What are the best non dairy milk for frothing in your coffee? Yes, when it comes to coffee, especially non dairy coffee, this is one of the most important questions out there. What non dairy milk alternative should I use to create the foamiest lattes, coffee art, or latte art? In this post, we are going to share with you exactly which non dairy milk is the frothiest. But we are not just going to do it in any rudimental way. We are going to do this properly and use a scientific approach to tell you which non dairy milk makes the frothiest foam for your coffee.
The Best Non Dairy Milk For Frothing
As a general rule, barista edition almond based milks tend to be the best vegan milk for frothing. Almond Breeze Barista almond milk increased in volume by 250% and Pacific Foods Barista Almond Milk increased in volume by 233% when whisked with a handheld milk whisk for one minute.
How are we testing this?
To make the test as scientific as possible, we decided to test a range of plant-based milk. We tested almond, oat, coconut, sesame, hemp, barley, and flax – some of these were barista editions, some were not, some were sweetened, some unsweetened, and some vanilla flavored. For the test, we took ½ a cup of the chilled relevant plant-based milk in question and frothed it for one minute.
At the end of the test, we measure how much the plant-based milk had expanded.
To froth the plant-based milk we used IKEA’s handheld milk whisk. It is affordable and if you do not have an IKEA close to you can still buy one via Amazon here.
How does milk-frothing work?
Milk-frothers are essentially a form of a whisk. The frother spins at a fast speed to add air and bubbles to the milk mixture. The frothier the milk the more air and bubbles are incorporated into it. The smaller the bubbles and the more of them makes for a creamier and smoother froth.
It is all about the bubbles.
Plant-Based Kinds of Milk Are Traditionally Not Good at Foaming
Traditionally plant-based kinds of milk are not great at being frothed. This is because of the lack of casein proteins in most plant-based milk. However, this does not mean plant-based kinds of milk do not make a great alternative.
There are now many specific styles of barista blends of plant-based milk which are specifically designed to produce frothy milk for your coffee and drinks. It is these that we are specifically testing.
Summary of Results – What Is The Best Plant-Based Milk For Frothing?
|Non Dairy Milk Brand (including Amazon Links)||Ingredients||Start-Level||End-Level||Tasting Note|
|Pacific Foods Barista Series Almond Plant-Based Beverage (Available on Amazon here)||Almond Base (Water, Almonds), Dried Cane Syrup, Potassium Citrate, Sea Salt, Carrageenan, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin A Palmitate||½ Cup||1 2/3 Cup||Strong Almond Flavor with just the right sweetness.|
|Silk Almond Original Barista Collection (Available on Amazon here)||Almond Milk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Cane Sugar, Contains 2% or less of: Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate Acacia Gum, Guar Gum, Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid (To Protect Freshness)||½ Cup||1 Cup||Okay Taste. Not very foamy.|
|Almond Breeze Almond Milk Barista Collection Unsweetened (Available on Amazon here)||Almond Milk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Potassium Citrate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Guar Gum, Gellan Gum.||½ Cup||1 ¾ Cup||Very Foamy with large and small bubbles and a nutty taste.|
|Pacifica Foods Barista Series Coconut Plant-Based Beverage (Available on Amazon here)||Water, Coconut Cream (Coconut Milk, Water Xanthan Gum), Cane Sugar, Contains 1% or Less of: Carrageenan, Gellan Gum, Natural Flavor, Sea Salt., Sodium Citrate, Tripotassium Citrate.||½ Cup||1 Cup||.|
|Hope & Sesame, Sesame Milk (Available on Amazon here)||Sesame milk (water, Sesame Protein, Pea Protein), High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Calcium Phosphate, Natural Flavors, Sodium Citrate, Toasted Sesame Oil, Sea Salt, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum, Organic Guar Gum, Vitamin D2.||½ Cup||1 Cup||An acquired flavor, slightly bitter.|
|Take Two Barley Milk (Available on Amazon here)||Barleymilk (water, Barley And Rice Protein), Coconut Cream, Organic Sunflower Oil, Pea Protein. Contains Less Than 1% Of Calcium Carbonate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Sea Salt, Organic Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum, Vitamin D2, Organic Acacia Gum||½ Cup||1 ¼ Cup||Strong taste, like a rice pudding in flavor.|
|Malibu Mylk (Available on Amazon here)||Organic Flax Mylk (purified Water, Organic Flaxseed), Less Than 1% Of The Following: Organic Acacia Gum, Gellan Gum, Natural Flavor, Pink Himalayan Salt, Organic Cinnamon Powder.||½ Cup||1 1/8 Cup||Good flax flavor with a small amount of foam.|
|Planet Oat Extra Creamy Original (Available on Amazon here)||Oatmilk (filtered Water, Oats), Sunflower Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dipotassium Phosphate (stabilizer), Guar Gum, Sea Salt, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin (vitamin B2) And Vitamin B12||½ Cup||¾ Cup||Least foamy out of all the kinds of milk.|
|Pacific Foods Original Hemp (Available from Amazon here)||Water, Brown Rice Syrup, Hulled Hemp Seed, Contains 1% Or Less Of: Disodium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Vitamin D2, Xanthan Gum||½ Cup||1 ¼ Cup||Creamy, smooth, and sweet.|
Items-by-Item Review – The Best Non Dairy Milk For Frothing?
