📹 Gaggia Cadorna: How to Make Milk Drinks

Learn how to make milk drinks on the Gaggia Cadorna Barista Plus, Cadorna Milk and Cadorna Prestige, as well as how to dispense hot water on each model and use the milk system quick clean function on the Cadorna Milk and Cadorna Prestige.


How to Make Milk Drinks on Gaggia Cadorna Espresso Machines

Milk Systems Overview

This article covers making specialty milk drinks on the Gaggia Cadorna series of espresso machines.

Where there are a few different ways the various Cadorna machines froth milk, the standout of the group is the Cadorna Barista Plus. The Cadorna Barista Plus utilizes a full commercial steam wand, which allows for texturing milk for your drinks.

As for the Cadorna Milk and Cadorna Prestige, they are "one-touch" machines, which means that with the push of a button you can produce a full specialty milk beverage from start to finish without moving your cup.

On the Cadorna Milk, Gaggia has upped the ante with something called the "Capp-In-Cup" system, which directs milk straight into your cup, as well as a pickup tube with a Cappuccinatore style frother.

As for the the Cadorna Prestige, it uses an auto-frothing carafe. A few advantages an auto-frothing carafe are the aesthetic touch of the included stainless steel accenting, as well as a handle that makes it easier to lock in and out of the machine. It also has a magnetic arm that swings shut when you're done using it. The Cadorna Prestige also has an included hot water spout, so when you've removed the carafe from the machine you can simply place that into the socket and use it to dispense water. This also prevents the machine from being an eyesore, which would be the case if the open socket had to remain exposed.

Cadorna Barista Plus

This section of the article covers using the commercial style steam wand on the Cadorna Barista Plus.

Before actually frothing milk, there are a couple of things to take note of. Firstly, when frothing for drinks you should make sure to use the appropriate sized pitcher for the amount you plan on making. By doing this, you are allowing yourself to get a "good roll" in your pitcher.

When you start frothing, the goal is to get the milk to fold over itself so that air gets incorporated. If you have a smaller amount of milk, it's much easier to do this with an appropriately sized pitcher. If you use a pitcher that's too large, it will be tougher to steam because ultimately it's harder to get a good roll when there's more space.

There are also a few other things to take note of when you're filling the pitcher up. For example, if you want to make a 6 ounce drink, you should find the crease inside the pitcher where the spout is located and aim for about a fingernail's width of distance between the top of your milk and the bottom of the crease. It's also important to note that you can always dump a little bit of milk if thing you've poured too much into your pitcher!

Before frothing, don't forget to brew your espresso first. This is because the boiler gets very hot when frothing and we'd have to purge some of that water to return to the proper brew temperature if we decide to froth first. So, after making your espresso first, then you should then froth your milk.

Before you start, please also be aware that steaming with these machines is a completely manual process. If you press the steam icon, your only two options will be to start or stop; there's no kind of programming that built into your machine to assist you. So, be sure to check out this article's "Cadorna Barista Plus Manual Frothing" section to stay on top of what your machine is doing at all times once the frothing begins!

Cadorna Barista Plus Manual Frothing

Before frothing, the first thing you want to do is find a container to use when purging the water condensed inside your machine's steam circuit. After pressing the steam button, press the start/stop button to begin. After pressing start/stop, the screen will display that your machine is heating up. This part of the process will only take a few moments. As the process goes on, you will see water purge out of the wand first. This is important because it keeps the non-steamed water from getting into your cup. Once water stops trickling from the wand and you hear a rhythmic "thunking" from your machine, that means you're at steam temperature.

Now that you've purged the water from your steam circuit, press the start/stop button again to halt the process and get ready to steam! First, remove the container with the purged water and dump that out. Next, place the pitcher containing your milk under the steam spout. To get the best froth possible, position the tip of the steam wand near the surface of the milk. You'll know you've done this successfully when you hear a tearing sound. This means air is properly being injected into the milk. You should also try to maintain a good roll of your milk, as previously discussed in the "Cadorna Barista Plus" section of this article.

Check out our "Milk Frothing for Beginners" video for excellent advice on how to improve your milk frothing ability!

If you lower your pitcher while frothing, that means you're lowering the surface of the milk so that you can add more air. This is how you can create a difference in froth texture, say for something like a cappuccino which is very foamy, or a latte which is has a much more smooth creamy texture. 

The goal is to get your milk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which you can estimate by feeling the pitcher. Typically, you want to froth until your pitcher is too hot to hold in your hands. By adhering to this rule of thumb, you are making sure the milk can stay nice and smooth. If you let it get too hot, you can rip apart the proteins in the milk and keep the froth from holding its shape.

Something else to be aware of on the Cadorna Barista Plus is the hot water function. Pressing the hot water button after you're done steaming is a good habit to get into because it allows you to purge any extra hot water out of the boiler, while also giving the steam wand a good rinse. Once you finished frothing, you should also make sure to always wipe down your steam wand.

