I am a new (three week) owner of a GS/3 and have had similar issues and seen many posts on CoffeeGeek.com regarding these items - some of which are a couple of years old. So I thought I would see how people would answer this topic currently, with all experience to date.

1. I have ordered the four-tip hole from Expresso Parts, which I expect to arrive tomorrow. But I cannot imagine that it can cure the problem of condensation leaking into the pitcher when you turn off the steam at the end of the milk prep process, which seems to create a lot of bubbles, ruining microfoam no matter how well you have done until then. So question 1 is, does it deal with the "leak" of condensation at the end?

2. Even before the problem with the leak of condensation, is the microfoam tight with the new four-tip hole, I am having trouble getting any serious amount of microfoam with the wand and tip that came with the GS/3. (I want to make sure that this is not a problem of my being a hobbyist, and not a professional barista.)

3. Is it clear that you can get the new wand (non-cool touch) in the United States?

4. For a brand new (three week) owner, do you have to pay for it or will Franke provide it to me or to the distributor for free? And how long will it take to get one? And finally on this score do you or how much do you have to insist that you need the new wand, or is this problem so widely commented upon that Franke provides as a matter of course.

5. Should I contact Franke directly? I negotiated pretty hard with the distributor on price, so I don't know how much interest it will have with post sales support if this issue rises in some minds to a mere "consumer preference". (Don't get me wrong, the distributor has been superb so far. Extremely nice and responsive.) I, however, feel as if this issue ises to the level of a design defect, and that something ought to be done for those who are unhappy with the outcome. In that connection, are distributors putting on the wand as part of "warranty" support? Or is that an extra charge as well.? (I am loathe to do it myself as this is not a strength of mine!)

6. Finally, does the new wand really "cure the problem? I am not into change for change's sake. And want to be conservative here because I know my skill level is less than "world class". By analogy, I know that getting a new golf club does not make one a professional golfer! But from reading here, my definitie impression is that it will change the result for milk prep. Do you agree?

Thanks for your time. This site is great.

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New wand is not going to cure your problem, a new steam valve may give you a more positive off. This may also be a technique issue, you may be changing the position of your pitcher or not removing the tip from the milk quickly enough as you shut the valve.
Andrew, I have owned three commercial espresso machines and each one had its own peculiarity heating and making quality foam. One machine may steam slower than others even of the same make and model, some required that I move the pitcher around to decrease large foam bubbles and my present machine requires me to keep the tip in the center of the pitcher and not move it until I release the pressure.

When I was in Seattle last year we visited Espresso Specialists Inc. representative of Franke, La Marzocco and Rio. I was given the privilege to make my wife a latte and myself a cappuccino with a new La Marzocco GS3. Having been used to a machine that requires me to keep the tip in the center and stop pressure at 120f so as not to burn the milk, I duplicated this steaming without thinking of any other method, and I received perfect foam using their 2% milk. I don’t know what steam wand was on their machine.

My experience has lead me to believe that developing a technique has been more important than wands and tips and most of all I look for a brand of milk 2% or whole that is high in protein as it gives a better quality foam.
Hey Andrew--

We also just got a GS3 in the roasting space, and I've sort of been having the same problem. I honestly think that it's going to take some getting used to and working on technique, because I've voiced this problem to others and they don't seem to think it's much of an issue. One thing that did help me-- is to turn up the steam wand pressure. I don't actually know how helpful that will be to you, because I'm used to working on really high powered steam wands and so that's what has helped me. Let me know if you come up with anything that seems to help-- and how that new wand tip works out.

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