Why a variable aperture tip?
The steam nozzle is one of the most critical, most overlooked aspects of an espresso machine. We started off on this endeavor by watching baristas in cafes (and admittedly ourselves as well) needing to foam a large quantity of milk in order to get the proper milk texture for even a cortado or macchiato. Wasted milk, and an opportunity for invention.
When we started to design our steam tip, we tried scores of different fixed aperture configurations on a wide variety of home and commercial machines. Through direct empirical testing, we learnt that the same tip performed differently on different machines because of the size of the steam boiler. And even on the same machine, the fixed aperture tip gave different results depending on the amount of milk being steamed.
The lesson to be learned was simple: one size doesn’t fit all. Tips designed for commercial units with large steam boilers don’t always work well with home machines. A hole or slot size on a steam tip designed for bigger boilers, might be too large or too small for home use. The solution was to make the hole size adjustable.
The Steam Dial is designed to fit on male steam wands with a 1/8 BSPT Pipe Size, 28 TPI. Many commercial La Marzocco GS3, Nuova Simonelli Oscar, and Slayer Espresso Machines are compatible. Please check compatibility with your specific machine's thread specs before purchasing. The Olympia Cremina adapter we have will seamlessly pair the Steam Dial to the wand on 2012 and later Cremina models.
Please note that for units requiring an adapter (anything other than LaMarzocco and a few other), you need to purchase BOTH the steam dial unit ($98) and an adapter ($15).
Update: We have seen several issues with the Kees van der Wessen setup, and DO NOT recommend using this combination at this time. The KvdW has an excess of exposed threads that do not get fully covered by the adapter, even though it 'fits."