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Thread: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

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    Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    After having a few weeks of dodgy microfoam, thinking that somehow overnight my technique had slipped, I thought Id splash out and pay for liquid gold - A2 Milk - after reading recommendations a while back from other CSers.

    Yes: it was the Coles brand milk quality, not my skill, that had reduced. I finally understand what other CSers say about cows eating different diets throughout the year affecting microfoam. Ill keep buying liquid gold A2 for the dry season.

    Doesnt taste any different to me, but the difference in the quality of microfoam was pretty surprising.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Ive recently been buying and comparing different quality milks and comparing the taste and results before and after steaming.

    There is definitely a difference. Obviously each region will have their own brands that work well or not, but certainly paying a bit extra for quality milk is worth it.

    While the diet of the cows does play a role, I think the other thing to look for is milk brands that use Milk permeate. From what I understand, milk permeate is a by product that is added back in to cheaper brands to make it go further (basically theyre watering the milk down. Not harmful or bad in itself, but it does lower the quality of the milk.

    How do you tell which brands add milk permeate? I dont know. It doesnt say on the carton.

    edit: I should say, today tonight did an article on this a while back and pura had milk permeate, while the more expensive farm house brand found in Melbourne did not.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 03010D05050B0C11620 link=1232928485/1#1 date=1232931322
    Ive recently been buying and comparing different quality milks and comparing the taste and results before and after steaming.

    From what I understand, milk permeate is a by product that is added back in to cheaper brands to make it go further (basically theyre watering the milk down. Not harmful or bad in itself, but it does lower the quality of the milk.
    How do you tell which brands add milk permeate? I dont know. It doesnt say on the carton.
    Good one ACog. This sort of thing cant be scientific as taste is so subjective. I would be interested in which milks youve sampled. As per Intellidepths post, *A2 often gets the nod from CSers for milk texturing.

    I treat anything reported in the mass media - particularly the post-news current affairs channels, with a very high degree of scepticism.
    This Govt Food Standards website article states that:
    The World Health Organisation body for food regulation, Codex Alimentarius, defines milk permeate as ‘… the product obtained by removing the milk proteins and fat from milk, partially skimmed milk or skimmed milk by ultra filtration.

    That no-frills milk is watered sown is no surprise. *The label on Woolies Lite states that it contains "milk solids non-fat" which is likely to be Milk permeate and probably how most low-fat or skim milk is made.

    I would be interested in which brands tend to texture better. Pura full cream seems to always produce bubbles and I can get better results from the Woolies Fresh Lite milk.

    I imagine it would be somewhat regional too as milk purchased in Qld or NSW may come from different dairy regions to that in Vic. Would Safeway Lite be different to Woolworths Lite even though its the same company?

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    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    I spent some time a while back tasting each and every milk my local shops could supply both cold and textured in coffee. I found the two standouts for me were A2 and Norco. Although some of the others seemed to microfoam as well I could taste a difference - A2 and Norco being sweeter both cold and hot and creamier when cold but not so noticeably when hot.

    Later I found a website that listed milks that do not use permeate and found both A2 and Norco were not using permeate (a while back so dont know now with Norco, still using A2 and it tastes as good as always).

    I ended up on A2 as Norco supplies were not reliable at my locals (but it was cheaper).

    I only did this at one time of year and did not take into consideration diets at different times of year. Other milks I tried which I can remember were Dairy Farmers, Pura, Woolies, Coles, some Pauls one? I think, and several other small brand ones I found but cannot remember names as well as a certified organic milk I found in Woolies (this one also tasted like A2 and Norco and obviously no permeate but did not texture well at all). Feel I am forgetting another big name brand in there? I only tried whole milks as I am not a skim or otherwise diet milk fan.

    Travis.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    The use of milk permeate is not done to "make the product go further"

    In fact, it is generally done to bring milk UP to the strictly enforced regulated levels of fat and protein required to enable classification.

    Here in WaitAwhile, for example, the hot dry conditions found in most areas in the Nov to Feb period, and the resultant drop in feed quality, *make it extremely difficult for manufacturers to maintain sufficient fat and protein levels to qualify their product with the regulatory authorities.

    They therefore are allowed to supplement the product (also within strict guidelines) with additives such as Permeate.

    As has been mentioned, milk from the same brand can vary in quality and makeup due solely to the seasons and sources used, as hard as the dairies try and stabilise their "blends"

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Youre right in as much as Permeate is used to help with the standardisation of constituent profiles in various milk types but it is used to "lower" the Fat and Protein fractions, not increase them....

    http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/...milk-permeate/

    Mal.

