When on the quest for the perfect cup of coffee many overlook one of its biggest factors – milk.
Just like coffee, milk has been undergoing a revolution of its own in recent years, with dairy alternatives like almond and soy exploding in popularity and giving coffee lovers a whole host of new options.
Whole Milk (3.5 – 4% fat)
The best friend of the barista, whole milk is the most widely used in all your coffee beverages – providing the perfect balance of texture, flavour and consistency.
It may take a little longer during the steaming and frothing, but it’s sweet taste and creamy texture more than makes up for it.
It might not be the ideal coffee accompaniment for those on a health kick, but the rich taste can’t be beaten.
Low fat (1% and 2% fat)
A good compromise for those who might be watching their diet – but still want that rich taste.
While there’s some loss of flavour and texture, it comes with benefits of being slightly healthier. Everyone’s a winner!
Skim milk doesn’t contain any fat at all, so produces a “thinner” tasting coffee and for beverages like a latte, it shouldn’t be your number one option.
It’s perfect for those who prefer more dense, less fluffy foam though and if you’re really determined to stick with the no fat option, try it steamed – it brings out the sweetness.
When we talk about creamy coffee’s it’s usually the half-and-half option, which is a blend of milk and cream. With 12% fat, it’s much denser than full-fat milk and offers a buttery, sweet taste making it perfect for lattes and cappuccinos.
Dark and intense coffees are usually complimented well with cream, which balances out the bitter flavour.
Almond milk has a unique nutty flavour that sometimes clashes with the coffee, so really it’s personal preference.
If you are a fan though, you might want to avoid a cappuccino as it can be near impossible for anyone but the most dedicated barista to get enough foam. It also has a tendency to separate when heated, so best to keep at room temperature.
There’s no denying that, packed with good proteins, calcium and Vitamin D, – it’s definitely a healthy alternative to dairy.
The barista’s top choice when it comes to non-dairy milk, soy creates great foam and can be steamed to a density very similar to dairy.
The nutty, creamy flavour compliments and enhances a variety of coffee blends, to create one tasty beverage.
It’s not all good though, some soy milks can be prone to curdling which is not exactly what you want to see in your morning coffee cup.
The sweet, thick and rich flavour of coconut milk makes it a perfect companion for coffee.
The thickest of the non-diary alternatives, it’s creamy consistency means its ideal for frothy drinks.
While rice milk has a slight sweetness to it, it’s watery consistency means there’s not much room for manoeuvre when it comes to creating beverages.
Producing very little foam, it’s better suited to non-frothy drinks.