A dispensing unit for dispensing hot, dairy-based beverages has a self-contained refrigerated unit located above a venturi-type emulsification foaming head. The dispensing unit has particular applicability to the dispensation of foamy, hot milk for use in beverages such as cappuccino and nonfoamy, hot milk for use in beverages such as coffee latte, hot chocolate, and other hot dairy-based beverages. The refrigeration unit accommodates a "bag in box" cold milk storage container of the type widely used in food service establishments. The dispensing unit employs a pinch valve that avoids direct contact between the milk and the valve components. The refrigerated milk is stored above the level of the foamer head so that the flow of milk results partially from gravitational force on the milk, and is not totally dependent upon venturi suction created in the foamer head. Also, selective actuation of beverage choice switches generates commands to produce different beverages at different temperatures. This is achieved by raising or lowering the steam temperature from a standby temperature as an immediate response to depression of a selection button. Air utilized in creating a foamy hot milk mixture may be supplied at a positive pressure above atmospheric pressure, rather than merely through venturi suction from the ambient atmosphere. In addition, following the dispensation of each portion of a beverage, the system automatically discharges a quantity of purging water to clean out the air line and air nozzle, so as to avoid contamination of those components by contact with milk flowing through the foamer head.