This week I was cooking my favorite meat soup when accidentally my Starbucks Milk Chocolate Latte tipped into the pot. At first it was just a little drip, but I lost the handle on the cup and eventually the whole thing fell in. Now, I once learnt some laws of bittul, and of course you need the dish to have 60 times what fell in to nullify it. But I also distinctly remember another law, "Batla miktzasa batla kulah" - "if some of it was nullified, the whole thing was nullified." Once the initial drops were nullified shouldn't the whole cup be?

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    Oh, I see. You're misapplying "Batla mitkzasa batla kulah." I think that if you poured in a drip at a time and stirred, whether each drip is individually na'aseit basar is a worthy question.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 21:02
  • 4
    Im trying to stir up some intellectual ptij. Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 21:03
  • A beracha levatala? I hope not.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 21:06
  • I never knew that Starbucks makes a milk chocolate latte. I (we) may need some more info. You said "milk chocolate", not "chocolate milk" and "latte" implies "milk". So, I assume that the milk was foamed (the latte part) and then chocolate (maybe milk chocolate) was drizzled over the foam. Is that the idea? If not, please describe.
    – DanF
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 21:16
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    @danf absolutely knock yourself out Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 21:20

2 Answers 2


You only quoted part of the rule - the full text is (Gittin 33a)

עדות שבטלה מקצתה בטלה כולה

Eidos which are partially nullified are completely nullified.

As R' Hirsch explains, Eidos are the laws that are symbolic of some eternal truth. The prohibition of milk and meat, however, is from the Chukim, those laws which defy human understanding. Therefore, the law of partial nullification does not apply.

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    Thats geonis! I'm very impressed Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 21:42
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    Hmm, but השמים מספרים כבוד אל - so Starbucks would seem to be Eidos. :-P
    – Yishai
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 21:55

It depends what you mean by "milk chocolate latte". There are various opinions.

"Latte" is steamed milk. The amount of foam created by the steaming is too minute to worry that this overpowers the pot of meat to give it any taste, as it is mostly air. Then, I assume that milk chocolate is drizzled on top. Milk chocolate is mainly chocolate to which a small percentage of milk has been added. If they just drizzle a bit of this on the latte foam, again, too little to be concerned about the problem.

If, however the latte is made by melting the milk chocolate into the coffee and then steaming extra milk and putting it on top, there might be a concern that the beverage is primarily milk, and perhaps, the volume of milk may have made your pot milchig.

My bigger concern , here, is not the basar bechalav problem which is assur behana'ah, but the mere fact that you bought Starbuck's coffee which is overpriced and overrated. Perhaps, the Starbuck's coffee is assur behana'ah!

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    I believe you may be confusing a Latte with a Cappuccino, a Latte is mostly liquid milk (heated by steam) with a bit of foam on top. The Cappuccino is foamy steamed milk, but even it is at least half milk (a 1:1:1 ratio between espresso, milk, and foam). Since the milk is typically steam heated, there may be some bubbles in it, but it's still largely liquid.
    – Johnny
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 23:21
  • @Johnny - Yes, it sounds like the only difference between cap'cino and latte is the amount of foam. Still, I don't think Starbucks knows how to make it right. The only reason I occasionally go to Starbucks is that its a significant step up from pushcart coffee.
    – DanF
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 3:08
  • latte is Italian for milk, but a caffe latte is usually 2 shots of espresso and a lot of milk. not sure what a milk chocolate latte. it was just called hot chocolate in my day
    – CashCow
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 12:15

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