The Best Non-Dairy Milk Substitutes for Coffee

The world of lattes and cappuccinos has long relied on milk products to provide a creamy, rich flavor that complements bitter coffee. That is changing with the invention of non-dairy alternatives that can add this same sense of smoothness to any coffee beverage. With dietary restraints and sustainability becoming more relevant, it is important to consider non-dairy creamer substitutes for milk. Many coffee shops have adapted by offering almond milk or soy milk, but there are numerous other options that differ in taste and ingredients.

Oat Milk & Coffee IS A Thing

Oat milk is made of oats, water, and sometimes canola oil to create a full-bodied beverage that’s richness is comparable to dairy milk. Not only does it offer the same creamy taste as full-fat dairy milk, but it contains multiple health benefits. Similar to dairy milk, oat milk contains little fat and a moderate amount of protein. Oat milk has the added benefit of fiber, making it easier to improve your digestive health. The flavor pairs well with coffee and can even be steamed to create foam for lattes or cappuccinos.

Staple Alternative – Almond Milk

Almond milk is arguably the most popular non-dairy beverage option to pair with coffee. It can be purchased sweetened or unsweetened, and many brands offer different flavors, such as vanilla. Almond milk is also low in calories and sugar, and high in Vitamin E and healthy fats. When added to coffee, it has a nutty flavor that can sometimes come across as bitter. For a smoother taste, try adding sweetened almond milk. It is also important to note that almond milk can curdle when combined with coffee due to the hot temperature and acidity. It has a tendency to separate when heated, so it is not the best option for lattes or cappuccinos. Latte art made with almond milk might look beautiful, but it could be hiding a watery beverage underneath. If you’re looking to try a new, more exotic flavor, turn your attention toward coconut milk. It is cherished for its thick texture and exotic flavor, all without the use of artificial flavors. Coconut milk is naturally dense, so it will not water down your coffee and instead assert a creamy, tropical flavor. Be mindful that coconut milk has a sweet distinctive flavor. Some people love it, while others may be taken aback by the strength and impact of flavor. Coconut milk can be frothed for lattes or cappuccinos, but creates larger bubbles than dairy milk. However, you will not have a problem with the heat separating the beverage, whether hot or iced.

Hemp Milk Is Beginning To Trend

Another less familiar option is hemp seed milk. Hemp milk is packed full of protein and contains trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. Although there are traces in the plant, hemp seeds and hemp milk do not contain enough THC to cause psychoactive effects. The beverage itself has a slightly nutty or vegetable flavor but is thin enough to dissolve in coffee easily. Because of its high protein content, hemp milk steams very well for premium beverages. Rice milk is a great option for those looking for a nut free, soy free, and dairy free option. This milk is perfect for coffee drinkers with allergies or lactose sensitivities. The flavor of rice milk is rather neutral, which allows the full flavor of your coffee to come through. However, it is thin and watery, which doesn’t elicit the creamy consistency that many coffee lovers are accustomed to. Rice milk also does not contain enough protein to be adequately steamed for lattes or cappuccinos. On the plus side, rice milk does offer a substantial amount of calcium.

America’s Favorite Nut Is Catching On

Cashew milk is credited for being creamy in texture and similar to real dairy milk in richness. It tastes slightly more sweet than other alternatives and less nutty than other nut milks. Cashew milk is packed full of healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and also boosts immune health. Aside from the abundance of health benefits, cashew milk can be steamed for other beverages, but its bubbles will be larger than typical dairy milk. Pay attention while you steam your cashew milk because it can turn into a soapy texture if done incorrectly.

Alternative Non-Dairy Creamers

Pea milk is another unique option for non-dairy milk. It is made from the protein of yellow peas, so it does not have a green color that you might have imagined. Pea milk has a high protein content compared to other alternatives and it also contains a healthy amount of potassium. The taste of pea milk is a smooth and neutral flavor that mixes well with coffee. It does not taste like peas, nor will it leave a vegetable taste in your coffee drink. Many advocates say this is the best substitute for dairy milk in terms of taste. It can easily be foamed into a delicious, silky coffee drink.

Last but not least is the popular non-dairy beverage, soy milk. Most coffee shops have soy milk because this option has been popular, affordable and accessible for years. One disadvantage of using soy milk is its tendency to curdle in hot or acidic coffee, similar to almond milk. Soy milk without preservatives has a higher likelihood of separating in your coffee. In order to prevent this, try warming your soy milk slightly and slowly adding it to your hot coffee. Soy milk is known for its smooth, creamy texture and relatively neutral taste, although it may be a little nutty.

There are so many non-dairy options out there to complement your coffee tastes, go try them out to find your favorite! Many of them offer distinct health benefits that may not be found in normal dairy milk.



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