As someone who often works as a barista in a vegan restaurant, I've had some experience in recommending the best non-dairy m*lk for coffees and hot drinks. It can be daunting for people who have only used cows' milk to have to choose a nut or plant based alternative, so I decided that writing a guide might encourage everyone to have a play around with different m*lks. Replacing dairy doesn’t have to be a vegan exclusive. You will be surprised how good – and maybe better! – these combinations will taste! 

Eliane Lindeque

And now, let’s get into this non-dairy m*lk foam off!

#SpoonTip: as of June 2017, the European Court of Justice banned the use of the word 'milk' to advertise plant-based beverages. Companies are using instead words like 'm*lk' or 'mylk', so you'll see me referring to it as 'm*lk' throughout this article.


Eliane Lindeque

Let’s start with the most common alternative. Nowadays, you can find soya m*lk for as little as 59p! Soya m*lk gives your drink a creamy consistency. It's good for any type of coffee, and that’s probably why it's the most used dairy alternative in coffee shops. However, it has a very particular taste that not everyone likes. I rarely go for soya, unless I have no other choice!


Mun Ling Koh

When I was introduced to cashew m*lk for the first time, I wouldn’t have given it half a chance. However, it's the creamiest alternative to dairy that you can find on the market. Cashews are the most common nuts for making raw vegan cheeses (if you ever have the chance, try a cashew cheesecake — you won’t regret it!), but when it comes to coffee shops, it's quite hard to find, unless it’s a vegan place. I enjoy cashew m*lk with a flat white or a turmeric latte. 


Mun Ling Koh

Almond drinks can be a bit tricky to work with — the one in the feature photo is from Press Coffee. Depending on which brand of almond m*lk you have at hand, it may not perform well in the foam department. Unfortunately, the cleaner the ingredients are, the less they foam. A brand like Alpro will work, but it's just not my favourite for coffees (although I would still recommend it over soy). It's also really good to use in smoothies and porridge, as it has a nice, nutty taste.


Mun Ling Koh

I'm gonna be straight with you: don’t expect your coconut cappuccino to be acting the same way as its cows' milk counterpart. Coconut m*lk is not great in the foaming department and it will add a very particular taste to your coffee. Coconut is a very strong flavour and you know it’s there. However, it's really good if you want to give a sweet twist to your drink without adding any sugar. I particularly recommend it for caffeine-free hot drinks. Think turmeric lattes, hot chocolates and matcha lattes when opting for coconut m*lk!


Eliane Lindeque

First of all, if you’re going for oat m*lk you have to get Oatly. They are an amazing brand, with a great marketing team (trust me, go on their Instagram page and you’ll know what I’m talking about), and they even offer a barista version of their oat m*lk! This is by far the best alternative to dairy for coffees — every customer who tries oat m*lk for the first time in their cappuccino swears they’ll never go back to dairy, it tastes that good! It feels like oats were invented just to go with coffee! Oat m*lk gives your hot drink a creamy consistency without being too overpowering. If you’re take just one thing from this article, please make it this: you’ll try oat m*lk with your coffee as soon as you have the chance!


Mun Ling Koh

Rice m*lk is very similar to coconut m*lk: it doesn’t foam up very well and it’s quite sweet. It’s not a surprise they’re often paired together in one box. Pret A Manger uses it in their turmeric latte and have to say, it works really well. Aside from that, I don’t have much to say about rice m*lk — I’m not a great fan. Like its coconut cousin, rice m*lk is good for those who want to add a sweet kick to their drinks without the need of any sugar. 


Andrea Cecchini

I’m just going to say two words: hot chocolate. As winter is approaching and our craving for comforting drinks insinuates in the cold afternoons, I suggest you try hazelnut m*lk with your favourite hot chocolate. You know how Nutella is made of hazelnuts and chocolate? Are you getting where I’m going with this? You cant thank me later.

What’s Your Favourite?

Eliane Lindeque

Overall, you might have noticed that oat m*lk is my favourite alternative to dairy milk. As a big coffee drinker (would you expect anything else from an Italian?), oat m*lk stole my heart. It’s also getting easier to find it in coffee shops (little tip to you KCL students – the Fleet Street Press also has it!), and it's hard to find someone who doesn’t like it.

Now it’s your turn to go out there and experiment with your hot drinks. Try and have fun with different m*lks next time you have a chance, and let us know your discoveries! You can tag our Instagram page and share your favourite m*lk with us!