The milk we use in our drinks at Market Lane is produced by Simon Schulz.
Schulz Organic is located about a twenty-minute drive inland from the Shipwreck Coast, near Port Campbell and the Twelve Apostles. The farm is surrounded by grass-covered hills, with some small creeks fed by springs.
The certified organic milk produced for Market Lane comes from three herds of cattle, totalling around 450 head. These cattle are split into three herds, each with their own mix of cattle breeds, varying around 30% Jersey, 50% Holstein-Friesian, and 20% interbred of the two. The breed percentages are changed to suit specific pastures, which are composed of slightly different native grasses and flowers.
Pastures are naturally seasonal, and this is especially true in Australia, where the harsh summers dry the grasses and the wet winters muddy and strip them bare. This seasonality is usually embraced and treasured by cheese makers because of the interesting influence the spring grasses have on the flavour of the milk but, unfortunately for baristas, this seasonality can mean variations in milk texture. On Schulz’s farm, however, he is lucky to have enough rainfall throughout the year, helped by some surrounding bushlands and natural springs, so the grasses remain green and lush. The cows’ feed is kept consistent throughout the year, too, with pasture making up the majority of their food, with some additional silage and grain given during the daily milking. This consistency in the feed keeps the butterfat, protein and flavour of the milk consistent throughout the year.
The pasteurisation process is done very carefully, as it alters the flavour of the milk dramatically. Simon has a small 1,000-litre batch pasteuriser, which is heated with a glycol heat exchanger (similar to beer lines)! By law, milk has to be heated to a certain temperature for a certain amount of time to kill any harmful pathogens it may contain. Larger milk processors will choose to heat the milk to a high temperature for a short time (15 seconds at 72° for example), but the law allows the milk to be held at a lower temperature for a longer time. Simon has found that pasteurisation at lower temperatures produces a superior flavour in the milk, and so has chosen to hold the milk at 65° for 30 minutes per batch.
Unlike most milks found on the market, Simon chooses not to homogenise his milk. Homogenisation involves forcing pasteurised milk under high pressure through a small nozzle to split the fat globules into tiny particles, distributing the fat more evenly and preventing the cream from rising to the surface (like it did in the good old days). The reason producers do this is mainly aesthetic – the milk is whiter, keeps for longer, looks ‘better’ and is essentially more processed. But we don’t think homogenised milk tastes as good!
And this why we’ve chosen to use Schulz’s milk, because we love how it tastes, and we think it’s the closest thing to ‘real milk’ in Australia. It has a lovely, rich texture and is very sweet and creamy, reflecting the diverse herbage on the farm and the gentle pasteurisation techniques practiced by Schulz.
We use Simon’s milk in all our milk-based beverages at Market Lane. Our milk is also for sale in our shops in two-litre bottles, ready for you to take home. We adore this milk, and we hope you do, too.