Love it or hate it, coffee is a global obsession. While some prefer a bold cup of black coffee like a steamy espresso, many others enjoy comforting lattes and cappuccinos. And milk is an essential ingredient in brewing a creamy cup of coffee; it can be hard to imagine a cup without it.
But what if you’re lactose intolerant, don’t have any milk on hand, or simply want to try other flavors? Fortunately, there are plenty of substitutes for milk in coffee that can help you get your daily coffee fix!
1. Soy Milk
Soy milk has a creamy texture and nutty flavor and can work as a fantastic milk substitute to make coffee. It is higher in protein than ordinary milk, lower in saturated fat, and lower in calories. Furthermore, because soy milk is lactose-free, it is suitable for vegans and people who are lactose intolerant or who avoid dairy for other health reasons.
You can use soy milk in equal amounts as regular milk in any coffee recipe. To get the most out of your soy milk, always opt for unsweetened varieties — you will find both full-fat and low-calorie versions in the market. When you add it to coffee, you may want to try adding a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup for extra sweetness. Alternatively, you can experiment with different proportions until you find the ratio that works best for you.
2. Almond Milk
With its creamy texture and light, nutty flavor, almond milk brings a subtle sweetness to your cup of Joe. It’s also a go-to choice for those looking for vegan and lactose-free options. Almond milk is packed with nutrients such as fiber, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, and magnesium, making it a healthy alternative to regular milk.
Almond milk can easily be added to hot beverages like coffee for breakfasts on the go or quick afternoon pick-me-ups. And if you want to bump up the flavor, try adding a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg or even a pinch of ground turmeric for extra depth. For a sweeter treat, a touch of honey and vanilla extract would work wonders.
3. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk has become a popular dairy option for coffee lovers searching for a creamy, frothy texture in their coffee. Coconut milk is not only widely available in stores and online, but it also has an excellent nutritional profile that can benefit overall health. It is high in minerals and good fats, including lauric acid and MCTs.
The simplest way to use coconut milk in coffee is to just pour a dash of coconut milk while blending or whisking your coffee for a rich, creamy latte or cappuccino. If you want something milder and less flavorful, add one part of coconut milk for two parts of your favorite brewed espresso or coffee mix.
The suggested ratio depends on how much flavor you want from the coconut milk. For example, if you’re using a sweeter espresso mix with no additional sweeteners, go ahead and add more coconut milk for a creamier and sweeter flavor.
4. Oat Milk
Oat milk is another vegan, dairy-free, and plant-based option, which makes it attractive to those who have dietary restrictions or follow a dairy-free diet. It is also packed with nutritional benefits, providing most of the same vitamins and minerals found in whole milk but with lower fat content.
A great quality of oat milk is its versatility. It can be used to make creamy coffees, steamy lattes, cold coffee, mochas, and more. Oat milk also froths like whole milk, so if you’re looking for a creamy cup of cappuccino, this is the perfect milk alternative for you.
5. Hemp Milk
Hemp milk is one of the healthiest alternatives to regular milk that you can find. It is vegan and dairy-free and has no cholesterol. It is also high in nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids, making it an ideal choice to get your daily boost of vitamins and minerals.
You can add hemp milk to your cup of coffee just as you would use regular milk. You may also adjust the ratio to your liking. However, as hemp milk has a thinner consistency, you may want to add two teaspoons of hemp milk to each cup of coffee for a creamier texture. To make your coffee extra frothy, add a quarter of a cup of cold hemp milk to half a cup of hot coffee to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
6. Rice Milk
Rice milk may not be as popular as other dairy alternatives, but it can also make for a unique addition to coffee. It is nut-free, wholly plant-based, and low in fat. Rice milk also provides essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and B, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron. It has a subtle flavor with a sweet aftertaste that can pair nicely with your favorite coffee.
You can use rice milk to substitute milk in coffee in many ways. You can either use cold or hot rice milk as desired. For a steaming, full-bodied cup of coffee, add a quarter of a cup of rice milk to one cup of freshly brewed coffee. You can use a similar amount for an iced version, too. However, as rice milk is quite thin, it won’t make your coffee very creamy. If you need an extra dose of sweetness, you can always add a teaspoon of sugar or your favorite non-dairy creamer.