On steamed milk

October 13, 2021


Coffee is a big part of my life. And not just any coffee, I prefer espresso based drinks with steamed milk. So when Einar challenged me to write a blog post on milk in coffee, how could I possibly not do that?

Milk in espresso based drinks is a facinating topic. The first part of it, which I’m not even up for discussing is the type of milk. IMNSHO opinion the best milk to have in your coffe is the fattest milk. So for me, Røros Økologisk Helmjølk is the way to go. 4% fat, ecological, what more could you ever desire? Why you might ask? Simple. The fatter the milk, the easier it is to acheive the correct texture, and the fat in the milk also brings the coffee taste to life.

The second part is the texture, or foaminess. To me this is on a scale from a cortado where the milk is hardly frothed at all, just barely heated, and, in mhy parlance, thin. On the other end of the scale, you have the cappuccino where the milk is very frothed, almost to the point of foamy.

The third part is the amount of milk. Everything from an caffè macchiato to a latte macchiato, one might argue that they’re basically the inverse of each other. The former is an espresso with a splash of milk, whereas the latter is a warm milk with a splash of espresso. This cup, from Starbucks in Barcelona, obviously has too much milk IMG_1942

So, what do I prefer? I really like the taste of the espresso, so I’m partial to less milk, and more coffee, and as such, a cortado is preferable. But I also prefer the foaminess more on the side of a cappuccino, but not so much that it doesn’t mix with the coffee. This leads to me often ordering something like “a cortado, but the milk being steamed like a cappuccino, full fat of course”. Oh, and it needs to be served in a cup, not a glass, but preferably in a bowl. Which should look something like this: IMG_0446 Note, that the leaf is not strictly neccessary, but to me, it’s only when the milk is perfectly steamed that you’re able to make them.

At Kaffebrenneriet this would be a triple-au-lait.

And this is why I end up discussing milk with the barrista, even if there is a line behind me.