The next step after frothing is to pour your foam to make your milk-based drink! We advise pouring your base first, which means pouring the milk under the crema before anything else, then topping you beverage with the foam that remains. 

Cadorna Milk

Now that we've covered manual frothing, the next thing we want to go over is Capp-In-Cup frothing with the Cadorna Milk.

Gaggia programs the drinks options on their machines to have varied orders of dispersion for coffee and milk depending on the type of drink you want to make. This is what's called a one-touch drink.

To get a one-touch drink, select simply select the drink you want, customize the drink settings and ratios how you see fit, and your machine will do the rest.

It's also worth noting that you can independently start and stop each part of a milk drink. This is useful if, for example, you wanted a little bit less coffee than you initially planned on brewing. You can stop just the coffee portion of the brewing process and proceed straight to milk frothing.

Cadorna Milk Quick Clean

Your Cadorna Milk will also prompt you from time to time to do a milk quick clean. To get this process started, put a container under your spouts and milk slide, then press start. Your machine will then purge some water through the circuit to clean out the milk slide. Just dump out the purged water from your container into the sink, and you're good to go!

Once you're finished frothing, you can leave the remaining milk in your carafe and store it in your refrigerator. Before doing that, be sure to get a towel and wipe things up. An easy way to clean up is to first disconnect the hose from the Capp-In-Cup.

You should notice a little post in the corner on the top of the carafe. That is a post for the milk pickup tube. Once you've got the tube fashioned over the post, wipe off any excess milk or water that has splashed on the top of the carafe. Then, you can store it in the refrigerator for future use.

Gaggia also produces a full glass milk carafe with markings along the side and a post, just like the plastic version. The Gaggia Glass Milk Carafe is great if you're looking to elevate the aesthetics of your setup!

Cadorna Milk Hot Water

The Cadorna Milk is also capable of hot water dispensing via the milk system. To get hot water from your machine, simply press the hot water button, then press start. Water will come out of the milk system, then down the slide and into whatever container you've placed under it.

Similar to the Cadorna Barista Plus, you can also program your machine to have different profiles for
different amounts of water.

It's worth noting that you can actually dispense water without the milk carafe hooked in. This way, you won't need the whole assembly in place to utilize this feature. 

Cadorna Prestige

The final machine of the featured in this article is the Cadorna Prestige. In terms of automatic frothing, this machine uses a fully integrated one-touch carafe, similar to the process used by the Cadorna Milk.

The difference between the two machines is that for the Cadorna Prestige, the frothing assembly is actually contained within the top of it, making it a one-piece unit that can be fully inserted and removed
from the machine in one go.

A few things to keep note of when using the Cadorna Prestige is the tab on the carafe that lines up with the corresponding tab on the machine, as well as the post that sticks out at the end of the arm that needs to be extended for the carafe to be properly locked in place. 

Cadorna Prestige Hot Water

Another useful accessory on this machine is the hot water spout. To make use of it, the first thing to do is line up the tabs (as previously mentioned in the Cadorna Prestige section of this article) and push to lock in. Then, go to the hot water option and press start. Your machine will do the rest!

Cadorna Prestige Exclusive Drinks

In terms of the machines featured in this article, the Cadorna Prestige has the most robust drink selection. The Prestige has exclusive beverage options: Café Cortado, Flat White, Latte Macchiato XL, and Cappuccino XL.

These four drinks are only available for the Cadorna Prestige, due in large part to the it's extra tall spouts and ability to brew into larger cups.

Cadorna Prestige Flat White

Now we're going to go over how to make a flat white with the Cadorna Prestige. What's great about the flat white is that it's similar to a cappuccino, with an added "oomph" of extra coffee.

If you select flat white from the drink menu, you might notice the omission of the scoop icon. This is because the Cadorna Prestige's version of the flat white consists of grinding and brewing the coffee twice.

One thing to note is that the number that displays here this will be the total amount of coffee that is going to be dispersed over the course of both cycles. For example, if you choose to make a 3 ounce beverage, that means you're going to get about 1.5 ounces in each grind and brew cycle.

Cadorna Prestige Milk Quick Clean

Similar to the Cadorna Milk, your Cadorna Prestige will prompt you from time to time to do a milk quick clean. To get this process started, put a container under your spouts and milk slide, then press start. Your machine will then purge some water through the circuit to clean out the milk slide. Just dump out the purged water from your container into the sink, and you're good to go!

This is also a great time to go over some of the additional options available for the Cadorna Milk and Cadorna Prestige. If you go to the cleaning menu, there are additional options for both a quick milk clean  and a deep milk clean.

The process for conducting a quick milk clean has already been discussed in the beginning of this section, as well as the "Cadorna Milk Quick Clean" section of this article, so let's go over how to do a full deep milk clean.

This is a more involved process where you will need to use a milk system cleaner like Urnex Rinza Milk Frother Cleaner or Urnex Rinza M61 Acid Formula Milk Cleaning Tablets to clean the entire milk system.


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