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by Joseph McCarthy June 28, 2021

Milk & coffee. For some, essential - for others, an abomination. But one thing is for certain, and that’s if you’re going to add milk to your coffee, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. If you’re partial to adding some of that dairy goodness to your brew, check out some of our tips below to upgrade your milk and coffee game.

Not a dairy drinker? Fear not - we’ve also got the lowdown on the best milk alternatives.

I. Temperature

Never put cold milk in hot coffee. Ever. We really can’t stress this enough, really. It kills the flavour of the coffee, smothering the more delicate flavours of your brew and quite frankly ruining what should be a lovely cup of coffee.

  • Room temperature works well, but ideally you want to add a bit more heat to match the coffee. An easy cheat? Pop your cup with milk in the microwave for a few seconds before adding the coffee! 
  • Have a steam wand on your machine and fancy a classic milky coffee, like a latte or a cappuccino? You ideally want the milk somewhere between 60-70°C (140-160°F) - this is the optimum temperature to bring out milk’s natural sweetness.

II. What coffee to use with milk

Some coffee is just better suited for milk. Generally, the roast level gives you a pretty good idea; for instance, a darker roast would work better with milk, whereas the lighter roasted coffee would be ‘drowned out’ by milk. But, this does get a bit more complicated, as roast level does not necessarily mean that the resulting coffee has the body and depth to handle milk.

For reference, here’s a list of the different CRU Kafe pods, and how each blend performs with milk:

  • Light Roast - Not Suited. The only way we’d recommend having milk with our Light Roast is as a macchiato or cortado; just a splash of warm milk in a small espresso.
  • Decaf - Good. It’s medium-dark roast holds milk well, but be sure to use 2 pods if you’re making a big mug of something frothy.
  • Intense Roast - Good. Whilst it will take milk no problem, we recommend our Intense blend to be drunk as a short black espresso or longer lungo pour. 
    • Colombian - Great. Let’s face it - our Colombian is just great at everything, and that includes milk.
    • Dark Roast - Excellent. Big body, deep flavours - this pod was pretty much made for milk.
    • Espresso Blend - Excellent. Same as the Dark Roast, but gives a much smoother, creamier finish - perfect for any milk based drinks!
    • Indian - Excellent. Spice and earthiness makes our Indian a much more specialist brew, but you have to be careful not to drown these added flavours in too much milk.
    • Honduran - Excellent. This chocolate heavy blend is perfect with or without milk.
    • Half Caff - Excellent. Tasting notes of sweet syrups and rich fruits combined with it’s  well-balanced body couple together to create a complex espresso, great with or without milk.

      Joseph McCarthy
      Joseph McCarthy

      Black filter first thing. Head of digital and waterer of office plants.

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