As I sit here sipping a delicious creamy cappuccino made on a Ponte Vecchio Lever machine with a single origin Tarzania peaberry (an excellent choice for espresso as well as prepared in aeropress), it got me thinking a bit about the issue of milk in the coffee. I started out drinking coffee that was heavily dosed with milk and sugar, so much so that it was hardly a coffee drink anymore. I remembered that I also like a lot of ice in such drink that I used to have. I also used to like to put a lot of sweet condense milk in all of my coffee. The reason I liked those drink was probalby has very little to do with the coffee in it but about the sweetness; those drink was the perfect energy drink, lot of caffeine, ton of sugar and proteins from milk that help keep me alert.
As funny as it may sound, when I started to try other coffees other than the canned chicory stuff that I got from the Vietnamese's store namely Starbucks (or charbuck) I started to look at the taste descriptions on the packaging. I noticed with the amount of milk that I was drinking in coffee, those taste was not present. Then I started drinking coffee with less and less milk and to the point of not using sugar at all. I noticed that I enjoy coffee for what it is, the coffee's taste and not other adulterants.
Then I got into the world of espresso, and milk became once again my friend. Although I like the straight shot very much especially when it is prepared right of course. However, I find that milk in moderate quantity about 2-3 ounces of microfoamed, is the perfect companion to a shot of espresso. Milk contain a lot of lactose which is a disacharide; when steam properly, these disacharide get broken into monosacharide glucose and galactose which give steam milk its sweet taste. It goes well with espresso because the sweetness tame the rough edges of an espresso shot and allow other flavors of the espresso to shine through.
So if you really like milk in coffee, try the cappuccino!!