barista-milkA number of local shops are serving Organic Barista Milk as part of their lineup. Have you tried it? What do you think? Some shops are charging a premium since it is a little bit more expensive.

Liberty Market has said it will begin serving Barista Milk in early September and eliminate whole milk. It looks like they’re having it sourced locally, according to Joe Johnston.

Sola Coffee Bar seems to swear by it. It is served as a choice there, with usually a markup (but it’s worth it).

Giant Coffee serves Barista Milk (they said they were the first in AZ to serve it, but as far as I know that’s incorrect).

Seth Mills, who is a coffee roaster at Cartel Coffee Lab says “We ran into some issues with Strauss barista milk. We initially loved it, but its difficult to steam and can taste chalky…”

One of the first sources of Organic Barista Milk was the Strauss Family Creamery.

So, have you tried it? What do you think? Which shops are serving it?

Arizona Coffee

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  1. Ok….so I’ll be the first to chime in on this and say why? Does it make the drink taste better? Or is just a trendy thing to do? Price obviously is higher right? I don’t often have customers asking me for organic milk and quite frankly, if your not serving 100% organic beans then whats the value? You’ve now compromised the value behind organic. Ok…thats my best effort to stir the pot, mainly because I’d like to see many different points of view here.

  2. In my experience organic milk is inconsistent when it comes to steaming it. I have not tried this particular product, but unless it can be steamed with repeatable results, it’s not worth any more than any other organic milk. If it can be steamed well consistently, then the benefits of not having the added hormones and other crap they feed to the beasts that produce it is good and worthy of additional cost.

    I think organic coffee beans are an entirely different matter.

  3. I think the process(es) or of what raw milk go through are at stake here to most consumers and owners/operators. I think it is bull to serve organic just for the sake of saying we serve “organic” milk. It’s a label/certification just like “fair trade”. If a customer were to ONLY drink “fair trade” coffee or “organic” milk, I think they’d be missing out on taste.

    As owners/operators, we should serve what TASTES best. I like Strauss Barista Milk…I do not care for the regular Strauss milk. Working at Cartel, we experienced many issues; from ordering, delivery, to the product expiring days before it’s “sell by” date. It was unacceptable to do business with Strauss if they couldn’t get their act together. So, we switched back to our first love, Clover. Clover/Stornetta is an organic milk out of California.

    Instead of harping on WHY we each make the choices we do (cost, label/certification, marketing, etc), why don’t we have a blind milk taste test at a barista roundtable. Compare 15 different types of milk. Take notes, small 2-3oz pours in dixie cups. Compare notes and share and then reveal the milk brands. Now this is something I would see as a true win for the barista community.

    Whelp, something to plan for….gotta get going.

  4. It’s delicious. Sweet and creamy. Steaming gold. If you can’t pour with it, place down your pitcher, turn around, and walk away quickly in the opposite direction never to set a steam wand in bovine secretion ever again. 🙂

    It’s definitely tough to get a hold of. No doubt I consider myself very fortunate to have access to it.

  5. Gino

    Since lattes and cappuccinos (assuming those are your biggest sellers) are comprised mostly of milk, I would say there is plenty of value even if you are not using an Organic espresso. Maybe not 100% value in the sense that we are referring, but a lot of value.

    Organic may be a trend, but its a great trend! So even if some snobby shop is serving organic milk for the sake of saying they serve organic milk, thats far better than the alternative.

    If a customer only wants fair trade coffee with organic milk and “misses” out on taste, then thats the shops fault for not sourcing fantastic fair trade coffee & killer organic milk.
    I personally prefer taste above all followed very closely by certifications.
    Some peoples preferences are vice-versa. You shouldn’t knock a person or shop for that just because you don’t share the same priorities. Just don’t go there. (you won’t see me there either, HA!)

  6. Just want to clarify….. The purpose of “organic” is to rid anything of unnatural processes or additives…therefore my point was if your an “organic” person/shop looking to live/promote the “organic” life I’d assume you’d need 100% organic coffee that is paired with “organic” milk. Fair Trade really has nothing to do with “organic”. Outside of that, its value is not questioned its reality is….does its effectiveness really work without 100% organic beans?

  7. @nicely85- that’s hilarious. Yes, it is wonderful milk. These cows must have god’s favor or something!

  8. Hmmm… I think I understand your point now, Steve. I would venture to say that the effectiveness of promoting organic milk depends on the consumer. For the die-hard, gotta-have-organic freak, the beans would have to be certified organic also. On the other hand, a more sophisticated customer might really insist on organic milk because it’s widely accepted that there is stuff in regular milk that might be undesirable for us to ingest. At the same time, this coffee-savvy person probably realizes that a lot of coffees would meet organic criteria but simply do not have the documentation to prove it and therefore might not care too much about them being certified. So the answer to whether it’s effective to promote organic milk is probably somewhere in the middle of yes and no. That’s my take on it 🙂

  9. Gino

    My point exactly Victor. The “purpose” of Organic can appeal to different people differently. There are many values to Organic, depending on personal agenda. Obviously Fair Trade and Organic are completely different certifications, my usage of the adjectives was to point out that the same notion could go that way as well.

  10. Psyd

    It’s unfortunate, but ‘organic’ is just another marketing buzzword. Far to few folk out there ha

  11. Psyd

    …ve any idea what it means, much less what it means to them. Much like ‘New, improved, with ‘xxxxx’ technology!’ Means little, just foreplay for the sale.
    Buying filters for my smokes, one of the clerks was trying to steer me to their new brand suggested, “These’re organic!”
    I quipped back, “So’s the shelf they’re sitting on.” He had no idea how to respond, other than to give me my regular brand.

  12. Agreed Pysd…….buzz word, and yes, for most of us folks in the coffee world we do realize most coffee is organic……coffee anyone?

  13. Psyd

    All coffee is organic. As a plant material, grown from seed, it hasn’t got a choice.
    Some of the growing techniques use organic nutrients and pesticides, and some do not. Those are referred to as ‘organically grown’, or ‘organically produced’ and not. In both cases, though, the resulting bean is organic.

  14. Virginia Senior

    Coffee plants are naturally resistant to bugs, pesticides are not neccessary to raise coffee plants, and many of the plantations in 3rd world countries couldn’t pay for them any way. In addition, the term “Fair Trade” has gotten a buzz too, sort of like “cage free eggs” if people saw some of the “cage free” conditions, they would not think it humane. Many of the coffee plantations care for their employees, build schools on site, bring in medical services, and other respectful ways to treat people, but are not neccessarily rated as “fair trade” bottom line is, don’t accept someone else’s word just cause it sounds good, check it out for your self, have courage of your OWN convictions, and stop pandering to the media hype.

  15. I know that our shop would love to be 100% organic while at the same time supporting an Arizona dairy. How many other shops would be on board to supporting an Arizona dairy who went through the USDA rigamorole to certify themselves? I would buy for barista milk and for raw milk materials to make our ice cream a homemade organic

  16. William Kennedy

    Strauss Barista Milk is awesome. Sweet, creamy, consistently steam-able; everything thing that I and the Giant Coffee team look for as the other essential ingredient in espresso w/ milk drinks. Nature’s Best has been carrying it for sometime now and they are a reliable supplier.

    All this anti-organic, anti-fair trade stuff is just as nonsensical and ignorant as completely buying into these labels. While certifications like these don’t unsure a tasty, well-made product, in my experience they at least indicate a product will be above standard quality.

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