What is the best milk alternative for coffee? In this post we discuss many milk alternatives including coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk and more. Just because you can't have dairy doesn't mean you can't enjoy a delicious cup of coffee, a latte or cappuccino.
Coffee is one of the best ways to start the day. It tastes delicious, gives you a boost of energy, can lift your mood, increase your productivity and can be a comforting ritual. There are many ways to drink coffee, with some people preferring to drink their coffee black, while others, like me, preferring to add a little milk to give their coffee a rich and creamy flavour and texture.
There are many different types of milk you can add to coffee, and you may be avoiding cows milk or dairy milk due to allergies, lactose intolerance or because you are vegan or vegetarian. Whatever the reason, there are many different milk alternatives that you can add to your coffee. This post will discuss the best milk alternative for coffee, how the different alternatives affect the taste and texture of your coffee, and the nutritional benefits you can get from the different milk alternatives.
Best Milk Alternative for Coffee
Coconut milk is my personal favourite dairy milk alternative and is what I put in my coffee every morning. It has such a rich and creamy texture and flavour that goes so well with coffee. Coconut milk also has a bit of natural sweetness that works well for making lattes and cappuccinos and it's thick enough to be used for latte art. Many coffee shops now carry it, as do most grocery stores. Coconut milk is a great option if you are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy. I recommend using full fat coconut milk for the richest flavour, the creamiest texture and the increased nutritional benefits (coconut milk is packed full of healthy fats).
The nutritional information for one cup of full fat coconut milk:
- Calories: 300
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fat: 30 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Carbohydrates: 9 grams
- Potassium: 150 mg
- Sodium: 45 mg
- Iron: 0.9 mg
My favorite coconut milk is this Thai Kitchen one that's made with just coconut and water!
Other Milk Alternatives for Coffee
Almond milk is one of the most common cows milk alternatives for coffee. Pretty much every coffee shop carries it and so do most grocery stores and even some convenience stores. It has a more bland and neutral taste so won't alter the taste of your coffee too much compared to some other dairy free milks. You can also get flavoured almond milks such as vanilla almond milk if you prefer to add a little sweetness to your coffee.
The nutritional information for one cup of almond milk (Elmhurst brand - this is my favorite brand as it's only made with almonds and water - no preservatives, artificial ingredients or sweeteners):
- Calories: 130
- Fat: 11 grams
- Protein: 5 grams
- Carbs: 3 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 5 mg
- Calcium: 10 mg
- Potassium: 175 mg
- Iron: 0.75 mg
Cashew milk is my second favorite milk alternative for coffee. Another of the most popular vegan milks, cashew milk is rich and creamy and has a natural sweetness that gives your coffee the most delicious flavour. I love making my own cashew milk in my Vitamix, but it's also getting easier and easier to find cashew milk in grocery stores. Unfortunately, most coffee shops don't carry cashew milk yet, but it's a great option if you're making coffee at home. My favorite store bought brand of cashew milk is Elmhurst as it's made with only cashews and water, no nasty fillers or extras!
The nutritional information for one cup of cashew milk (Elmhurst brand):
- Calories: 130
- Fat: 10 grams
- Carbohydrates: 7 grams
- Fibre: 0 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Sodium: 10 mg
- Calcium: 15 mg
- Potassium: 145mg
- Iron: 1 mg
Oat milk has become very popular recently and it is now readily available in coffee shops, grocery stores and is also really easy to make yourself. It has a pretty bland flavour that won't alter the taste of your coffee too much, but will help give it a delicious creaminess. Oat milk is creamier than almond milk is and froths more easily so it can be great for latte art and making that extra frothy coffee.
Oat milk is a healthy option that is lower in calories, and fat compared to other dairy free milks such as almond milk or coconut milk. However, it is higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein than both almond milk and coconut milk are.
The nutritional information for one cup of oat milk (Elmhurst brand):
- Calories: 80
- Fat: 1.5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 15 grams
- Fibre: 2 grams
- Sugar: 1 gram
- Protein: 3 grams
- Sodium: 125 mg
- Potassium: 100mg
- Calcium: 20 mg
- Iron: 1mg
One of the most popular plant based milks, soy milk has been popular with vegans and vegetarians for many years. Soy milk is so easy to find and you can get it in many different flavours which you can use to change the taste of your coffee. Many people feel that soy milk tastes similar to cows milk or dairy milk.
One problem with soy milk is that most brands tend to contain a lot of preservatives, artificial ingredients and sweeteners. It's very difficult to find a brand that is made with just soy beans and water. The only brand I've found so far is West Soy Unsweetened Soy Milk, so just be sure you are reading ingredient labels carefully.
Nutritional information for one cup of soy milk (West Soy Unsweetened Soy Milk):
- Calories: 100
- Fat: 5 grams
- Protein: 9 grams
- Carbohydrates: 4 grams
- Fibre: 1 gram
- Sugar: 3 grams
- Sodium: 30mg
Macadamia milk is a less common dairy milk alternative, but if you ask me it's highly under-rated. I love the nutty flavour of macadamia milk and I love the taste it gives my coffee. Macadamia milk is harder to find than some other plant based milks, but it is really easy to make yourself. I just make it myself in my Vitamix blender.
If you're looking to give your coffee a bit of extra flavour, my Dairy Free Eggnog is a great dairy free milk alternative for coffee!
Other dairy free milk alternatives:
- Pistachio milk
- Hazelnut milk
- Walnut milk
- Hemp milk
- Pea milk
Frequently asked questions:
What milk alternative tastes the most like milk?
Soy milk, made from soybeans, is felt to taste the most like cow's milk. It has a mild, creamy flavour that is slightly sweet and very similar to the flavour of dairy milk.
What is the healthiest milk to put in coffee?
Assuming you aren't allergic to nuts, almond milk is a healthy option for coffee as it's lower in calories, lower in carbohydrates and lower in sugar compared to dairy milk.
Is almond milk or oat milk better in coffee?
Both almond milk and oat milk are great in coffee, but oat milk is frothier so is better for lattes and latte art. Oat milk is also creamier than almond milk is, so it gives coffee a richer, smoother taste and texture.
What is the lowest calorie milk for coffee?
Oat milk has the lowest calories when it comes to dairy free milk options, coming in at only 80 calories per cup, making it a healthy option that is great for coffee.
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