The first non dairy milk we tested was the Pacific Almond Original – which can be bought on Amazon here. This plant-based milk is made from Almonds and is sweetened using dried cane sugar. It also contains a few other ingredients such as Potassium Citrate, Sea Salt, Carrageenan, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin A Palmitate. Carrageenan is typically what you see as a thickening agent and preservative. This is probably what they use to try and help the Almond milk thicken up for foaming.
Test Result – this plant-based milk increased from ½ Cup to a total of 1 2/3 Cup in volume. That is an increase of over three times in volume.
I had to admit I was surprised by how much this one increased in volume. The flavor was pretty good with enough sweetness and the foam worked well in my latte.
You can find Pacific Almond Original on Amazon here.
Next up was Silk Almond Original Barista Collection, which is available on Amazon here. This milk is again made from Almond Milk and is also sweetened with cane sugar. This time, however, it looks like Silk is using a combination of Acacia Gum and Guar Gum as thickening agents to help thicken up the milk for the foaming process.
Test Result – this non dairy milk increased in volume from ½ Cup to a total of 1 Cup in volume. This is a doubling in size.
Overall, the milk didn’t foam as much as the other almond milk tested in this experiment and I personally found the foam breakdown much easier. The milk did have a good overall taste though.
You can find Silk Almond Original Barista on Amazon here.
The third entry is an unsweetened Barista collection almond milk from Almond Breeze, which can be bought from Amazon here. This is again an almond-based barista milk. The main difference from the other brands is that it is (a) unsweetened; and (b) uses a combination of sunflower lecithin, Guar Gum and Gellan Gum as thickeners and stabilizers. Sunflower Lecithin in particular is often used in vegan milk to help prevent any separation with water and help maintain bubble structure.
Test Results – this non dairy milk increased in volume from ½ Cup to a total of 1 3/4 Cup in volume. This is a 3.5 x increase in volume.
When it came to taste this milk was my least favorite when it wasn’t foamed. This is partly due to it being unsweetened. However, once foamed I found the flavor profile changed a lot giving it a more subtle taste which I really enjoyed. In terms of foaming, this milk produced an excellent foam with a mixture of large and smaller bubbles. The foam was creamy and smooth in texture. A win for your coffee.
You can practice your barista skills with this milk from Amazon here.
This is the first coconut plant-based milk on this list. Made from “Coconut Cream”, but if you look at the ingredients it is coconut milk with Xanthan gum which has been used to thicken it. The milk is also sweetened and thickened with Carrageenan, Gellan Gum, and Xanthan Gum.
Test Results – this non dairy milk increased in volume from ½ Cup to a total of 1 Cup in volume. This is a doubling in size.
Overall, in terms of flavor, I found this to be a super sweet plant-based milk. Despite being coconut-based, it doesn’t have a strong coconut flavor. I also found vanilla in taste. In terms of foaming, it produced about the same amount of foam as the Silk Original Barista Collection at entry no.2. The foam wasn’t that substantial, but when foamed the sweetness in flavor dimmed down a bit. If you like sweetness this is nice milk to use, but not the best at foaming. It can be bought on Amazon here.
Sesame Milk is one of the rarer types of plant-based milk you may come across. Made from a combination of water, sesame protein, and pea protein, it looks like this milk uses a combination of Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum, and Organic Guar Gum to help thicken and stabilize the mixture. The milk is also unsweetened.
Test Result – this non dairy milk increased in volume from ½ Cup to a total of 1 Cup in volume. That is a doubling in size.
Overall, in terms of flavor, I found sesame milk to be a bit of an acquired taste. It does grow on you over time but be prepared for the initial taste. This version was unsweetened, so if you are not bothered about sweetener I would probably go for the sweetened version. In terms of foam, it was not as foamy as the other barista-specific brands. You can try it out from Amazon here.
