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Milk and Coffee

If you had bought coffee 130 years ago from one of my ancestors, you probably would want to add sugar and or milk to it. Due to how we look at coffee today and the rapid positive changes that have occurred over the last 25 years, it can be a very different drink. Today I want to explore the subject of dairy in coffee. If you have read anything that I have previously written, you may pick up that I left school as a D-grade CSE student, in the mid-1980s, so this won’t be technical.

This post is scraping the surface of two things.

Roast levels and milk fats.

In the big picture of making coffee, the most common thing that we all share is loving it. Making, observing, and also drinking it. When we roast a coffee to a level that we (at JGC) now refer to as “traditional” or “espresso profile” (because many of you are used to us now)  we feel that it is broadly developed enough to be sweet in and out of dairy. I like to think that when these coffees are extracted well, they work best with whole milk. Smaller vessels and a little more fat make potentially dreamy and delicious, liquid treats in the form of cups of coffee. When you reduce the fat levels in these drinks they often become drier and taste dark. This is when we (as a broad rule) recommend the following:

Traditional: Whole Milk

Formula 6, Simply Brazil, Naturelle, Vargem Grande

One Roast: Coffees that we extract as Filter or espresso. Semi-Skimmed milk.

Most of our Natural Process coffees, Finca Malacara, and Tres Barras as a few examples.

This would be the area we reduce the roast level and also the fats to match. This pairs nicely and you can end up with a similar result in the cup, just with fewer calories. These coffees take more skill to set up, but if you like an adventure, these are ace. One caveat, lighter roasts, and non-dairy milk have a strange relationship. More acidity and less roast, often make these drinks bland and fatty. The last time I looked at oat milk, I think it was something in the region of 8-10% fat.

Hoping that this was useful and made a little sense.