We discovered how to make the perfect milk for coffee, and the cows to produce this milk, in a place not often associated with dairy cows - Denmark. We travelled to Varde, in eastern Denmark, where we were blown away by a herd of Jerseys that produced a milk packed with the protein and butterfat needed to develop our Original Barista Milk. We brought them back to Lancashire, and have never looked back.
We introduced Jerseys to our herd of Holstein-Friesians in late 2015 because Jersey milk has more protein and butterfat - and this is the key to developing the perfect milk for coffee. We only blend the milk from our two herds after undertaking laboratory analysis when the milk tanker arrives, so we can create a consistency in milk proteins unparalleled in the British dairy industry, whilst keeping the milk completely natural.
Following our work with a leading Copenhagen-based coffee consultant, we came to understand the role protein plays in the frothing of milk. Cows in the UK are bred to maximise yield at the expense of protein. And most dairies have no way to keep the proportion of protein in their milk consistent. Baristas find constant fluctuations in protein causes milk to perform unpredictably. We ensure our Original Barista Milk is always 3.6% protein, which gives dependable consistency for beautiful latte art.
Additionally, the milk is not homogenised, essential for silky latte art which holds its pattern for longer.
The sweetness in milk comes from the butterfat, but the national average butterfat in UK milk is just 3.9%. We found the flavour of coffee can be improved considerably by upping the butterfat content of the milk. Our Jerseys can produce milk with as high as 6% butterfat, but milk this sweet can overpower the senses, and so, after many iterations, we found our sweet-spot at 4.5% butterfat. It's the perfect balance of sweetness and flavour.
Our goal is to produce the most consistent milk possible, but also to maximise the welfare of our beautiful cows. As we don’t want our cows to be forced to go outside in inclement Lancashire weather, we came up with ‘Freedom to Choose’. We redesigned the infrastructure of the farm and installed a bridge connecting the Jersey housing to two gorgeous adjacent pastures, separated by a stream. Our Jerseys now have the choice, during sunny summer days, whether to stay indoors or loaf in the pasture. We find that on a sunny day around half of our Jerseys choose to go outside and half choose to stay indoors. On rainy days, our cows outside race for cover and soon the field is empty. This allows us to continue to optimise the quality and consistency of the milk, by maintaining control of the diet of a portion of the cows, whilst giving them the option to graze.