There are quite a few factors that contribute to soy milk making an outstanding substitute to dairy. For starters, it's not just dairy free, it's also a safe alternative for those who suffer from nut allergies. Soy milk has a relatively neutral taste, so you don't have to be too worried about it having any negative effects on flavor regarding the brew itself. Soy milk is a popular option in many coffee shops for those who have quit, or are avoiding, dairy. There are a few things to keep in mind, however. Some soy milks have a tendency to curdle in coffee that is too hot. To avoid this, try warming your soy milk slightly before adding it to your coffee. You can also try pouring the soy milk first, and adding your coffee slowly to it. Another possible drawback is the difficulty that can be had trying to achieve a good foam. While skilled baristas may be able to accomplish the feat with ease, it can prove a troublesome task for home brewers.
If you love that full-bodied creamy richness that comes with using full fat dairy, then oat milk is your go-to. Oat milk consists of oats and water, but may sometimes contain canola oil. It's interesting to note that this type of dairy substitute is also full of fiber. Though oat milk does carry a bit of natural sweetness, it is wonderfully neutral. So, there's not threat here of overpowering the coffee's natural taste. This alternative is a real up and comer, and is gaining in popularity. It can also foam, but may take longer to do so than actual dairy. As with all plant based products, beware the dangers of it splitting.
Nut-free, dairy-free, and soy-free, rice milk can make an excellent addition to coffee. It's incredibly light, and doesn't really have any sort of flavor. That means you will definitely be able to catch all those lovely flavor notes of the brew itself. This is also a great option for those who are lactose intolerant, or people who suffer from allergies. Be that as it may, rice milk does have a few downsides. It's relatively thin, and the texture that it provides is more watery than some other dairy alternatives. You're just not going to get as much of that “creamy” consistency here. Also of note, is that rice milk does not foam. There's simply not enough protein there to allow it.
Almond milk has become more and more popular for use in coffee. It comes in both sweetened and unsweetened versions, and lends a nutty taste to your brew. Yes, you will get that creamy texture, but you will definitely taste it. The unsweetened type is also said to sometimes lend a bitter taste that isn't entirely welcome. Many do opt for the sweetened variety to combat the possible bitterness. Depending on what you want to achieve with your final cup, almond milk also comes in several flavors. Beware of splitting here. Also, while you can make a foam with almond milk, it will leave a watery consistency below the foam layer.
Yes, pea milk is actually a thing. No, it doesn't taste like peas and it's not coloured green. It's actually made from the protein of yellow peas. Pea milk packs plenty of protein, calcium, and potassium. It's also free of, well, basically everything. It's great for people with allergies or with an intolerance. It helps provide a smooth, creamy texture to coffee without imparting any flavor of its own. It can also produce a good foam with some practice. Many people are saying that pea milk might just be the best dairy substitute in terms of an unobtrusive taste. It's also much more eco-friendly than some alternatives like almond milk.