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Thread: What milk is best for espresso based coffees?

  1. #1
    Site Sponsor SpiceBean's Avatar
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    What milk is best for espresso based coffees?

    Hi all,

    I have recently been experimenting with different cows milks (skim, lite, full cream, extra creamy, A2 etc) as well as different brands such as Pauls and Dairy Farmers to establish which one tastes the best. I'm not concerned with latte art in these experiments, just flavour. I am aware of various opinions on the web regarding this, however I would love to know what coffeesnobs prefer? I have my own preference which I will keep to myself for now so that I can see what others think first.

    Milk is an important factor in coffee preparation as it makes up approx 90% of the drink so I find this a fascinating topic.

    Can't wait to hear responses!

    Mike K

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lukemc's Avatar
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    Inglenook dairy if your located in south west vic
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  3. #3
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    Adelaide Hills Dairy or Fleurieu Dairies in SA. A number of Cafe's use the later, but is non-homogenised, so you have to make sure you give the bottle a good old shake to disperse the natural cream on top.
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  4. #4
    Site Sponsor SpiceBean's Avatar
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    Hi guys, thanks for the suggestions.

    Im in the Beautiful Blue Mountains just outside Sydney.

    Mike K

  5. #5
    Member AlastairMcG's Avatar
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    Pauls farmhouse gold mainly or A2 full cream
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  6. #6
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    What milk is best for espresso based coffees?

    A ratio of 90% milk is getting into Starbucks territory.

    Regardless of which brand of milk you go with, using less of it is the best thing you can do to improve the flavour.

    Try for about 50 ml of espresso in about a 180 ml total beverage. That will taste way better.

    Also important to have a straight espresso every now and again, even if it's not your preferred drink. It keeps you on top of your craft.
    Last edited by herzog; 17th July 2017 at 09:22 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Still find Pauls farmhouse gold good, however since going to a plastic bottle im not so sure.

    I now stick to Sungold Jersey milk and south West full cream milk. both of these cant be bought at main street supermarkets, but most independent super markets you should find them there.

    Chris
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    I use Country Valley milk, but several other premium milks would be just as good, and by premium I don't mean the Dairy Farmers/Pauls/etc milks that taste pretty much the same as the cheapest $1/L supermarket milk but with a fancier label for double the price. Taste it side by side with another milk and pick whichever one you think tastes better.
    The downside to using a smaller independent brand that comes from a single herd of cows (or a just a couple of herds) is that it's more likely to have natural variation in composition which could impact how it froths a bit more often than the big brands.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    I've used Schultz dairy, BD Farm/Paris Creek, St David and Joneseys with good results.

    Lately I've used Fleurieu Dairy Premium Jersey Homogenised which I think is the best milk I've come across, for the style of white coffee I drink at least.

    At 4.8% fat it's not for the faint-hearted but certainly gives good texture and offsets strong coffees without being overpowering flavour-wise.

    Interestingly enough, the link above has a report on "Evaluation of textured milk" from the SA Government Research and Development Institute, commissioned by the dairy to investigate anecdotal reports from their customers. It shows is that when textured to 70, their milk increases more in volume than six unnamed alternatives, for whatever that's worth. 🤔

    I've never had good results using unhomogenised milk interstate from its production. Presumably during transport, the cream forms a solid plug that can't be broken up or reintegrated into the milk by shaking alone, so the resultant milk is either buttery/oily (if it contains chunks of the cream) or thin otherwise.
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  10. #10
    Site Sponsor SpiceBean's Avatar
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    Hi Herzog,

    I only drink Black mate, this is not for me, its for my customers. 10%....thats why I said approx, there are a lot of drinks out there that customers order, some are around 90% or 85% others like a mac or pic are alot less. For me personally I don't dilute this beautiful drink with any milk. However I always taste my milk based drinks and I have noticed that when keeping all variables the same with the exception of type/brand of milk there are flavour differences. I found A2 doesn't bring out the best flavours for me. I find lite milk tends to make coffee a little sweeter but also watery. Full cream is full bodied and thick which is great. I tried a Pauls extra cream the other day and this was super thick and probably a little too much fat for me.

    So keeping all variables the same except type of milk. Eg, flat white, double shot.......

    Mike K

    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    A ratio of 90% milk is getting into Starbucks territory.

    Regardless of which brand of milk you go with, using less of it is the best thing you can do to improve the flavour.

    Try for about 50 ml of espresso in about a 180 ml total beverage. That will taste way better.

    Also important to have a straight espresso every now and again, even if it's not your preferred drink. It keeps you on top of your craft.

  11. #11
    Site Sponsor SpiceBean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeechris View Post
    Still find Pauls farmhouse gold good, however since going to a plastic bottle im not so sure.

