Milk alternatives are readily available in most coffee houses these days. We no longer have the bog standard choice of full fat or skimmed regular milk; in fact our coffee menus are ever increasing. For those of us who have allergies to lactose or choose to stay dairy free, this is great news! However, if you are new to the alternative milk scene, it can seem a little overwhelming.
When you’re stood in the queue to order your coffee, you might be tempted to try a different kind of milk, but you don’t. It’s a risk. With so many to choose from, how do you know what you’ll like? If you order one you don’t like, you’ve ruined your morning cappuccino and potentially, your day. Whether you’re starting a new dairy free diet, or just fancy a change, it’s good to know what’s on offer and what will compliment your coffee.
Soy milk has actually been around quite a while but has remained very popular worldwide. Soy milk is a completely plant based and natural milk alternative that has a very slight almost nutty flavour. This compliments the coffee very well as it is only subtle but it does have a slightly thicker texture than regular milk and will separate from the coffee if left standing too long.
Almond milk, like soy, is also a very popular milk alternative for coffee drinkers. Almond milk obviously has a nutty flavour that is almost bordering on strong; however it does not overpower the coffee. For some it can be a little sweet, so if you usually take sugar with your coffee, take a taste before adding one, as the nutty flavour combined with the sweetness is often a perfect combination for those with a sweet tooth. A must try if you just fancy a change.
Coconut milk is fairly new and whilst it is very pleasant (if you like coconut), the flavour does tend to overpower the coffee almost entirely, which if you enjoy your coffee, is not great. The consistency is more like regular milk than soy milk however, and whilst you might not want to add coconut milk to your flat white, it is extremely good in a hot chocolate.
Produced by soaking and grounding hemp plant seeds in water, this milk alternative gives a beany-nutty flavour and is very popular amongst coffee drinkers. Hemp milk is thin in consistency and is not a creamy or milky addition to your coffee. The flavour itself is extremely subtle. If you’re looking for the closest substitute for milk then this may not be it, but it is worth a try as it is an interesting flavour as a whole although hemp milk is less commonly found in coffee shops than soy or almond milk.
Rice milk is very watery in consistency and not a great addition to your coffee. Most rice milks are very sweet, and although you can find unsweetened varieties, coffee shops often don’t state which they use, so you could be in for a sickly surprise.
Oat milk is probably the most similar substitute for regular milk, with an ever so slight sweet flavour and an average consistency when added to coffee. The flavour is not at all overpowering and is a milky addition to coffee. If you are looking to replace cow’s milk entirely without compromising the flavour of your coffee, then this may be your best option.
The most simple milk alternative. If you’re looking for an alternative to dairy or perhaps just fancy a change, try ordering your coffee black! Those of us who are regular milk drinkers never even consider ordering a coffee without, but if you’re a lover of coffee and drink it regularly, give this a go. You might be pleasantly surprised and you’ll really be able to taste the notes and flavour in your coffee with it completely untouched!