I’m not a coffee drinker. Even after working in NYC – a city buzzing on caffeine – I never became a convert.
I’d been invited along with blog editors of Mummy’s Busy World, Mummy’s Shoes, Family Affairs and Other Matters, Metropolitan Mum, and The Coffee Lady to this ‘Coffee Morning with a Difference’ as part of Make Mine Milk’s efforts to promote the white stuff to mums.
Rather than just shove stats at us, the plan was to give us something fun to do that would help open up a discussion about milk and its benefits.
First, our lovely instructor Daisy took us through the various stages of making the perfect cup of Joe. We discovered the secret to a luscious latte or a creamy cappuccino is all in the milk. And there really is a fine art to steaming the milk, then tapping and swirling until it’s shiny and silky for a latte, or frothing without bubbling over for a cappuccino.
Next, we paired off before a final Barista battle. My teammate Maria (Mummy’s Busy Shoes) and I both struggled at practise stage, but she finished with an impressively foamy cappuccino.
My final effort couldn’t decide whether it was a latte or a cappuccino (I called it a lattuccino) and the judge stopped just short of spitting it out!
Needless to say I didn’t win the prize of an A-Team rucksack (!)… that went to Metropolitan Mum who managed to design what looked like a milky Christmas tree on top of her latte.
We rounded off the morning with a chat about milk and its qualities. Did you know that semi-skimmed milk and full fat milk contain exactly the same nutrients? Or that full fat milk being less than 4% fat is actually a low-fat product?
There’s been a decline in public consumption of milk due to factors like cutting milkman’s rounds and billions of pounds spent marketing soft drinks to kids and teens.
Make Mine Milk aims to promote milk as healthy, cool and family-friendly. The current campaign has billboards and buses featuring celebs like Elle MacPherson, Gordon Ramsay, Pixie Lott and Usher wearing milk moustaches.
We talked about other ways they could ‘bring milky back’, e.g. packaging it in funky cartons or bottles for drinking on the go or selling it as the ultimate energy drink in gyms and health clubs.
It seems crazy that something so basic should need rebranding but in the end it’s about perception. In the States kids guzzle milk into early adulthood and beyond because it’s promoted as the drink of choice for everyone from basketball players to supermodels. Here in Britain, it’s mostly something to top off your cuppa.
But I remember growing up with the slogans ‘milk has gotta lotta bottle’ and ‘nice cold ice cold milk’. And there’s little more refreshing than a glass of chilled milk.
After being raised on breast milk for the first 18 months of their lives, both my boys are big on cow’s milk. In fact since being ill on and off throughout October, Jed started demanding more and more milk. It’s what his body craves.
I came away from the Coffee Morning with a new appreciation for milk as well as coffee. And I may not be a future Barista but at least now I have some idea of how to whip a latte into shape.
Visit London School of Coffee for info on training and events
Support Make Mine Milk