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If you have a milk based drink, can it be anything other than drinkable or not? Is it possible to have a flat white and taste anything but milk, unless it is a darker bean with a bit of a kick? I am talking about being able to actually discern the flavour characteristics of the bean


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7 minutes ago, dfk41 said:

If you have a milk based drink, can it be anything other than drinkable or not? Is it possible to have a flat white and taste anything but milk, unless it is a darker bean with a bit of a kick? I am talking about being able to actually discern the flavour characteristics of the bean

Yes. Most definitely. The Rwandan natural from black cat was blueberry heaven through milk. I find you can definitely get Strong fruity notes, but more subtle ones often don’t come through 

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Much like @TomHughes says - for a long time my go-to when out in Birmingham was a Guji Highland (roasted by Method) flat white, and it was phenomenally fruity. 

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By extension, is it worth using high end espresso machines if you just drink latte's?

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18 minutes ago, dfk41 said:

If you have a milk based drink, can it be anything other than drinkable or not? Is it possible to have a flat white and taste anything but milk, unless it is a darker bean with a bit of a kick? I am talking about being able to actually discern the flavour characteristics of the bean

Absolutely yes. I see comments to the contrary here often enough and I've never understood it. Perhaps it's a pallet tuning thing if you don't drink many milk drinks, but if you can't taste the difference between a say natural Brazilian, natural Ethiopian and a washed Rwandan bean in a typical milk drink (say 170ml) you're doing something wrong.

A few specialty roaster-cafes around Edinburgh deliberately rotate their own SOs for milk based drinks. Some also keep one SO or blend running at the same time for those who want the consistency.

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I’ve been having Latte’s or Flatties with LSOL beans, every day for the past year! I much prefer light roasts. If you can only taste milk, either your taste buds are not used to it or you are not brewing it right. 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Blue_Cafe said:

By extension, is it worth using high end espresso machines if you just drink latte's?

Yes,

edit: in fact, I would not buy a Gaggia Classic to drink milk drinks, based on experience. 

Edited by MediumRoastSteam
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2 minutes ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

I’ve been having Latte’s or Flatties with LSOL beans, every day for the past year! I much prefer light roasts. If you can only taste milk, either your taste buds are not used to it or you are not brewing it right. 

I like darker as espresso but much prefer the light roasts through milk 

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The individual flavours won't always come through. Sometimes you find new ones, sometimes subtle ones become more obvious. I don't buy the "bad shot don't matter in milk drinks" idea. In my experience any negative notes carry through, sometimes in a way that's even less tolerable. 

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1 minute ago, Rob1 said:

I don't buy the "bad shot don't matter in milk drinks" idea. In my experience any negative notes carry through, sometimes in a way that's even less tolerable. 

Agreed, sourness + sweetness of milk together is awful. Reminds me of a time as a child I "accidently" put Ribena into milk to try it. I did not make that mistake again.

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9 minutes ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

Yes,

edit: in fact, I would not buy a Gaggia Classic to drink milk drinks, based on experience. 

Is that because the Gaggia underperforms with pulling a shot or steaming?

 

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Is that because the Gaggia underperforms with pulling a shot or steaming?

 

Steaming power isn't great without a PID.

The pressure comes & goes, makes it difficult to keep a roll going.

 

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6 minutes ago, LiquidLogic said:

Steaming power isn't great without a PID.
The pressure comes & goes and it's difficult to keep a roll going.

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Ah, understood.

I have to say the Steam on my Gaggia (V2) seems to be great, if anything it's a bit strong and I need to be careful with it!

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1 minute ago, Blue_Cafe said:

Ah, understood.

I have to say the Steam on my Gaggia (V2) seems to be great, if anything it's a bit strong and I need to be careful with it!

Interesting. My experience with the Classic was as described above - all over the place. Would you mind sharing a video if you can? Can it texture milk right?


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I've yet to pull a decent shot from my BE. As a result I just drink lattes and caps. Have done for months now. One of these days I'll see and taste a good looking shot and then, yes!?!

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I drink predominantly flat whites and light to medium roast. LSOL sub is different every month and I drink it as espresso, Aeropress and flat white. Sure, you can't be too heavy handed with milk and light roast espresso, it will disappear a bit in a latte but as a cortado or flat white the differences are quite apparent. Okay, when trying to guess the origin of LSOL I'll do espresso and AP first, but for example an Ethiopian natural, which is my go-to, is like nothing else in milk, a real 'strawberry/ blueberry' type thing going on.

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I drink flat whites most of the time and I have trouble with medium roasts, let alone light roasts in actually being able to taste the coffee. Darker roasts, no problem and boy do different ones make a difference! One honourable exception being a medium roast Papua New Guinea from Coffee Direct which had delicious and complex flavours through the milk.


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36 minutes ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

Interesting. My experience with the Classic was as described above - all over the place. Would you mind sharing a video if you can? Can it texture milk right?

Ha 😃 I wouldn't embarrass myself showing the forum my dreadful barista skills atm :classic_laugh:

I'm not doubting you are right. It's more a critique of me. If the Gaggia steam was any stronger I'd be constantly covered in latte's. :classic_wacko: 

I'll get better with practice obv....

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1 hour ago, catpuccino said:

Agreed, sourness + sweetness of milk together is awful. Reminds me of a time as a child I "accidently" put Ribena into milk to try it. I did not make that mistake again.

That just gave me the most vivid memory of doing the same as a child! It made so much sense at the time, I think I was expecting it to result in a fruity milkshake.

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Despite what folks claim, I am still far from convinced that anything in milk other than a darker roasted bean is discernible. I am not saying the drink cannot be pleasant, far from it but I am suggesting the milk masks the vast majority of the drink, other than leaving you to this that was pleasant or not


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Depends what dose you use and how much milk is added. For my set up, I dose at 18-19grms at 1:2 or slightly higher and use 160ml cups. Flavour notes come through effortlessly.

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You asked "Is it possible to have a flat white and taste anything but milk?"

A few people said: "Yes - here's an example". And yet "despite what folks claim..." you're still "far from convinced"? 

I think we can safely put this in the basket of "each to their own", can't we? And when it comes to coffee tasting notes, the general philosophy is "If you can taste it then you're right!"

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You wont see many people at a whisky tasting filling the glass up to the brim with coke. Even ice is frowned upon. People don’t even like it when it’s been watered down from cask strength to 40%. 

I suspect people are on the defensive because they like a flat white (who doesn’t).

You will be able to discern flavours a bit in a milk drink but nowhere near as much or as many, or as intensely. You’re watering it down... with milk of all things. 

They don’t do cupping for the sca scores with milk do they? (Genuine question)

You might get a few new or different things going on my adding milk though too I suppose. 

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Milk can also add flavour and combine beautifully to create a mix of sweetness and flavour with those present in the coffee. 
It’s definitely just not watering down.

Which is why getting microfoam is so important, it indicates that the milk is at the right temp for sweetness and texture. 


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You wont see many people at a whisky tasting filling the glass up to the brim with coke. Even ice is frowned upon.

They don’t do cupping for the sca scores with milk do they? (Genuine question)


But a lot of people are drinking coffee with milk are doing it for the enjoyment. You can still pick up notes through the milk but the main point of the milk drink isn't to discern the tasting notes, it's to have a tasty beverage.

A whisky tasting/cupping session is a different beast to a whisky coke/milky coffee.

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