Although coffee might not be the first thing to come to mind whilst having a beautiful Afternoon Tea in the Cotswolds it's something we take very seriously here at Huffkins, and you can select any of our coffees to enjoy with any Afternoon Tea. All of our coffee is locally wood roasted & fair-trade & rainforest alliance certified as we believe in environmental responsibility. Here's some of the science behind great coffee.
Properly steamed milk is naturally sweet & delicious. It's naturally sweeter because the process breaks down the longer chain carbohydrates (sugars) naturally present in milk into simpler sugars. Just like the difference between refined sugar & wheat, simpler carbohydrates are easier to taste. So a great latte tastes sweeter, but has no more lactose (milk sugars) than were originally present in the milk. The human tongue is also naturally more sensitive to sweetness when things are hotter.
It's naturally smooth & creamy too. Steaming milk stretches the proteins in it (80% caseins, 20% amino acids) which then start to wrap around the air bubbles being created in the milk by the coffee machine's steam wand. These proteins operate like protective little jackets for the new air bubbles. When done by a skilled barista, this allows the milk foam to take on that velvety, creamy texture we associate with a great latte or cappuccino.
Temperature is everything. The air bubbles can only be properly introduced into the milk when it's very cold, which means the air bubbles need to be created right at the outset of the steaming process. However, if the milk is heated too much (over 65°C), then the air bubbles pop, which causes the the velvety texture to disappear, and risks burning the milk (which will then a.) not taste very nice & b.) lose that lovely natural sweetness). The sweet spot for temperature is around 60°C, hot enough to allow you to savour the flavours, but not so hot as to destroy the delicate foam!
You can visit our Tearooms & in Stratford upon Avon, Cheltenham, Witney, Stow on the Wold & Burford if you're looking for breakfast, lunch or Afternoon Tea and would like to experience a Huffkins latte yourself! (Click here to read our menu) The above footage was taken at Huffkins Stratford upon Avon, so thanks to our fabulous team there! :)