We are excited about a story featured in the upcoming February+March issue of Barista Magazine called “Got Not Milk,” written by Emily McIntyre. The article explored the constantly changing field of dairy alternatives available to baristas, their applications in coffee drinks, and their specific challenges.
To preface this article (which will be available to view online at www.baristamagazine.com beginning January 31), I’d like to share with you some up-to-the-minute numbers about how regular cow’s milk compares to the most popular dairy alternatives, and also some flavor descriptors you can communicate to customers who might wonder how each of them tastes.
Soy Almond Rice Coconut Whole milk
Calories 90 60 120 80 149
Total fat 3.5g 2.5g 2.5g 5g 7.7g
Protein 6g 1g 1g 1g 8g
Calcium 45% 45% 30% 45% 28%
(% daily value)
(Source: AARP, 2013; Based on a single serving)
Soy milk: Rich and creamy, unless formulated for steaming (such as Pacific Natural Foods’ soy) can curdle in hot drinks. Contributes density through fat, fiber, and protein, while still free of cholesterol and saturated fats.
Rice milk: Has a thin, watery consistency compared to nut milks or soy milk. Light and naturally sweet. The most hypoallergenic of all non-dairy products (which means people with lactose intolerance, casin allergy, and/or soy/nut allergies are safe to drink rice milk). No saturated fat or cholesterol. Can be too thin for hot drinks.
Almond milk: Creamy and slightly nutty. Great in coffee and tea. High in the antioxidant vitamin E, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and protect the heart.
Coconut milk: Smooth and fresh tasting. Although high in fat and saturated fat, coconut milk is a great way to add creaminess to drinks. Excellent alternative for hot drinks for those with gluten and/or soy allergies.