Espro Toroid vs Rattleware Latte Art Milk Frothing Pitcher Review
Since the milk steaming workshop I took at Intelligentsia Venice, I know the taste of my drinks have improved considerably, but my latte art skills are still much a work in progress. Upon the recommendation of a friend, I had a chance to try out the Espro Toroid milk frothing pitcher. Since I have been using a Rattleware milk frothing pitcher, I figured it would be cool to grab a gallon of milk and compare the two pitchers. I had one each of the 12 oz and 20 oz sizes to try out so I iced them all down and warmed up the CC1 for some steaming action.
Just from an appearance stand point the Espro Toroid pitchers are very nice looking, and slightly heavier in build than my Rattleware pitchers. Every review I’ve seen on the Espro Toroid has been positive with terms like “silver bullet to micro-foam” or “stick steam wand in and go”, so I was looking forward to seeing if this “cheater” pitcher would be my magic to pouring latte art.
First I started steaming with my Rattleware 20 0z pitcher like I always do.
It’s hard to see, but I’ve pretty much figured out the perfect spots to start, aerate and heat so I’ve become pretty consistent in being able to get a nice circulating roll. I still have a lack of consistency in how much to aerate, which pretty much determines if I’ll end up with latte art quality foam to pour, but that’s all operator error rather in the pitcher I’m sure.
Not bad, maybe just a touch too much aeration for latte art but definitely something that’s going to taste good.
Next I tried out the Espro Toroid, interestingly I found myself searching for the sweet spot to get the milk rolling but…
it literally found itself! I was able to get the milk rolling on the first try, definitely much easier than my first try with the Rattleware pitcher I remember.
The resulting foam again was slightly over aerated for latte art, but definitely looking sweet and tasty!
The smaller 12 oz pitchers produced similar results, just faster due to the smaller milk volumes. One thing I did notice was that the Espro Toroid 12 oz seemed a little bit easier to work with than the 20 oz version, but nothing drastically different. I also experience the same feeling with the Rattleware pitchers probably because the steam power for my CC1 is more suited to the smaller size pitcher. Another thing is that the CC1 is really good at steaming for being a single boiler so if you have a smaller home machine that is not as strong in steaming (i.e. Rancilio Silvia, Breville, Delonghi, etc.) your results may vary.
Another important note was the handle on the Espro Toroid was not as comfortable for me as the Rattleware pitcher. When I pour from the pitcher I tend to hold the pitcher at a right angle to my wrist, I just feel I have more control this way, but I noticed that the Espro Toroid pitcher’s handle is slightly tighter and results in me touching the pitcher body with my knuckles, which is not too comfortable as you can imagine holding a heated pitcher. The Rattleware pitcher has a nice extended handle in comparison with a flat top to rest my thumb which feels more easier to control for me.
The price of the Espro Toroid milk frothing pitcher in 20 oz is $36 and the 12 oz is $32 compared to only $14 for the Rattleware 20 oz pitcher or $12 for the 12 oz pitcher. For me it was definitely easier to use the Espro Toroid the first time around, but not so much better in results than the Rattleware I am used to now to justify the additional cost. If I were to jump on a unfamiliar machine I’m sure the Espro Toroid would be nice to have in the beginning, but then again I probably should try to improve my skills enough that I don’t need to rely on a special pitcher, kind of like how Tiger Woods could beat me at my home course he’s never played on with a bag of $19 clubs and range balls…I’m a firm believer that it’s all about the skills and not the hardware. Thanks to my friend for loaning me his Espro Toroid pitchers, who can pour art 1000% better than I can, and by the way hates my Rattleware pitchers, but then again he loves his Silvia compared to my CC1 so what does he know? LOL