Next on the list is this Barley Milk from Take Two. Yes, Barley milk. Made from a combination of water, barley and rice protein this milk also adds coconut cream – so it is not 100% barley milk. For thickener, it uses a combination of Organic Locust Bean Gum, Acacia Gum, and Gallan Gum. This version is unsweetened and contains added pea proteins.
Test Result – this non dairy milk increased in volume from ½ Cup to a total of 1 ¼ Cup in volume. That is about a 150% increase in volume.
In terms of flavor, this milk has a very strong flavor. The closest thing I can compare it to is a strong riced flavor. It does kind of grow on you over time, but it is an acquired taste. You can try this unique vegan milk from Amazon here.
7. Malibu Mylk
This unsweetened vanilla milk from Malibu Mylk is made from organic flax milk (purified water and organic flaxseed). It is thickened with Organic Acacia Gum and Gellan Gum and even has some organic cinnamon powder (which I didn’t think you could taste). I am assuming the natural flavor is what is providing the vanilla flavor to the milk.
Test Result – this non dairy milk increased in volume from ½ Cup to a total of 1 1/8 Cup in volume.
If you are a fan of flax milk, then this is a pretty good option. It is not the foamiest option available when it comes to coffee, but flax has a lot of great benefits making this a solid general option. It can be bought from Amazon here.
You can also read more about flax milk in general in the post I wrote about them – Best Flax Milk Brands You Need To Know About.
This extra creamy oat milk from Plant Oat is made from water and oats and can be purchased on Amazon here. For thickness, it looks like it uses a Guar Gum and Gellan as the main thickeners.
Test Result – this non dairy milk increased in volume from ½ Cup to a total of ¾ Cup.
Out of all the kinds of milk tested this proved to provide the least amount of foam increasing from only ½ Cup to 3/4 Cup. Whilst the oat flavor was good, I would have wanted more foam for my coffee.
The main thing to notice from the ingredients of this hemp milk is that the first two ingredients are water and brown rice syrup. The third is hulled hemp seeds. That means expect this milk to be sweet (which it was). For thickener, it looks to rely on Xanthan Gum.
Test Result – this non dairy milk increased in volume from ½ Cup to a total of 1 ¼ Cup.
Out of all the milks tested I found this one to be by far the sweetest. The foam was creamy and smooth and had a super sweet finish. If you are looking for something sweeter in your coffee, then this could be a great option for you. You can buy it from Amazon here.
If you would like to read more about the best kinds of hemp milk available you can here – How To Find The Best Hemp Milk Available.
The Final Sip
Is Almond Milk Good For Frothing?
As a general rule, almond milk is a great vegan milk choice for frothing. The almond milk we tested in this frothing experiment saw increases in volume of 100% up to 250% when frothed for one minute with a milk whisk.
What Brand of Almond Milk is Best For Frothing?
Almond Breeze Unsweetened Barista Almond Milk is one of the best almond milks for frothing – this almond milk increased in volume by 250% when frothed for one minute with a handheld electric milk whisk.
Does Oat Milk Froth Better Than Almond Milk?
Does Coconut Milk Froth?
Pacific Foods Barista Coconut Milk increased in volume by 100% when frothed for one minute with a handheld milk whisk.
What Is The Best Vegan Milk to Use For Frothing?
As a general rule, almond milk is great vegan milk for frothing, with Almond Breeze Almond Milk Barista Collection Unsweetened, or Pacific Foods Barista Series Almond Plant-Based Beverage producing the most foam.
Most of the barista focus styles of non dairy milk frothed and foamed better than the “non-barista styles”. Whilst froth and foam are important, so is taste. There are a whole variety of different styles of plant-based milk from barley milk to sesame (both of which are on the stronger and more acquired flavor styles) to the tried and tested almond milk. Personally, I think almond milk works best in coffee. But the great thing is that there is now such a big selection for you to choose from. Experiment and enjoy.
…Now I Know.
Beverage makers may change ingredients and/or manufacturing processes. Always double-check ingredients before purchasing any beverages.
Please Drink Responsibly.
Like What You Are Reading?
Want to learn more? How about everything you need to know about specific types of plant-based milk or even whether coffee is vegan (because it isn’t always)? Learn more with some of my other articles:
- How to Pick The Best Macadamia Milk
- Best Flax Milk Brands You Need To Know About
- What Is The Best Cashew Milk Out There
- How To Find The Best Hemp Milk Available
- How To Pick The Best Vegan Half & Half Milks