We’ve all been there. Trying to make a latte with an alternative milk, and it screams, scorches, and separates in the cup producing a beverage that’s less that beautiful. Or, you’re trying to make an iced latte, and the milk curdles and clumps up at the bottom of the cup. Why is this happening? The truth is, the soy almond and rice milks you can buy at the grocery store aren’t made to be steamed. The high temperatures can cause the milk to separate and scorch, and the high acidity in espresso can curdle the milk. But never fear! These days there are many better alternatives, and you can find them here at Tradecraft.
First, the true pioneers, Pacific Barista Series. Pacific has spent years working with baristas and leaders in the coffee community to develop a non-dairy milk that’s just as good as traditional dairy. Their soy, almond, rice, and coconut milks are all specially formulated to withstand the high heat of steaming and create silky smooth microfoam. The additives are natural and non-GEI, and produce milk so good, you can pour latte art with it! They’ve even hosted their own Latte Art Throwdown to prove how easy it is to work with! One of the first companies to make barista specific alternative milks, Pacific is still a leader in the industry and it’s easy to see why.
Smaller companies are also popping up with their own high-end barista friendly milks. For example, New Barn Almond Milk. Full disclosure, I’m not a big fan of almond milk. So when someone passed me a sample of the New Barn for the first time, I was skeptical. How much better can this actually be? The answer is: holy cow, you just have to try this stuff for yourself. One steam and you’ll be sold. This all-organic almond milk is luscious and creamy. It contains a higher percentage of actual almonds which brings a rich sweet flavor, incredible texture, and a little extra protein too! In my opinion, it’s worth the upgrade.
New to the game, but rapidly growing in popularity is oat milk! Our friends over at Oatly have created their very own Barista-friendly oat-based milk. It steams beautifully and creates creamy foam that’s perfect for latte art. It’s also slightly less sweet than some other alternative milks and has a slightly more neutral flavor that really allows the coffee take center stage! Also, for those concerned about allergens, it’s a fantastic option: no nuts here!
As you can see, there are more options than ever, and the products are improving all the time. Ready to upgrade your alternative milks? Tradecraft’s got your back!
Lindsey Leder, Director of Education