One of the most popular beverages in South African cafes and restaurants is surely the cappuccino. The rich, creamy texture, the velvety mouthfeel and, of course the beautiful latte art that go perfectly with your breakfast and get your day off to a great start!
But what about those of you readers who suffer from allergies or lactose intolerance? The good news is you don't have to suffer any longer! In this article we tackle lactose intolerance and coffee - and give you a fantastic alternative. A product that we discovered at the Western Cape barista Championships and which has consequently taken SA by storm. But more about that later....
Understanding Lactose Intolerance
Lactose is a type of sugar carbohydrate found in milk and milk products. Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency in the enzyme lactase, which is produced in the small intestine. Lactase breaks down lactose into two simpler forms of sugar, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. While lactose intolerance is not life threatening, it may cause you to experience severe intestinal distress, which can include gas, bloating, cramping and diarrhea, when you consume dairy foods. Further, severe diarrhea can lead to a deficiency in vitamins or minerals that are normally absorbed in the small intestine. In other words, it's not great and if it means having to give up cappuccinos then we need a solution!
Towards the end of 2015, The Coffee Magazine traveled down to Cape Town for the Western Cape Barista Championships and we were introduced to a new brand on the market called Almond Breeze Barista Blend. You can read more about it here
on their website and see all the benefits and ingredient makeup for yourself, but from a Barista point of view and from a taste point of view it really blew us away. It is formulated specifically for Baristas, so it steams incredibly well and gets the same quality of micro-textured foam that full cream dairy milk gives, so you can do impressive latte art and give the customer a cappuccinno that looks exactly like it's dairy equivalent. It also tastes pretty darn good too. It has a great mouthfeel and a slighty nutty aftertaste which is expected considering it is created from almond paste.
Here's a few images from our experiences with it:
For Cafe Owners: If you want to stock this in your Cafe - drop us a mail
and we'll put you in touch with the distributors
For Customers: Here is a list of places
you can visit that serve Barista Blend
For baristas: Your customers will love you for giving them a viable milk alternative, you get a beautiful Almond Breeze Milk Pitcher to impress with latte art!