Milk is, arguably, more important than coffee when it comes to hot drinks. This is because a lot of hot drinks rely on the quality and performance of the milk in order to get a great taste. The general consensus is that fresh milk is superior to powdered milk, topping and whitener, but this is not always the case as it all depends on the coffee machine you are using. So, how do you know what milk to use for your coffee machine?
First of all, it is important to check the guidelines and check with your coffee machine supplier before purchasing it, just to ensure you are choosing the right type of milk. Our range of coffee machines are compatible with up to 4 different types of milk; skimmed powdered milk, semi-skimmed fresh milk, non-dairy topping and non-dairy whitener. Here is a quick guide on choosing the right milk for your coffee machine…
Whitener is a non-dairy alternative to cream and milk that aims to replicate the texture and taste of milk in your coffee or tea. This is the cheapest of all vending milk products so it is the most cost-effective option for a business. Whitener is best suited to vending coffee machines and come in either liquid or powder form. Whitener in powder form is obviously much longer-lasting and can be stored in a cupboard and not be refrigerated to keep fresh.
Topping is also a non-dairy alternative to cream or milk and enhances authentic creaminess and frothiness. Because of its frothy nature, it is usually referred to as “cappuccino topping” as it provides that froth on top that is vital in cappuccinos. Instant coffee machines use topping as the powdered texture works well when instant coffee and water are combined. Topping is just as good for coffee and tea.
Unlike whitener and topping, powdered milk is real milk, which has been freeze-dried. This makes it easy for storing as there is no need to refrigerate to keep it fresh. Powdered milk is best for bean to cup coffee machines creating thick and velvety milk when added to hot water. It is so close to fresh milk, it really is hard to tell the difference.
When a customer decides on a bean-to-cup coffee machine for their workplace, we will ask whether they would like fresh milk or powdered milk coffee machine. The response is often “what is the difference between a fresh milk coffee machine and a powdered milk coffee machine?” To help you decide which type of bean to cup coffee machine would be best suited to you, here’s a quick comparison of the two types of milk…
Cleaning and maintenance
- Fresh milk coffee machines have to be cleaned a least once a day and even more in warmer months to ensure there is no leftover milk in the pipes. This can lead to gone-off milk stuck in the machine creating an awful taste and smell and a build-up of bacteria which is not hygienic.
- Bean to cup coffee machines that use powdered milk does not have to be cleaned as often and the whole process is much easier. The cleaning cycles simply flush through the pipes to ensure no ingredients are leftover and because of the powder consistency, it can be left in the pipes and will not go off for a long period.
- Fresh milk always has to be refrigerated to keep it fresh and ensure it doesn’t go off. Usually, there will be a separate fridge to store the milk in, which needs to be cleaned regularly too.
- Powdered milk is easier to store as it can be stored in cupboards without refrigeration which means more can be bought in bulk than fresh milk.
- Because fresh milk needs to be stored in a cool location, there is usually less storage available like this whereas because powdered milk can be put in any cupboard, more of this can be bought in bulk.
- In order to cater to a medium office of around 40 employees who drink in total 100 x 12oz coffees a day, 60 litres of fresh milk is needed to be used every day. You’ll need to ensure the correct amount of storage is available to keep all of this milk fresh too.
- The University of Oxford Brookes conducted a blind test to compare Milfresh Gold skimmed milk with fresh skimmed milk.
- When tasted as milk on its own, 59% of people said they could taste no difference between the fresh milk and the powdered milk, or said they thought the Milfresh was fresh milk.
- When tasted in tea, 2 thirds of people said there was no difference between the fresh milk and Milfresh and 64% preferred how the Milfresh tasted.
- Bean to cup coffee machines that use fresh milk are often more expensive to lease or purchase outright compared to powdered milk machines.
- Despite fresh milk machines being dearer upfront, the cost of fresh milk is a lot cheaper than powdered milk to buy. The cost per cup with fresh milk is 7p whereas powdered milk is almost doubled at 12.5p-14p per cup, so the ongoing cost of a fresh milk machine is less.
- The cost of running, cleaning and maintaining a fresh milk coffee machine is going to cost more than a powdered milk bean to cup coffee machine because it requires a lot more cleaning more often.
- If you do not have the suitable storage equipment for the fresh milk, this could end up costing you more to buy and run as it needs to be refrigerated at all times.
- As we all probably already know, fresh milk has a much shorter life span than powdered milk as it lasts up to 1 week, therefore it needs to be bought frequently.
- Powdered milk is freeze-dried which means it will last up to 18 months so more can be bought in one purchase.
- Taking the shelf life into consideration, this can affect the amount of wasted milk. Because fresh milk does not last as long, a lot can be poured away before it is used to prevent it from going off over the weekend.
- Powdered milk has a longer shelf life which means there is rarely any waste as nothing needs to be thrown away at the end of the week. If powdered milk is left in the pipes of the coffee machine, it can be used in the next drinks to prevent wastage.
- Skimmed powdered milk contains 1g fat and no artificial substances or additives meaning your health-conscious staff do not need to worry about drinking many cups of coffee throughout the day.
- Despite these healthy factors, the sugar in powdered milk carries the calorific content so this needs to be considered if your staff are counting their calories.
- Powdered milk is the healthiest milk alternative compared to whitener and topping as these often contain chemicals and preservatives which are unhealthy.
The Best Powdered Milk Bean to Cup Coffee Machine