We had a customer come in the other day who claimed to have been a Barista, she admonished us for not having some type of spoon that is flat and had a v notch in it so that you can pour the steamed milk and hold back the foam. Well I have searched high and low on the net, I have asked my coffee supplier and I have asked my daughter the Pastry Chef/Barista and no one knows what this woman is talking about. Is she "yanking my chain", or is this a legitimate thing?

Chuck

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Chuck, she must have migrated from Timbuktu. Using a regular spoon and the pouring spout on the frothing pitcher you can hold back the froth. If a person had a "V" spoon and the spout on the pitcher you would have too much of a flow and you might as well not have a spoon at all. Your questioning of her statement shows the chain didn't get pulled enough.
She has probably used a bell pitcher (no spout) and home made spoon. Anyone with a grinder, hacksaw, or file could make the spoon she described.

A lot of Baristas who have experience in only one shop tend to get this type of singular attitude. When they are taught and trained that there is only one right way, it can be disconcerting to find out that there is a much wider world of technique out there. It is no fun having the rug of you own world view pulled out from under you.
Phil....... you said; "A lot of Baristas who have experience in only one shop tend to get this type of singular attitude." Let me extend that keen observation to include just about anyone who ".........doesn't get out much, and has an attitude to boot." Some who have a deep level of inadequacy, or feelings of failure, find that they can empower themselves by identifying themselves to strangers as "an expert", and then passing on "inside information", as though they're being benevolent to an underling. (Come to think of it, I've had bosses in my early career like that!?) The trade-term we now use in our industry to identify that behavior is "jackass."
I am so glad I was not drinking the milk my son had just brought me.

Al Sterling said:
Phil....... you said; "A lot of Baristas who have experience in only one shop tend to get this type of singular attitude." Let me extend that keen observation to include just about anyone who ".........doesn't get out much, and has an attitude to boot." Some who have a deep level of inadequacy, or feelings of failure, find that they can empower themselves by identifying themselves to strangers as "an expert", and then passing on "inside information", as though they're being benevolent to an underling. (Come to think of it, I've had bosses in my early career like that!?) The trade-term we now use in our industry to identify that behavior is "jackass."
Sounds like a Guinness spoon - the kind that some bartenders use to help them build black and tans. I still don't get the purpose in coffee...

I'm with Al on this one.
I agree with the above statements. I don't really see a need for such a spoon, so I wouldn't waste any more time looking for one.
Brady said:
Sounds like a Guinness spoon - the kind that some bartenders use to help them build black and tans. I still don't get the purpose in coffee...
I'm with Al on this one.

That is a spoon with a kink, I think the discussion is in regards to a spoon with a notch cut into the bowl of the spoon. At least that is my interpretation. That is why I think it was a makeshift, Gerry-rigged item.
Ok, so you're thinking something more spork-like? That was my first thought on reading the OP, but it seemed like the kinked spoon might fit that description as well, so figured I might throw that out.

Regardless, sounds useless...
We've sometimes used foam knives/spatulas with notches in them to hold back the foam, for "no foam" lattes particularly. The notch is really not that important, you can get the same effect with any flat, rounded utensil, whether your pitcher is spouted or not. I tend to think now, though, that such a utensil is mostly unnecessary, and it promotes bad habits if used too frequently--why aerate the milk so much only to hold back and throw away the foam?
It's an absinthe spoon mannnn far out....
Oh the suburbian cafe... I feel you brother.

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