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 406D696568040 link=1232928485/5#5 date=1232956826
    http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/aboutus/news/news-apr-08-milk-permeate/

    Mal. *
    How uncanny; that website is remarkably similar to this one:

    Quote Originally Posted by 62687D6A6A657177040 link=1232928485/2#2 date=1232933276
    This Govt Food Standards website article states that:

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A47434F422E0 link=1232928485/5#5 date=1232956826
    Youre right in as much as Permeate is used to help with the standardisation of constituent profiles in various milk types but it is used to "lower" the Fat and Protein fractions, not increase them....

    http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/...milk-permeate/

    Mal.
    Actually,

    if you wanna get REALLY technical about it, the milk from lactating cows is much richer e.g. higher in fat and protein than in non lactating cows, and needs to be balanced "lower" *while *Friesians have lower fat and protein levels than, say, Jerseys, and their milk needs to be balanced "higher" :D :D :D

    Add that to seasonal and district variations, and "simple" bottling of milk aint so simple any more and consequently, neither is finding a brand of milk which will texture the same all year round.

    Try telling that to a newcomer to milk texturing whos going insane wondering why what worked last month doesnt this month., when "nothing" has changed.


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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 484D50504841564B514A4049454A240 link=1232928485/7#7 date=1232966684
    if you wanna get REALLY technical about it, the milk from lactating cows is much richer e.g. higher in fat and protein than in non lactating cows,
    Well if you REALLY REALLY want to get technical:

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary
    lactate
    Function: intransitive verb
    Inflected Form(s): lac·tat·ed; lac·tat·ing
    : to secrete milk


    A non lactating cow wouldnt be producing any milk. *:-?

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 506C716A606176636B60040 link=1232928485/8#8 date=1232974105
    Quote Originally Posted by 484D50504841564B514A4049454A240 link=1232928485/7#7 date=1232966684
    if you wanna get REALLY technical about it, the milk from lactating cows is much richer e.g. higher in fat and protein than in non lactating cows,
    Well if you REALLY REALLY want to get technical:

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary
    lactate
    Function: intransitive verb
    Inflected Form(s): lac·tat·ed; lac·tat·ing
    : to secrete milk


    A non lactating cow wouldnt be producing any milk. *:-?

    Actually, there is a difference between "lactating cows" (pregnant cows) and "cows in milk" (dairy cows)

    Some dairy cows that do not re breed can be milked continuously for up to 3 years.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    I had a laugh.
    I knew what you were saying but the auditor in me couldnt let it pass.

    "Lactating" is a medical term and the dictionary clearly states its meaning.

    I didnt find any examples of different usage of the word when refering to cows.

    Im off now to look for a Farmers Dictionary.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    And I knew what YOU were saying,

    but the smarta** in me couldnt let it pass *;) ;)

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    I worked in a dairy for about 4 years in QC, and youre right - permeate is a by-product from ultrafiltration (a technique commonly used to bring up protein content in milk for use in cheese making) and they use it to bring up the SNF (solids non fat) in milk to standardise it. *

    I buy A2 milk for two reasons - I have bad eczema and it isnt as bad when I use A2, and it foams better when making caps and lattes :) *

    Youll find that almost all milk will have permeate added to it at times, which may also account for texturing variations. *Organic, Bio-dynamic and Physical dont have permeate in them... Im sure that there are others that dont too. *Organic and Bio cannot be altered from the tanker... *Physical is ultra filtered milk so it makes no sense to put permeate back into it! *Im not sure if A2 has permeate in it (I cant find anything on their website about it)... but the texturing may be due to the A2 protein in the milk?

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 62455F4E4747424F4E5B5F432B0 link=1232928485/0#0 date=1232928485
    After having a few weeks of dodgy microfoam, thinking that somehow overnight my technique had slipped, I thought Id splash out and pay for liquid gold - A2 Milk - after reading recommendations a while back from other CSers.

    Yes: it was the Coles brand milk quality, not my skill, that had reduced. I finally understand what other CSers say about cows eating different diets throughout the year affecting microfoam. Ill keep buying liquid gold A2 for the dry season.

    Doesnt taste any different to me, but the difference in the quality of microfoam was pretty surprising.

