Should I add Milk to Coffee?
Should you put milk in coffee? And how should you put milk in coffee? And is milk bad for the environment?
Let’s dig into the dairy!
When it comes to coffee, your choice is best. We don’t get uppity about our java at Two Chimps, so we’re not gonna tell you that you must drink coffee black, or without sugar, or while doing the conga backwards (although wouldn’t that be fun?).
Coffee lovers have been adding milk to their coffee for centuries, and many national coffee drinks incorporate dairy in snazzy ways. And who’s to say what’s right or wrong? Not us! It’s your coffee: enjoy it your way!
What we are going to do in this rather marvellous Milk-And-Coffee guide, however, is give you the info. The facts. So you’ve got everything you need to make mindful milky choices!
What Does Milk Contain?
What are the calcium, fat and protein contents of milk? Heck, what actually is milk?
Let’s get back to basics and find out what this white stuff really is.
Milk is a liquid produced by mammals. We consume mostly cow’s milk here in the UK, but milk from goats, buffalos and sheep is also popular.
Milk is an emulsion consisting of water, fat and protein plus carbohydrates and some good ol’ vitamins and minerals. Water makes up about 87% of whole milk, with the remaining 13% being protein and fat.
Baffled by the milk bottle top colours? Don’t be. The blue milk top contains whole milk, which is pasteurised cow’s milk in its ‘whole’ form – with nothing added or taken away. Semi-skimmed milk sports a green bottle top, while skimmed milk wears a red one. Both have had all or part of their fat contents removed.
It’s worth noting that all three types contain similar nutrient levels, calories and fat aside.
Why do we Put Milk in Coffee?
Right, onto the joe!
Just why do we add milk to coffee? Here’s the top trio of reasons…
Milk can make the texture of coffee that bit more marvellous. Why? It’s because milk ups the fat content (only slightly), which makes the coffee feel thicker and more velvety in your mouth.
Many coffee lovers add milk to their mug for sweetness. Finding your coffee a bit bitter? Adding milk can be a good shout.
Milk reduces bitterness in coffee because its proteins bind to polyphenolic compounds like tannins. Tannins are good for health but bring some bitter taste to your cup. Ahh well, we can’t have everything…
Milk tends to work better with dark and medium roast coffees, as it enhances their chocolatey, nutty notes. Yuuuum!
Make Coffee Easier on Your Stomach
Milk is more neutral in pH than coffee, so makes your overall cup less acidic. This is awesome news if you want to make coffee easier on your stomach or avoid acid reflux!
Does Speciality Coffee Need Milk?
Most people dash a little dairy in their coffee to reduce bitterness. Instant coffees from big-brand names tend to be bitter. Why? It’s because the big names and chain cafes tend to source low-grade, strip-picked coffee beans. Mechanical strip picking gives a mix of ripe and bitter-tasting under-ripe beans, which make your final coffee taste bitter and astringent. Not what you want.
Choose Two Chimps, and you’ll get the opposite – carefully grown, lovingly hand-picked arabica coffees brimming with natural sweetness! We always roast fresh to ensure crazy amounts of flavour and deliver your coffee free of charge – no minimum spend!
Try your Two Chimps without milk first. You might find it gorgeously sweet enough as it is. Still fancy some milk? Go for it – dash, splash or dribble away!
How to add milk to coffee
One important thing to consider when putting milk in coffee is the temperature of your milk: we’d steer clear of adding cold milk to coffee. Unless you’re making iced coffee. Obvs.
Allow the milk to come up to room temperature, or heat it in the microwave for a few seconds. Then splash (or dash) ’till your heart’s content!
This just counts for adding milk to black coffee, of course. There’s also a whole host of milky coffee drinks on the menu, each with their own crafted recipe. Take the cappuccino, for instance. This creamy customer contains equal parts of espresso, steamed milk and milk foam (so, its ratio is 1:1:1). Then there’s the lovely latte, which you make with one-third espresso and two-thirds steamed milk, plus a thin microfoam crown on the top. And some stellar latte art if you fancy!
Want to brew your best ever coffee at home? Just grab a FREE Two Chimps Brew Guide! It’s your go-to guide for making coffee at home. Get it below – absolutely free!
Is Milk Bad for the Environment?
We all know that we can reduce our carbon footprint by consuming less meat and dairy. But why? Why is milk bad for the environment?
We checked out the research to find THE FACTS.
So, dairy milk negatively impacts the planet because of the methane it creates. We know that carbon dioxide is bad, but did you know that methane also has super-serious effects on global warming? 34 lots of super-seriousness, in fact. Because one tonne of the stuff causes 34 times as much atmospheric warming as a tonne of CO2. All in all, methane is responsible for around a third of the global warming that’s occurred since the Industrial Revolution.
Many sources release methane into the atmosphere, and one of these is livestock. Or, more specifically, farting and burping livestock. And when you think about the 270 million dairy cows producing milk worldwide, that’s A LOT OF farting and burping!
We can giggle, but it’s pretty serious. Especially when the dairy industry’s emissions are almost the same as those from planes AND shipping combined.
So it’s clear: to tackle the climate crisis we need to bring down methane emissions. And choosing freshly roasted speciality coffee, which is less likely to require milk, is one way you can do this!
What is the Best Milk Alternative for Coffee?
But maybe you still want to put milk in coffee? That’s cool! Why not try a hip non-dairy milk instead? They bring new flavours and reduce the carbon footprint of your cup! Win-win.
And which is the best non-dairy milk for coffee? The choice is baffling: type ‘dairy free milk’ into Tesco online and you’ll find oodles of options.
Sampling a few is the best way to find your plant-based pal. Want a head start? We’d recommend soya milk. Its smooth, creamy texture and neutral taste make it a great coffee companion. Just remember (and this goes for most non-dairy milks) to heat it up before adding it to your cup.
You now know everything there is to know about adding milk to coffee. Udder-ly everything. Congrats!
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