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There's A Right And A Wrong Kind Of Milk For Your Coffee

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Flickr: duncan c
Flickr: duncan c

There's a reason that serious coffee shops don't ask you what kind of milk you want with your latte: It's because they don't want to give you the chance to totally mess it up. When given the option, many of us health-conscious coffee drinkers would opt for one of the reduced-fat options, but that's the wrong answer when it comes to making a killer latte. Lattes demand fat. It balances out the flavor and contributes to the robust texture, and skim milk just ruins all that.

If you want to drink coffee and drink it well, you have to give in to the fat. Or, go black. We listened to a recent interview The Dinner Party did with head barista Colleen King from coffee-nerd place SQRL in LA, and we learned that there are right and wrong kinds of milk for coffee.

For those of you rolling your eyes at this level of coffee snobbery, we get it. But, just hear us out. And for those of you who care about when your beans were roasted and hand pour your coffee every morning, this is crucial stuff. We picked out the most important things King had to say on the subject -- listen up.

  • 1
    When it comes to lattes, cappuccinos and the like, the fattier the better.
    Flickr: duncan c
    We're talking 12 percent fat, guys. Skim milk is not going to cut it. Don't even think about two percent. Just give in to the fat.
  • 2
    There's a special milk made just for baristas.
    FLICKR: Ben Kaminsky
    It's called Straus Barista Milk. It's a "cream-top milk that has been lightly homogenized to create the perfect amount of stability." This means that it makes small tight bubbles when foamed -- perfect for coffee drinks.
  • 3
    Skim milk in a latte is basically a watered down coffee.
    Flickr: Alesha
    TRUTH.
  • 4
    When it comes to drip coffee, some super coffee nerd baristas would rather you just take it black.
    Flickr: David Ryan
    Adding milk, or worse cream, can mask the subtle flavors of the coffee.
  • 5
    There's a reason diner coffee comes with cream.
    Flickr: Jeannette Ordas
    Because it's so, so dark, the cream helps settle the intense bitterness.
  • 6
    What's the best dairy-free milk option?
    Flickr: CleanGreenSimple
    Almond milk -- the fresher the better. Actually, make it yourself. Almonds naturally have a lot of fat in them so it makes an appropriate substitute.
  • 7
    Can we just put whatever milk we have in the fridge into our coffee?
    Flickr: wildorange55
    TOTALLY. Guys, if your cup of coffee doesn't taste the best way it possibly can , it's okay. Most coffee consumption happens early in the morning when you need caffeine in you fast, and you just do what you got to do. But now you know how to make coffee better -- and knowing, well, that's half the battle.


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