Best Milk Alternatives for Coffee or Tea - Billi UK


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Best Milk Alternatives for Coffee or Tea

At Billi UK, we understand that the first sip of coffee or tea in the morning is often what sets the tone for the entire day. Our instant boiling water units help you start your mornings with great-tasting filtered boiling water straight from the tap, but what you add to your tea and coffee can have just as much of an impact on taste as the water you put into them.

The majority of us take our tea and coffee with milk. But in the last decade, the variety of dairy milk alternatives on offer has exploded. Whether you’re exploring veganism, looking to reduce dairy for health reasons, or are simply tired of running out of milk, this guide to milk alternatives for coffee and tea will go through the best options for your morning cuppa.

The Rising Popularity of Milk Alternatives

While there is speculation about why we started adding milk to tea and coffee, it likely had something to do with taste. Bad-quality tea and coffee would have been bitter and acidic – the sweetness of milk would have made it much more palatable. As well as being easier on the tongue, a milky brew may also have carried certain health benefits. Caffeine negatively affects calcium absorption; adding cow’s milk, which is naturally rich in calcium, has the potential to balance this out.

Gone are the days when the only decision at the cafe was “skimmed or whole?” Now, we’re spoilt for choice with some of the best non-dairy milks for tea and coffee including:

– Soya Milk – With a similar protein level to cow’s milk and high calcium content, soya or soy milk is probably the closest substitute for dairy milk nutritionally.

– Coconut Milk – Highest in healthy fats, coconut milk adds a creamy texture to your coffee, similar to full fat dairy milk.

– Oat Milk – Oat milk is high in fibre and is a favourite among baristas for its frothability and similar texture to dairy.

– Almond Milk – Perhaps the most widely available alternative, unsweetened almond milk is a great low-calorie option for your coffee or tea.

– Rice Milk – Made from pressed rice and water, this milk is a great source of carbohydrates.

Do Coffee and Tea Need Different Milks?

Taste will always be a matter of, well, taste. For some people, their tea or coffee will never be complete without a splash of cow’s milk and anything else will just taste ‘wrong’. For those looking to try an alternative, some milks are actually better mixed in either tea or coffee.From our experience of working with, and providing water systems for some of the biggest coffee chains in the UK, the easiest dairy-free milks to froth and steam are oat and soya milks. Almond and coconut milk are possible to use as well, but the risk of separation is much greater.

Whilst these may be the best frothing plant-based milks for coffee, adding them cold to tea or coffee can actually be worse than other alternatives. The high acidity content of tea and coffee, as well as the hot temperature, means that milk such as soy, oat and almond can curdle when stirred in. While still drinkable, this certainly isn’t conducive to the most appealing cuppa.

Purchasing the special ‘barista versions’ available for some milks and techniques such as heating plant milk before adding it can help reduce the likelihood of curdling. Ultimately the best non-dairy milk for your tea and coffee will come down to which one you like the most.

Soda: A Non-Milk Alternative for Coffee

For those adventurous souls looking to add a bit of fizz to their caffeine kick or seeking a refreshing twist to their tea, coffee soda can be a game-changer. This seeming affront to baristas is also known as ‘Espressoda’ and has actually been available bottled in Italy for over 50 years.

For an easy homemade version of soda coffee, a Billi sparkling water unit will provide instant filtered and bubbly water for your experimenting. Add to coffee over ice with some cinnamon and sugar to your taste and see what all the fuss is about.

Healthier Teas and Coffees With Billi UK

The perfect-tasting milk will depend largely on preference but also on what you add it to. The delicate fragrant taste of tea works better with thinner milks that are less powerful on the palette, such as hemp, rice or soya milk. Meanwhile, the richer, and often sharper taste of coffee can be complemented beautifully with a stronger, sweeter-tasting milk like coconut. Oat milk, in particular, is favoured by coffee drinkers for its creamy flavour and velvety texture whereas soda water provides a different texture and taste profile altogether.

No matter your choice of milk alternative, the quality of your coffee and tea starts with the water. Billi’s instant boiling and chilled water systems deliver filtered water instantaneously, ensuring your hot beverages are not just quick to prepare but are of the highest quality. The convenience, efficiency, and eco-friendliness of Billi systems perfectly complement the sustainable choices of opting for milk alternatives. View our range or speak to one of our experts to get started making better beverages at work or at home with a Billi water system.