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Why are we geeky about coffee – what about the Milk?

For many years we, as coffee people, have bemoaned the fact that the average coffee shop uses more milk in their drinks than coffee and as such we are missing out on the lion’s share of the profit in your flat whites…

However, this somewhat misses the point as the sheer quantity of milk is more likely to have an impact on the flavour of the drink depending on the milk used.

All of the geeky chat about coffee and origins, roast height and grind size, brew formula and extraction times is surely all for nought if the milk used adds nothing to the final drink quality…

How many of us think about milk with the same level of zeal as the coffee? Should we be thinking more about the milk we use to set our drinks apart from the competition (lord knows there is a lot of it these days!)? Is it worth spending an extra 20p per cup to make yourself stand out? You would do it for the coffee element, so why not the milk?

The majority of milk we buy is from hundreds of cows mixed together to produce a consistently uninspiring product, but producers offer different grades of milk as there is as much potential diversity in the milk we drink as there are cows.

As far as coffee is concerned the key element is the protein level as this acts as a barrier or film between the air and the milk to stop the tiny bubbles from popping or destabilising. The better the grade of milk, the higher the protein level is likely to be – good news for all of the baristas out there.

Ah, what about the fat content, that’s bad right? Well let’s put it into context, 150ml of whole milk in your average flat white contains around 5g of fat – a 150g bag of nuts contains around 70g of fat – the old adage of little and often certainly applies to the milky drink, but less so to a bag of nuts…

Now, Grahams Dairies at Bridge of Allan have recently signed a deal with Brakes Foodservice to distribute their milk across Scotland – I wonder how many of you will opt for the gold top or smooth gold varieties at 60% more cost – just try it as it really is a fantastic way to treat a true gourmet coffee.

If you have other options available you can really go for the marketing speak and offer true premiumisation – why not try organic jersey cow milk, go on do a bit of experimenting it really will be worth it…

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