A quick guide to dairy-free milk

Looking for an alternative to milk in your morning coffee? Read our quick guide to dairy-free milk to find out your plant-based options.

Dairy-free milk alternatives are becoming increasingly popular at a time when coffee culture is at its heyday, and there are countless inspiring ways to diversify your beverage and achieve premium flavour. 

Almond milk, oat milk, and hazelnut milk are only some of the ways to help Brits reduce their animal product intake, as 46% intend to do so. Given that 48% of British adults say they already use a plant-based milk alternative in their diet, we wonder what some of the best non-dairy milk and beverage pairings are to try. 

Understanding what beverages different plan-based milks pair best with will help you enhance your at-home barista experience – especially if you have just decided to go vegan.

For example, if you like decaf coffee, you can elevate the taste by adding rice milk, while frothing oat or cashew milk will give you a rich, velvety cappuccino or a latte. And when it comes to hot chocolate, hazelnut milk is a definite dessert winner.

With this in mind, here’s a quick guide to some of your plant-free milk options.

Almond milk 

Almond milk boasts a nutty sweetness reminiscent of an Amaretto Sour cocktail or marzipan and a light texture, creating a pleasant and familiar flavour explosion in your taste buds, especially when paired with coffee and espresso-based drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos. 

Almond milk is also the most popular amongst Brits, with 22% pointing it as their favourite dairy-free milk choice. 

Oat milk 

Oat milk is a plant-based milk alternative that has become increasingly popular among coffee drinkers, especially those who love lattes and cappuccinos.  

One of the reasons why oat milk is a great choice is its ability to froth well and produce high-quality foam. This is due to the natural sugars in oats that help to create a smooth and creamy consistency when steamed. In addition to its frothing capabilities, oat milk has a unique and pleasant taste that is slightly sweet and nutty, which makes it a great addition to coffee drinks. 

Coconut milk 

Infuse your beverage with a touch of exotic flavour by adding a dash of coconut milk. Add it to your espresso for a sweeter and more summery taste, or prepare a rich, creamy hot chocolate with a tropical flavour. 

Coconut milk has a high-fat content of 57 grams per cup, making it not ideal for cappuccinos and steaming. Nevertheless, it contains saturated fats known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are used in the famous bulletproof coffee that is known to promote the slower release of energy and is favoured by those who follow a keto diet or intermittent fasting.  

Soy milk 

Soy milk is an incredibly versatile option because of its neutral taste and smell, making it a great addition to both hot and cold beverages. However, it doesn’t froth as well as other alternatives, so it may not be the best choice for cappuccinos. But for any other drink, soy milk is an excellent option. 

Cashew milk 

Cashew milk has a creamy texture with a subtle nutty flavour. It has gained a lot of popularity due to its versatility, and it is an excellent choice for lattes and cappuccinos due to its richness. To enhance your experience, cashew milk pairs well with caramel and vanilla for a flavoured specialty coffee. 

Rice milk 

Rice milk, which consists of whole grain rice and water and is emulsified with oil, is known for its mild sweetness that comes from the fermentation of rice in the production process. Its flavour is reminiscent of a rice pudding dessert and pairs well with vanilla and chocolate flavours. This makes it suitable for lighter beverages such as herbal teas, iced coffee, and hot chocolate and is a great addition to any hot coffee. 

However, its low protein content makes it not suitable for foaming, so avoid using it in cappuccinos and lattes. 

Hazelnut milk 

With its nutty and creamy flavour, hazelnut milk is a great addition to a variety of beverages, creating an exquisite taste and experience for the senses. Redolent of desserts, hazelnut milk in your drink feels like a treat, and it’s perfect for hot chocolates. 

Its ability to froth well also makes it a fantastic choice for creating velvety foam in your favourite coffee creations. 

Hemp milk 

Hemp milk, derived from the seeds of the hemp plant, is a nutrient-rich milk alternative that has been gaining popularity as a versatile and sustainable drink. Packed with essential nutrients and boasting a distinct earthy undertone, hemp milk adds a unique flavour that’s subtler than other nut-based alternatives. 

It pairs well with the bold flavours of coffee, adding a subtle nuttiness without overshadowing the coffee’s essence. 

Which plant-free milk will you choose? 

With such a wide variety of dairy-free milk alternatives, you can really experiment with pairings to find the perfect flavour match for you. Enjoy a nutrient-rich beverage that boasts a unique taste and enhances your at-home drink creations either alone or in good company. 

Another: Lucy Ward, marketing manager at Beanies Flavour Co.