6 top tips for using plant based milks in hot beverages
Plant based milks have become the norm across the speciality coffee menu. But are they as easy to prep as traditional milks? Here Rob Ward, La Cimbali’s coffee specialist offers baristas 6 top tips for using non dairy milks in hot beverages• Most alternatives to dairy milk have a ‘splitting point’ which can be as low as 60 degrees Celsius. Play it safe by pre-heating the serving cup to a higher temperature and then only steam the milk to around 60 degrees Celsius. As long as your timing is ok, the drink should then maintain a higher temperature by the time it is ready to serve, even though you have decreased the usual milk temperature a little. • Be prepared to agitate and mix milk excessively before pouring. This is a good tip with any milk regardless of its make-up, as milk foam will stick to the outside of your milk jug easily, and continuously swirling it in the jug can not only minimise the extent to which that happens, but also homogenise the entirety of your mixture to make it smoother for pouring, while stopping excessive drainage of foam. • Tweak recipes to suit your market’s preferences. If your customers like a rich whole milk drink but don’t want the dairy any longer, then substitute dairy milk for an equally rich nut milk. Taste them side by side in popular drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, Americanos etc. The more trials you run the more confident you will become in your nut milk recipes.
• Add to them, or simply make them yourself. It’s not as hard as you may think. This will put you in control of the strength of the nut or dairy alternative.• Try and make your coffee less acidic. If possible, brew a slightly longer shot of espresso or use a little less coffee to control the acidity. • Splash some of your cold milk alternative into the hot espresso before adding the steamed milk as this can help create a smooth and even texture. It doesn’t work with all alternative milks but it’s worth experimenting with.