    Dont know about the coles milk, but we have only used Dairy Farmers (other than when I can get to the markets and get Johnsons Farm Gate from Over the Moon!!!) and from about 2 months ago is stopped foaming almost completely - like overnight!

    Figured it was a change in feed.

    Interestingly, when my kids were youger we tried Pauls/Parmalat/Pura and the kids refused to drink it. We couldnt taste the difference blind tasting cold, but they did 100% of the time - even before one could speak!

    Am going to try A2 as soon as I can find it.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Over the last 2 days we found that steaming Sungold milk from Warnambool (I think) would not give any microfoam. *Pity because the the Farmers Direct delivery is a great idea. *Back to having 2 types of milk in the fridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by 595C41415950475A405B5158545B350 link=1232928485/7#7 date=1232966684
    if you wanna get REALLY technical about it, the milk from lactating cows is much richer e.g. higher in fat and protein than in non lactating cows, and needs to be balanced "lower"whileFriesians have lower fat and protein levels than, say, Jerseys, and their milk needs to be balanced "higher" *
    This takes me back ... there use to be a saying that "throw a penny in a bucket of friesians milk and you could see the penny at the bottom - throw a penny in a bucket of jerseys milk and it wouldnt cover the penny" * :D

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    I can add my vote for Norco "Capo" too now - I can buy it at my local cafe (not in supermarkets), and cheaper than A2. Same high quality.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    coles brand is not very good at all, thats why you get what you pay for

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    I bought some Coles milk yesterday and it tastes different to last time I tried it a few weeks ago.


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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 6854495258594E5B53583C0 link=1232928485/17#17 date=1235962554
    I bought some Coles milk yesterday and it tastes different to last time I tried it a few weeks ago.

    TG... I had the same experience on the weekend... Almost spat the milk out and had to check the use by date.... :-?



    Opps.. My wife clipped me around the ear for doubting her purchase arrangements ... :-[

    Apparently.... I am not to Cup or Taste after I have a Lung Lolly and in particular; after gargling with OP Rum ( I have a sore throat - cold).

    Strange, as I tend to find a coffee goes down well after a session of good wine / Spirits...

    I guess Milk just does not cut it... All the more reason to drink coffee ;D

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B5C46575E5E5B565742465A320 link=1232928485/15#15 date=1234958982
    I can add my vote for Norco "Capo" too now - I can buy it at my local cafe (not in supermarkets), and cheaper than A2. Same high quality.
    norco for me too I find it better then A2 for latte art...

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    I normally get woolsworth or Aldi milk, then recently I thought Id get the A2 and try it out.

    Was kinda hoping there would be no big difference, seeing A2 is much more expensive and Ill potentially be spending more $$ on my everyday coffee, which Id prefer not to do.

    Damn, ignorance is bliss. :(

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    It is refreshing to see the number of rurally astute posters on this forum. Quite surprising as i perceived the interest/love *in coffee to be predominantly an urban trend. _My bad.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    I use Harvey Fresh or Ferguson Valley and on special occasions Bannister Downs--these are all locally produced and I try and do my bit by support WA producers who supply a quality product.
    They all produce great microfoam.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    I would second that view. Ive experimented with many different full cream milks, and A2 leads the way by a margin in quality of foam, and imho also taste. For Soy based drinks, Bonsoy is the gold standard in my book.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Im a fan of Procal milk though its hard to get hold of. A2 is my 2nd choice in milk, as its so much more expensive. We tend to have a milk for coffee milk sitting next to a milk for cereal & milkshakes milk in the fridge. The more expensive Coles label (blue) is fine right now for us in NSW, however no-frills/aldi milks are out atm, as is Daisy Fresh!

    When I noticed A2 was $5.49/2L I started to cut down!

    J

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Milk is something I wont scrimp on. Mungali Creek do an organic full fat, and a biodynamic semi-skimmed up here which tastes like real milk I used to have when I was a kid.
    Most other milks I have found in Australian stores taste thin (if that makes sense?) and watery in comparison to even the semi-skimmed version.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Based on this thread, I lashed out on the $5.00 per 2L bottle of the A2 on Sunday to trial it (with strict instructions to a certain 39, 8 and 3 year old that it was coffee milk only!)

    Unfortunately, like Gavin, Ive found it does make a difference to just about everything in the cup.

    *sigh* there goes another $20.00 per week in pursuit of a good coffee!

    Darn CoffeeSnobs is sending me broke! (I do say that VTIC, by the way!)

