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Thread: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

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    Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive heard a few people mention that milk changes flavour depending on what time of year and what the cows are eating. Is this right? Its just that a lot of the coffees Ive drunk over the past 2-3 months have tasted slightly weird (both at cafes and at home). Almost like a slightly sour and slightly re-frothed milk flavour. Although, I havent tasted it as much the past couple of weeks. Am I imagining things, are my local cafes just sucking at making coffee (I already know most of them do :-P), or am I just not buying the right milk? Im in Tasmania if that makes any difference.

    And... YAY!! Post #50 :-D

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Ok, so I tasted some really sour flavours in my coffee this morning... So I tasted the milk by itself and it was intensely sour. We have 2 bottles of woolworths milk (cough cough) in our fridge at the moment. They were both bought yesterday, and they have use-by dates differing by 2 days.

    I tasted them side by side and the difference in taste was astounding! One tasted awesome, and the other was sour, and I didnt want to finish drinking it. I know that Im probably pushing my luck buying woolies milk, but it doesnt make sense that two different containers of milk of the same brand, bought on the same day, and bought from the same place can taste so remarkably different.

    As Ive also tasted this same sourness in coffee from local cafes (and I cant imagine they were using woolies milk) Im wanting to know what is causing this. Any ideas?

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Quote Originally Posted by 58657D6078627569100 link=1242918405/1#1 date=1242954353
    I know that Im probably pushing my luck buying woolies mi
    I dont mind it.

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    You shouldnt worry too much coles milk is just dairy farmers brand with a different label (I think) there are plenty of people drinking it and not suffering. That said there are better milks about depending on where you live. Im sure Launceston should have a local dairy industry

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Sour milk is sour milk and will taste sour ;D .

    All it would need is for a truck to get stuck in the sun with its fridge off. Or a load at the back of the shop to sit in the warm for a while. Milk goes sour really quite quickly--let me see if I can find the data.

    All I could find was this--in F--"Pasteurized fluid milk should be stored at 40F or below. Plan on reduced shelf life of one day for every degree above 40F."

    Im sure at one time I saw it printed on the side of a carton--and as I remember, milk at room temperature and in bright light can sour in less than an hour.

    The milk I buy generally has a use by about 10 days ahead, so using the formula above, if it is at 50F then it spoils in one day.

    Greg

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Quick conversion 50F = 10C so if you left milk at that temp for a whole day then it would probably taste a bit funny. Would doubt that many places are letting their milk get to 10C for long.

    As for cafe milk tasting sour I have seen a couple of cafes where they leave the milk under the bench, ie not refrigerated so the milk would probably be sour.

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E707D726573721C0 link=1242918405/5#5 date=1242986211

    I have seen a couple of cafes where they leave the milk under the bench, ie not refrigerated so the milk would probably be sour.
    That is a scarily common practice where I come from.

    I dont know about the rest of you, but Im quite partial to a sneaky swig from the milk in the (my) refridgerator, and if the milk is allowed to sit at too high a temperature for not very long at all, the taste changes dramatically. It loses that "refreshing" aspect. Its not "off" as such, it merely tastes "wrong".

    As for the OP, I find that the milk available to me in New Zealand, *even my favorite brand, starts to taste and behave strangely around Aprilish. It becomes slightly harder to manage, and again loses that "refreshing" aspect.
    Im not sure what it is exactly. Ive put it down to the change of season. Its approximately when the farmers start running out of grass and have to put the stock on silage and hay, which is a bit of a shock to the system for ol milk producing daisy.

    It lasts about three to four weeks a year, and I just put my head down and work through it. I also have to go round all the cafes and assure them its the milk, and that the steam wand tips dont need replacing... ;)

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4648454A5D4B4A240 link=1242918405/3#3 date=1242960276
    You shouldnt worry too much coles milk is just dairy farmers brand with a different label (I think) there are plenty of people drinking it and not suffering. That said there are better milks about depending on where you live. Im sure Launceston should have a local dairy industry
    I can confirm thats correct, seen the production line. It all comes out of the same batch, they change the labels on the bottles half way through.

    I should also add that DF sell to Coles at a loss, another example of the 2 food giants ripping off suppliers.

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Pretty sure that when the grass is greener and when it is colder the fat content would be higher. mmmmm cream. This would certainly make the milk taste different but not sour. Fattier milk would be sweeter though once steamed.

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Quote Originally Posted by 55545E4D53564C3F0 link=1242918405/7#7 date=1245293362
    I can confirm thats correct, seen the production line. It all comes out of the same batch, they change the labels on the bottles half way through.

