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Know Your Coffee

Try these 6 dairy alternatives for coffee

3 mins

Non-dairy alternatives have grown immensely popular in recent years. Many have chosen to switch from dairy to plant or nut-based alternatives.

dairy alternatives for coffee

What makes the best non-dairy alternative for coffee?

There are a few factors to consider when choosing the right non-dairy alternative for your coffee. Firstly, the taste; each of the drinks on our list have a very distinct taste. Some are sweet, others are bitter and a few possess other strong flavours.

Secondly, the texture; each plant or nut-based drink has their own unique texture. You’ll also need to consider whether you like your drink steamed in your coffee too, as some will froth up wonderfully and others won’t at all!

Picture of table full of non dairy milks

1. Oat drink

Oat drinks are frequently hailed as the best non-dairy alternative for coffee. Many have suggested that it’s pretty much a doppelganger for the original, albeit with a slightly oat-y tang. Rich and full-bodied, oat drinks are also relatively low in fat and don’t sacrifice too much protein which is often a concern with plant-based drinks. Additionally, it possesses a rich and smooth texture and can create a substantial foam, making it perfect for your cappuccino or latte.

dairy free coffee

When choosing a non-dairy alternative for your coffee, remember that some are sweet, others are bitter or have other strong flavours. Also, each plant or nut-based drink has its own unique texture.


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2. Soy drink

Soy drinks are probably one of the best known plant-based drinks on our list. It’s a great choice for those with nut allergies and it’s more widely available than other alternatives, so it’s likely you’ll find it in almost every coffee shop or supermarket. It’s often considered one of the best non-dairy alternatives for coffee due to its neutral taste, high protein and low sugar and fat content. That said, it’s prone to splitting or curdling in coffee that’s very hot or of a high acidity, so we suggest letting it cool slightly first to get the best result.

Dairy free coffee

3. Almond drink

Almond drink is extremely popular but many will find it an acquired taste due to its slight bitterness. It is low in calories, but it’s also low in protein and fibre, so it doesn’t hold as much nutritional value as other nut-based drinks. Almond drinks are best suited to lighter roasts with less acidity as it can be a touch too bitter otherwise, and it’s also prone to curdling (similar to soy) when paired with blends of a higher acidity. For those who love their coffee frothy, it’s worth noting that standard almond drink doesn’t froth too well, but there are barista specific types which have been developed for this reason.

Dairy free coffee

4. Coconut drink

Coconut drinks are an ideal choice for those looking for a slightly more exotic flavour in their coffee. If you love the taste of coconut it’s likely you’ll find this to be one of the best non-dairy alternatives for coffee, but the taste can be quite dominating so it’s not for everyone. The consistency is wonderfully thick and creamy so it won’t water your brew down and it can also be frothed, but it’ll produce larger bubbles than your standard options.

Dairy free coffee

5. Cashew drink

Cashew is one of the least nutty of all the nut-based drinks and is often favoured for its more neutral taste. Possessing a creamy texture, this non-dairy alternative won’t overpower certain blends, froths relatively well and produces larger bubbles, but if steamed too much it can become a bit soapy in texture!

dairy free coffee

6. Rice drink

Rice drinks are another great alternative, particularly for those with nut or soy allergies. It’s thought to be one of the best non-dairy alternatives for coffee, as it’s very light in flavour and quite neutral, allowing the taste of the blend to come through. However, it’s also more watery than others so it’s likely to dilute coffee. This is also why it doesn’t foam, making it unsuitable for frothy coffees. A few choose to avoid rice drinks due to the lack of protein compared to other types.

Enjoy discovering a whole new world of dairy alternatives. With so many to choose from, it’s never been easier to truly make your coffee your own.

Dairy free coffee

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