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Frothing non-dairy milk

Milk has always been the ideal mixer for coffee. It also influences the cup profile, adding complexity and surfaces nuances that simply take the coffee cup to new horizons. But with the increased offer of alternative drinks in the world - the enhancements increase the possible nuances even more - but frothing them using the same principles as cow's milk will not necessarily do the trick.
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Frothing non-dairy milk

Milk has always been the ideal mixer for coffee. It also influences the cup profile, adding complexity and surfaces nuances that simply take the coffee cup to new horizons. But with the increased offer of alternative drinks in the world - the enhancements increase the possible nuances even more - but frothing them using the same principles as cow's milk will not necessarily do the trick.

The main difference between vegetable milk and animal milk is that they have different fat and protein content, making them more difficult to emulsify. This is because fats and proteins are key to creating a smooth, shiny, textured microbubble foam that tops cups and is used for latte art. 

Pay attention to the following to get the best results when frothing plan-based milk alternatives.

1. Protein content is key

The milk protein is the most important piece to create the foam. When heated, the protein forms the microbubble structure, so it is recommended that the milk has a higher protein content to have a more stable foam. 

Almond milk and soy milk are plant-based milks with a high protein content, which makes them easy to texture, especially soy milk, to which you should avoid incorporating too much air when you start steaming to avoid excess foam. 

Coconut and oatmeal have less protein, although oatmeal offers good results if it is aerated for longer periods.

There are vegetable milks designed especially for baristas, which contain stabilizers. These are substances that help the milk not curdle when it comes into contact with the acidity of the coffee.   

2. Consider the taste of milk

Each non-dairy milk has a different flavor that may or may not match the aromatic notes of the coffee beans used. For example, for some people, the vegetal nuances of soy can be unpleasant in the cup.

In turn, walnut milk is usually bitter at first sip, although combined with chocolate coffees it usually forms an appetizing match; however, this dairy product is very watery and difficult to texture. In the case of oat milk, it is one of the favorites as it allows you to enjoy the nuances of coffee.

3. Keep an eye on the temperature

Soy milk is temperature resistant and works well when steamed up to 65 degrees Celsius. Almond, on the other hand, is unstable at high temperatures, so the recommendation is to emulsify it at 55 degrees Celsius.

Coconut oats can get very thick at temperatures above 150 degrees Fahrenheit, so be careful not to raise the temperature too high, while oatmeal tends to work well over a wide range of heat, from 130 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. 65 degrees centigrade.   

4. Adapt your technique


To create latte art on a non-dairy milk foam, some technical considerations must be taken into account.

Because soy milk creates a lot of foam and this hinders designing on it, many baristas choose to tap and shake the pitcher harder to get a stable texture.

Another tip is to pour in the emulsified almond milk immediately, slowly and after hitting the pitcher with moderate force. The oatmeal is recommended to pour it strongly and quickly.

Finally, the coconut drink usually has great bubbles, as it contains a lot of sugar and fat, but little protein. You can shake and tap the pitcher repeatedly to turn those bubbles into microfoam.

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