Milk is just Milk!

Milk is important and difficult to master. Dr Faishal will agree.
It is half-time break during a football match between Manchester United and Southampton and I thought it will be a good time to prepare the coffee calendar for month of October, for Dutch Colony. Then my mind wander over a topic that I was discussing everyday for five days in a row. About milk and espresso, to 41 students from ITE College East who was attending the Barista Interest Group program.

Considering Lattes and Cappuccinos makes up the top two espresso based beverages we (in Dutch Colony) sell every month and the art and science of milk is something we talk about in every barista fundamental classes, milk definitely is an important topic. After all, as much as we fuss about parameters of extracting a delicious espresso, milk is at the end of the day almost 80% that completes a drink in any cafe. Unfortunately or fortunately though, milk is something that people in the cafe business don't usually indulge in. Too many incidents to mention but here is one; when a cafe customer provide feedback that the cappuccino is not as sweet as usual, the coffee roaster received a call and asked to investigate that roasted batch of coffee. What happen to the proteins in milk that contributed to the sweetness and liquid marshmallow texture then? After all isn't that cappuccino almost all milk? Oh yes, milk is just milk!

Here is another; five  coffee roasters (or the more the merrier) have been called upon to provide samples for a new cafe who is opening real soon. Coffee have got to be good (and cheap) and it doesn't matter what future consumers of that cafe prefer, as long as the Bosses likes it and they like it chocolaty and 'not sour lah'. When down to the wire, any roaster who can provide that comforting notes and $0.10 cheaper per kg then everyone else, congratulations the business is yours. When it come to milk, which can account to almost $4000-$5000 of cost of good every month, the boss says any milk will do. Whatever everyone is using is good. Not a single questions asked about sweetness, about amount of protein or fat and most importantly, not a question ask about custom profile and/or exclusivity. Why do we not demand the same from our milk supplier like what we do to the coffee supplier? Oh I get it again, milk is just milk.

Where is this going? No where of course but just to address the importance of milk in a cafe business.  If I  have the time to collate what I have been working on, is to address the issue of bubbles on milk foam of an espresso based beverage. This was also discussed in the blog FB  group. A topic for another day.

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