a fourth spare jug and pour the first drink)
Remaining in the large pitcher are parts 6,7 and 8. Portion these in reverse order so 6 goes with part 3, seven with part 2 and 8 with part 1. Get me? Part seven is the second most milky and part two is the second most foamy. Part 8, the milkiest portion at the bottom of the pitcher can be combined with part one, the foamiest section from the top.
This process adds about 10-15 seconds to the overall prep time for four drinks. It’s obviously much faster just to pour four drinks from top to bottom but that will make the first drink considerably more foamy than the fourth and your latte art will suffer if you attempt to pour a pattern with an overly full jug. Much easier to pour good latte art with the exact quantity needed for the drink and no wastage.
Some swirling will be needed to recombine the foam so we also stress the importance of choosing a pattern that is quicker to pour for competition and for busy periods in cafes.
Master this and you will find yourself with a good 10 minutes for banter and sig drink prep with the judges and we’ll see you in Dublin.