Why You Should Never Use Milk In Your Coffee Maker

If you always take your coffee with a helping of milk, adding it directly to your coffee maker may seem like a brilliant idea at first. In theory, you'd be saving a bit of time as well as preventing the cold milk from cooling down your coffee before you've had the chance to take a sip. In practice, however, there's a reason it's not a recommended home café hack: Adding milk to your coffee maker can be a concern for hygiene and effect the taste of your future brewed coffee.

As you probably already know, dairy products are notoriously quick to spoil in a spectacularly smelly fashion. Adding milk directly to your coffee machine means that the milk residue left in hard-to-clean crevices will go rancid and even become a breeding ground for bacteria. This odor will, of course, make it into every batch of coffee you make with the machine until you take it apart and give it a thorough cleaning.

Even if you somehow find a way to keep your machine spotless after each session, there's also the fact that milk burns at the high temperatures needed for brewing coffee. Spoiled or burnt, you're getting a ruined cup of joe either way.

Better and easier ways to heat milk for your coffee

What you may not know is that you don't need an expensive espresso machine with a milk steamer to enjoy hot, frothy cafè au lait at home. Just the basic kitchen appliances and a French press (or handheld milk frother) is enough to make a delicious homemade cafè latte. All you have to do is heat up the milk in a pot, froth it to your liking, then pour and enjoy.

Don't want to get extra coffee accessories or bother with cleaning milk out of a French press? That's no problem, either: The easiest way to froth milk at home actually involves nothing more than a microwave, a glass jar, and 30 seconds. 

The next time you want a nice and milky coffee without having to hit a cafè, avoid the headache of dairy gunk in your coffee machine and try the stove or microwave instead. It may be a few extra steps added to your mornings, but you'll be saving yourself a world of trouble and awful-tasting coffees in the long run.