What Are The Alternatives To Regular Milk?

 In Coffee News

It can’t have escaped your notice that more and more people are looking for alternatives to dairy products, whether as part of a wider dietary change to become vegan, because they’re lactose intolerant or simply because they want to reduce the amount of dairy they’re consuming.

For baristas, and anyone running a coffee shop, that means you need to have at least one non-dairy alternative on your menu to offer people as a substitute for traditional milk.

Of course, that’s in addition to having skimmed milk for those who’d rather not have the semi-skimmed or full fat milk you’ll also have available.

But what are your options in terms of non-dairy milks for serving in coffee? It turns out there are rather a lot, and One Green Planet has highlighted a few of the best options if you’re looking for something creamy to complement your coffee.


Soy milk

Soy milk is probably the most widely used replacement for standard milk in coffee shops around the country. It’s one that consumers are familiar with and provides an easy alternative to regular dairy that everyone understands.


Almond milk

Almond milk is a newer addition to the dairy-free alternatives, but one that’s increasing in popularity. One thing to watch if you want to start using it for cappuccinos and lattes is that you buy the specialist almond milk for baristas.

Regular almond milk will separate if exposed to too much heat (like being steamed or put in an almost-boiling cup of coffee), so make sure you buy the products designed for use in coffee shops.


Coconut milk creamer

According to the website, coconut milk creamer is another top choice to add to a coffee, because it “tastes just sweet enough”. If you buy a product that’s a creamer, as opposed to simply coconut milk, it will add a creamier texture to the coffee too.


Oat milk

Oat milk isn’t one that’s mentioned in the One Green Planet article, but it is worth considering if you’re a barista. Last month, Business Insider UK highlighted oat milk as one of the best dairy-free alternatives for coffee shops to use.

According to CEO of Intelligentsia James McLaughlin, it “steams and froths really well compared to other alternative milks”. His company was the first in America to offer oat milk as the dairy-free alternative in its coffee shops back in 2016 and has grown since making the change.

Mic Network recently noted that Oatly oat milk is a particularly good choice for baristas because of the way it’s made. It tends to be thicker than traditional oat milks, while the brand itself is doing as much as possible to operate in a sustainable way.

If you only intend to offer one dairy-free alternative to customers at your coffee shop, it’s worth doing some research and trying a few of the different options available to find one that works well with your private label coffee.

Milks made from plant-based sources all have different flavours, which can affect the taste of the coffee, while their textures and properties also vary. This means you should experiment to find the one that suits your cafe best – and if you’re offering multiple choices to your customers it means you can explain how each will alter their beverage too.

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