8 Best Non Dairy Milks for Frothing [Find Out Why Beans Beat Nuts]

There are many reasons why people are switching to non dairy milks to use in their coffee.

For some people it might be because of a moral decision such as veganism and for others it might be part of a push to lead a more healthy lifestyle.

A third group of people (that includes me) have stopped drinking cow’s milk for dietary reasons, such as being lactose intolerant. 

The Popularity of Non Dairy Milk

Whatever the  reasons, there are clearly a huge number of people making this switch. 

From 2012 to 2017 the U.S. market for non dairy milk grew by 61% with sales of $2.1 billion

By 2024, the global market is set to exceed $34 billion

At the same time, America is drinking more speciality coffee than ever before and espresso based coffees such as cappuccinos and flat whites need their milk froth and foam.

Are these two trends compatible?

Is it possible to get a non dairy milk to provide the quality of froth that drinkers are used to from using cow’s milk?

To start answering this question, in my next section, I will look at what the most popular and biggest selling non dairy milks are. 

For those of you in a rush, here are my non dairy milk top picks.

And don’t worry, my recommendations also include rice and cashew nut milks.

What Are The Most Popular Non Dairy Milks?

There is one non dairy milk that is currently dominating the market and that is almond milk with a huge 64% share. 

The next two closest are soy (with a 13% share) and coconut with a 12% share. 

As well as those three popular milks, in this post I will also be looking at rice and cashew nut milks.

I will examine several qualities of these milks  including their frothing ability and their nutritional value.

For each milk I recommend a product to use in your coffee. 

Let’s start by looking at soy milk. 

Best Soy Milk For Frothing

Main Ingredients

Soybeans

Soy milk only requires soybeans and water.

But it is nearly always fortified with calcium, vitamin D and various B vitamins.

Nutrition

Soy Milk typically contains the following nutrients;

  • Calories: 80
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Sugars: 1g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Protein: 7g

Taste

Of all the non diary milks, this milk most closely resembles cow’s milk in terms of taste and texture. 

It is possibly closer to full fat milk rather than 2% milk

Adding to Coffee

Without taking a bit of care, soy milk will frequently curdle when you add it into your coffee.  

Visually this looks disgusting and it can also taste “off”. 

The milk curdles because of the acidity of the coffee and because the coffee is hot. 

A way to reduce a coffee’s acidity is to buy darker rather than light roasts. 

There are various solutions to this, the most popular of which are listed below;

  • add the soy milk into the cup before the coffee and warm it gently. 
  • let the coffee cool slightly
  • froth the soy milk or shake the container vigorously

Frothing Properties

In a test, shown in this video, soy milk created the best froth of all plant based milks. 

In order to make the best “soy” froth, some tips that you might want to follow are;

  • only heat the soy milk to a maximum of 60 °C
  • when frothing, do not introduce too much air into the milk.
  • Pour the soy quickly and evenly into the coffee. 

Range of Products

Earlier, when I discussed the main ingredients of soy milk, I was focusing on the unsweetened variety.

But there are a few different varieties and flavors of soy milk. 

These include a vanilla flavored variety

Barista Style Version 

Barista style versions of non dairy milks are products that have additives in them to make them easier to froth.

There are no barista style versions of soy milk products. 

My Recommendation

If after reading all about soy milk you want to try it out in your coffee, please see my recommendation below.

#1. Silk Unsweetened Organic Soy Milk

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Details

  • Container Size: 32 FL oz | 946 ml
  • Pack Size: 6
  • Flavor: Unsweetened
  • Calories Per Serving: 80
  • Dairy Free: Yes
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Gluten Free: Yes
  • Refrigerate: After opening

Best Almond Milk for Frothing

Main Ingredients

Almonds 

Almond milk only needs to contain almonds and water. 

But most commercial varieties are fortified with vitamins A, D and E. 

And one of the best selling varieties also contains cane juice, carageenan and sunflower lecithin

Nutrition

Almond milk typically contains the following nutrients;

  • Calories: 40
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Fat: 3g
  • Protein: 2g

Taste

Almond milk is a very light milk, more like water than cow’s milk. It has a slight hint of nut and a tiny hint of sweetness.