    I should also add that DF sell to Coles at a loss, another example of the 2 food giants ripping off suppliers.
    Interesting. Why would they sell at a loss? Because they dont want another company to get the coles order?

    Im assuming its the same here in Tassie? We dont have DF milk. Only Pura, Beta, woolies, coles, & a couple of single origin labels here. Although, I wouldnt be surprised is DF owned one of them?

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Quote Originally Posted by 291610170A0D3C210C1A0F06630 link=1242918405/8#8 date=1245295536
    Pretty sure that when the grass is greener and when it is colder the fat content would be higher. *mmmmm cream. *This would certainly make the milk taste different but not sour. *Fattier milk would be sweeter though once steamed.
    Oooh yum! Would that still be the case for Homogenised milk? Not 100% sure what Homogenisation entails, but I know its about mixing the fat evenly and keeping it that way. If the milk has a higher fat content, then would they "water it down" or do something the milk so that the fat content is the same? Or am I completely barking up the wrong tree here?

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Hi
    My father in law had the same complaint about *"fresh milk" tasting sour from his Woolies. The main problem is poor refrigeration at supermarkets, the open fridges, common nowadays without doors just open refrigerated shelving at most supermarkets are useless at keeping the milk cold enough. ALWAYS TAKE THE LATEST USEBY DATE HOME without exception, as it is usually at the back of the fridge, behind the first 3/4 rows. NOW FEEL THE DIFFERENCE BETWeEN A BOTTLE FROM THE BACK OF THE FRIDGE TO ONE AT THE FRONT, BACK BOTTLE IS COLDER!!!

    Good cafes buy milk DAILY so as to get the freshest milk to their customers, it is also easier to work with fresh milk as it will stretch easier and taste better. It costs no less to get the milk delivered fresh daily

    The problem I have with my milk supply is that you have no idea who you are actually purchasing from. I have an account with PURA. But National Foods that own/operate PURA have been allowed to purchase Dairy Farmers and Parmalat some time ago, so having a momopoly on the market (which I think is illegal as they have no competition). So even though I have an agreement with PURA and recieve their milk as lablled as such it is actually coming from Dairy Farmers factory. My delivery driver told me that the supply will change to Parmalat soon.
    So buying Woolies, Coles ,Dairy Farmers, PURA, or Parmalat milk makes no difference. JUST MAKE SURE THE BOTTLE YOU GRAB FROM THE SUPERMARKET IS COLD !!!!!!! because sour milk is sour milk. But also the flavour of milk does vary with the seasons and what the cattle has been eating, while NSW was in drought the quality of milk was crap as the cows were given feed as there was no grass. all this might sound anal but I own a busy cafe and I demand the best from my suppliers, because the customers demand the best from me!!!

    cheers ;)

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Quote Originally Posted by 676C606C646E6C6F6178686F62740D0 link=1242918405/11#11 date=1245304685
    So buying Woolies, Coles ,Dairy Farmers, PURA, or Parmalat milk makes no difference
    Well that isnt entirely true. I used to think milk is milk and would buy the local IGA stuff. It was great and then all of a sudden it started tasting more watery with less body. I came to the conclusion that during summer they were substituting powdered milk into it. If that doesnt sound plausible my mate was living in port headland for a while and it was announced to them that there was no fresh milk up there and that it was all powdered. I bought coles milk from the local servo the other day. It didnt steam well and the resulting coffee wasnt very sweet. Much like hilo milk or worse even though it was definately full cream.

    Justin

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Quote Originally Posted by 757E727E767C7E7D736A7A7D70661F0 link=1242918405/11#11 date=1245304685
    I have an account with PURA. But National Foods that own/operate PURA have been allowed to purchase Dairy Farmers and Parmalat some time ago, so having a momopoly on the market (which I think is illegal as they have no competition).
    National Foods do not own Parmalat.
    National Foods (owned by Japanese parent Kirin) recently purchased Dairy Farmers, but the milk brands are staying I believe. As part of the conditions of buying Dairy Farmers, the ACCC directed that National Foods had to sell some of its business. The buyer is Parmalat.

    Parmalat is Pauls brand and a different company.
    However, where it gets confusing, as part of the deal, Parmalat are basically licensing some brand names.
    See here for full detail if really interested.
    http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2009/05/21/parmalat-seals-70m-deal-for-a-slice-of-national-foods-dairy-assets.html

    Then there is Murray Goulburn (Devondale), Fonterra (Anlene) and others.
    So, I dont think it is quite the monopoly you believe it to be.

