Move over, dairy. We tried the best milk alternatives for your instant coffee so you don’t have to. These are the best options for your coffee morning.
Milk alternatives are nothing new. However, over the years we’ve seen more and more people switch over from dairy milk to milk alternatives. It has become more than just another food trend, but rather a lifestyle for most. When it comes to coffee, people have their own personal preference for what milk substitute they use.
We’ve decided to find which one goes best with instant coffee. This ranking is based on three factors: individual taste, overall impact it has on the instant coffee, and how closely it imitates the creaminess of dairy milk. We ranked it from the least favorable option to the best option for your instant coffee.
5. Macadamia Milk
Macadamia milk is probably the least common milk to use. Nut-based milk is made by soaking the nuts in water then blending it up. Once they’re blended, the nuts are strained and filtered through a cloth, leaving a milky liquid. By itself, macadamia milk doesn’t have much flavor. The milk is very watery in both consistency and taste.
When added to instant coffee, it didn't add much flavor. If anything, it diluted the coffee. Macadamia milk probably isn’t meant for your coffee anyways, so we don’t recommend it for your morning coffee. However, it could be a good option for your coffee smoothie, shake, or maybe even your Dalgona Coffee.
4. Coconut Milk
Similar to nut milk, coconut milk is made by blending shredded coconut and straining the liquid with a cloth. By itself, coconut milk is known to be refreshing and light.
With coffee, most people add in vanilla, sugar, or some kind of sweetener in the coconut milk to enhance its flavor. Coconut milk is not too strong in flavor, so if you’re looking for subtlety in your instant coffee, this might be a good option for you.
3. Almond Milk
Almond milk is another nut milk that’s made the same way. Almond milk is relatively popular because of its subtle yet distinct flavor. It’s primarily nutty and still has the same consistency as dairy milk.
Most people even enjoy almond milk by itself, but with coffee it’s even better. Almond milk, especially the flavored ones, compliments the natural bitterness of coffee well, providing a great balance and harmony of flavor.
2. Soy Milk
Before the other milk alternatives were around, for a while soy milk was the number one milk substitute in our fridge. Soy milk is also made by blending cooked soybeans and water and straining the beans with a cloth. Soy milk is creamy, and very closely resembles dairy milk’s consistency.
In grocery stores, you’ll see a “sweetened” and “unsweetened” version of soy milk. Both are great for instant coffee depending on how sweet you like your coffee.
1. Oat milk
Oat milk has gained immense popularity in the past few years, and we can see why. It’s made by soaking oats in water, blending them, and straining. When made properly, oat milk is creamy, earthy, and nutty. It’s not too strong in flavor, and offers a great balance when put in coffee.
Some oat milk brands even sell “barista” versions that resemble the “frothing” properties of milk for coffee. Oat milk is so widely loved by coffee drinkers that these days, many cafes offer oat milk options in their shops.
Instant Coffee and Milk: 3 Different Ways
Whatever your preference of milk or non-milk is, here are three ways to change up your instant coffee and milk duo.
A cafe latte is coffee, hot milk, and milk foam. To make an instant coffee latte, use the ratio of ⅓ strong instant coffee and ⅔ hot milk or milk substitute. To make the foam, you can either shake milk in a jar or use a milk frother.
If you like cold coffee, especially on summer days, iced coffee is a must. The great thing about coffee is that the ratio depends entirely on your preference. Simply add in mixed instant coffee (already made with water) and milk/milk alternative into a cup filled with ice. You can also add in different syrups or sweeteners to spice it up.
If you’re feeling ambitious and trendy, try the infamous Dalgona Coffee. To make Dalgona Coffee, mix a 1:1:1 ratio of hot water, instant coffee, and sugar. Whip the coffee until you get a whipped cream consistency. Pour the whipped coffee into a cup of milk or milk substitute and enjoy! It’ll take some muscle and a bit of time if you don’t have an automatic mixer, but it will be worth it we promise. Read the full recipe here.