I am not the only person who drinks lattes. In fact, it is one of the most popular drink in North America and Europe. And chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re a latte drinker too!
Typically, people use dairy, but what if you are lactose intolerant? What if you’re vegan? Don’t worry! I’m going to give you the best milk alternatives for lattes starting with soy milk! Plant based milks are a great alternative in general to dairy milk!
But before you go asking for a soy latte at your favorite coffeeshop, there’s a few things you should know.
Certain brands of soy milk will be better than others, due to taste, texture, and consistency.
I spent hours researching and trying out different brands to find out the best soy milk for lattes for the perfect cup every time!
Read on to learn more!
What is a latte?
A latte is a coffee beverage typically served in the morning, but can be enjoyed at any time of day. Made by combining espresso, steamed milk and often froth or foam, it’s one of America’s favorite drinks. It can also refer to iced coffee with flavorings such as syrup added to the drink before serving.
Fun fact. If you go to Italy and you order a latte, you’ll receive a glass of milk in return. The word “latte” in Italia means milk. How funny!
One of the distinguishing factors of a latte, as mentioned above, is the foam or froth. I try to order it with whipped cream and get weird looks.
And as we’ll see below, is the reason why only the best soy milk should be used!
What is the difference between a latte and cappuccino?
But what exactly is the difference between a latte and a cappuccino? I never knew for the longest time.
They do have similar ingredients, but they are distinctly different drinks. A latte usually contains a larger proportion of steamed milk as compared to froth, whereas the opposite is true for cappuccinos. The cappuccino is going to be mostly froth. Both include steamed milk and espresso. There are also differences in how and when they are consumed.
Foam vs Froth
Many people are unclear about what the difference between foam and froth is.
Foam is created when air bubbles form in a liquid, such as milk or water, and it’s then whipped to create a creamy texture.
- Cloud like
- Larger bubble
Froth, on the other hand…
- consists of bubbles that have been expanded by agitation (usually with steam)
- has a much lighter texture than foam
- It’s a creamy dense layer with smaller bubbles that lasts longer
The difference between these two textures comes down to the amount of air they contain. Foam contains more air than froth because it was whipped during preparation. Froth doesn’t whip up as easily but also has less air content.
When it comes to choosing the best soy milk for lattes, you’ll want one that froths similarly to cow’s milk! You can’t just choose any brand of soy milk, because soy milk in general is harder to get that perfect froth!
What milk is actually best for lattes and why?
Whole milk is the best milk to use for lattes because it contains stronger coiled strands of protein content. The froth on top of a latte adds texture, flavor, and an overall enjoyable experience. If you are looking to make a perfect latte that everyone will enjoy, whole milk is the way to go.
Whole milk is also the best milk for steamed milk, as it provides more texture and thickness. It does however have less flavor than other milks.
How to Make the Perfect Froth
Whether you are trying to make your own at home or you go to a professional coffee shop, knowing how to make the perfect froth will help you have the perfect soy latte!
- The amount and strength of the protein in the milk is important. Cow’s milk is the best choice.
- Take a cold pitcher and cold milk and steam it with the wand. Typically, milk is heated to 145 degrees, however soy should only be heated to 135 degrees to avoid curdling of the milk.
- A combination of the steaming wand, the heat and the movement cause the coiled protein strands to unwind and thicken.
- When done correctly, you’ll end up with the perfect froth (not foam) on a latte!
Is soy milk good in lattes?
When it comes to satisfying those coffee cravings and using soy milk, watch out for two things:
- Too much Foam
- Curdled milk
Soy milk is still a popular alternative to cow’s milk, but does it work well in lattes?
YES it is!
- Check for soy milk that contains Gellan Gum. This is a food additive that will help stabilize and gel those loose liquids allowing for a thicker texture with no compromised flavor. The gum will bind with the calcium to help create that perfect froth.
- You can also add calcium lactate or soy lecithin to help.
Which soy milk is the best for lattes?
The best soy milk for lattes I’ve found is Pacific Barista Series. It is formulated to specifically withstand higher temperatures to deliver a smooth and creamy froth! It also doesn’t have a strong nutty taste, like other soy milks! So this is as close as you are going to get to cow’s milk in a latte!
BONUS! Best Non Dairy Milk for lattes
What are plant based milks?
Plant-based milks, or vegan milk alternatives, refer to dairy substitutes made from plants and other ingredients. The most popular ones are almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk and rice milk. These types of non-dairy products have been in the market for a while now as more people turn to them for their nutritional values and health benefits such as fewer calories than cow’s milk. They are also great sources of protein with soy and almond varieties containing around 8 grams per cup.
Here are the best plant based milks to use for your latte!
Almond milk is a great alternative to dairy milk for lattes. It has less protein than cow’s milk and it does not have any lactose, which means that those with allergies or sensitivities can enjoy almond milk without experiencing the negative side effects of drinking cow’s milk. Almond Milk also tastes great when mixed in coffee!
Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E and antioxidants, making this an excellent choice if you want to stay healthy while enjoying your morning cup of joe.
Califia Farms created a barista blend, specifically for lattes!
Oat milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk for lattes. It contains less protein than cow’s milk, but it has more in common with cow’s milk as far as the flavor and consistency. Oat can be mixed with other types of milks like coconut or almond.
Coconut milk has less fat than other milks but you can make it richer by adding cream or half-and-half to it. It also has more lauric acid than cow’s milk, which makes it an excellent choice for lattes because lauric acid improves the taste of coffee. And coconut milk doesn’t curdle when heated like some dairy products do – so you’ll never end up with a gritty latte again!
Hemp milk is a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk. It has a nutty flavor and creamy texture. Hemp milk is lactose free, soy free, gluten free, non GMO and vegan. The protein in hemp milk is not as strong as cow’s milk but it contains more Omega-3s than other types of plant based milks like almond or rice milks.
If you are looking for an environmentally friendly option that tastes great then hemp milk should be your go to choice!
Pea milk contains no lactose, which makes it ideal for people who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products. It also has less sugar and more protein than cow’s milk and soy. The proteins in pea milk are not as strong as those found in cow’s milk, but the best pea milks contain gellan gum, a food additive that stabilizes and gels loose liquid. As with any new product on the market today, there are many different brands of pea milks from which you can choose. Some taste better than others so be sure to try them all before buying one!
Rice milk has been around for centuries and was once the most popular beverage in Japan. Nowadays it’s gaining popularity worldwide as people seek out healthier alternatives to dairy products. The best rice milks are made with water, rice, salt and sugar. They go through an emulsification process which makes them not only tastier than other soy milks but also creamier than almond milk and coconut milk too!
Rice milk is a great choice for those who want some flavor but don’t want the extra calories provided by cow’s milk and sweetened condensed or evaporated “rice milk. Rice milk is also free from lactose. The downside to rice milk is that it has a tendency to curdle and can sometimes become gritty in coffee, especially when cold.