Adding to Coffee?

Like soy milk, almond milk tends to curdle if it is added to coffee or if it is left “standing” in coffee for too long. 

The ways to prevent curdling are the same as soy milk and include warming the almond milk before you add it and to froth it. 

Frothing Properties

In a test, shown in this video, almond milk created the second best froth of all plant based milks.

In order to create the best possible almond milk froth, I have included a few handy hints below. 

  • shake the almond milk carton in order to mix the sediments
  • froth it as gently as possible, minimising the amount of air that is mixed in
  • avoid overheating the milk
  • pour the almond milk slowly into your coffee. 

Barista Style Versions

The Barista version highlighted below, contains ingredients that original versions of this product do not have.

These ingredients include locust bean gum and sunflower lecithin which provide the milk with better stretching and frothing abilities. 

#2. Barista Blend AlmondMilk

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Details

  • Container Size: 32 FL oz | 946 ml
  • Pack Size: 6
  • Flavor: Original
  • Calories Per Serving: 70
  • Organic: No
  • Dairy Free: Yes
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Gluten Free: Yes
  • Refrigerate: After opening

Range of Products

Almond milk comes in lots of varieties.

  • unsweetened
  • sweetened
  • vanilla 
  • dark chocolate

My Recommendation

#3. Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk

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  • Container Size: 32 FL oz | 946 ml
  • Pack Size: 6
  • Flavor: Unsweetened
  • Calories Per Serving: 25
  • Dairy Free: Yes
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Gluten Free: Yes
  • Refrigerate: After opening

Best Coconut Milk For Frothing

Main Ingredients

Some people are confused about coconut milk and coconut water.

The opaque liquid that sits within a freshly opened coconut is not milk but water

Coconut milk is made from blending fresh coconut with water which makes a thick coconut cream.

The cream turns into milk as more water is added. 

Nutrition

  • Calories: 50
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Fat: 5g
  • Protein: 0g

Taste

How best to describe the taste of coconut milk?

Of course, it has a slight nutty flavor but it also is very fresh, sweet and creamy. 

Floral is how some people might describe it. 

Adding to Coffee

Pure coconut milk makes an excellent coffee creamer because of its  naturally creamy texture. 

Like other non dairy milks, it can curdle when added to coffee but it is less likely to do this.

One of the most important things to do is to shake your coconut milk container so that the water and cream are mixed together. 

Other suggestions to prevent curdling include pouring your coconut milk into your coffee over the back of a teaspoon. 

Frothing Properties

In a test, shown in this video, coconut milk created the third best froth of all plant based milks.

Once again, the key is to not overheat the coconut milk, which means that you will have to work quickly. 

Looking at some of the best advice, one of the skills to master is to swirl the coconut milk around in the pitcher as you are frothing… 

Barista Style Versions

Barista style versions of coconut milk include additives that help with the frothing process. 

These include dipotassium phosphate and gum. 

#4. So Delicious Coconut Milk creamer

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Details

  • Container Size: 32 FL oz | 948 ml
  • Pack Size: 1
  • Flavor: Original
  • Calories Per Serving: Not specified
  • Organic: No
  • Dairy Free: Yes
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Gluten Free: Yes
  • Refrigerate: After opening

Range of Products

Coconut milk comes in a few varieties but not as many as other non dairy milks. 

  • original (unsweetened) liquid 
  • original (unsweetened) powder
  • vanilla flavored. 

My Recommendation

#5. Vita Coco Coconut Milk

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Details

  • Container Size: 33.8 FL oz | 1 L
  • Pack Size: 6
  • Flavor: Unsweetened (original)
  • Calories Per Serving: 140
  • Dairy Free: Yes
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Gluten Free: Yes
  • Refrigerate: After opening

report this adBest Rice Milk for Frothing

Main Ingredients

Rice milk is made from mixing brown rice with water. 