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Quote Originally Posted by 232431272A3C1A747C7C7C450 link=1242918405/13#13 date=1245305416
    So, I dont think it is quite the monopoly you believe it to be. *
    I do believe that they have a vast majority of the milk market. I live in NSW so if you consider Dairy Farmers, Pura and all your Generic milk theres not much else left. The boutique milks are far better, Riverina being my favourite by far, but are unable to supply daily in my area *:(

    All the milk brands will remain the same. The only way I know which factory my milk came from on any given day is when undoing the cap Dairy Farmers have a particular freshness seal, but will probably be introduced across the range sooner than later. But my delivery driver has informed that my milk will be coming from Parmalat but still labelled PURA in the coming month..... so now Im really confused

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    well, just to add complexity to the issue, i drink vitasoy soy milk and it ahs tasted different lately (last month) also harder to froth - a little flat. First i thought my coffee was stale so got a new batch....no difference. Then i thought it must be time to descale the machine. Nope, still the same problem. I was beginning to think maybe the Gaggia had seen better days, but now Im not so sure its the machine. I know there is absolutely NO reason soymilk would be seasonal like cows milk, but it is handled by the same 15 yr old pubescent couldnt-give-a-toss employee out the back, so maybe it is a temperature issue. Coincidentally i also live in Tassie. Could we maybe blame swine flu or the GFC for this too?!? ;D

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    This is an age old problem that has been discussed by many here and elsewhere...

    Im really going to throw it open now though with my thoughts on the one aspect of milk that some of you have mentioned but none have really delved into deeply.

    And that is of REFRIDGERATION.

    The biggest problem as I see it is with everyones idea of refridgeration.

    Let me ask you a serious question.

    DO YOU HAVE AN ACCURATE THERMOMETER IN YOUR FRIDGE??

    Really, if you dont how can you prove that your fridge is at 4 C or less?

    I live way out in the middle of no where. Even Tasmainia is closer to somewhere compared to where I live. We manage to get fresh milk daily and I can tell you now, my fridge at home runs at 3 to 4 degrees C. Milk in my fridge actually has lasted WELL past the use by date. In fact, I currently have milk that has a use by date of 13th of June which still tastes as good as the day it was bought. I can also tell you that the top of my fridge is 4 degrees and the bottom is...guess what...colder at 3 degrees C! (go to the top of the class if you guessed correctly!)

    So, you cant tell me that milk that has a short use by date is bad and must be tossed.

    Its like this.

    Take a whiff of your milk and if you smell that its bad what do you do? You toss it.

    Well, I can tell you now, what youve just taken a big whiff of is that stale milk around the top of the cap. If you could be bothered or game, pour some of that "off milk" into a glass and take a sip. Bet its not off.

    Mostly, IMHO, food and perishables go off quick because home refridgeration is incorrectly set. If you seriously have NO accurate readout of temperature in your fridge, then you only have yourself to blame for perishables going off quickly. And I mean numbers here. "Cold" or "Coldest" is NOT good enough! You need to know the precise temperature in FIGURES.

    Dont blame Dairy Farmers, the cows or the big stoopidmarkets.

    Have a good look at your own methods of storing food properly first and then assess. By the way...most of you think you only live a "short distance" from a supermarket. Bet you dont take your perishables home in fridge at 4 degrees do you? But you expect that the supplier turns up from his depot with a refridgerated truck. Believe me, it doesnt need to be in a warm, comfy car for more than five minutes for it to warm up from its proper temp. Even your own personal transportation of perishables is contributing to them going bad quickly. Think about investing not only in an esky but in a proper car fridge that will maintain 4 degrees. Im not joking...

    Its so easy to blame "That time of the year" or "that big corporation" for sour milk. But the reality is actually much closer to home than you think.

    Im saying, take responsibility for your own storage first. Ensure that your fridge isnt just set on the "coldest" setting and you have no idea if it actually is at the coldest. Just because youre getting things iced up, doesnt mean that the fridge is at the correct temp all throughout. Do yourself a HUGE favour and go and buy a small thermometer to put in your fridge. No point waiting for the fridge to start beeping at you and telling you its getting warm...you wouldnt even know what it thinks warm is! Warm could be 20 degrees for all it knows!

    I can tell you right now, that all food industry related businesses that need fridges or cool rooms must maintain them at certain temperatures. Unlike domestic situations, they cant just rely on the "cold" or "warm" setting on the dial on their fridge! They must have an accurate thermometer showing the temperature inside the cool room.

