Our Top 5 Non-Dairy Milks for Coffee

Top 5 Coffee Taste Test Winners: The Non-Dairy Milks You Must Try!

Are you on the hunt for the best non-dairy milks to complement your coffee? We've conducted a comprehensive taste test, and here are the 5 winners you must try!

The Magic of Morning Rituals

Growing up, my mother’s house always smelled of coffee first thing in the morning. It was her ritual, her quiet moment of solace before the day truly began. For her, coffee was more than just a drink—it was a bridge between her past and present. To me, that aroma meant warmth, safety, and those buttery toast slices she'd serve on the side.

Although times have changed, and my morning now starts with a smartphone alarm rather than a rooster's crow, that deep connection with coffee remains. The beauty of rituals is they can evolve, and introducing non-dairy milk into my coffee ritual, especially after exploring our company's "Top 5 Non-Dairy Milks Crowned Coffee Taste Test Winners," has been an enlightening experience.

A Shift Toward Non-Dairy Milk

My first foray into non-dairy milk was on a whim, while on a trip to Portland with my wife Onome. In a cozy café, just off Burnside Ave., we noticed several people opting for almond, oat, and soy alternatives, many of which, at the time, I could not imagine being a part of our current Taste Test Winners list. Out of curiosity, we boath ordered our first almond milk latte. The flavor, the texture, it was different, but in a surprisingly refreshing way. This was the beginning of our journey into non-dairy alternatives for our daily morning brews, and taste wasn't the only perk we discovered. 

Health and the Environment

Beyond taste, there's a world of benefits these milks bring. A family member of mine with lactose intolerance introduced me to the comforts of soy milk, while a friend of my wife raved about the lower calorie content of almond milk, which she swears by in her fitness regimen. Moreover, the choice became a statement about sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint. It's no surprise many of these made our top 5 list of Taste Test Winners for non-dairy alternatives.

Criteria for Our Taste Test

Being the co-owner of an online coffee shop with my wife, coffee, is sacred to us. So, our Taste Test Winners selection wasn't just a casual experiment, but something we feel others could benefit from. This has been a quest, driven by meticulous observations and countless trial brews in our very own kitchen. We based our criteria on the following:

1. Texture: It Matters

I recall a morning, after an overnight flight, heading straight to that same café in Portland, Oregon again. I remember ordering a cappuccino this time, and what struck me was the texture—the froth felt almost like soft clouds. That's what I wanted my non-dairy alternatives, particularly our current Taste Test Winners, to achieve. A texture that’s comforting, indulgent, and feels just right.

2. Taste: A Deep Dive

Taste is more than just a simple liking or disliking of a product. Here’s what we looked for:

a. Harmony with Coffee: The non-dairy milk should not only taste good on its own, but also complement and enhance the flavor of the coffee. It shouldn't overpower the coffee but rather create a balanced cup.

b. Intensity and Complexity: Some non-dairy milks might be subtly sweet, adding a delicate nuance to your coffee. Others might offer a richer, creamier profile, providing depth to the brew.

c. Consistency with Expectations: If a non-dairy milk is marketed as having a 'nutty' flavor, does it deliver on that promise? Meeting taste expectations is crucial.

d. Aftertaste: Especially important with coffee, as the finish can linger. The chosen non-dairy milks should leave a pleasant aftertaste, without any undesirable residue of off flavors.

The Best Non-Dairy Milk Pairings for Your Coffee Roast that We Have Added to Our List

It goes without saying that different roasts bring out distinct flavors in coffee based on many factors such as their distinctive terroir and texture, and pairing them with the right non-dairy milk can elevate your coffee experience to a whole new level.

It's also very important to note that specialty grade coffees will give you the highest grade and best quality coffee to choose from. Here’s a brief guide of what we discovered about non-dairy milk alternatives through research and experience:

