How is Steam different? Three things stood out to us as we demoed the machine: low moisture steam, steam presets, and the resulting milk texture. The first is the most practical: milk will arguably be sweeter and creamier if it has 3-4% less water. Steam achieves this by utilizing a patent-pending superheater that produces drier steam, called the Vaporizer™. This allows Steam to achieve temperatures in excess of 300°F at the steam wand whereas traditional espresso machines achieve close to 212°F, and this consequently dilutes the milk with less water.
While we’re mentioning steam temperatures, it should be noted that Steam can offer a barista 4 different steaming presets, controlling both steam flowrate and temperature. Baristas have long utilized various steam tips to control flowrate, but not variably. And controlling temperature is important because experientially, Slayer has found that different milks perform better at different temperatures.
Simply put, you have not experienced how good your favorite milk can taste until you’ve used Steam to prepare it. This is because at a higher temperature, the breakdown of fats and lipids is facilitated, resulting in a mouthfeel similar to melted butter. Rather than just providing body, the fats contribute to the viscosity of the mouthfeel, resulting in a game-changing, higher flavor potential. This should grab the attention of coffee professionals and possibly even chefs interested in the potential of such a device in molecular gastronomy.
If you did not get a chance to come out this past Thursday and experience Steam while trying your hand at winning the $1300 Throwdown prize (oh, and a Baratza Sette-W grinder), Slayer will be back in town for CoffeeFest in June. Don’t miss it!
By Andrew Bettis