    My question to you all...

    DO YOU??


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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A5A56564D58665E5855390 link=1242918405/16#16 date=1245330443
    DO YOU??
    Yep.


    Quote Originally Posted by 5352584B55504A390 link=1242918405/7#7 date=1245293362
    I should also add that DF sell to Coles at a loss, another example of the 2 food giants ripping off suppliers.
    What proof do you have of this?

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    I had a laugh... ;D

    Ditto for our fridge too... Setup to be just under 4C at the top 8-) Freezer at -22C

    Mal.

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Quote Originally Posted by 58657D6078627569100 link=1242918405/1#1 date=1242954353
    Ok, so I tasted some really sour flavours in my coffee this morning... *So I tasted the milk by itself and it was intensely sour. *We have 2 bottles of woolworths milk (cough cough) in our fridge at the moment. *They were both bought yesterday, and they have use-by dates differing by 2 days.

    I tasted them side by side and the difference in taste was astounding! *One tasted awesome, and the other was sour, and I didnt want to finish drinking it. *I know that Im probably pushing my luck buying woolies milk, but it doesnt make sense that two different containers of milk of the same brand, bought on the same day, and bought from the same place can taste so remarkably different.
    Since I started this thread Ive heard some pretty bad stories about my local woolies at Riverside, Tas. A house mate was telling me that they overheard somebody getting in trouble for leaving milk sitting out for about an hour because he decided to take his lunch break half way through stacking it... The same house mate (at a different time) saw somebody else stacking milk, and then walk off (leaving the trolley of milk sitting there) and not come back to finish stacking for 10-15 mins later!!!!! How bad is that? Not only that, but that store has average service and a terrible range of products. Maybe I should stop going there? But living 2 blocks away is soooo convenient :-)

    So Im pretty sure that the reason for one of my milks tasting really sour was because my local woolies sucks!

    Quote Originally Posted by 7A717D71797371727C6575727F69100 link=1242918405/11#11 date=1245304685
    Hi
    ALWAYS TAKE THE LATEST USEBY DATE HOME without exception, as it is usually at the back of the fridge, behind the first 3/4 rows. NOW FEEL THE DIFFERENCE BETWeEN A BOTTLE FROM THE BACK OF THE FRIDGE TO ONE AT THE FRONT, BACK BOTTLE IS COLDER!!!
    Ive always taken the longest use-by date, but I think Ill start taking from the back of the open fridge now. :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by 5A656364797E4F527F697C75100 link=1242918405/12#12 date=1245305180
    I came to the conclusion that during summer they were substituting powdered milk into it.
    Really? Wow Im surprised by that :-) You could be right, but Ive never tasted that distinctive powered milk flavour. Although, being from Tassie we probably dont have any issues of milk shortages. A drought for us is like a week without rain :-P

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    Quote Originally Posted by 554F5801070E06360 link=1242918405/15#15 date=1245327002
    I know there is absolutely NO reason soymilk would be seasonal like cows milk, but it is handled by the same 15 yr old pubescent couldnt-give-a-toss employee out the back, so maybe it is a temperature issue. Coincidentally i also live in Tassie. Could we maybe blame swine flu or the GFC for this too?!? ;D
    Could be ;-) Although if anything has swine flu, its going to be the Mexican coffee beans that I got from bean bay last month! I cant say that Ive ever drank vita-soy. Ive heard soy is hard to froth, but never had the motivation to try it in a coffee. Maybe I should one day :-P

    DO YOU HAVE AN ACCURATE THERMOMETER IN YOUR FRIDGE??
    Really, if you dont how can you prove that your fridge is at 4 C or less?
    Good point. I never looked at it until now but our fridge appears to have a thermometer in it. It was saying 4 degrees, however I reckon that is just what the thermostat is set to (not the actual current temp) -- so I changed it to 3 degrees.

    However, Ive never had milk go off/sour once its been in the fridge. Ive always noticed it on the same day that weve bought the milk. Also, I usually try not the leave the milk out on the bench for long between shots, because I find I get more frothing control with really cold milk :-) I think its mostly been down to our dodgy supermarket!

    So, Im thinking that I might do some experimentation, and do a milk cupping. Buy a small amount of each brand, and see if there is much difference is flavour and texture.

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    Re: Milk flavours depending on time of year?

    I always buy my milk with the longest use-by date and keep my fridge very cold - about 2 degrees. The milk is fine, even for a few days after the the use-by date when I have it that long. I think keeping your own fridge cold is the critical thing.



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