The rice is pressed through a mill and then the pressed grains are separated. 

Nutrition

And so, just how nutritious is it?

  • Calories: 120
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Sugars: 10g
  • Fat: 2g
  • Protein: 0g

Taste

Rice milk is much lighter than cow’s milk, closer to water in its consistency.

It has a hint of sweetness to it and  a mild acidic after taste as well

Adding to Coffee

Rice milk is a very pale white color and so it will add hardly any color to your coffee.

Because it is so light and “fat free” it will not add a creaminess to your cup of Joe. 

This person  was so disappointed that she won’t put it anywhere near her cup of coffee!

Frothing Properties

In a test, shown in this video, rice milk created the fourth best froth of all plant based milks.

I think that the overall message here is…best of luck.

Because rice milk has almost no protein in it, it is very hard to get it to froth.

This user found that unsweetened original rice milk creates a puffy foam that stands up but it adds no creaminess. 

Barista Style Version

These are specially formulated to create a better froth and foam, but they have several extra ingredients that original rice milk doesn’t have. 

Ingredients include several different gums and sunflower lecithin. 

#6. Pacific Foods Barista Series Rice Beverage


Details

  • Container Size: 32 FL oz | 948 ml
  • Pack Size: 3
  • Flavor: Original
  • Calories Per Serving: 140
  • Dairy Free: Yes
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Gluten Free: Yes
  • Refrigerate: After opening
  • Buy on Amazon

Range of Products

Rice milk comes in many varieties

  • unsweetened (original)
  • sweetened
  • enriched (vitamins A, B12 and D)
  • vanilla

My Recommendation

#7. Original Rice Dream 

Details

  • Container Size: 32 FL oz | 948 ml
  • Pack Size: 12
  • Flavor: Original
  • Calories Per Serving: 120
  • Organic: Yes
  • Dairy Free: Yes
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Gluten Free: Yes
  • Refrigerate: After opening
  • Buy on Amazon

Best Cashew Nut Milk for Frothing

Main Ingredients

Cashew nuts

The main ingredients in cashew milk are water and cashew nuts or cashew butter (which is a mixture of crushed cashew nuts and sunflower oil.) .

Other ingredients that might be added to enhance the flavor and consistency include sea salt and gum. 

Nutrition

The list below shows the nutritional values that can be found in one serving of cashew nut milk (8 Fl oz.) 

  • Calories: 25
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Fat: 2g
  • Protein: 1g

Taste

The flavor of cashew milk is creamy and rich with a nutty flavor that is not as strong as almond milk. 

Using in Coffee

The “buttery” texture of cashew nut milk works well in coffee because it is almost like a coffee creamer. 

Frothing Properties

In a test, shown in this video, cashew nut milk created the fifth best froth of all plant based milks.

It didn’t seem to froth that much at all.

However, its natural creaminess will make up in some ways for it’s lack of froth….

Barista Style Version

There are no barista style versions of cashew nut milk to buy unfortunately.

But there is a great video of a homemade cashew nut milk being added to coffee, for you to watch

Range of Products

Cashew nut milk is not as popular as some of the other plant based milks on this list and so there tend to be far fewer varieties and brands.

Varieties include;

  • unsweetened 
  • unsweetened vanilla

My Recommendation

#8. So Delicious Cashew Milk

Details

  • Container Size: 32 FL oz | 948 ml
  • Pack Size: 6
  • Flavor: Unsweetened
  • Calories Per Serving: 40
  • Organic: No
  • Dairy Free: Yes
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Gluten Free: Yes
  • Refrigerate: After opening
  • Buy on Amazon

Oat Milk

Main Ingredients

The main ingredients in oat milk are water and oats.

Other ingredients that might be added include; cane sugar, sea salt, gum, vitamin A, B2 and D2. 

Nutrition

  • Calories: 130
  • Carbohydrates: 29g
  • Sugars: 19g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Protein: 2g

Taste

Blends with coffee?

Frothing properties

Range of Products

Barista Style Version

My recommendation

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