Milk Science

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Facts About Foam

MS 4.07 The Milk Pitcher

Making Milk Jugs – Matt explains the manufacturing process of a milk pitcher.


Axial Alignment

The low price point of most milk pitchers ensures that little attention is paid to the assembly of pitcher handles. In order to achieve a ±2-mm precision with the Barista Hustle milk pitcher, we had to develop our own QC jig, where the pitcher was tested against the jig and lined up to ensure the alignment fell with the ±2-mm tolerance we set. It was also necessary for us to retool — ten times more often than is normal in the industry — the machine that shapes the spout.

The Axially Aligned BH Milk Pitcher


Spout Shape

The width of the spout on a milk pitcher affects your ability to position the lines in your milk patterns. If your milk pitcher has no spout at all — as was the case in the early days of specialty coffee — you cannot avoid a waterfall effect, even when pouring at close range. We will discuss this issue in detail in Lesson 7.3. In brief, the waterfall effect occurs at an overly high flow rate, when surface material is drawn towards the flow and pushed under the surface.

If the spout is far too pointed, aside from restricting the flow, the regular cylindrical shape of your cascading milk forms an irregular shape. This reduces your ability to leave clear, wide lines on the surface of the beverage.

As viewed from the side, the tilt on the tip of the spout plays an important role in what designs you can achieve. A spout angle that measures close to 90° (horizontal) from the body of the pitcher will inhibit your ability to pour designs that call for a high flow rate (see Lesson 4.7). The heart and monk’s head designs will be easier to make if your spout has a horizontal lip.