The 9 alternative milks you should (and shouldn’t) add to your coffee
Unless you’re one of those superhumans who only likes their coffee black, you’ve probably figured out the perfect espresso-to-cow’s-milk ratio for your morning cuppa. But what about some of those new, trendy milk alternatives that everyone’s talking about?
These alternative “milks”–or mylks, as certain regulatory bodies are labelling them–are plant-based, and foam (and curdle) at different temperatures to cow’s milk. If you’re looking to switch to a plant-based milk, here’s the lowdown on the most popular faux-milk options in 2019.
While coconut milk has the highest fat content of any of the alternative milks, that’s precisely what makes it the creamiest option on the market. If you’re looking to impress your friends with your latte art, this is the milk to use–others are too watery to properly foam up, but with coconut milk, you’ll be a barista in no time.
Almond milk is by far one of the most popular alternatives on our supermarket shelves, with most coffee shops now offering it too. Although it doesn’t foam well, it does froth. To avoid the dreaded curdling, be sure not to pour ice cold milk into hot coffee–or just switch to iced coffee, where it blends easily.
Just like almond milk, hazelnut milk blends well in iced coffee. However, while hazelnut milk is creamier, it also has a stronger, nuttier taste. It foams well, but if you’re not partial to hazelnuts, this likely isn’t the milk for you.
Oat milk made a big splash on the market this past winter with its full-bodied flavour and high fibre content. If you have the patience to foam it, the payoff is great–thick, creamy and the perfect base for a few dashes of cinnamon.
One of the newer additions to the faux-milk market, pea milk is low-fat and relatively high in protein, with 8g per serving. Time will tell if it’s a viable option to the better known alternative milks, but it does have a creamy texture–perfect if you’re partial to a latte–and its protein levels are not to be sneered at.
Soya milk has been on the market for years and has become one of the most accessible dairy-free milk options nationwide. It’s one of the closest substitutes for cow’s milk around, so if you’re going to foam an alternative milk for the first time, this is a pretty safe bet.
However, if you have a thyroid condition, it’s best to skip soya. Soy can potentially counteract the effects of synthetic thyroid hormones, affecting both hypo- and hyperthyroid patients. Thankfully, there are plenty of other kinds of milk to choose from.
Honestly, don’t even try to foam rice milk unless you’re up for an incredible challenge. While it blends easily in iced coffee, it doesn’t blend well in hot beverages. If you’re set on using rice milk in your coffee, try a blend of rice and coconut milk, or just try another nut-free option.
If you’re not a barista or a daring homemaker, leave hemp milk to the professionals. However, if you’re ready for a nut-free, dairy-free challenge, then feel free to try mixing hemp milk into your coffee.
It’s thin, similar to rice milk, but has the capacity to foam due to its medium protein content. Good for the daredevil, bad for the everyday coffee drinker–but hey, it’s always good to expand your culinary horizons, right?
Last but certainly not least is cashew milk, a thick nut milk that offers the best of both worlds. Sweeter than almond milk and creamier than hazelnut milk, it’s a good middle ground for those who like nut milk in their coffee.
If you’re not partial to the slightly bitter taste of almond milk, then definitely give this a go, but remember: like most plant-based milks, it has the potential to curdle, so pay attention to the temperature of your drink.