Roast! West Coast
Coffee Smarter
Milk and Milk Alternatives In Coffee.
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-15:58

Milk and Milk Alternatives In Coffee.

Coffee Smarter Season 2: Episode 10

Topic: Adding Milk and Milk Alternatives To Your Coffee
Guest:
Chris O’Brien, Coffee Cycle Roasting
Title: Founder & Head Roaster
Connect: Coffee Cycle Roastingwww.coffeecycleroasting.com • @coffeecycleroasting


KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE PODCAST

  • Milk proteins and fats blend well with coffee. They are why we can create the microfoam needed to develop the pleasant textures we like in our lattes and cappuccinoes. 

  • Some people also appreciate the balancing of coffee acids with the alkaline components of milk.

  • We want a balanced flavor between sweet, savory, and bitter. Milk is a creamy sweetener.

  • All this goes off the rails if you use a milk alternative like soy, oat, or almond beverage. The lack of fatty proteins makes it more difficult for your barista to perfectly steam and froth in your coffee drink. If you’re someone like me who orders their latte with an alternative milk, cut your barista a little slack regarding the latte art.

  • Some companies offer barista-versions of their alt milks to enable better results.

  • Finally, sometimes getting close is okay. If you’re happy, we’re happy.

COFFEE CYCLE SUBSCRIPTIONS


LATTE VS. CAPPUCCINO

Cappuccino: Stronger espresso taste due to less steamed milk, but more milk foam (or milk alternative) on top.

Latte: Milder espresso taste, enhanced sweetness from more steamed milk. Has less milk foam (or alt foam) on top.

A diagram of the various amounts of espresso vs steamed milk vs milk foam in cappuccino and latte coffee drinks.

This list is from an earlier Coffee Smarter segment done on the original R!WC podcast.

AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF THE COMPOUNDS IN COFFEE

  1. Acids

  2. Salts

  3. Caffeine

  4. Sugars

Sugars, salts, and acids have the most easily identifiable flavors. Adding sugars in the form of sugar, cream, and syrup will change the flavor of your coffee. Add too much, and you risk masking the natural sweetness of the coffee and may diminish the other flavor notes. That said, the best coffee to drink is the coffee you enjoy. If adding a bit of milk or cream makes coffee more enjoyable for you, then go for it!


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Roast! West Coast
Coffee Smarter
Coffee Smarter is a podcast and newsletter geared towards enabling you to brew a better cup of coffee at home. We ask coffee experts questions ranging from beginner to advanced covering topics involving brewing, drinking, and producing coffee. Learn more about the history, economics, and social impact of coffee. Plus additional advice on products, tips on home roasting, and a hands-on examination of your favorite coffee gear.
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