Those who drink their coffee black would rather die than put any kind of white, creamy stuff into their favorite beverage. Not everyone is so severe about their coffee tastes, though, and many people would prefer to dab a little—or a lot—of cream into their morning brew.
Not every fan of creamy coffee is so quick to reach for the nearest container of half-and-half, though. For a growing number of coffee consumers, dairy creamers are either not preferred—or not an option. The reasons vary, of course. Quite a few people are lactose intolerant—whether they realize it or not—while others have milk allergies. Some people, such as those who follow a vegan diet, try to avoid dairy products, while others simply want to cut back on the dairy fattiness. Regardless of whatever your reason may be for wanting a creamy cup of coffee sans dairy, we’re not judging. Instead, here are some of the best dairy-free creamer alternatives out there, some of which are so good that even dairy fans might be inspired to jump on the lactose-free bandwagon.
As of early 2018, the oat milk wave might’ve not quite hit your region of the world yet, but don’t worry. It’s coming, and it’s coming fast. As the Independent has predicted, oat milk—made from, you guessed it, oats—is rapidly taking over as the de facto milk substitute of choice. Part of this is due to health benefits, part of it is due to a clever marketing campaign, but one thing is for sure: the biggest reason for the expansion of milk is that it not only tastes great in coffee, but it actually tastes so great that it’s converting many dairy fans, as well as people who previously preferred almond milk.
When it comes to dairy substitutes, the old reliable has always been soymilk. That’s been changing recently, though, first when it was supplanted by almond milk, and more recently by oat milk. Despite this, soymilk still has a dedicated fan base. This has a lot to do with soy milk’s unique taste, which is something you either love or hate, but definitely have an opinion on.
Even though soymilk isn’t the most popular milk substitute these days, it’s still an easy, reliable choice that one can order at just about any coffee shop, whether it’s a major franchise or a local hole in the wall. Just don’t drink too much, since soymilk could raise your blood estrogen levels pretty immensely.
Almond milk sales surpassed soymilk sales in 2014, with many preferring the milder taste of the almond variety, particularly when added to a cup of coffee. If you’re into fancier lattes, or latte art, almond milk is definitely the better choice of the two, since it doesn’t curdle the way soymilk does, and baristas generally agree that it’s just as easy to work with as dairy milk. Basically, the key here is that if you’re looking for something as close to dairy milk as possible, almond milk might be your best bet.
Though something of an outsider on the coffee scene, don’t underestimate the humble appeal of rice milk. Though it has a milder taste, and isn’t too splashy, rice milk has all the benefits of eating a cup of rice—maintaining bone mineral density, relieving constipation, and more—but goes down even more smoothly. If you haven’t tried it, add it to your next cup.