Milk Waste: How to Make Your Coffee Business More Sustainable

Milk Waste: How to Make Your Coffee Business More Sustainable

Coffee fuels people’s day and the majority of clients prefer having their java with milk. Milk affects a lot of aspects of a coffee’s final aesthetic and flavor. However, milk wastage has become a real problem for coffee shop owners. Since milk is the main ingredient in coffee beverages such as cappuccinos and lattes, milk waste often costs a fortune for the coffee shop owners.

That’s the major reason why milk steamers and frothers along with milk alternatives are rapidly gaining popularity among baristas and coffee shop owners. Ditching cow’s milk means decreasing the impact on the planet while caring for animal welfare. At the same time, investing in professional milk foamer means saving costs and increasing business revenue.

Here’s why preventing milk wastage is critical and how it can make your coffee business more sustainable and hygienic.

Milk waste has become a global problem

Re-using milk after it’s been steamed or foamed once isn’t simply harmful to health; it also ruins the texture of the coffee. Some baristas reheat the milk to save costs, but they risk losing their customers. Even steaming only as much milk as required for a certain drink might not prevent milk wastage.

Milk waste amounts to 20% – and sometimes up to 25% – in the coffee business. This means 25 cents of every Euro you spend on milk literally goes down the drain. Of course, the exact volume varies from shop to shop. The spillage depends on how many milk-based beverages and cup sizes you sell.

The Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security reported 16% of all dairy products, including milk, are discarded or lost annually around the world. This number keeps growing and it’s not the best news for our planet.

Coffee shops are responsible for increased milk wastage. The contributing factors include not using the exact amount needed for a drink and making too milky beverages that often customers ask to re-make. Figuring out how much milk your coffee shop wastes is an excellent way to become more sustainable. You’ll have to manage your baristas and the tools or machines used for foaming or frothing the milk more closely.

Manual vs. automatic frothing

Manual frothing is probably the most time-consuming activity for any barista. Not to mention, the effort this activity requires to achieve the desired results. The newbies might have trouble frothing the milk by hand so they often have to re-make their drinks, increasing milk waste.

Besides milk waste, you pay a considerable percentage of a barista’s salary for the process of simply preparing the milk. This time could be used to engage with customers, brewing more beverages, or even up-selling (cake, cookies, snacks, etc.).

barista frothing milk

Commercial milk frothers can save milk

Professional milk frothers help to save time while still selling delicious coffee drinks. For example, the Latte Art Factory has helped clients save up to 25% on milk waste. How does it work? The machine is calibrated to foam the exact amount of milk needed for each recipe. In addition, anyone can operate the machine no matter the experience level, which means that even a beginner can make a perfect cappuccino without milk waste.

The automatic frothing helps baristas produce more delicious beverages in a short period of time. This is great news for coffee shop owners. Not only do you pay your barista for certain actions, but you also significantly increase your income.

A milk frothing machine for coffee shops provides tidiness, cleanliness, and overall hygiene behind the counter, which is critically important in a post-Covid world. Manual milk frothing requires utmost care and hygiene as milk is a natural product with a limited expiry date. When a barista steams the milk by hand, it might be hard for them to keep the counter clean. As a result, there’s a chance of catching some infection.

Investing in a commercial milk frother is a step forward towards making your coffee business more sustainable and hygienic. When you have a machine that foams milk automatically, the sky is the limit. Macchiatos, mochas, lattes, and cappuccinos will take a few minutes to make. The more drinks you sell, the higher your revenue.

barista pouring latte art

Is milk for everyone?

Vegan and lactose-intolerant customers deserve to enjoy traditional coffee offerings, such as cappuccinos and lattes, without harming their health or convictions. Non-dairy milk provides compatibility with coffee and is a bit more expensive than cow’s milk. It’s good for all types of customers, though.

Oat, soy, coconut, almond, rice, or cashew milk tastes great in coffee and it can be successfully foamed in a commercial milk frother. Sure, not all customers will want to taste alternative milk in their drink. That’s why a barista should clearly communicate with each customer, offering a variety of options.

Each non-dairy milk tastes differently in a similar coffee beverage. For instance, hemp and cashew milk have a neutral taste similar to cow’s milk. It doesn’t foam well, though. Soy or almond milk foam amazingly, providing fabulous latte art, yet it might leave an aftertaste. Your customer should know all these details. If your coffee shop is going to switch to alternative milk, make sure you provide your customers with all the reasons why you’re doing it.

soy milk - plant-based milk - vegan milk

Ditching milk can help the environment

Milk production is damaging as it generates a shocking number of carbon dioxide emissions. As a nation, we are becoming more environmentally conscious. Gone are the days where only lactose-intolerant and vegan people drank milk alternatives. Today, every person ordering a cup of coffee in your café/restaurant helps to protect the planet.

If you’re looking to accommodate vegan and lactose-intolerant customers in your coffee shop, it is critical to include non-dairy milk options in your menu. The spillage might be similar to cow’s milk if your barista is unprofessional.

The final word on milk waste

If you’re looking to elevate your revenue while improving the sustainability of your coffee shop, ensure you reduce your milk waste. Incorporating milk alternatives into your menu is a great way to attract more customers. Finally, consider purchasing a professional milk foamer that will help you prevent milk waste, produce more delicious drinks, and save your barista’s time.

Latte Art Factory - Plant milks

Do you know how much money your café wastes on milk each year? Try our milk waste calculator to find out.

Using the right equipment helps a barista use the exact volume of milk required at milk foam and preset temperature ratio. Finally, cutting down on milk waste shows your commitment to sustainability, helping your business grow efficiently, saving you money, and saving the planet.

Read more about Latte Art Factory or contact us today to purchase this 3x SCA award-winning machine for your café! 

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