Since working in tech, caffeinated drinks became a staple of my mornings. It was more than just the buzz of the caffeine or the stimulating aroma of freshly ground beans that made me look forward to mornings – it was the creamy smooth milky lattes that I had become accustomed to. As the months passed, I was excited at the prospect of finding and trying new coffee shops and the creamy smooth or bold juicy lattes they produced. Of course, fuelling my latte cravings became expensive and there were times I just wanted a creamy warming drink at home – whether it was a flavoured steamed milk, chai, latte or hot chocolate. These drinks all had hot milk in common.
Ways of heating milk
The two methods I could readily do at home, requiring little more than a pot or mug were microwaving or heating up in a pot. The microwave was the most precarious – sometimes the liquid would boil over and cause a mess, sometimes it wouldn’t be hot enough and then it would boil over and sometimes it would be hot…so hot that the milk proteins denature and you get a less creamy drink. The other method was over the stove in a pot – this usually worked well in terms of getting the milk to a good temperature and if I whisked it enough I could get away with having less stuck to the bottom – but it required that I be there for the whole duration and usually required soaking the pot after so anything stuck to it could be cleaned.
The thing that changed my warm drinks life
Fast forward a few years, one of the companies I worked at had this contraption – a thing you pour milk in, set the temperature, put the lid on and hit a button. It did the rest. The heating, the swirling, the creamy hot milk drink making, and the automatically turning off. It was called the Breville Milk Cafe. I could walk away and it would gently beep at you when it was done. I could be off making the rest of your latte (the bean grinding, espresso making, aeropress-ing) and my milk would be ready for me to pour. Cleaning it after was as simple as rinsing it with hot water after pouring my milk into my drink and every few uses washing it with soapy hot water and a brush.
Breville and my every day
I ended up receiving a Breville Milk Cafe from my mom after telling her how incredible it was (she now owns her own as well). This is one of the few things I use every single day. Whether it’s for a morning latte, an afternoon tea latte or an evening turmeric latte, the ease of use made the Milk Cafe a staple every day item for me. There are two foam disks to choose from which vary how foamy your milk is. The milk is always creamy and perfectly hot and I don’t have to worry about burning myself with a traditional steam nozzle (the kind on an expresso machine) or the fuss of stovetop milk heating. Cleaning the Milk Cafe is always a breeze, I usually give it a hot rinse and soap it every few drinks. Winters have become cozier as I never hesitate to whip up a hot cocoa or earl grey tea latte before settling in by the fire.
I can’t go back to not having a Milk Cafe as I love the luxury have having warm creamy milky drinks all year long and always struggled with the hassles of heating milk on a stove, the microwave (worst method), or with an espresso machine (at work, still tricky to get right).
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