Learn how to pair
Milk is largely made up of fats and proteins, effecting the way a cup of coffee tastes. The fats in milk enhance a cup of coffees “mouth feel.”
While coffees can have little or large bodies, all brewed coffee is primarily water — and it feels like drinking water. Adding fats from milk changes the texture of coffee, making it thicker and, when done well, giving it a velvety smoothness.
The proteins in milk soften coffee’s bitterness by binding to polyphenolic compounds, such as tannins. Although good for the body, tannins have an astringent taste that detracts from coffee. When proteins bind to these molecules, their flavour is covered up.
Milk proteins also help lessen a coffee’s acidity, or brightness. Just as they bind to tannins, proteins will also react with chlorogenic acids (CGAs), largely responsible for coffee’s brightness. When the CGAs react, the coffee tastes less acidic. Acidity is primarily a prized characteristic in coffee, but not all coffee drinkers appreciate extremely bright coffees. Adding milk is one-way people can lessen a brew’s acidity.
Plant-based drink and these other selections have a place in coffee shops, as some people are allergic to dairy milk, and they can be used to create good-tasting beverages.
Traditionally plant-based drinks aren’t good options for flavour because the fats and proteins in milk are the molecular structures that affect how coffee tastes, milks high in protein and fat have the greatest impact on a cup of coffee.
Plant-based drinks are mostly made with water, so they will never enhance a cup of coffee in the same way that cow’s milk will, because they don’t have as many fats and proteins.
The flavour of any coffee drink made with plant-based rather than dairy will be different, though, because of plant-based’s different fat and protein content.
Indeed, the key is to pair the right coffee with the right plant-based drink.
As with every other food and beverage, each person must find their own balance between flavour and health. And this is where al Bacio Coffee & Co. comes in.
Here a few examples that are uncommon between the majority and it can help you to understand how the pairing works:
- Coffees from East Africa tend to be tart, juicy and floral, pairing best with plant-based drinks with lots of natural sweetness;
- Coffees from Central and South America and Indonesia pair well with plant-based drinks that are creamy and have a nutty flavour profile;
- Naturally-processed coffees need neutral plant-based drink to act as a backdrop for their complex bouquet of aromatics and ripe fruit qualities to come forward.
So let help you with making the right choice!
...and the right choice starts based on your favourite plant-based drink!