Let's talk about sugar and milk

Recently, I had some customers ask for cream and raw sugar. When I said I don’t offer those choices they feel it’s unbelievable. I only offer regular milk and white sugar because there’s a experience I want to give customers that would otherwise be different.

Before I made the decision to just offer white sugar and milk I did some research into the topic. Here’s why I don’t offer them.

Types of sweeteners used usually with coffee are white granulated sugar, brown sugar, yellow sugar, raw sugar, cane sugar, honey and maybe coconut sugar and maple sugar.

The simple answer is I have tried most of them and found they all have something in common. They change how the coffee tastes when mixed. So I chose the one with the least change to coffee flavour, white granulated sugar. I pick cubed sugar for the ease of use.

And on top of that, brown, and yellow sugar is not really that natural as people think. It’s made from mixing white sugar with molasses. 3.5% molasses makes light brown and 6.5% molasses makes dark brown.

We use cane sugar in our cold drinks because it works for the taste we’re trying to create. Not all our cold drinks contain coffee.

Cream usually contains 33% fat and the milk we use contain just 3.5% fat. The fat content in fat acts as an inhibitor for flavour. That’s why when you eat spicy food it’s a good idea to drink milk to wash down the spiciness. Also fat can make the drink more rich tasting because it can increase the viscosity slightly.

I even mixed cream with milk to get different fat content ranging from 4.5 to 11%. The result I found was as the fat content increased the flavour of the coffee starts to decrease. So you would be tasting more and more of the milk. To a point it would feel like it’s a milk beverage with coffee flavour.

How about none fat, I tried that too. You would still get milk flavour in your coffee but the richness wasn’t there.

The breed of cow can determine how much a milk flavour comes into the milk. Some can produce less milk but more flavour or more milk with less flavour. The season affecting the freshness and water content in the food the cows eat can effect the milk as well. So it’s up to the milk farmer to blend the correct mixture of different cow breeds to achieve the same result year round.

So I ended by choosing a higher grade milk, we use 3.5% grass-fed pasteurized.milk. The grass-fed milk gives more of a milk flavour compared to the regular milk, ex. Dairlyland. During my search for the milk to use, I found a milk that was so flavourful that when I made a latte with it the milk flavour was overwhelming the coffee.

Jason ChenComment