Espresso and Milk

Apr 4, 2012



Espresso and Milk- Oh don’t start me!!

Dr Ernesto Illy, famously advised the New York Times in his 2001 interview ‘Discovering La Dolce Vita in a Cup’ that putting milk into espresso was nothing more than:

 ”….a local anaesthetic to block out unpleasant tastes….”

The interviewer went on to note:

‘Dr. Illy is a man of pronounced views. Among his pet peeves, in addition to over roasted coffee, are big cups and additives. He disdains everything that people put into their coffee as a cover-up for the charred flavors of badly roasted beans’

So there you have it – unequivocal eh?


The great man himself has advised of this… and so the least we can do is to follow his example…!

The reality is of course that the coffee family is a broad church and as I always say variety is the spice of life…

Hardly surprising therefore to know that of the 4 billion or so gourmet coffees sold through the branded chains each year, 85% are high milk content, Cappuccino and Latte

In the trade as a whole, Americano, or simple coffee remains the nation’s favourite, with a 40% share….With the vast majority of these coffees being served white…Poor old espresso languishes at the bottom of the pile with a c 7 % market share!

Typically, a double Cappuccino (16oz bucket size) will contain 280 ml of milk and deliver a whopping 215 calories. Switching to semi skimmed milk brings the calorie count down to 150 and skimmed milk to 120 calories… plain old black coffee has less than 10 calories or so!

So milk makes up the vast majority of most gourmet coffees and of course it is also a more expensive ingredient than the coffee itself!

If you take a typical £2 Latte, the costs break down as follows –

1)      VAT 20%

2)      Profit 20%

3)      Rent & Rates 20%

4)      Labour 20%

5)      Cup & Stirrer 10%

6)      Milk 8%

7)      Coffee 2%

As ever the coffee comes last… !? What’s new eh? Profit and wages and other peripheral items often seem to be more important than simply making and serving consistently great coffee…..well not here at Aromo!

My personal favourite I have to admit is an Espresso Macchiato…Just a touch of milky foam and a wonderful espresso made with our Bounce ESE pod!

I hope that you connoisseurs out there will allow me this small indiscretion!

This article was written by Guru who writes for, the UK’s leading online retailer of 44mm E.S.E espresso coffee pods



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