Of course we think the perfect cup of coffee starts with the right beans (!) and roasting method, oh, and brewing method! But what about the milk? Cows milk has been the traditional choice for coffee drinkers for centuries, but plant-based milks have become increasingly popular in recent years.
So you're thinking of drinking plant-based with your Pirate brew?!
We've heard from a few of you that you're curious about the fuss around plant-based, and others of you are making philosophical, dietary, lifestyle or if you're like me (I'm allergic to dairy protein - more on that in my next blog), health choices when it comes to the milk you put with your favourite Pirate Coffee roasts so I thought I'd put a post together. Ok let's go - almond milk, macadamia milk, soy milk, oat milk, and coconut milk : what's the difference?
Almond milk, macadamia milk, soy milk, oat milk, and coconut milk are all popular plant-based milks that can be used in coffee.
Each milk has its own unique flavour, texture, and nutritional profile.
Below is a bit of a run down on what we'd call the "typical" attributes - although if you read the ingredients list on the side of the box, you'll notice that some brands will have additional additives to tweak the profile. Note: I'm neither a doctor or an environmental scientist. This blog is based on research and opinion. Open to debate - please write to me if you've got compelling data to add!
Flavour (although often additives can tweak the profile)
Almond milk: Sweet and slightly nutty
Macadamia milk: Rich and creamy with a hint of sweetness
Soy milk: Nutty and slightly earthy
Oat milk: Creamy and slightly sweet
Coconut milk: Sweet and tropical
Almond milk: Thin and watery
Macadamia milk: Rich and creamy
Soy milk: Medium - between almond milk and macadamia milk
Oat milk: Creamy, but can be thicker than soy milk
Coconut milk: Thick and creamy
Almond milk: Good source of vitamin E and magnesium, but low in protein and calcium
Macadamia milk: Good source of healthy fats, but low in protein and calcium
Soy milk: Good source of protein, calcium, and iron
Oat milk: Good source of beta-glucans, a type of fibre that has been shown to have health benefits
Coconut milk: High in saturated fat, but low in protein and calcium
Almond milk: High water use due to the amount of water needed to grow almonds
Macadamia milk: Low environmental impact due to the low water and land usage required to grow macadamia nuts
Soy milk: Lower environmental impact than cow's milk, but higher than macadamia milk
Oat milk: Lowest environmental impact of all the plant-based milks
Coconut milk: High environmental impact due to the high greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of coconuts
Which milk is best for coffee?
The best milk for coffee is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the sweeter flavour of almond milk, while others prefer the richer flavour of coconut milk. Some people also prefer the thinner texture of almond milk, while others prefer the thicker texture of coconut milk.
Here are some specific recommendations for each type of milk:
Almond milk: A good option for people who want a sweet and nutty flavor. It's also a good option for people who are looking for a milk with a low environmental impact.
Macadamia milk: A good option for people who want a rich and creamy flavor. It's also a good option for people who are looking for a milk with a low saturated fat content.
Soy milk: A good option for people who want a milk with a good balance of flavor, texture, and nutrition. It's also a good option for people who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy.
Oat milk: A good option for people who want a milk with a creamy texture and a slightly sweet flavor. It's also a good option for people who are looking for a milk with a low environmental impact.
Coconut milk: A good option for people who want a sweet and tropical flavor. It's also a good option for people who are looking for a milk with a thick and creamy texture.
If you're still not sure which milk to choose, the best thing to do is to experiment and see which one you like best. For me, I like the fat content of Coconut - especially when I'm following Keto (!), otherwise I'll pick Oat.
There's a growing number of brands doing plant based. We know a few of our VIPs (that's Very Important Pirates!) choose Aldi Coconut for their Pirate piccolos, whilst others love Oatly. If you've found a goodie - please share!
If you get on and do a search, there's also good resources for making your own if you're feeling like it - yes, you can milk your own nuts. I can already read the comments field on that, so let's not go there!
Already a plant-based Pirate Coffee drinker?
When we bring on new roasts we especially like to get feedback on how each profile stacks up to different milks and mylks. If you're already drinking plant based with your Pirate Coffee - we'd love to hear from you! Slide into our DMs if you'd like to be part of our official Taste Testing crew! Trace