Coffee and milk are firm friends, together creating such popular drinks as the flat white, latte and cappuccino. The richness and slight sweetness of milk are a perfect complement to the bold and complex flavours of most types of coffee. However, some types of milk are better than others when it comes to creating the perfect cup of coffee. At Difference Coffee, we always recommend full-fat milk as the best milk for coffee. Unless you request otherwise, a good barista will always reach for full-fat milk to make any kind of coffee that requires milk. We suggest you do the same when making coffee at home.
CHOOSING THE BEST MILK FOR COFFEE: CONSIDER MILKFAT FOR FLAVOUR AND TEXTURE
The reason full-fat milk is ideal for coffee comes down to its milkfat content. With around 3 to 4 percent fat, full-fat milk has the ideal level of richness to add body and a pleasant, smooth mouthfeel to coffee. Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk have too little fat to add body to a coffee drink and tend to leave it tasting thin. Cream, on the other hand, has too much fat and gives coffee an excess of richness.
Some coffee drinkers are concerned about the calorie count for full-fat milk, and therefore choose semi-skimmed or skimmed milk instead. This is of course a personal decision but consider that if you’re adding just a splash of milk to a cup of coffee, the calorie difference between full-fat versus skimmed or semi-skimmed milk is in the single digits. Even with a latte, which might have 200 ml of milk, the difference is still only in the range of 30 to 40 calories. If you want your coffee drink to be a delicious treat, opt for full-fat milk.
We understand that many coffee drinkers don’t drink dairy milk and want to know the best alternative. There is a wide variety of non-dairy milks available today, so it’s easy enough to experiment and find one you enjoy. The best we’ve found – and most of our industry peers agree – is Oatly Barista Edition. As its name suggests, this oat milk is formulated specifically for use in coffee, and it’s close in flavour and texture to full-fat dairy milk.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT COFFEE
Most, but not all types of coffee are compatible with milk. Difference Coffee’s Jamaican Blue Mountain, for example, has chocolatey and nutty notes that pair beautifully with milk. In contrast, our Panama Geisha coffee has a delicate floral flavour that would be muted by milk and is much better served black. Please browse our coffee shop page to learn more about these unique coffees and the best ways to enjoy them.