The Backyard Barista: Best Caprineccino Ever!

 To round out the Dairy Month of June, Jenna Wogenrich, homesteader and author joins Country Life to share how her goat makes the perfect cup of joe!

Alpine doe goat

Jenna’s Alpine doe goat, Bonita, one of several productive animals at Cold Antler Farm.

I put off keeping dairy animals for a long time. They were intimidating to me, as I think they are to a lot of farm-curious folks. Unlike other livestock that has a lot of flexibility surrounded your schedule and their care – an animal with a full udder has a very specific dance card. You and she have a tango twice a day, every day. It’s a serious commitment, but let’s not take ourselves too seriously. Raising goats is a lot of fun and I am going to share with you just one of the many reasons why a backyard goat could make your life a whole lot better:

The most amazing cup of coffee in the entire world!

When my Alpine doe in in full production I look forward to our morning routine. I really do.  This is our third dairy season together and every year it gets better and better. Her name is Bonita and she is a producer of legend around these parts.  At the height of her seasonal production she gives nearly two gallons of milk a day.

Goat cheese making kit

Lehman’s offers a complete kit when you’re learning to make chevré (goat cheese). Goat Cheese Making Kit, Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio or Lehmans.com.

That is a lot of milk for one person and I use it for so many things! I make cheese and soaps. I drink it raw and whip it into milkshakes. I cook, bake, and spike warm drinks with it. But of all the simple joys of having your own dairy animal is the first cup of coffee of the day is best.  And I don’t think enough of us with these critters make the time to really enjoy it.  So lean a little closer and get excited for the best kept secret in dairy goats….

My friend Dona taught me this trick, and she certainly deserves all the credit. It was one of those secrets you learn when you become an initiate into the world of backyard production. I’ll let you in on the secret as well.

When you get up early for morning milking put on a pot of coffee or tea right away. Let it heat up and brew, welcoming your morning inside with the scents of beans or brewing tea leaves.  After this invigorating aromatherapy, brave the dawn with a thermos at your side, and head out to milk the goats.  If you want to be really fancy bring along a nice mug, too.

Enjoy your morning milking. Smile. Know in your heart the work is good and you are blessed to have such fine animals and good food (literally!) in your hands. When you are down to your last goat get her a little extra grain and start milking into your pail.

When you are about halfway done with the chore take a break to pour some of that hot coffee into your big mug. Fill it about halfway. (If you like it sweet, make sure you add your sweetener at the thermos-filling stage.)

goats produce too book

Learn how easy it is to keep diary goats and use the rich, wonderful milk. Goats Produce Too, at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio and Lehmans.com.

Then, move the pail aside and set your optimistic mug right below that beautiful bag. Milk fast, fast enough to create foam and stream it right into that mug. When it’s foaming over the top you have created a drink not even the most affluent guests of the finest coffee houses can enjoy: a Caprineccino!

Ah, the rare and delicious Caprineccino, a riff on the classic Italian drink of steamed milk and foam in rich coffee. This may be a specialized adaptation, but its got moxie, people. There are few moments as luxurious (and few hot drinks as wonderful) to savor as this! I have spent many mornings leaning against the goat pen, watching my small farm come to life in early spring, while enjoying the best coffee in town. This really is the good life.

And part of that goodness is the glory of milk goats! Bonita is my goat, but she is also my personal barista. Why in the world would I want to be more than 12 hours away from another cup!?