The Best Milk for a Latte Isn't Dairy (Sorry)
Alright folks, time to buckle up for what might be a (potentially) unpopular opinion and (literal) piping hot take—alt-milk lattes are better than dairy lattes. This claim is founded entirely on opinion and personal preference, however I like to believe that every thought that ever occurs in my mind is objectively correct (this is a good way to go about things, right?). I do not have any aversion to or nutritional anxiety surrounding dairy, and that includes dairy milk lattes. There is nothing wrong with a dairy milk latte. That said, when push comes to shove, I’ll dish out the extra fifty cents any day to sub almond milk.
So let’s hash this out—now that we’re back to chilly weather and Starbucks has got their holiday cups back in stock, that means it’s time to make the switch from your iced java to hot. And if we’re talking about aromatic, foamy lattes, there’s only one milk to be steaming—and it’s nut milk.* Califia Farms makes creamy almond milks that hold their own in a latte without separating or forming an off-putting coagulation at the bottom of your beverage (ew). Additionally, Milkadamia offers a special “latte da barista” macadamia milk that will truly revolutionize the way you consume nut milk, especially in coffee. Gently sweetened to perfection and born to go under the steamer, this alt-milk will take your barista game to the next level.
Watch Now: How to Make a Maple-Pecan Latte
My argument for the nut milk latte (other than my personal taste, which is inherently far superior to everybody else’s), is the added layer of depth, complexity, and...errr...nuttiness that the alt-milk imparts. Rather than dressing up a seasonal latte with pumps of syrup, whipped cream and a heavy hand of garnishes (which are all still legit, don’t get me wrong), why not switch out classic dairy milk for something a little earthier and toastier? Hit it with a pinch of cinnamon, and you’ve got yourself the coziest, wrap-me-up-so-tight-in-a-blanket-I-can-barely-breathe, cold weather drink.
Look, I am not going to pretend like nut milk is richer than dairy milk—it is not and it never will be. That said, where it lacks in richness, it makes up for it in a more varied and interesting depth of flavor. I know, I know, it sounds bourgie. And that’s because it definitely is. However, us nut-milk favorers must stick together and own our pretension. We might as well since we’re paying extra for it.
*Iced espresso beverages are an entirely different conversation.