In the past, milk might have only been limited to cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, or even goat milk. As people are more conscious of their health and dietary limitations, there is also an increase in the variety of milk such as lactose-free milk, organic milk, and fat-free milk. Not long after that, with the rise of the vegan lifestyle in the present days, there are next to limitless options of milk to choose from. You might have heard of a popular substitute for dairy milk which is almond milk. Of course, there is also soy milk, oat milk, coconut milk, just about anything that can be turned into milk these days which can be perfect for frothing in your coffee.
With all these different types of milk, you might wonder, how do you choose the best milk for your coffee? Let’s divide the list into two main parts, dairy and non-dairy because we want this list to help out everybody.
This part is dedicated to those of us who enjoy cow milk. Cow milk is pretty much the standard for milk but who knew that just cow milk alone can be divided into various types based on the fat content and enzymes that are being added in order to serve different purposes. There is whole milk, lactose-free milk, low-fat milk, and if that isn’t enough, there is even fat-free milk! While the tastes generally do not differ that much from each other, there are certain characteristics that certainly puts them apart. So what are they and which one do you think is most suitable for your coffee?
While the name might suggest that the milk is pure milk, here is a little fun fact about whole milk: it actually has 3-4% fat content. Some of us might know it as the regular milk that we usually buy from our favorite grocery store. The reason why it is called whole milk is because of the fact that it still retains the same amount of fat content after being milked and packaged. The milk itself hasn’t been undergone any process that will alter the fat content aside from pasteurization.
Some of us might have already been using whole milk as our go-to milk for coffee. It is the milk that they often serve in coffee shops like Starbucks. The taste itself is pretty much how basic milk tastes like and if you are someone who enjoys the tastes of the usual latte or cappuccino served in coffee shops, then whole milk is the right kind of milk for you.
There are many of us who adore cheese, butter, milk, especially milk coffee but things like lactose intolerance get in the way. Lactose intolerance isn’t a deadly condition, it’s merely an inconvenience. Some people I know, despite the obvious signs that point towards being lactose intolerant, still enjoy a daily cup of iced coffee with milk even if they have to deal with an upset stomach afterwards.
We as humans, are extremely innovative creatures. If there is a problem, then there is going to be a solution - one way or another. Then lo and behold, in comes the invention of lactose-free milk. It contains a special enzyme that helps break down lactose called lactase. The taste itself does not differ much from regular milk, but what is different is that now a part of the population that is lactose intolerant can enjoy a cup of coffee without having to worry about an upset stomach.
If you are someone who is extremely health conscious, you might be finding yourself purchasing organic products in place of the ones from your local grocery store. Among the various options of milk that are being mentioned, organic milk is also one of them. So fret not if you want something that you considered as a healthier option, organic milk is always a milk option for coffee.
As said in the beginning, the taste of other kinds of milk doesn’t differ much from regular milk. The reason why it is called organic milk is because it comes from cows that have no antibiotics. Of course, the traces of antibiotics in regular milk are never above the tolerance level of the FDA approved level, sometimes they are even untraceable. But organic milk contains a higher level of omega-3 fatty acid as well as a longer shelf life. The extra price comes with extra benefits so this is the best milk for your coffee if you are someone that takes these factors into consideration.
Low-fat milk is regular milk but with less fat content. This is for some of us who are looking to reduce the general consumption of fat in our daily diet. The difference between the fat content in regular milk and low-fat milk is as much as 5.5g and 50 calories per serving! That is a really big difference if you are someone that enjoys having a lot of milk in your coffee or just drinks a lot of milk in general.
On a side note, if you are someone like me, who drinks more than the safe consumption of 2 servings of coffee per day, then maybe just consider this as an option because reducing the fat and calories per serving means you are clear to drink twice the amount! Not something that is scientifically proven, but it is something that I like to think about a lot.
Growing up, who has never heard of the benefits of calcium from drinking milk. Strong bones, strong teeth, makes you grow tall - the list is endless. But if you are someone on a diet or want to lose weight, just seeing the fat content in the milk that you drink with your coffee everyday would make you shudder. This is where fat-free milk comes in. The same nutrient as regular milk but with zero fat and zero calories.
