Did you know that by volume, most coffee bars serve more milk than coffee? Milk of varying percentages (eg cream, low fat, non-fat, whole) and soy milk are often added in large quantities, but I recommend whole milk (or “super” at Intelligentsia in Chicago) for coffee. In my view it compliments the drink the best. Whole milk has a subtle sweetness to it, and it’s creamy without being overly rich. Bottom line: if you want a true coffee experience, get it with whole milk!
Given all the brouhaha over antibiotics and pesticides in milk, I visited Strauss Family Creamery in Northern California where Intelligentsia sources its milk. It took just one visit with those beautiful cows to feel reassured that their milk is pure. Other places producing cow’s milk may be another story. But Strauss’ is golden.
Some people equate milk with fat or having too many carbs, giving it a negative stigma. But the amount of fat and carbs milk contains actually makes it an effective energy drink. Beyond that milk contains lots of protein! Although too much fat is associated with health risks, a moderate portion of fat is essential for good health as the body stores fat to provide energy for endurance-type activities (eg cycling, hiking). Milk’s carbohydrates, in the form of simple sugars called lactose, are beneficial because it provides the body with immediate energy. (As a simple sugar, lactose is absorbed, synthesized into glycogen, which is necessary to break down stored fat to turn it into energy.)
Milk can therefore be very practical for anaerobic activity. And, because it is rich in protein, milk aids in the repairing and rebuilding of muscles broken down during exercise, making it a great recovery drink.