This week the world barista championship (WBC) which runs the global barista competitions announced that they are now permitting non-dairy and alternative milk from now on. Many have been hoping that the WBC will make this change for years.
Whilst a lot of attention has been placed on alternative milk recently, the reality is that 70%+ of coffee drinkers in the UAE have milk in their coffee, and of these 20% have alternative milk.
We test all the available fresh cow's milk on the market every year to ensure we find the best for coffee. This year we had a pleasant surprise. For the last 7 years we have been using Almarai, whilst a KSA company they have been processing in Al Ain local fresh milk in Al Ain, making them the best option. Until now.
In 2018 the UAE security council placed a focus on food security, and we are now seeing the amazing results of this focus across the staple foods groups. Dairy was an obvious priority. The Hayatna brand was born from the National Dairy LLC by Emirates Food Industries. This, we have discovered, is a real setup in technology and quality.
We have joked to customers for years that we only use milk that comes from cows, this is unfortunately not that big a joke as milk, specifically, butterfat is a massive global industry and it is very uncommon to have whole milk delivered to the consumer, often some of the 14 major components of whole milk are removed to be used for higher profit products. Milk is often dehydrated for transport and rehydrated at the last-mile factories or powders are added.
We visited the dairy farm and the milk factory in Al Ain this month, from the constant 20’C temperature control for the cows in their massive open sheds to the state of art bottling factory it started to make sense why the milk tasted so much better.
Dairies feed their cows according to their customer’s milk requirements and the taste and butterfat content are determined by the feed. Hayatna’s milk is fuller and richer in taste and has a higher butterfat content than the milk we were using.
You could think that this is an Advertisement for Hayatna, but it's not, we are excited that the industry is realizing that the quality and consistency of milk as measured by the end consumers' palate is becoming part of business planning and taking priority over margin. Go UAE!!
Some adjustments to the way you make your coffee before you put the milk in are needed to get the most and best results from improved higher butterfat milk. The coffee acidity needs to be raised so it fully interacts with the milk. This is easily done by either grinding slightly finer or using a little more coffee if making espresso.