Coffee and milk are one of the most dynamic pairings in the kitchen. Even skeptics should be persuaded by the marriage of coffee and milk's complementary flavors, nutritional benefits, and hypnotic visual effect. Could coffee and milk be better than peanut butter and jelly, or is it just as good?
When it comes to making a great cup of coffee, milk is often disregarded. However, milk constitutes more than half of a variety of dairy-infused coffee beverages, such as lattes, cappuccinos, and a variety of other coffee drinks. A milk's expiration date is only one of several variables to take into account. How good a coffee drink depends on where the milk comes from, what chemicals are in it, how it tastes, and how it feels.
Baristas know what works and what doesn't. The 2016 United States Barista Champion and current Urnex Ambassador, Lem Butler, is well aware of the significance of locating milk of the highest possible quality in order to pair it with a cup of coffee that is on par with the best in the world. With Colin Harmon's help, he sought out the best locally and organically grown milk that Ireland had to offer before competing at the World Barista Championship in Dublin, Ireland, in 2016.
In order to be competitive, Lem explained, "finding the proper milk is vital. Sweetness is what I'm looking for in milk, and I'm looking for a coffee that accentuates the sweetness of steamed milk. Coffee is a fantastic match for desserts that are both sweet and creamy."
ADVANCES IN MILK SCIENCE.
The molecular makeup of milk determines whether or not they are compatible with coffee but it's the milk's fat and protein levels that are the only two things you need to pay attention to.
Milk fat globules, a complex mixture of fats, play a significant role in the chemistry of milk. When compared to black coffee, milk fat globules reduce bitterness and acidity by coating the tongue and reducing the amount of caffeine taste we experience. Because of this, milk is the ideal addition to a drink that is rich, creamy, and sweet, but it is not a particularly pleasant addition to a drink that is fruit-based.
Proteins found in milk, namely whey and casein, provide an additional piece of the puzzle. The protein content of cow's milk is critical to the formation of microfoam, or tiny bubbles, during steaming. Lattes and cappuccinos' excellent flavor attributes are highlighted by the combination of milk proteins and coffee. A hot cup of coffee benefits from the interaction and harmony milk provides.
Do you like whole, reduced-fat, or skim?
The more fat in milk, the creamier and richer it will taste. This means that whole milk is the preferred choice of most coffee shops. When paired with a cup of coffee, it provides the perfect combination of flavor and texture. When a customer does not specify preferred milk, the barista will use whole milk as the default as it helps an espresso's taste to shine through more clearly.
When compared to utilizing whole milk, milk with reduced fat content, such as 1% and 2%, does not provide the same level of sweetness nor do they produce the same level of the body. While a low-fat latte or cappuccino is a good way to trim calories and fat, the drink will taste weaker and more watery.
Reduced-fat milk retains more sweetness when compared to skim milk, which has almost no fat at all. Skim milk just doesn't contribute much density to brewed coffee due to its even lighter body. When using skim milk, expect a lighter, thinner froth compared to the higher fat content milk counterparts.
Creams, on the other hand, can significantly increase the body of a cup of coffee. Most creams, ranging from 12% to 38% fat, are best used in tiny amounts in a cup of brewed coffee, especially a dark roast. Using creams is like eating your morning bowl of cereal with a scoop of ice cream if you use it as the main component in your latte.
U.S. Barista Champion and Urnex Ambassador, Kyle Ramage, picking the appropriate milk for your coffee boils down to personal preference. For those who don't like their coffee very acidic, milk can be used to help reduce the overall bitterness.
When it comes to coffee with milk, Kyle stated, "it's problematic because it can be either too sweet or too fatty." Among the numerous excellent milk available at the United States Barista Championship in Seattle, we chose Sunshine since it best complimented my coffee's flavor. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the World Coffee Championship in South Korea will have that type of milk, one that is actually beneficial to the coffee.
Milk without dairy concentrates
There are a number of odd, newer milk options that may be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, such as soy, rice, and coconut milk. Non-dairy milk may be fewer in calories, but they lack the chemical composition of animal-based milk in terms of flavor. Since this non-dairy milk has more water and less fat and protein than animal-based milk, they lack the thick, creamy mouthfeel that comes from animal milk when mixed with coffee.
Here are some of your best picks if you're tempted by exotic-sounding non-dairy alternatives:
- Almond milk has a pronounced nutty flavor, although it is light in both substance and flavor.
- Compared to almond milk, soy milk has a more pronounced soy flavor and is thicker and sweeter.
- Because of its thinner consistency, rice milk makes a flimsier latte than regular milk.
- An aftertaste that's both somewhat sweet and slightly salty can be found in coconut milk:
There's no denying that adding milk to your coffee reduces both flavor and nutritional value. On the other hand, we are all aware that the more fat content the milk is, the more beneficial it is for our mental health.
Coffee equipment cleanup: removing milk
There is no substitute for a dairy cleanser while creating coffee beverages, regardless of the fat amount or provenance of the milk used. Because milk is one of the richest forms of nourishment that can be found in food, it may easily become a breeding ground for bacteria that is undesirable if it is allowed to thrive on coffee equipment.
As a result, you may want to avoid drinking milk that has been left out for a few hours. E. coli, salmonella, and other bacteria thrive in warm, moist settings like those found in a refrigerator or freezer. Bacteria multiply and grow for a longer period of time while milk sits out.
Your coffee maker has been collecting milk residue, which you may not have noticed. The steam wand, valves, and tubes in which your latte's milk travels could be contaminated with stale milk. No amount of latte painting mastery will ever be enough to make up for the taste of rotten milk.
To clean milk, you'll need a lot of elbow grease. Even when washing the same milk with the same coffee equipment, the cleaners behave differently. A variety of chemicals is required to remove milk residue because it contains lipids, proteins, and minerals. However, alkaline agents are ineffective at dissolving minerals and successfully break down the fat and protein in milk. minerals and protein can be dissolved by acid agents and surfactants, though.