Today, it is estimated that 3.5 million people in the UK are vegan – an enormous jump from the 500,000 who ate a plant-based diet in 2016. The vegan trend has spread to coffee in a big way and more and more outlets are doing their best to offer dairy-free milks to cater for coffee drinkers of a vegan disposition. Here are our top suggestions for plant-based milks and how to use them with your hot drinks.
Cashew milk - flat white
Cashew milk is a delightfully creamy nut milk that is nowhere near as watery as the more commonly used almond milk. Therefore, it responds beautifully when used with a milk frother, making it perfect for using in foamy coffees that people crave throughout the day. The flavour is quite mild, so your coffee flavour will still shine through without too much distraction. We love using cashew milk in our flat whites as the ratio means it’s super foamy with just a subtle nutty taste. It's one for the non-vegans to try too!
Hemp milk - white americano
Hemp milk is produced by soaking and grinding hemp seeds in water and is full of nutritional goodness. Many brands of hemp milk boast high levels of omega 3 fatty acids, the same goodness commonly found in oily fish. Otherwise known as ‘brain food,’ the omega 3 levels make hemp milk an excellent choice for a working environment. The consistency is ever-so-slightly thicker than skimmed milk and its very mild, nutty flavour makes it perfect if you’re just looking for a dash to take the edge off your double shot Americano.
Oat Milk - Lattes and Cappuccinos
Baristas are increasingly reaching for oat milk as their favourite dairy-free option. Why? It’s probably the plant-based milk that's most similar to cow’s milk. It’s very creamy and doesn’t split or curdle when heated, which makes it the perfect choice for creating a creamy latte or cappuccino. The malty taste is also absolutely delicious and makes a nice break from nut milk. It’s also a great plant-based milk for businesses who have to be aware of those with nut allergies.
Coconut milk - vegan hot chocolate
Coconut milk is being made more readily available in coffee outlets across the UK as there’s a huge demand for it thanks to the vegan revolution and a general increase in coconut products. It’s a lot more distinctive tasting than other nut milks with a strong coconut flavour. If you’re unsure about combining the taste of coconut and coffee, we can highly recommend a coconut hot chocolate (made with vegan chocolate powder of course). Just think of it as a melted Bounty…but less naughty.
So there we have it – 4 dairy-free milk alternatives and how to best use them to get your caffeine fix. Try one today – we’re convinced you’ll be converted.