Evaporated milk is typically used to add bulk to smoothies, chowders, soups, and savory sauces. However, you may not have realized that it can be used to thicken coffee, and it lends itself perfectly to making flavored coffees. Throughout this article, we’re going to pick apart the act of putting evaporated milk in coffee and compare it to alternatives including half and half, condensed milk, and heavy cream.
What Is Evaporated Milk
Evaporated milk is sold in cans and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Essentially, it’s concentrated milk that contains 50% more lactose than regular milk. After removing 60% of the water content, thereby becoming concentrated, the milk starts to resemble thick cream.
To make evaporated milk, regular milk or a blend of milk powder, water, and fat is dehydrated. To begin the process, heat is applied to the milk to reduce any bacteria and stabilize the liquid. Then, into an evaporator it goes, which gets to work concentrating the milk.
Once all the milk has evaporated, it’s cooled and homogenized. To stabilize the milk further, stabilizing salts are added, which better improve the milk’s heat stability. After reaching a suitable level of heat sustainability, the milk is treated with UV lights, which flush it with vitamin D.
The final step of the process involves UHT treatment and packing into cans. Alternatively, it’s piped into airtight cardboard containers. After the cans are packed, they’re heated and spun to disperse any remaining heat evenly. This final heat treatment takes place in an autoclave, which reaches temperatures of around 248°F. This process can turn the milk brown, which is why evaporated milk has a brown tint to it.
What Is Coffee With Evaporated Milk?
For those of you who love a dash of milk with your coffee, evaporated milk is the perfect addition. Thanks to the thickness of evaporated milk, the end product is a much creamier coffee. There are no fancy processes really - you replace regular milk or creamer with evaporated milk. The higher lactose content of evaporated milk gives it a much sweeter taste. Therefore, if you’re a bit of a sugar fiend, you may want to skip your spoonful.
If you’re an adventurous soul that can’t survive without a fresh milky coffee on your camping trip, evaporated milk is the perfect companion to take with you. The heat treatment process makes it safe enough to store outside of the fridge.
Evaporated Milk Vs. Half and Half
As the name suggests, half and half is made up of 1 part heavy cream and 1 half whole milk. Half and half and evaporated milk are practically the same. They only differ in two ways:
- Evaporated milk has a longer shelf life because it’s stable.
- There is a much higher lactose content in evaporated milk, and it’s UV treated to add vitamin
When compared to heavy cream, half-and-half has much less sugar content and will produce a much smoother pour.
Evaporated Milk Vs. Heavy Cream
Although both are derived from lactose-based substances, evaporated milk and heavy cream are completely different. For starters, heavy cream must be kept in the fridge and doesn’t have a long shelf life. Further, the lactose content of heavy cream is zero, whereas evaporated milk comes in at almost double the content of regular milk. As well as this, heavy cream lends itself perfectly to whipping, whereas evaporated milk takes a very long time to thicken. Finally, heavy milk has around 36% fat and sugar content (evaporated milk sits at only 12% fat).
Evaporated Vs Condensed Milk
Condensed milk and evaporated milk share the same qualities because they’re dehydrated forms of regular milk. However, there are plenty of differences, which means that condensed milk coffee is completely different. The beginning of the condensing process is the same as evaporated milk. However, there are alterations to the formula along the road. Here is a list of the key differences:
- Color. Condensed milk comes out with a yellow tint to it - evaporated milk appears slightly brown and creamy.
- Texture. Condensed milk is considerably thicker than evaporated milk. If you shake a closed can of each milk, you can easily tell which is which.
- Sugar content. Condensed milk is perfect for sugar fiends because there’s a 45% sugar content in condensed milk. Thanks to the higher sugar content, evaporated milk can sit in your cupboard for years - despite what the label says.
How Condensed Milk Is Made
The manufacturing process is identical, with sugar, or sugar syrup, added before or after the evaporation process. As the sugar is added, osmotic pressure eradicates any micro-organisms, which is why condensed milk lasts much longer than evaporated milk.
