Coffee Opinion – Raw Vs Pasteurized Milk

Raw milk is illegal...

in some places, included many states in the United States.  It's believed to be because of the level of bacteria that is in the milk prior to pasteurization.  The process in which cold milk is quickly heated, then quickly cooled to kill of any harmful bacteria.  This process may have some effects of the taste of the milk as well, but I set out to find out for sure.  So when I saw raw milk for sale at a local grocery store in San Diego I decided to give it a try, and compare it to my favorite pasteurized organic whole milk.

Having heard stories about raw milk being so different, in a good way, I was very curious to incorporate it into my espresso beverages at home.  When cold the raw milk was definitely sweeter than its pasteurized counterpart, but it's texture was a bit thinner.  This texture transferred into the steamed version of the raw, yet the sweetness faded to a bit of a bitter or grassy flavor.  I'm sure this has to do a lot with the grass the cows are grazing on, and I'm sure other dietary factors.  It was a bit thinner, but made pouring latte art very fluid and easy.

The pasteurized version was sweet cold, and even sweeter steamed.  It's texture steamed was thicker, but in a much more pleasing way in terms of drinking it as a cappuccino.  The thicker foam could be a detriment of latte art for those less versed in steaming and pouring techniques.  The overall enjoyment for me is much higher with the pasteurized milk. Plus the flavor won't detract, or compete with that of the espresso in the drink.  Check out the video above to see it in action!


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