    Cheers
    Di

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 507761736B180 link=1232928485/26#26 date=1251847980
    Based on this thread, I lashed out on the $5.00 per 2L bottle of the A2 on Sunday to trial it (with strict instructions to a certain 39, 8 and 3 year old that it was coffee milk only!)

    Unfortunately, like Gavin, Ive found it does make a difference to just about everything in the cup.

    *sigh* there goes another $20.00 per week in pursuit of a good coffee!

    Darn CoffeeSnobs is sending me broke! *(I do say that VTIC, by the way!)

    Cheers
    Di
    Drink piccolos Di. ;)


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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 0C090E0E01050E600 link=1232928485/25#25 date=1251023826
    Mungali Creek do an organic full fat, and a biodynamic semi-skimmed
    This is weird. If the semi-skim is biodynamic then its organic. So I would think they could call it, biodynamic organic semi-skim milk. And if the organic full fat comes from the same farm then it too would be biodynamic.

    When I was a kid I doubt very much that there were many farmers who werent using DDT or its successor. Milk was called milk and I dont think it tasted much different to the way it does today, apart from the layer of cream that was at the top.

    Good to see some are taking care of the environment, though you have to wonder if were on the right track when so many people develop lactose intolerance, coeliac, allergies to peanuts, increased prevalence of asthma, etc.


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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 77565D5D5A40330 link=1232928485/28#28 date=1251855192
    This is weird. If the semi-skim is biodynamic then its organic. So I would think they could call it, biodynamic organic semi-skim milk. And if the organic full fat comes from the same farm then it too would be biodynamic.
    I wasnt entirely certain of the difference between them, so just typed what was on each label.
    For me, milk does taste very different. I dont know if it is because I was brought up in a different country, or because we used to have a milkman that delivered daily, *it was produced by different cows (I see Mungali Creek use Jersey and Brown Swiss cows) or maybe general use milk out here is homogenised?
    Both the full fat, and semi skimmed versions have the layer of cream on them. I suppose I need to check the fat content on each compared to a "normal" brand to see if there is any difference.

    Did anyone else notice the report the other day about all of the milks with additives being no better than a supermarket value brand?

  31. #31
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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    I didnt see it but did hear about it.
    I believe it was a Choice report.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    sorry to sound like a milk snob, but I have always bought Coles, Bilo or No Frills long life skim milk and have never had a problem getting perfect microfoam with my EM6910.

    Personally, I find those milks are sweeter at around 55 DegC and after about 62 DegC they burn very easily.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Reading these posts reminds me of the old chook behind the counter with her bottle glasses responding to some poor unfortunate s request for some milk please (TV add.)

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Ive never been able to justify paying the ask for A2...and weve had to focus on the dollar aspect rather than the coffee aspect as of laTE WITH nORCO BEING QUITE CHEAP AT iga (damn caps lock key on laptops), although I cvan source Mooloo (around $2.20 a Litre) at some fruit and veg shops. But my local IGA now has 3L Mooloo for $3.20. I have found it to be my milk preference, stretches well.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Its been a while since I posted on this thread - heres a new one to try for Melbourne snobs - Lush Valley from Costco! The good news is its $2.80 for 3L :o. I reckon its good stuff... ;D

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    I cant justify the extra expense for A2. Tried three bottles now and the results are just the same as Im getting from the Coles blue label milk ie. still a bit variable but improving.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    I use the A2 because of the A2 protein and my sensitivities. The good microfoam is a bonus.

    Greg

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    After reading this thread, I decided I should give it a try too to see which I prefer, I have used the cheap stuff, the better stuff (pura), lactose free milk, and today I tried the A2, I was amazed with the microfoam and quality from the A2 compared to the others, which seemed to be around the same.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    I get A2 milk for the little one and Farmhouse for the coffee. I tried the A2 milk with the coffee but the milk flavour overpowered the coffee and I didnt like the taste of that so I decided not to use A2 for coffee. Farmhouse with the extra fat is nice.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E4B5C5E6E564B5458555D390 link=1232928485/36#36 date=1260957018
    I use the A2 because of the A2 protein and my sensitivities. The good microfoam is a bonus.

    Greg
    Agreed, G/F has the same sensitivites and Ive noticed how well the A2 foams.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    I reckon the difference is all in the quality control rather than the proteins. It looked at it at length this year when I got some to try - my opinion on it all took up three long posts in the end:
    http://cafe-grendel.blogspot.com/2009/07/a2-milk.html

    and
    http://cafe-grendel.blogspot.com/200...head2head.html


    and also
    http://cafe-grendel.blogspot.com/200...-thinking.html


    it is all a bit of a ramble and needs error checking!

