On espresso bars around the world...
there are a variety of steaming pitchers. They are all intended for the same basic purpose, to pour steamed milk into coffee. Yet there are many differences ranging from the subtle, to the blatantly obvious. Some even have no handles if you can believe that. Having used quite a few pitchers through the years I decided to grab my three (current) favorites and do a quick side-by-side comparison on their strengths and weaknesses on two very different pours.
Starting with my Jibbi Jug, which is made in Australia by latte art master Jibbi Little. These bad boys are not cheap, but they sure are pretty. They are made with specific spouts, run ups, and sizes with particular latte art designs in mind. This model is called the Warrior II and its known for its distinctly sharp spout tip. This tip makes very sharp lines, whether it be on a classic rosetta or just a rippled tulip base. You can use this pitcher as an allrounder, but the sharp spout requires focusing on grip and arrow straight pouring (Pours pictured on upper left).
Next up is the standard Rattleware stainless pitcher that comes with the La Marzocco Linea Mini. This small, simple pitcher has a short run up, with a short rounded spout tip. This style is the most common in the coffee industry, and for good reason. Its a good allrounder and can do most, if not all pours. It does lack some of the accuracy and sharp lines as those with sharper spouts (Pours pictured on upper right).
Last but not least is the Rhino Coffee Gear pitcher I use at on the bar at work. Price wise they are very reasonable, plus they come in a few nice powdercoat colors. The run up is large, which I like, and it has a somewhat aggressive pour spout that allows for a little room for error. The roundness of the tip lends itself well to tulips and slowsettas as it gives you a wider line of steamed milk (Pours pictured on bottom middle).
- Jibbi Jug Warrior II - Lightweight, sharp spout great for intricate lines and quick movements. It's a pitcher designed for a pro, but you can use it for the basics as you grow into it.
- Rattleware Stainless - Semi-lightweight, short rounded spout ideal for basic pours like hearts and tulips, but can be used for more intricate designs if you've got the skills to pay the bills.
- Rhino Coffee Gear - A little on the heavier side, nice to have colors to choose from, long run up and somewhat aggressive rounded spout thats best for thicker lines and ripples.