Choose your milk

How to Espresso: Choosing Milk

Choosing the Right Milk for your Coffee

Choosing what type of milk to use when making coffee is an important decision that will have a major impact on the flavour of your coffee.
If you have chosen amazingly roasted coffee that consistently delivers on the flavours you want coming through in your beautifully running espresso shots, and then dump super average milk on top of it… Well you’re only going to impress the 2% of people who drink black coffee.


Alternative Milks

If you are choosing a milk supplier as a business, it’s worth considering what your customers will be wanting to drink. For example, are you in an area where alternative milks are a big deal? If so you may want to experiment with milks that don’t contain dairy. Soy milk is one of the bigger alternative milks at the moment, but rice, almond, oat and even coconut milks are becoming bigger competitors as soy milk is pretty high in fat and sugar.

Have a play around with different milks, some steam better than others (you’ll be surprised by the difference). The important thing to remember when steaming these milks is that they wont steam the same as full-cream or even lite/skinny milk, but you can learn to steam it well. As a general rule, don’t steam it too hot – but maybe more on that for another post.

Milk Suppliers

As far as milk suppliers go, you want three basic areas met really well.

Quality: You want good milk, not close to its due-by-date upon delivery. It needs to steam well, not separating into foam and liquid (this also depends on barista technique, more on that for another post).  You want sweet, good tasting milk – but not so much that it covers the taste of your coffee. Your coffee needs to be able to cut through the milk in order for it to taste like coffee.

Reliability: If you have any problems with your supplier (often you will) you need to be able to sort the problem out as soon as possible. This is why I encourage having a local milk supplier. Often there are just a phone call or email away and hopefully can sort the issue out quickly. You want a supplier who is knowledgable of their product, if they can’t tell you at least where the milk is coming from… run.

Consistent: You want the above reasons you picks your supplier to stay that way for the duration of your relationship. If quality and reliability are all over the place, big problems come up.

Alright that’s all for now, next post will be about Milk Pasteurization and how it affects your coffee!

Feel free to leave a comment with any relevent information, thoughts, or just say hi! Thanks.


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2 thoughts on “How to Espresso: Choosing Milk

  1. Our milk supplier unfortunately is not the best. Every couple of months we have problems with the quality of milk. When I finish steaming it’s nice and smooth but a second later it starts bubbling. Nothing is more annoying than that especially if you are very busy and the next two bottles are the same! I’m not sure what causes it though. My boss said it might be because the cows are on a different diet! LOL

    1. I know the feeling! Usually with lite/skinny milk in my experience. Your boss might be on to something though, we once had a really bad milk week (foam seperating from the rest of the milk) and called up our supplier. They said that they had changed the cows diet and would change it back the following week. Next week, milk was better! Amazing how in control smaller suppliers are 🙂
      Ps. Sorry for the late reply, it must have slipped past me.

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