au lait

While listening to a recent podcast of the Dinner Party Download, an excellent show which bills itself as "public radio's Arts & Leisure section," we caught an interesting segment about milk and coffee. In it, one of the show's hosts interviews Colleen King, an LA-based barista, about milk as it relates to espresso drinks. Their in depth convo about dairy trends in 3rd wave coffee shops is good stuff, totally worth a listen: In case you're at work, or don't feel like listening to it, or just don't like podcasts (what? why? but they're so good!), we'll do a quick summary: Colleen posits that for well balanced espresso drinks, the fattier the milk, the better. In fact, her shop Sqirl uses special "barista milk," which contains a whopping 12% fat content. That's some intense stuff! They also make their own almond milk from scratch - a very cool DIY detail, right?

Side note: here is a great little tutorial about making your own nut milk from some food bloggers we dig, Hot Knives, who also happen to be from Los Angeles: [vimeo]

No doubt, milk is a really important part of an espresso drink experience - most drinks have a pretty high milk-to-coffee ratio, so it's certainly not the time to skimp. HubBub uses milk from Trickling Springs Creamery, located in Chambersburg, PA, about 150 miles west of Philadelphia. Their operation, which opened in 2001, buys milk from family farms who treat their cows and the land they graze on with respect. Trickling Springs also uses a special low-temperature kind of pasteurization which allows some of the naturally occurring enzymes and proteins to live (most commercial pasteurization kills all of this good stuff off). This results in healthier, better tasting milk, which we think makes just about the best latte we've ever tasted. We use their Farm Friend imprint in all of our espresso drinks, as well as the milk and half and half that we offer for drip coffee. Also, check it out: Little Baby's Ice Cream. which we use for our new affogatos, is also made with milk and cream from Trickling Springs!


"Farm Friend" isn't just a cute, alliterative name - TS really does care about their farmers. Their website features an entire page dedicated to the farms where their milk comes from, as well as interviews with the farmers themselves. All in all, Trickling Springs is a company with integrity, whose values and mission we support. So much commercial dairy is procured from animals living in sketchy (at best) conditions, and we are so glad to have such a great alternative available to us.

Cover photo by

Andrew Magill

, used under a Creative Commons license