The importance of milk in specialty coffee

Timur Dudkin

Timur Dudkin

November 4, 2022

One of the most commonly used products to modify the flavor of coffee is milk. Milk is a nutritious and complex product, with more than 100 substances in solution, suspension or emulsion. The most important components are casein (the main protein in milk), fat, soluble vitamins and lactose (the natural sugars in milk). Protein, fat and lactose are the main ingredients present in milk that allow us to emulsify perfectly. Both the milk Semi-skimmed and skimmed milk are more difficult to emulsify than whole milk, and are therefore not advisable. Skim milk has less fat, gives the cream a harder and drier appearance, and is much more difficult to make drawings with.

There are several factors to take into account when using milk in our coffee recipes. The most important thing is to make sure that the milk is in good condition. If it has been open for several days, it is important to check that it has not expired or been cut, since it is a highly perishable product that is highly perishable. should be kept cold, at 4 °C.

Milk should not be heated to a temperature higher than 70 °C. In addition, we must check that the steamer of the machine is clean and free of milk residues from previous emulsions.

To emulsify the milk, follow the steps below:

  • Fill the milk jug just below the middle of the jug.
  • We introduce the tip of the frother just below the surface of the milk.
  • We tilt the jug to create a good circulation and to activate the steam.
  • We lower the jug millimetrically to continue introducing air in small quantities.
  • When the milk reaches a temperature of 40 °C, we raise the jug to deepen the vaporization to 1-5 cm below the surface to catch more air.
  • We maintain this position until we reach 55-60 °C. This is how we break the medium bubbles and heat the milk to the perfect temperature. By inertia, milk will gain 5 °C more.

In general, the basic rules for preparing our recipes with milk are to always use cold milk and not to heat it more than once. We should never overfill the pitcher so as not to overflow when we start the emulsion, and it is also not advisable to boil the milk, as this would not only spoil the cream and the lactose, but would also take away the sweetness. It goes without saying that the vaporizer should always be kept clean and purged, and that when heating the carafe with the vaporizer we should always hold it in our hand to properly control the temperature.

Whole milk is the best option for coffee recipes, and if it is fresh, even better.


timur dudkin_mtc

Timur Dudkin

Mare Terra Coffee

“R&D Director.

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