This blog entry is in some sense popping up out of order, but I wanted to add it in now because I am going to use it soon to suggest a cheat for those having trouble creating the perfect consistency for their milk when not milk sharing.
Milk sharing is the process of steaming a single pitcher of milk to share between two different milk drinks. You might do this, for example, if you wanted to create two cappuccinos (as an aside I can never decide if we should say two cappuccino like the Italians would since we are stealing their terminology or use our way of pluralizing) splitting a double shot between two cups. In any event decide what kind of drinks you want to produce and figure out roughly how much milk you will need. Two cappuccinos can be done in a 12oz pitcher. If you want to do two lattes you will probably need a 20oz pitcher and if you want to do one of each it is probably a matter of personal preference.
Have an empty pitcher close by in addition to the one with the milk in it. Prepare your espresso. If you can do it while you steam all the better, but if not that is not a disaster. Steam the milk as you would for a single drink. Once you have steamed the milk it is essential to move quickly. Swirl the milk and pour off somewhere between one third and one half of the milk from one pitcher to the other. Do this quickly, but not rushed. Pour it carefully as if you were pouring it into a drink – do not just dump it in. Now take the original pitcher and pour one of the drinks. Swirl both pitchers and pour the milk back from the poured off pitcher into the original pitcher. Swirl it one last time and pour the final drink. You will find that the quantity that you pour off makes a big difference to how the two drinks come out. If they are not of the same quality try increasing or decreasing how much you pour off.
The reason you are doing this is that even in very well steamed milk the top of the pitcher will still be thicker than the bottom. You pour off the top, pour the first drink from the middle and then pour it back in because otherwise the first drink will be thicker than the second.
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