Posted in Kafevend Blog

Creamy coffee

How do you prefer to take your coffee- black or white? And if you like to add milk, which option should you go for? Today's blog considers the variety of milk options available and wonders which creates the best taste and which might be best health wise.

Whole or skimmed?

Back when we all had our milk delivered to our doorsteps by the milkman we didn't give our dairy intake much thought. Milk was milk, although in a way that pint bottle contained variety in itself. In those days milk wasn't homogenized, a process whereby the fat globules are broken down into smaller droplets in order that they are evenly spread throughout the milk. As long as you didn't shake your unhomogenized bottle of milk, there was the beautifully creamy layer on top, the normal layer through the middle and a thin watery layer down near the bottom. These days we'd need to buy multiple containers of milk to obtain the same range of choice.

By the 1980s we'd all hooked onto the concept that fat, put quite simply, made us fat and pursued low fat dairy alternatives as a result, including skimmed milk. In recent years research has shown that the real dietary no-no is sugar, and that the types of fats found in old favourites like whole milk and butter are actually better for us, as long as they're eaten in moderation. So does whole milk make for a better cup of coffee? Let's see what the baristas say...

Making microfoam

It turns out that it's the proteins contained within milk which are behind creating a good microfoam for our cappuccinos, lattes and flat whites. Dairy milk of any kind can be used, but whole milk gives the best results for long lasting latte art. Attempting to produce microfoam of the same standard from a non dairy substitute such as soya or nut milk is the source of  more than a little frustration amongst coffee professionals; your average soy latte then will have had more thought and effort put into it, but is never going to boast the smooth, velvety, long-lasting effect that dairy milk does.

If you're trying to cut back on sugar, but tend to find coffee too bitter without it, full fat milk could certainly be the answer. The higher percentage of fat globules in whole milk coat the tongue and take the edge off the coffee. Milk contains its own sugar too - lactose, which is the part of milk that some people develop an intolerance to. Anyone with a pronounced latte habit probably isn't going to want to convert them all to full fat - that would chalk up a lot of calories - but given that full fat milk can make you feel fuller for longer, perhaps they wouldn't want to drink lattes as often anyway!


Milk in coffee
Creating microfoam

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