Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

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Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

Postby DC » Sat May 05, 2007 10:01 am

I just got a bag of the Colombia La Vega and tried it out in the French Press.. I liked it, found it a bit 'light' though. Then I made one for my girlfriend, who takes milk, and as soon as the milk hit the coffee it curdled. Was left with a cup of large globs of brownish gunk.

Anyone else experience this? Is it really that acidic?

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(milk was fresh before you ask :wink: )
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RE: Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

Postby CakeBoy » Sat May 05, 2007 10:24 am

We have been finding the milk a little difficult this springtime. It has been harder to get the microfoam to stay and a honeycomb effect has appeared on some cappuccinos from time to time. This did occur with the La Vega when we had a bag but other coffees have been the same.

Our milk comes mainly from Tesco. We tried the co-op milk locally and it was not so difficult. I think it is often milk related and doubt the Vega is acidic enough to create curdling.

Perhaps it was temperature related or the grind left enough coffee particles to make it look like curdling, when it was perhaps solids. How did it taste? Curdling would definately have a specific flavour.
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Postby DC » Sat May 05, 2007 10:51 am

I didn't taste it I just chucked it. The more milk I added the more of it fell out of solution, the coffee didn't go any lighter. It just formed a solid brown-stained white mass in the bottom of the cup.

Never happened before with any coffee I've used in FP - used the same grind, temperature water... just weird :?

As for cappas...Glad I'm not the only one finding it harder to get good microfoam recently, I thought my foaming skills had just got up and left me!
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Postby CakeBoy » Sat May 05, 2007 10:53 am

That is really weird. I remember Phil posting about fizzy milk last spring. Time of the year again I reckon.
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RE: Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

Postby bruceb » Sat May 05, 2007 10:54 am

Hmmmm, interesting. I just made myself a cappuccino and thought, "I seem to have lost all ability to froth milk." Because I was doing only one cappuccino I used a small jug, which I find quite a challenge anyway, but the froth was laced with small bubbles that made it coarse looking and even now as I drink it these coarse bubbles have remained. I wonder if it is really the milk. It's the same brand and type (3.5%) I always use, but who knows what the cows have been up to. Well, better to blame the cows than my technique! As Scott says, "A good workman always blames his cows."
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As to the curdling: You haven't descaled your machine recently, have you?

Edit: Ohhhh, French press, eh? Ummm you haven't descaled your French press recently have you?
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RE: Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

Postby CakeBoy » Sat May 05, 2007 10:56 am

Mooooooooo :P . There is a discussion about milk proteins differing throughout the year on the forum somewhere. Hopefully Jim will happen along later and perhaps might be able to cast some light ..... or at least laugh at us :wink:
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RE: Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

Postby Keeka » Sat May 05, 2007 9:02 pm

funny discussion cos I've been having very disappointing milk texturing results all day, had to dump two drinks with 'hot milk' syndrome rather than microfoam. A very concerted foaming effort afterwards got some better results. I was wondering whether an unclean steaming tip or even unclean milk pitcher might be the problem. Problematic milk would be a completely different angle.
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RE: Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

Postby phil2spill » Sat May 05, 2007 9:21 pm

I suppose the cows should have been back out on the pasture, eating proper grass again for some weeks now, so the silage diet shouldn't be the cause. I noticed a number of small cows appearing recently though, so I wonder if they're the reason for the change? Don't really want to think too hard about the biology :lol:

Anyway Cravendale is reckoned to be consistently good for foaming throughout the winter so might be worth a go until things return to normal.
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RE: Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

Postby kingseven » Sat May 05, 2007 9:34 pm

I was beginning to question my stance of "unless its a tiny dairy, then the what the cows are eating shouldn't matter" after a few bad batches of fizzy milk.

However I ended up using three different deliveries of semi from the same large dairy - too were awful and one was absolutely great. No differences in the dates. Something else, somewhere was going wrong and I continue to point my finger of suspicion at the milk suppliers/those in charge of logistics.

As far as I have been able to find out - beta lactoglobulin is the whey protein linked to stable milk foam. When overheated one particular amino acid in this protein loses its sulphur to create H2S which has a distinctive eggy smell (and is toxic in higher concentrations).
My logic runs that if it overheats and smells of eggs, it can foam. If it isn't foaming it is more likely (and I think Ubo corrected me on this initially) that the triglycerides in the milk have started to break down leaving some free glycerol to interupt and ruin the foaming process as typically seen in fizzy milk.

I'd like to find out more, I just don't know who to ask!
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RE: Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

Postby HughF » Sun May 06, 2007 8:37 am

Waitrose were out of Yeo Valley Organic whole milk so I tried Duchy Originals, same fizzy milk syndrome immediately for both cappuccinos. If I can't get round this I mght just steam the Waitrose Organic Skimmed that we use for everything else until I buy some more Yeo Valley on Tuesday.

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RE: Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

Postby Keeka » Sun May 06, 2007 12:07 pm

what's the exact meaning of 'fizzy milk' by the way?

Similar to how apple cider turns fizzy when it starts to ferment?
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RE: Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

Postby Jaanus » Sun May 06, 2007 12:39 pm

u get ur capp made... it looks like a doll and all of a sudden big bubbles start to emerge from the milk and hear little popping sound as they burst... your capp looks like it is boiling... eeeeehw
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RE: Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

Postby phil2spill » Sun May 06, 2007 1:18 pm

(Sorry, just did a quick search and found out that you guys have known about Cravendale for years! :roll: 8) )
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RE: Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

Postby CakeBoy » Sun May 06, 2007 10:28 pm

Well worth a mention every so often though Phil for those that don't know. We don't usually use Cravendale but will be getting some because of the current issues thanks to your reminder :D
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RE: Colombian La Vega Curdles Milk?!

Postby monkey66 » Mon May 07, 2007 10:09 am

As i mentioned on a previous post I tried Yeo Valley for the first time about a month ago and found it totally unsteamable...i am now using Cravendale which seems fine. Perhaps I should reassess in a month or 2 and not discount any particular brand during this difficult (micro-foam)period?
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