Does Milk Ruin Coffee?

milk in coffee

Working with coffee suddenly creates this aura of misled assumptions in which people not working in the coffee industry assume you judge them whenever they speak, think or drink coffee! This is not the case. We only judge you if you’re drinking tea.

The most common phrase I hear from people walking into our roastery is ‘you must hate people like me, I drink coffee with milk’.

Where has this hypothesis that milk ruins coffee come from?

Now, if we were to follow Italian coffee etiquette, then milk is perfectly acceptable in coffee from a latte to a macchiato – but only in the mornings. Do not drink milky coffee after lunch and never on a full stomach. Coffee is drunk differently all around the world – several countries have unique quirks to their coffee preferences.

milk in coffee

Only 10% of coffee drinkers enjoy their daily pick me ups without milk! So if the other 90% either have milky coffees or milk in their black coffees then surely that would be considered as the ‘proper’ way to enjoy coffee?

Is there even a ‘proper’ way?

I believe that the concept of black coffee being the ‘proper’ way of drinking it merely comes from the idea of enjoying it on its own and appreciating the coffee itself without any other ingredients. If you’re passionate about coffee, then being able to identify tasting notes within a coffee is important. It helps you to understand the journey the beans. However, you shouldn’t define your enjoyment of coffee over these details.

There is no ‘proper’ way. Enjoy coffee as you like it. That’s more important than clinging to a notion of coffee etiquette.

Besides, there’s more to flavour than sipping an espresso. Some coffees take on an entirely new aspect when combined with a hint of milk. Among our selection of origin coffees, milk changes or enhances some of the coffees. For instance, our Nicaragua Matagalpa develops a sweet and creamy taste when combined with milk, which is less prominent when had black. And our Sumatra and Santos blend has a completely different personality altogether!

So, does milk ruin coffee?

We don’t think so! The taste of your perfect cup should depend on your own personal preference. If you want to have milk with it and still be a coffee connoisseur, then do so and do so proudly!