Dairy free coffee drinks! What gives? Our co-founder and my brother, Elio, is lactose intolerant. For ages, we thought it was the aftereffect of drinking those horrible protein shakes that teenage boys were obsessed with in the mid-2000s. He bought a tub of the stuff that was literally the size of a bag of concrete and only drank about a tenth of it. Next thing you know, he was lactose intolerant. But then, my sister and my mum both started saying milk was making them sick. Then my friends started dropping like flies and a quick Google search showed that a lot of Europeans develop an intolerance to lactose later in life.
It sucks for them because the world is full of amazing coffee drinks laced with cream, milk or ice cream. As a bit of purist, Elio only drinks espresso, but I think that might be because he wishes he could have a cappuccino without rushing to the bathroom five minutes later.
But never fear if you too are lactose intolerant or just plain over the cow. We’ve scoured up some incredible alternatives that are so delicious, you’ll be saying moo who?
COCO FOR COLD BREW
Soymilk can drown in a lake. It is simply the most disgusting thing ever invented and should not be allowed anywhere near an Italian espresso. So we’ve nixed it from these dairy free coffee drinks.
If you’re looking for something to replace cow’s milk in a dairy free iced coffee recipe or cold brew, your best bet is actually coconut milk. It has a lovely flavour that is really refreshing and pairs fantastically with the toasted nutty notes in some of our espresso blends.
Dairy free coffee drinks #1: Honey sweetened coconut iced coffee
This is a great summer drink alternative that packs some real flavour. For an easy iced coffee, freeze cubes of espresso coffee. We’re using Gran Caffè Garibaldi’s Gusto Top. Mix with cold brew coffee and top up with coconut milk. Sweeten with vanilla essence and honey and you’re good to go.
Grab our cold brew recipe here.
FROTH WITH ALMONDS
Coconut milk is not going to be your friend if you’re dreaming of a frothy cappuccino. In that case, reach for the almond milk.
When shopping for almond milk, go for one made from blanched almonds as it froths better. In a lot of dairy-free circles, almond milk is prized for its micro-foam, which can produce Picasso-worthy latte art that puts cow’s milk to shame. Plus the flavour is a lot subtler than soymilk and will actually complement the coffee, not distort it.
Dairy free coffee drinks #2: Almond cappuccino
Brew your espresso. We recommend Gimoka’s Lungo, which is a special blend designed to stand up to long milky drinks.
To froth your almond milk, just heat it gently in a small saucepan until it bubbles. For some additional froth, give it a whirl with a quick hand whisk. Pour in enough to fill your cappuccino cup and top with froth and a dusting of cacao.
GO FOR GOAT
This is actually Elio’s go-to dairy free coffee drink. Goat’s milk is a lot tangier than cow’s milk, but it has a really nice yoghurt flavour, which is actually popular in Asia and Morocco, where they often mix coffee with goat’s milk. You’re going to want to sweeten it with honey or dark brown sugar though.
Dairy free coffee drinks #3: Goat milk macchiato
Brew your espresso. Here we’re going for Gran Caffè Garibaldi’s Dolce Aroma, which has a natural sweetness and fruitiness. Muddle with brown or turbinado sugar.
Froth your goat’s milk as you would cow’s milk and add a drop to the espresso with a bit of froth.
OATS FOR THE WIN
Move over soy, almond and coconut, the new it girl in dairy free coffee drinks is actually oat milk. It’s a dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free alternative that tastes like milk after its been stirred through porridge. If you can’t get your hands on oat milk, make it at home with this recipe. We’re crushing pretty hard on this cow’s milk alternative because it is the nicest, most enviro-friendly and best tasting alternative around.
Dairy free coffee drinks #4: Dirty chai oat milk latte
SKIP MILK ALTOGETHER
If you hate all the vegan milks out there, you can ‘trick’ your brain into thinking you’re drinking a milky coffee with coconut oil. Studies have shown that emulsifying oil or butter into coffee recreates the creamy, milky flavour you associate with a good latte. So for our last dairy free coffee drink, we’re going a little left field.