With so many milk alternatives out there, you no longer have to sacrifice on flavor when opting for a non-dairy milk due to health or environmental reasons.
But with shelves and shelves of plant-based options to choose from, it’s hard to decide on the right one for you. This is especially true when it comes to finding an alternative milk that will blend well with your morning coffee.
Through research and personal experience, here’s a list of some of the most popular non-dairy milks that combine best with coffee.
Macadamia Nut Milk
The closest non-dairy option to cow’s milk is probably macadamia nut milk. It has the highest fat content on this list, creating a thick and creamy texture. Usually, a good rule of thumb is the higher the fat content, the better it will taste in your coffee.
In terms of flavor, it’s not overly sweet like cashew milk, but has a buttery, nutty flavor. Unfortunately, this milk substitute is one of the more expensive options out there, and it’s not always available in stores.
Coconut milk also does really well in coffee. Due to the thick texture and high fat content, it has a very similar feel to dairy-based milk. Coconut milk also won’t water your coffee down, as some of the thinner non-dairy milks tend to do.
This milk alternative is slightly sweet, and has a very distinctive flavor profile that consumers either love or hate. The coconut flavor can be too overwhelming for some, and may drown the coffee in some cases.
Currently, oat milk seems to be outperforming most of the milk substitutes on this list and for good reason. It’s perhaps the most neutral in flavor, so as not to take overpower the coffee. Plus, it boasts of a rich and creamy texture.
It surprisingly has a low fat content, yet maintains a thick and creamy taste akin to full-fat cow’s milk. This kind of milk is also great for frothing, as it foams really well.
For a lighter nut milk alternative, almond milk is a very popular option. Not only does it have a light body, as it’s low in calories, sugar, and fat, but it’s also light in flavor.
Unsweetened almond milk has a pretty neutral flavor with a hint of nuttiness that’s not overwhelming. It can, however, curdle in coffee when added to really hot coffee or espresso that’s highly acidic.
Almond milk can be steamed to create a silky foam for an almond latte or cappuccino. The milk, however, can separate when heated leaving a watery beverage underneath.
If you have multiple food allergies (nuts, soy) or lactose sensitivities, rice milk may be a better alternative.
Rice milk has a very neutral taste, so it won’t overtake the flavor of your coffee. It’s also very light in body, and has a consistency similar to that of skim milk.
Each milk substitute has its own flavor profile, texture, and foaming capabilities. It’s important to choose an alternative that works best for you and is conducive to the types of coffee beverages you enjoy most often.
And while this list is a great place to start for finding your perfect coffee companion, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are a number of other excellent milk substitutes that can accommodate many lifestyle choices and allergies. We’re fortunate to live in a world with many milk alternatives available that benefit our health and our planet.