Anybody have a program in place to encourage mindful milk usage? I would like to address milk waste at our stores, eliminating as much as possible while maintaining quality.


I've considered incentive programs, testing, etc. What do you guys do?


Needless to say, every Barista is heavily trained on milk; however, I feel some don't care enough about waste (since most Baristas don't see the numbers - $$$).



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Replies to This Discussion

On my end, virtually zero millk waste is simply standard. From a training perspective, if you're not starting and ending with the right amount of milk, you're just not doing it right. You're not really going to consistently hit the right texture every single time otherwise.

Train for it from the very beginning would be best. Failing that, have everybody in for an extra one on one or two on one training session on milk. Be gentle but firm.
Two quick tips:

- It's helpful to have a reference in the pitcher. For example, at our shops we have 12, 16 and 20oz beverages. All 12oz and 16oz drinks are made one-to-a-pitcher using a 20oz pitcher and the 20oz drinks are made one-to-a-pitcher using the ol' 32oz pitchers. Our staff is trained to fill a 20oz pitcher one-finger's-width below the spout for a small and right to the bottom of the spout for a medium or large. Putting these references in place has made a huge difference - it wasn't a lack of care or interest, but simply something which had never been standardized.

- I find that latte art serves as a great gateway drug into many quality improvements behind the bar, and milk waste is no exception. If you get your staff excited about hearts and rosettas, they will necessarily reduce milk waste, as these designs are impossible if you're steaming 30oz of milk for a 12oz drink.

Sometimes, we use a measuring cup to measure the amt of milk needed for each size of coffee. This prevents wastage. Each barista has to make the drinks exactly the same in order to make it work.

Another way for them to see the wastage is for them to pour out all extra milk into a bucket. At end of day, show them the wastage. Hopefully, this will prevents further wastage.

Hope it helps.

Marilyn Eng
I train my baristi to measure out the milk in the various cups/glasses we use and to memorize the appropriate volumes in the milk pitcher. But the only time I tend to waste milk myself is when I'm asked to do macchiati.

I've found filling up the paper cup 3/4 of the way makes milk waste virtually disappear for lattes. For Cappuccino's, I only fill half the cup and generate double the foam and it fills it nicely to the top. Easy. Universal. Time saving.

Well for us it really easy we have 0 waste milk ..after steaming  milk and pouring in the cup any left over mik is pour in to a jug in the cooler. this Milk is reused for BAKING, (Bagel,egg bread ,Banana Bread and Cake. It work super well and zero waste

This topic is a hard one...I definitely agree with the finger-reference in the pitcher and i think the residual milk for baking is excellent,  though unique to a cafe/bakery. However, at the end of the day, i believe it is reduced to the inoculation of passion and the art of the craft to the baristi. I think Simone's on the right track; if you introduce one to the art of the thing, excellence and passion and attention to detail will flow out of that.  Don't get me wrong, training intensively on that subject alone is imperative, but i think you get my meaning. Here's to reduced waste on all fronts and to passionate baristi!


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