    I now stick to Sungold Jersey milk and south West full cream milk. both of these cant be bought at main street supermarkets, but most independent super markets you should find them there.

    Chris
    Hi Chris, yeah I tried Pauls Gold and its was nice, butI found due to the high fat content it was quite a powerful flavour. I would drink it in winter as this is what our bodies crave when its cold.

    Mike
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiceBean View Post
    Hi Herzog,

    I only drink Black mate, this is not for me, its for my customers.
    The study in my post might be of interest in that case; texture and flavour aside you'll potentially be using up to a third less milk!

  13. #13
    Site Sponsor SpiceBean's Avatar
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    This is interesting from a financial point of view, less milk etc. It needs a taste tester to make sure flavour is upto scratch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    The study in my post might be of interest in that case; texture and flavour aside you'll potentially be using up to a third less milk!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Oh, definitely a secondary consideration - I wasn't even aware of the study until googling the dairy this morning; it's been my choice since I came across it at my local Foodworks based on taste/texture alone

    I never get through 2L of any brand of milk before it starts to go off, so it's not really a selling point for me
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  15. #15
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Thats my issues, the Sun gold and South west Milk i buy I struggle to get through the amounts before they go off. I dont like buying just one as the place i get them from isn't as close as say the local supermarket...
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  16. #16
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Yeah primarily drink black, but will definitely have lattes every now and then, delicious. I've only ever used Pura and Woolworths brand milk at home, and Pura definitely seems more flavoursome and rich. May be worth exploring other brands though actually..
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    For me the best milk is no milk.
    I like it black - long black, medium black, espresso, ristretto or even a short ristretto if I want a shiver down the spine
    K Bean - Dream Machines
    Funny I like black coffee for drip or Americano, but like a latte when it comes to espresso based coffee. I'm getting better at enjoying the flavours of a short black when I test my shots prior to adding milk, but not quite there yet!!

    For milk, I find a local (Mel SE Suburbs) non homogenised milk by Barambah Organics (when able to source) to be de-vine, and also our regular Aussie Dairy Farmers full cream milk comes up lovely and sweet.
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  18. #18
    Site Sponsor SpiceBean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    For me the best milk is no milk.
    I like it black - long black, medium black, espresso, ristretto or even a short ristretto if I want a shiver down the spine

    K Bean - Dream Machines
    For Sure, its gotta be black for me!

    Mike K

  19. #19
    Site Sponsor SpiceBean's Avatar
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    Yeah I think as mentioned earlier some of the premium brands may be worth ago just to see if there really is a difference.

    Mike
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  20. #20
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    A2 full cream seems to be the most balanced and consistent for me. Sometimes I get Maleny Dairies Gurnsey milk for some extra creamy goodness
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    Snap. Been trying any number of different brands/ fat content etc with somewhat inconsistent results. My wife and I are totally impressed with local (Sunshine Coast) Maleny Dairies Guernsey unhomogenised milk - in the old style - in the cup we believe it enhances the taste of a cappa something outrageous and IMHO is the best I've ever tried.
    Their Low Fat is also quite good most of the time

  22. #22
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    A2 is great for me and my wife. We tried the lactose free PURA and it was too sweet. We are currently trying with the smarter white by Paul. And that is pretty nice and creamy

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjarsheim View Post
    Snap. Been trying any number of different brands/ fat content etc with somewhat inconsistent results. My wife and I are totally impressed with local (Sunshine Coast) Maleny Dairies Guernsey unhomogenised milk - in the old style - in the cup we believe it enhances the taste of a cappa something outrageous and IMHO is the best I've ever tried.
    Their Low Fat is also quite good most of the time
    We use Farmers Choice Maleny Milk (the GuernseyMilk above ) and it is wonderful. Thick and rich . If you like a Piccolo (a shot with a drop of milk ) this is excellent . Also lovely for a flat white or Cappucino..but it is rich and yellow with cream .

  24. #24
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briscoffee View Post
    We use Farmers Choice Maleny Milk (the GuernseyMilk above ) and it is wonderful. Thick and rich . If you like a Piccolo (a shot with a drop of milk ) this is excellent . Also lovely for a flat white or Cappucino..but it is rich and yellow with cream .
    You might be thinking of a machiatto - a piccolo (short for "piccolo latte") is just a small latte.

    Machiatto is generally served with a dollop of foam, but sometimes cold milk is used.
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  25. #25
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    My wife and I love A2 Milk company milk.
    Tried Procal as well and also think it went great with out flat whites! But Procal harder to get in Sydney.
    Love to try that QLD one mentioned above but can't see it in Sydney at all.

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