Sponsor news: The top mistakes baristas make when using soy milk

The original ‘alternative milk’, soy milk is still a difficult one for many baristas to handle under the coffee machine wand.

From curdling, to too hot, to lukewarm, getting that perfect finish on a latte using soy milk can be difficult for even intermediate baristas.

Exclusively for ASCA members, latte artist and ambassador for the new 2 Beans soy milk product, Caleb Cha, shares the top mistakes baristas are making when it comes to using soy milk, and how to counteract them:

  1. Not shaking the carton: ‘Giving your soy milk a big shake while it’s still in the carton ensures the product mix well to create a good constitute of soy milk. This is such an important first step.’
  2. Using the wrong soy milk for their coffee beans: ‘Not all soy milks are created equal. Using a soy milk that suits the roast of your café’s beans will mean the final taste is perfect for your customers. I like to use Vitasoy’s new 2 Beans product because they scoured the globe to find the beans that best match the most common Aussie coffee roasts (light and medium), so I know I’ll get a perfect latte every time’.
  3. Over-aerating the milk: ‘Once you’ve poured the soy milk into your jug, steam – don’t hiss – it. Too much air in your soy milk will expand it quickly and make it hard to work with.’
  4. Over-heating the milk: ‘I’ve seen some baristas over-heat soy milk, which can cause it to curdle. Actually, the best temperature for soy milk with coffee is the same as regular dairy milk – between 60-65 degrees.’
  5. Tapping the jug on the table: ‘Don’t do this! Just let your milk jug sit on the bench for 10 seconds and leave it alone. This allows the air to disseminate gently rather than banging it out on the table as you may do with regular dairy milks.’
  6. Pouring right away: ‘For the creamiest soy milk, swirl your jug before pouring into the cup. It should be glassy and shiny, like velvet before you pour.’