Since the beginning of time us Finns have coated our coffees with milk - or at least some of us have. Recent years have brought in other options, such as oat- and soy-based products. The most known is sure to be iKaffe -oat milk but also other manufacturers have many different options to try out. 

In addition to coating your own coffee with milk at home, new milk based products have brought nuances to the making of specialty coffees. By choosing the right milks one can discover whole new dimensions from a coffee experience - just like when choosing a coffee variety.

iKaffe - a jaw-dropping enter that doesn't seem to have an end

Accompanied by flashy marketing campaigns, iKaffe is known in almost every household in Finland. And not without a reason, this delicious option has earned its place at the cafes as well as at households.

As one the most memorable marketing tricks iKaffe printed into the sides of their cartons all of the prank names their competitors were using of them.

Oatly iKaffe earns its place with its taste and mixing abilities. Many oat milks have had the problem of not mixing well into coffee and you don't really run into this problem with iKaffe.

Oat milk is quite literally liquid oat. In addition, oat milk does generally include water, oil, acidity regulator, salt, vitamins and calcium.

Soy milk - like cow milk but out of soy.

Soy milk is made by squeezing the vegetable milk from soy. In China for example, soy milk has been made for a long time to replace cow milk. The usage of soy has increased during recent years as vegan lifestyle and plant-based diets have raised their popularity. Soy milk can be used by people who have milk allergies and also the people suffering from lactose-intolerance.

Oh, and by the way: you can't call soy milk a "milk" - you have to call it a soy drink. We can thank EU's legislation that states that the word "milk" is not allowed to be used with products that don't contain milk from animals. 

In addition to oat milk and soy milk, the market also includes plant drinks extracted from rice, nuts, coconuts and hemp-seeds, and these are useful in many ways, also when spicing coffee.

Making a perfect Café Au Lait

Whether you use cow-milk, oat milk or soy milk in your coffee, with a few tips you can take your coffee experience to another level. The most important thing that often is forgotten is the purity. With raw materials and also with the equipment, purity is usually the thing that makes the most significant difference to the taste.

The coffee machine itself should be cleaned weekly if it's being used daily. If the coffee machine has an automatic milk system, you should put even more focus on the cleaning. The newest and most expensive coffee machines' milk systems have an automatic cleaning function, which means that the cleaning can be done with a push of a button. Machines equipped with milk systems should be cleaned daily.

If the coffee machine has a steam wand, the cleaning process is easiest when it's taken apart into pieces. Letting it soak in warm water for 10 minutes does wonders to every part.

When purity is an obvious thing for everybody - choosing of the right milk begins. Whatever milk drink may be used, it's important to know the coffee's fat content. Fat brings softness and flavour into the coffee. Especially cappuccino and latte need a fatty milk that is lathered.

A good milk foam separates baristas from homecooks. A good milk foam is bendy and soft and creates an excellent mouthfeel. 

A sharp espresso coffee is a basis for almost every specialty coffee. One can create different specialty coffees for every taste by changing the ratio of hot milk and milk foam. 

Us Finns are coffee folk. Different coffees and servings to go along them define us greatly. So why not put effort into this area?

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