• christophergribbon

The post-milk era!?

Our first post is all about alternative milks. It seems like less than a decade ago if you wanted an alternative or non-dairy milk you had to go to a niche health food shop and choose between soya milk or....soya milk! Today, Sainsbury's offer more than 70 different alternative milk options across oat, almond, coconut, cashew, rice, pea etc. and almost 2 in 10 drinks served in coffee shops are now prepared with a non-dairy milk. Even in Crumbs' short history we have seen the popularity of non-dairy noticeably increase. Here, we are going to take a look at 4 options and compare them based on taste, workability, nutrition and environmental impact.


Oat

Let's start with the big player in the market today (at least in the UK), Oat. At Crumbs, 8 out of 10 non-dairy drinks are made with Oat making it by some distance the most popular option, perhaps in part due to massive marketing spending by brands such as Oatly, which have relatively quickly become household names.


In our opinion the popularity of Oatly is based on two main factors; 1) it has a comparatively neutral flavour which doesn't overpower the flavour of your coffee, and 2) it is both heat stable and ph stable meaing it steams really well, giving a creamy texture for latte's and cappuccino's similar to that of dairy, and does not curdle when poured into coffee (which is naturally acidic), as is the case with some non-dairy options.


In terms of nutrition, Oat is a rich source of nutrients but these are added during manufacturing as opposed to being naturally present. It has roughly half the protein of dairy milk is but is lower in terms of saturated fat.


In terms of the environmental impact, Oat absolutely trounces dairy. According to a recent BBC study producing a glass of oat milk requires just one tenth the amount of land as dairy milk.


When it comes to brands, our favourite at Crumbs is Califia (the Barista version) as it has a more neutral taste than the other big brands and we find it steams most similarly to dairy. Unfortunately it can be tricky to get hold of and so we also stock Oatly Barista and Minor Figures Barista which are both great options!


Almond

Coconut

Soy and the new kid on the block, Mylk!

Conclusion


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