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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
ESPRESSO MILK FROTHER PROBE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/011853
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A milk frothing apparatus which includes a steam probe which consists of an inner steam tube surrounded by an outer tube spaced annularly from the inner tube with a nozzle mounted on the end of said outer tube adjacent the outlet end of said inner tube. The air gap between the inner and outer tubes insulates the outer tube from the heat generated in the inner tube during the steam cycle. By using stainless steel the milk does not stick to the cool outer tube surface and no cleaning of the outer surface of the probe is necessary. The steam itself keeps the inner surfaces of the probe clean.

Inventors:
PURTON WILLIAM WESTMORE (AU)
Application Number:
AU2016/000256
Publication Date:
January 26, 2017
Filing Date:
July 18, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PURTON WILLIAM WESTMORE (AU)
International Classes:
A47J31/44
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011160818A22011-12-29
WO2014165911A22014-10-16
WO2016079680A12016-05-26
Foreign References:
US20100154648A12010-06-24
US5769135A1998-06-23
EP2789276A12014-10-15
US20150223634A12015-08-13
Other References:
See also references of EP 3324797A4
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MISCHLEWSKI, Darryl (PO Box 1254 Camberwell, Victoria 3124, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
1. A milk frothing apparatus which includes a steam probe which consists of an inner steam tube surrounded by an outer tube spaced annularly from the inner tube with a nozzle mounted on the end of said outer tube adjacent the outlet end of said inner tube to facilitate cleaning of the outer tube surface.

2. A milk frothing apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which the probe is made

from stainless steel. 3. A milk frothing apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which a non-contact

temperature sensor is located adjacent the jug support to monitor the external jug surface temperature and the lower portion of the jug external surface is matt black. 4. A probe for use in the milk frothing apparatus of claim 1 which consists of an inner steam tube surrounded by an outer tube spaced annularly from the inner tube with a nozzle mounted on the end of said outer tube adjacent the outlet end of said inner tube.

A probe as claimed in claim 4 in which the probe is made from stainless steel.

Description:
ESPRESSO MILK FROTHER PROBE

This invention relates to improvements in milk frothers for espresso machines. Background to the invention

There is a World-wide trend in both developed and developing countries for increasing coffee consumption. The European styles of serving coffee with milk are by far the most popular - in particular, caffe latte, cappuccino and flat white coffee It is more time-consuming to produce the European styles of coffee as the milk has to be heated with the infusion of steam to create a frothiness or foam which is an essential component for the overall taste, mouth- feel and appearance of the coffee style.

The present inventor developed an automatic milk frother disclosed in

WO2014/16591 Iwhich included a sensor to determine the depth of milk in a jug; the steam probe or jug support being movable preferably driven by stepper motor, to maintain the tip of the probe below the milk surface; a temperature sensor to monitor the temperature of the milk in the jug; a micro controller which starts the process; maintains the position of the steam probe relative to the milk surface.

It is an object of this invention to improve the performance of this device.

Brief description of the invention

To this end the present invention provides a milk frother that includes a steam probe which consists of an inner steam tube surrounded by an outer tube spaced

annularly from the inner tube with a nozzle mounted on the end of said outer tube adjacent the outlet end of said inner tube.

The air gap between the inner and outer tubes insulates the outer tube from the heat generated in the inner tube during the steam cycle. By using stainless steel the milk does not stick to the cool outer tube surface and no cleaning of the outer surface of the probe is necessary. The steam itself keeps the inner surfaces of the probe clean.

Thus the probe of this invention may be used in the milk frother disclosed in

WO2014/165911 the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. In this milk frother the temperature of the milk is sensed by a temperature sensor that monitors the temperature of the bottom wall of the milk jug . To improve the accuracy of the temperature sensing a proprietary jug is used in which the base and lower wall of the jug is matt black.

Detailed Description of the invention

Preferred embodiments of the invention will now be described with reference to the drawings in which

Figure 1 is a schematic view of the tip of the steam probe;

Figure 2 illustrates a side view of the milk jug of this invention;

Figure 3 illustrates the position of a non-contact temperature sensor.

The embodiments described may be used in the milk frother as described in WO2014/165911.

As shown in figure 1 the milk probe 10 attaches to the steam line 11 by a screw thread connection. The probe consists of a double wall tube. The inner tube 14 attaches to the steam line and the outer tube 15 is concentric with the inner tube 14 and spaced therefrom by spacers 16. The air space 18 separates and insulates the outer tube 15 from the inner tube 14. This air space may be filled with any insulating material as an alternative insulator to air. The tip 20 is welded or screwed to the end of outer tube 15 adjacent the end of the inner tube 14. The tip 20 incorporates steam outlets 21. Because the temperature of the outer tube is kept low during the steam injection step, the milk does not adhere to the surface of the outer wall and no cleaning of that surface is needed between steam injections. As is conventional in the design of milk probes, it may be curved or serpentine along its length.

The temperature of the milk in the jug 30 is sensed by an infrared sensor 35 in the body of the milk frother 40. The lower surface 31 of the jug 30 is coated to have a matt black surface to ensure an accurate temperature reading.

A preferred coating is Black Chromium which is slightly harder than nickel chrome and gives a matte black finish which is able to withstand the normal washing process. The stainless steel jugs can also be spray-painted with matte black epoxy coatings or materials such as "ironstone" a non-stick coating - Whatever the material of choice is, it is preferably thin to allow the fastest transfer of heat. Coatings may be applied using Vapour deposition or Plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition use a direct current. A two-stage process is required for anodizing the surface: Ion Vapour deposition and then anodization in the normal way.

From the above it can be seen that this invention provides a unique means of increasing barista productivity without losing the quality of milk frothing required for premium espresso coffee products. Those skilled in the art will realise that this invention may be implemented in embodiments other than those described without departing from the core teachings of this invention.