After the sugar has been added, the concentrated needs to be flash-cooled and layered with lactose crystals, which create micro crystals under agitation. The reason lactose seeding happens is to avoid the solution turning into a bitty mixture that no one would drink. Once the crystal process is complete, the condensed milk is cooled.
The final process is packaging, which is similar to condensed milk. However, because of the high sugar content, condensed milk doesn’t need UHT treatment before being added to cans.
Is Evaporated Milk a Good Substitute For Condensed Milk?
Evaporated milk can easily be swapped out for condensed milk. However, due to the extremely high sugar content, you will only need to use a very small amount. Rather than making lattes and other milk-based drinks, condensed milk is best used as a creamy topper. That being said, you can use condensed milk for lattes, etc., but you’re essentially serving up diabetes in a cup.
As an alternative to substituting evaporated milk completely, you can combine the two long-lasting kinds of milk. Doing this creates super creamy milk with slightly more sugar than evaporated milk, but less than condensed.
What Is Coffee With Condensed Milk Called?
Coffee with condensed milk originates from Spain and has two different names - Café Bombón and -Café Canario. This sweetened drink is made using espresso, cocoa powder, whipping cream, vanilla extract, and a full cup of condensed milk. Milk, cream, and coffee have different densities, which is why they separate into distinct layers in the cup. This only adds to the appeal of the drink further.
If you visit Spain, you will find no end of Café Bombón, with almost every coffee shop serving this delicious yet sweet beverage.
5 Methods of Adding Evaporated Milk to Coffee
As with regular milk, there are different ways of making coffee evaporated milk. Here are the different methods:
- Use a steaming wand to froth evaporated milk and pour it into espresso to make delicious lattes.
- Simply add cool or heated evaporated milk to coffee.
- If you enjoy the occasional whipped coffee, evaporated milk is the perfect substitute.
- For a sweeter and much fluffier feel, you use evaporated milk in frozen coffee.
- Foaming evaporated milk, you can top your coffee. For a seasonal twist, you can add a dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg.
Evaporated Milk Coffee Recipe
You don’t need any barista-grade equipment to make evaporated milk coffee. The only ingredients you need are:
- Evaporated milk - 100ml.
- Sugar - 1 tbsp.
- Your favorite coffee - 6oz.
You can brew your coffee however you like, whether that be in a French press, Moka pot, or espresso machine. Then, you simply add the milk, which can be added cold, warm, or frothed. The final touch is to add sugar - depending on your preference.
Can Evaporated Milk Be Whipped?
It is possible to whip evaporated milk. However, you will need to place everything in the fridge including the bowl, beater, and evaporated milk. If your equipment and milk aren’t cold, it’s impossible to whip. If you want to speed up the process, you can place your evaporated milk into the freezer for half an hour.
Is Evaporated Milk Suitable For Freezing?
Evaporated milk can be frozen. However, you should avoid putting tinned milk in the freezer because tins become warped and release air. Further, be prepared for seeing a separated mixture when you defrost evaporated milk - you can easily recombine the liquid by using a blender or placing it in a jar and shaking vigorously.
What Is The Shelf Life of Evaporated Milk?
Evaporated milk, when sealed, will have an expiration date of two years. However, once it’s opened, it’s supposed to last around 5 days. That being said, if you need to use evaporated milk shortly after its “best before” you will be perfectly fine. The reason it lasts so long is that it’s been heat-treated and turned into a stable substance.
To Sum Up
Evaporated milk makes for a great alternative to regular milk, but is not such a good idea for those with lactose intolerances. You can create any coffee drink with evaporated milk including lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas. There’s no need for fancy coffee gadgets, you can simply add it cold in place of regular milk. Further, thanks to the long shelf life of evaporated milk. it’s a great addition to any coffee-loving backpacker's itinerary.