With a plethora of Vegan Milk in the market there is something for everyone. At the moment we offer oat, almond, soy and coconut at the coffee shop; at home I’ve played with a lot more and this is the sum of my wisdom.
Soy milk is the old classic. It has a distinctive taste that you either like or you don’t. It’s high in protein and often comes fortified with lots of loveliness. When it comes to making coffee it’s not the easiest to work with. It will turn into pure foam if you even look at it funny. A flat white with soy isn’t the easiest thing to make. Soy is also a common allergen.
When it comes to brands I don’t really have a recommendation. I find the cheap supermarket own brands to be the easiest to work with.
Almond milk has a nuttiness to it. That can be a plus. I think it’s great in a hot chocolate but you might not want it in your tea. Almond milk is low in calories. The one I have in my hand is 13 kcal. If you’re cooking with it it goes great in cheesy dishes. Almond is my favourite for a vegan mac. When it comes to steaming… it can be mixed. It’s not as eager to turn into a foam as soy but it’s not the easiest thing to work with either. And of course almond is another major allergen.
I like unsweetened milk from roasted almonds so I tend to go with Alpro or make my own if I’m at home.
Oat milk is by far my favourite to work with. And it preforms very similarly to diary milk so even baristas who are scared of nondairy milks should be able to use it. The special barista versions that we use are fairly high in calories (59kcal per 100ml) making it perfect for kids too. It’s also great for baking because of the relatively high sugar content compared to the other plant-based milks. It browns nicely. Most oat milks contain trace amounts of gluten, though we have found a brand without.
Minor Figures is my favourite, closely followed by Oatly Barista. For gluten free there is Oat Dreams.
There are, of course, milks I haven’t mentioned. Coconut milk is creamy and has a milk coconut taste that goes great in a chocolate milkshake. Hazelnut is beautiful in a hot chocolate. Buy you can milk almost any nut. These are just the ones that work for me.