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 1E3527043F152320223523233F500 link=1232928485/38#38 date=1261025522
    I tried the A2 milk with the coffee but the milk flavour overpowered the coffee and I didnt like the taste of that so I decided not to use A2 for coffee.
    I dropped from 220ml cap bowls to 160ml tulips, with the same double shot.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    After buying the A2 and likely the change quite a bit, I decided to see if it was just because it was the "better" milk, so I splashed out and bought the most expensive they had, it was nearly $5.50 for 1.5L.
    It claimed to be:
    Jersey Premium
    Unhomogenised
    Permeate Free
    GM Free
    This milk is from Holstein Friesians cows (the black and white ones)

    (I also dont know how it is Jersey Premium and from Holstein)

    It tasted better and had a better flavour as cold milk, but after it was steamed and frothed, it didnt get much texture or produce much microfoam, and I found the A2 a much better milk for coffee. So just because it cost more doesnt mean it is a better milk.

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B6E7D66080 link=1232928485/42#42 date=1261548798
    So just because it cost more doesnt mean it is a better milk.
    I recently did a similar test with a SA local A2 product, it certainly is a superior quality milk but the extra cream/fat content prevents it from steaming and frothing well, for our purposes ordinary every day super market milk seems to do the job best for me. :)

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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    It wouldnt be the Fleurieu Milk Co would it? As that is the milk I tried.

  46. #46
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 2C796A711F0 link=1232928485/44#44 date=1261563017
    It wouldnt be the Fleurieu Milk Co would it? As that is the milk I tried.
    Thats the one. ;D

  47. #47
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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Well the world is full of suprises. I started using A2 milk after getting a bottle of it on special, because I liked the taste with my cerial then discovered it was better in my coffee as well but only after reading this made the connection with my eczema & dandriff. Ijust went to look in the mirror & yes the red patch on my face has almost totally gone. The things you find out on coffee snobs! Beebee

  48. #48
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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    interesting - weve always just used the coles smart buy milk here and Ive been able to texture it with great microfoam... until about a week ago... now its absolutely hopeless - soap suds! argh!

    Based on this thread - might well be time to try some A2 milk - if nothing else, at least until later in the year

    And there I was thinking Id suddenly forgotten how to texture milk (overnight!)


  49. #49
    Senior Member Coffee2Di4's Avatar
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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Well, Im having all sorts of problems finding somewhere locally in Ipswich that I can get Norco from. If anyone has any suggestions, Id love them!

    I bought a new brand of milk this morning from the Super IGA at Brassal - "Barambah Organics" which is produced on the Qld/NSW border. Its a pasteurised non-homogenised milk and has a layer of cream on the top. It tastes beautiful cold fresh, but - as has been mentioned before - didnt microfoam too well when heated. Im still trying to get used to the taste because it tastes really, really creamy which, from my first taste, overpowered the coffee a bit. Ill stick with it for a while, though, because its a local milk and wholely Australian owned and operated, which highly appeals to me. It wasnt cheap at $4.99 per 2L, but - once again - Id rather my money going into local produce than being a multi-national corporation.

    Norco, Norco, wherefore art thou Norco???

    Cheers
    Di

  50. #50
    A_M
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    Re: Coles SmartBuy vs A2 Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 587F697B63100 link=1232928485/48#48 date=1264559659
    Well, Im having all sorts of problems finding somewhere locally in Ipswich that I can get Norco from. *If anyone has any suggestions, Id love them!

    I bought a new brand of milk this morning from the Super IGA at Brassal - "Barambah Organics" which is produced on the Qld/NSW border. *Its a pasteurised non-homogenised milk and has a layer of cream on the top. *It tastes beautiful cold fresh, but - as has been mentioned before - didnt microfoam too well when heated. *Im still trying to get used to the taste because it tastes really, really creamy which, from my first taste, overpowered the coffee a bit. *Ill stick with it for a while, though, because its a local milk and wholely Australian owned and operated, which highly appeals to me. *It wasnt cheap at $4.99 per 2L, but - once again - Id rather my money going into local produce than being a multi-national corporation.

    Norco, Norco, wherefore art thou Norco???

    Cheers
    Di
    http://www.norco.com.au/ may be of some assistance OR move to a different location :D ;) :o



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