  • Almond Milk with Medium Roast: Nutty and slightly sweet, it complements the caramel and fruity undertones. Compliments both single origin and blends very well. 
  • Oat Milk with Light Roast: Creaminess and mild sweetness pairs wonderfully with vibrant and acidic notes. Some people may venture into Robusta coffees due to their higher acidity than Arabica beans, however, we personally are not fans of Robusta beans. Either way, choose a high quality, premium grade or specialty grade coffee for best results. 
  • Soy Milk with Dark Roast: Earthy undertones balance out the bold, chocolatey flavors. I recommend choosing a high quality 100% Arabica dark roast of your choice. It's always good, and fun, to experiment with different origins and blends. Do not underestimate a high quality Brazillian roast. 
  • Coconut Milk with Medium-Dark Roast: The tropical hint accentuates the spicy and robust flavors. Perfect with medium-dark single origin coffees or blends. A nice medium-dark roast using a Guatemalan and Brazillian special blend we tried tasted great with coconut milk. 
  • Cashew Milk with Medium Roast: The rich and buttery nature enhances the body of the coffee. Try with a specialty-grade single-origin roast such as a single origin Colombian coffee. 
  • Rice Milk with Light Roast: Light and watery, it doesn't overpower the subtle flavors. Experiment with your favorite light roasts. There are many options out there. 
  • Hemp Milk with Dark Roast: A slightly grassy taste offers an interesting contrast to smoky notes. Our only suggestion: explore and experiment. Just opt for high quality coffee. 
  • Macadamia Milk with Medium Roast: Rich texture and mild nuttiness resonate well with balanced characteristics. Try it with a single-origin coffee such as Colombian or Peruvian beans. 
  • Flax Milk with Light-Medium Roast: The somewhat neutral flavor allows the intrinsic coffee flavors to shine. Tastes great with a light-medium roast such as a single origin Papa New Guinea or Kona coffee.
  • Pea Milk with Dark Roast: The full-bodied texture and protein-rich content make it perfect for bold flavors. Think: darker blends and don't be afraid to experiment. 

The above recommendations are our own personal preferences, however, everyone's palate is unique, so it's important to experiment with these pairings for delightful discoveries unique to your own preferences. By trying these recommendations and experimenting on your own you potentially introduce yourself to your next favorite coffee combo!

*Important: Always consider nut allergies, other dietary restrictions, and personal preferences before trying the above pairings. Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional if you are unsure. 

Our Top 5 Non-Dairy Milks Crowned Coffee Taste Test Champions Revealed

Using taste as our primary criteria, a few non-dairy options clearly stood out to us:

  1. Oat Milk: Creamy, with a subtle sweetness. Oat milk not only tastes delightful on its own, but also accentuates the aromatic notes of coffee, making it our number one choice and overall winner.

  2. Coconut Milk: The tropical hint accentuates spicy and robust flavors of coffee such as Ethiopian and many others.

  3. Cashew Milk: It's rich and buttery nature enhances the body of many coffees. It is very versatile. 

  4. Almond Milk: Nutty and slightly sweet, it complements caramel and fruity undertones well.

  5. Pea Milk: With its full-bodied texture and protein-rich content this option makes a perfect fit for bold flavors.

And so, our top 5 Coffee Taste Test Winners have been revealed!

Remember, when it comes to Coffee Taste Test Winners, certain non-dairy milk options create a synergistic sensory effect that will surely take your palate on a memorable journey of flavor and delight. Not all milks are created equal, and when combined with coffee, only a few can truly shine such as the ones we've listed above.

The Origin of General Warfield's Coffee: More Than Just a Brand

The backstory of our beans is something close to my wife and I's heart. A trip to Mauritius in East Africa exposed us to an unforgettable journey - from a tiny hotel cafe, to the aromatic, rich coffee in our mugs today. Each bean and sip, like a person, has its own narrative, and at General Warfield’s Coffee, we respect and honor that narrative, especially when paired with the Taste Test Winners of our recommended non-dairy milks.

Mastering Your Brew: Coffee Taste Test Tips and Tricks

Our advice always stems from our own journeys. From our first confusing order at a high-end coffee shop (What on earth is a cortado?) to now confidently brewing the "perfect" cup at home, especially when experimenting with non-dairy milks that could be future Taste Test Winners, we always try to experiment and build off of what we learn over time.

One key lesson we've learned over the years is that the type of milk you use, the grind size and consistency is equally important to compliment your chosen brewing method and choice of non-dairy milk. Consequently, we always recommend using a burr grinder if starting from whole beans.

The combination of the perfect grind size, appropriate brewing method, and our corresponding recommended non-dairy milk options help create a delectable coffee experience, making each sip an ambrosial delight.

  • Key Tip: Tools like burr grinders can also influence taste by ensuring the coffee grounds are uniform, leading to a consistent brew that pairs well with our non-dairy milk winners.

Conclusion

Coffee, in many ways, is a reflection of life. It’s rich, varied, and always evolving. As I sit with my wife on our sunlit porch this evening, a cup of General Warfield’s Coffee in hand, with a splash of oat milk, a clear favorite among the Taste Test Winners, I realize that change, though initially daunting, can be beautiful. Sometimes, all it takes is a dash of something new to breathe life into a cherished old ritual. Here's to trying new things. Cheers! 


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