I’ve wanted to taste test too-hot milk for a while, and this tasting-a-day project has been a perfect excuse to finally do it.
This experiment was pretty simple. I steamed milk just as I always do, then I steamed milk the way I would for an “extra hot” drink. I took the temperaturein the pitcher after steaming. It turns out I steam milk pretty consistently to around 145 degrees Fahrenheit. My extra hot milk was 160.
The extra hot milk was actually worse then I expected. It smelled weird, for lack of a better term. I’ve heard “burnt” before, but I don’t think that’s quite right for describing the smell. I’ve also heard “burp” which I think might be getting closer. Someone at the Newbury St. ERC suggested that it had a “sour milk” smell. In the mouth, the sweetness I usually associate with steamed milk didn’t have much of a presence.
The “normal” milk at 145 degrees was sweeter and didn’t smell weird.
Buuuuut I decided to go cooler and see if it got still better. I steamed milk to 140 and 130. I didn’t notice a change in smell so much, and no one else who tried mentioned a change in smell, but the cooler milks were notably sweeter. The milk at 130 reminded more than one person of melted ice cream and was superdelicious. I’m not sure how much of that is the tasting temperature and how much is actually irreversible after the milk is heated. In other words, how much would the milk steamed to 145 taste like the milk steamed to 130 if it were cooled to the same temperature?
Hm…sounds like the makings of a future tasting experiment….