Like every other milk in the dairy section, the tastes are absolutely similar, oftentimes you can’t even taste the difference. The manufacturer of these milk makes sure to absolutely preserve the taste of milk while customizing it to suit the needs of everyone that loves dairy milk, especially to enjoy with coffee.
For those of you are vegan or simply enjoy these plant based milk, here is the list for you. The major difference between this non-dairy list and the dairy list is that while all the milk in the dairy list taste the same, all the milk list down below differ in tastes. Some of you might prefer almond milk to oat milk, some of you might hate coconut milk. I will try my best in describing the taste of each type of milk while also providing the extra benefits and nutrition value that you should take into consideration. Imagine getting your extra vitamins while also getting your daily fix of coffee at the same time!
Almond milk is simply milk that is made from almond. There are many of us that enjoy a good bar of chocolate with almonds or almonds covered with chocolate. There is no reason why the taste of almonds cannot be enjoyed with coffee too. The taste of almond milk is much more diluted compared to almond nuts itself and the reason is that almond milk is made by putting almonds and water into a food processor and strained for the “milk”.
Nutrients and calorie wise, almond milk do not have much of both is it strongly diluted with water. It is one of the most common non-dairy milk in coffee shops and if you are not someone who is strongly averse to almonds, this is your go to milk substitute for lattes.
Another common milk substitute is soya milk. It is also often used as a substitute for cow milk too because of its similar characteristics. Another perfect fit to go with your freshly brewed coffee. The reason why it is a common substitute is because unlike almond milk, soya milk contains nearly all of the calcium and vitamins that also exist in cow’s milk. It is not short in nutrients with vitamins ranging from B12, B2, vitamin D and even vitamin A!
Its taste is unmistakable soya milk and could never be confused with cow’s milk. However, the taste itself is complementary to your coffee and provides another twist that cow’s milk couldn’t provide. Try a cup of coffee with soya milk and for sure, you will find the attraction of having it as your everyday beverage.
Coconut milk itself is a staple in southeast asian, from cuisines to desserts, especially southeast asian desserts. It is usually thick and more often than not, cannot be drunk directly as it is by itself. The taste is simply indescribably not palatable. However, there exists a thinner version of coconut milk that comes in cartons specifically made for drinking like milk.
Keep in mind that coconut milk and coconut water are completely two different things and if you are expecting your coconut milk to taste like coconut water, you are sorely mistaken. The taste of coconut milk is rich and heavy, not refreshing like coconut water. It can be compared to the texture and richness of milk. Putting that aside, the best part about coconut milk is the fragrance that enhances the smell of the coffee. The combination will leave you speechless.
If you’ve ever had oatmeal for breakfast, then you are going to love oat milk. The natural slight sweetness of the oat milk will be a sweet addition to your cup of coffee. Along with the slight thinness of the milk itself, you can afford to brew your coffee thicker and more concentrated so that it will get you constantly on your feet for the entire day.
Not only that, oat milk is extremely high in dietary fiber, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that make it super healthy, It is not a surprising fact considering oatmeal is already considered a part of a healthy diet for something who wanted to diet or conscious of what they eat - whether for health or weight control purposes.
Plant-based milk that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids is not limited to just soya milk, hemp milk is another kind of milk substitute that is rich in those fatty acids. You might want to consider switching up your iced latte with this healthier option. It also has a nutty flavor to it, so this is a good milk alternative to use in complementary to your daily dose of coffee.
More than the fact that it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, hemp milk is also high in protein and can foam as well as soya milk, which is why it is a recommended milk alternative if you are craving for a good cup of cappuccino.
10 kinds of milk on the list, both dairy and non-dairy, and there are still more that I have yet to cover. Can I just say wow because I did not expect to see so many kinds of milk as well as milk alternatives before compiling this list. After reading this post, maybe you should really consider which one of them is to your preference or suited to your lifestyle best. A cup of coffee a day, and if you are a milk coffee lover as well, it is a cup of coffee mixed with a cup of milk - so let’s start choosing our best option. Or possibly, in the case that you are not vegan, make it your goal to try every single milk on the list. As for our favorite neighborhood vegans, let’s make a list of milk substitutes to try out and check all the lists, and you can give feedback on which one you think works best with coffee. Latte has never been so exciting!