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We Love Cows, but there are Some Amazing Milk Alternatives for Coffee
It wasn’t all that long ago that the answer to the question “How do you take your coffee?” was usually “milk and sugar”.
Milk softens bitter notes in some coffees and performs beautifully in creating lattes and cappuccinos.
But for Vegans, the lactose intolerant and those with allergies, dairy is off the table.
Does diary impact the environment?
Concerns about the environmental impact of dairy production has also led to the rise in the popularity of plant-based milk alternatives. The upward growth curve in alt-milks is stunning – globally the industry has grown to be worth approximately $16 billion, up from $2 billion just five years ago.
Soy milk is the original plant milk, with the closest match to cow’s milk in nutrient content and consistency, and for specialty coffee drinks, soy steams and froths like a charm. But soy has fallen out of favour due to health and environmental concerns as large swaths of the Amazon rainforest have been burned to make way for soybean farms.
With a fairly light and neutral taste, almond milk remains a winning choice for at-home brewers and coffee shops. Look for the ‘barista’ label on your almond milk if you’re going to be creating lattes at home – stabilizers have been added to ensure the milk doesn’t curdle in the coffee and helps achieve glossy foam. Pacific Foods barista series almond milk gets top marks in coffee from Brazil and Colombia.
The new reigning alt-milk champion is oat milk. Climate-friendly, with pretty low water use and greenhouse gas emissions, oat milk has the most subtle taste and is perhaps the closest to dairy. If you haven’t tried it yet, we suggest a lighter roasted, fruity coffee. Baristas rave that oak milk steams best, hands down.
Specialty coffee aficionados warn against using hemp, hazelnut and cashew milk for a couple of reasons; hazelnut’s distinctive flavour can distort the nuances in a good coffee and hemp and cashew are too watery.
Alt-milk iced coffees? Oh hell yeah. Both oat milk and almond milk perform beautifully over ice.
Iced chocolate almond milk espresso and Oat milk and cinnamon iced espresso
2 shots espresso
2 tsp chocolate syrup (or sub maple syrup)
½ cup almond milk
Fill a tall glass half full of ice, add almond milk, stir in syrup, and then pour on the espresso.
Switch the recipe up substituting oat milk and replace the syrup with ¼ tsp of cinnamon.