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Adding Milk to Coffee


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15 replies to this topic

#1 DanM

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 08:11 AM

I am really starting to appreciate a good cup of coffee. I didn't like it in the past because I was introduced to coffee through crap like Taster's Choice. I have started tasting my coffee to see if it needs sugar or milk. Its like adding salt to a dish, taste before seasoning. I only add sugar if I find it too bitter when drunk black. I do not fully understand the purpose of milk in coffee, except for flavor. Does it serve a specific function or purpose?
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#2 Lisa Shock

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 09:38 AM

The fat adds mouthfeel, recent research shows that we have a taste for fat. Also, some astringent and some bitter compounds are masked by dairy.

Isn't it usually milk with tea and cream in coffee?

#3 Zeemanb

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 09:41 AM

I generally always add half and half to my daily thermos of coffee...but more to test how strong it is- if a long pour of dairy does not change the color of the coffee whatsoever, then it is strong enough to drink :laugh: .

#4 liuzhou

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:13 AM

I invariably drink coffee black and sugarless, so I can't help.

#5 Jaymes

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:23 AM

I very much prefer cream in coffee, or milk, if cream isn't available. I like a very strong coffee flavor, made creamy with the dairy. Think cappuccino. In many regions of Mexico, they serve something similar - "cafe con leche," - about half a cup of strong coffee, perhaps espresso, with about half a cup of hot milk.

I don't much like sweet beverages, though, so no sugar for me. Just strong, really strong, coffee with milk or cream.

If the coffee isn't strong enough to take the milk, then I don't want it at all. Weak coffee with milk or cream is pretty bad. Wimpy hot milk with a slight coffee flavor. Yuck. This is an issue if you live in a house with "black" coffee drinkers as I do. They never want to make the coffee as strong as I like it, because they're not diluting it with the cream/milk. I had to make a separate pot.

Then we got a hot water dispenser, and our mornings settled into harmony. Strong black coffee in the pot. I add half & half. They add a shot of hot water. Perfection.

So to answer your question about what is the "purpose" of the milk. For me, that's a pretty easy question. The purpose of the cream/milk is to make it taste good.

#6 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 11:27 AM

I drink most of my coffee Pintado (black with just a little sploosh of whole milk or cream); I think it's a flavour thing, since at least with the beans I use the dairy brings out a lovely roasted-chocolate-caramel flavour in the coffee that I don't perceive without the cream. Mom drinks her coffee Cortado, with about 30% milk and 70% coffee (more or less). Neither of us takes sugar.

I also think that how you add the milk/cream and how much has a huge influence on the final flavour of the coffee.

Cafe Con Leche, for example, is usually just a little bit of coffee in a whole lot of hot milk or light cream. Better hereabouts as Cafe Esencia, which uses a concentrated tincture of coffee, usually also hot. Then you blend the hot tincture and hot milk until you've got a colour that seems about right. When I'm out, my choices are normally hot milk and Nescafe (ick!) or Esencia, and I always opt for the latter.
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#7 annabelle

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 11:32 AM

I drink my coffee (dark roast) with half and half. I used to drink it black, but as I have gotten older, I find that it upsets my stomach if I don't add cream.

#8 Shel_B

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 12:26 PM

I usually drink my coffee black and without sugar, making it at home in a French press. However, I sometimes want cream, and when I do it's manufacturer's cream, or heavy cream. What a difference from milk or half-and-half, or even the typical whipping cream. Talk about mouth feel!

.... Shel


#9 janeer

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 03:59 PM

I do not use sugar.
In good strong coffee, I use light cream or half and half--put in the cup first, then the coffee added to it.
I drink espresso black after a big dinner; in the morning I like a double latte made with whole milk. Actually, in Italy milk is considered for the morning only.

#10 djyee100

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 06:37 PM

I drink strong coffee (Peet's), with a dose of milk for flavor and a dose of heavy cream for wonderfulness. If the coffee is acidic (as mine is), the cream balances that out. Coffee with cream is one of the great fat/acid combinations.

#11 Jenni

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:38 PM

South Indian coffee is made with extremely strong coffee. The coffee itself is prepared and then milk is heated up to boiling point, either with sugar in the milk or sugar is put in the cups. The strong filtered coffee is put the cups (it is just a small quantity) and the cup is filled up with hot milk from a height ai that a fright head forms. Btw serving sizes are very small and nothing like the giant mugs you see in the West. So this is a coffee made with a significant amount if milk compared to the coffee. But it us also very strong coffee. And sweet too! It is divine and the only coffee I can be bothered with. I don't know what milk "does" to the coffee but it tastes amazing.

#12 Broken English

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 02:28 AM

I'm not a huge fan of percolated coffee, but with instant coffee, I always have milk and a sugar. With proper coffee I always taste for sugar and almost always have a latte or similar milk based cuppa. I think my reputation is on the line for loving instant coffee.
James.

#13 Jenni

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 04:05 AM

Please blame my phones auto correct for that last post! I meant "so that a frothy head forms"

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#14 Jaymes

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 09:22 AM

Please blame my phones auto correct for that last post! I meant "so that a frothy head forms"


Ah, too bad. I was interested in that "fright head" that forms in the steamed milk. Very mystical, it seemed to me.

#15 Jenni

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 09:29 AM


Please blame my phones auto correct for that last post! I meant "so that a frothy head forms"


Ah, too bad. I was interested in that "fright head" that forms in the steamed milk. Very mystical, it seemed to me.


Oh but it is mystical. As with many things (hot chocolate, cream soda, guinness - or at least so this non drinker hears - , bubble baths), the froth/foam is one of the best bits!

#16 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 10:05 AM

Agreed! Although in properly made hot chocolate, the cheese at the bottom runs a close second for best bits....
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