To evaluate its performance, I’ll give you an up close look frothing with the Espro Toroid side by side against a Rattleware latte art pitcher. And you’ll see how it performs using auto frothing and manual steam wands. We’ll get to the test in a moment, but if you’re new to frothing, be sure and use the link up here to check out some of our most popular frothing videos, and I mean really popular with about 2 million views between them including Milk Frothing for beginners, 6 common milk frothing mistakes and How to Froth for Latte Art.
So on to the tests. First up is an auto frothing wand on a Gaggia Classic. It’s a bit of a challenge to produce a super fine microfoam with an auto frothing wand. They require less skill to use but you give up some control of the frothing process.
So what I hope to find out is if the toroid shape helps the milk roll more to create a finer microfilm with a sweeter and creamier mouthfeel in a finished latte. As we go through the test I’ll have some tips for getting better results from an auto-frothing wand.
Okay so first tips, with your machine up to steaming temperature purge your wand of any residual water before steaming and use cold milk from the fridge. I’m using 6 ounces of whole milk in each pitcher.
With the tip just below the surface of the milk turn the steam on. Now right away, I notice a more vigorous roll in the toroid pitcher. With the toroid, you want to point the tip straight at the dimple on the bottom.
I’ll continue with with this tip position until I feel the outside of the pitcher beginning to warm. Then lower the wand deeper to reduce the amount of air added. Going even deeper with the wand, the air intake holes are covered which stops air injection completely.
From here its finding a tip position that rolls the milk as much as possible. In the Rattleware pitcher its angled down to a corner. In the toroid again it’s straight at the dimple in the bottom.
As the milk expands, it’s a little difficult to see the rolling action. The larger bubbles which are characteristic of auto frothing wands are more concentrated on the smaller surface area of the toroid hiding what’s going on beneath the surface. I suspect the toroid pitcher’s bottom dimple is distributing the roll more evenly through the milk. In the Rattleware it appears to be more focused in one area.
After steaming wipe down the wand and purge again to expel any residual milk.
Now give the pitcher some taps and swirls to help break any larger bubbles and mix to a uniform consistency. A good froth has a nice shine and looks latex paint in a can. Both look fairly good. With the toroid just a hair shinier which may indicate a slightly finer microfoam.
Now I won’t be doing any latte art here, but as I pour you can get an idea of the milk froth consistency. No glaring differences and both froths do have a few slightly larger bubbles.
So I tasted both lattes off camera and they were close. The Rattleware pitcher maybe slightly milkier and the latte poured from the toroid a hair creamier in mouth feel and little richer in flavor.
Moving on to manual steaming I’m using a Profitec Pro 500 heat exchange machine. Same drill with purging the wand prior to steaming. Again I’m using 6 ounces of milk in each pitcher. The pro 500 has a lot more steam power than the Gaggia Classic. What I notice in the Toroid pitcher is a more uniform roll. I’m ripping in small amounts of air until the outside of the pitcher warms and then sinking the wand a little deeper to continue heating and rolling. here again the toroid appears to have a more vigorous and uniform roll.
After completion I’ll wipe and purge the wand again. And give some knocks and swirls. Compared to the auto-frothing wand, no large surface bubbles. Visually, the surface of the toroid pitcher looks just a little shinier.
Moving onto pouring, the milk from the toroid seems to have a slightly finer quality. I’m not pouring art, but the milk from the toroid looks as though it would be more capable of doing so. Tasting the drinks once again a slight difference with the edge to the toroid pitcher for mouthfeel.
So in the end only a slight difference and I cannot say it’s totally due to the frothing pitchers. Maybe my technique was just a little better using the Espro pitcher. Is the Toroid pitcher worth the extra cost? Well, maybe. Subjectively it produced a slightly creamier mouthfeel. On top of that it’s got an eye catching look with an etched logo, stamped in measuring lines and a highly polished glossy finish.
The Espro Toroid 2 pitcher comes in 12 and 20 ounce sizes. And they’re available now from wholelattelove.com. Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll come back soon for more of the good stuff on everything coffee.