Have you ever wondered what the white froth that appears on the top of fresh real coffee really is? Not the instant sort, the proper coffee you get in cafes or from making it in a coffee maker or cafetierre. If you have a dairy allergy you might be excused for being a little suspicious.
After a few recent allergic reactions in coffee shops I was beginning to suspect that my black coffee might have been laced with dairy, by accident, as part of the process of making it.
If you’ve ever used a vending machine and have a dairy allergy you’ll know that it’s very easy for dairy to drip into your black coffee, so what could be going wrong in my local coffee shops?
What I found out was quite interesting. My asthma attacks in coffee shops were likely to be caused by milk vapour from the steamed milk being consumed by other customers. I find that if I sit outside I’m absolutely fine, and by sticking to larger coffee shops, sitting upstairs when possible and avoiding really busy times I’m fine. It would be very sad to miss out on people watching in coffee shops – one of my favourite pass-times, and positively horrible to have to give up black coffee.
What I also found out from my local coffee shop is that really fresh coffee will always have that layer of creamy looking froth. It’s a sign of good coffee – it shows it’s fresh and not out-of-date or made from old beans. It has absolutely nothing to do with milk, cream or dairy! Hoorah!
This doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. Always tell the person serving you that you have a dairy allergy and can’t have ANY dairy! Avoid vending machine coffee and do keep a watchful eye. It’s friends and family members who can be complacent sometimes, and not through any fault of their own. Habits are very hard wired, so watching that people don’t use tea spoons to stir milky coffee when making yours is important and if milk gets added by mistake – easily done – insist on a clean mug. If you have a really serious dairy allergy it’s not worth taking the risk so play it safe. Don’t be afraid to tell people or try to make your own if you’re very worried.
Enjoy your coffee! I take mine black, medium strength and sometimes with sugar – depending on how strong it is!
The debate rolls on. I posted a question on Quora, which is a great forum where you can ask a question and people will post their answers. I’ve learnt loads through this website. Take with a pinch of salt obviously but it can really help with research. http://www.quora.com/What-is-the-purpose-of-foam-on-the-top-of-coffee-drinks