The BC milk marketing board put out a notice that non-foaming milk problems are escalating.
We have been complaining about this for years. Our students tend to be from family owned Coffee shops. Collectively we don't have the same economic weight of the larger corporate chain coffee shops. When we complain, it tends to fall on deaf ears and unfortunately perpetuates pseudo science explanations like this...
The lay person explanation has been to blame it on the cows diet. At other times the barista would nebulously blame it on the farm or the delivery system. In both cases the milk would be exchanged and the non-foaming milk issue forgotten, until the next time.
“ Research has shown that the ‘non-foaming’ properties are linked with an increase of lipase enzyme activity which could result in a decreased shelf life of dairy, as well as the possibility of early rancidity of milk products.”
This is good news because no longer do we need to guess at the problem, now we can explain it with science and ultimately understand it.
On the other hand, Corporate coffee does not require the micro-foam ability of milk because it is not necessary for their coffee shops. They are simply not making higher level textured micro-foam for latte art. This is one aspect that separates artisan coffee shops from chains. Artisan 3rd wave coffee shops have higher standards and higher skill requirements.
The type of people we train are those that represent the fine dining of coffee, only those baristas would notice the non-foaming milk. It's only the large corporate 2nd wave coffee shops that wouldn't notice.
Micro-foam milk is an exacting technique that differentiates artisan stores from mediocre coffee chain stores. The milk that is accepted at a chain store would be catastrophic at an artisan shop.
Think of it this way, It's similar to a chef at a high end japanese sushi restaurant that rejects fish because of an odour that would have been accepted at a chowder house.
We have higher standards, true artisan coffee shops have higher expectations of the milk and coffee that they buy, and when it doesn't froth it affects the taste and presentation. Chain coffee stores don't follow those standards as their expectations and standards are much lower. As in most culinary pursuits the fine dining chef has a different criteria then the fast food cook. The same can be said for Artisan coffee shops and corporate chain coffee shops.