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Is there a difference in the "nature" of the steam being produced by the steamers in the espresso machines?

I have a decent espresso machine, but apparently even a professional barista who I know can't make the foam needed for cappuccino art - so I was wondering if professional espresso machines produce a steam that is different in nature compared to home ones (at least, midrange ones).

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Is your question regarding the ability to make the froth that allows foam art? –  Kristina Lopez Jan 1 '13 at 17:33
    
yes! (filler filler) –  Marcus Jan 1 '13 at 19:37

1 Answer 1

There are two major differences between frothing with a home machine versus a professional machine.

1- A professional machine will have hotter and more forceful steam.
2- A home machine will often have a "froth assistor" on the wand.

The composition of the steam, though, should be the same and you should be able to create a decent approximation of the correct kind of foam for latte art with a mid-range home machine.

There's a very nice tutorial about halfway down this page on CoffeeGeek.

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