best milk for latte art
10 non-dairy milks tested for foam and taste

The best milk for latte art is cow milk 🐄💨

No surprises there.

Cow milk’s consistency and fat content allows for sweet and silky smooth milk. Cows milk is relatively flavourless so it doesn’t interfere with the flavour of the coffee. If Latte art is something you really care about, cow juice is the way to go!

The best non-dairy milk for latte art is Oat Milk 🏆

Oat milk can have as good micro-foam as cows milk if you steam it right, but it’s hard to do. Most baristas will give you a blob for latte art, which is a shame.

It's not the easiest to make latte art with, but other non-dairy milks have an overpowering flavor or become bitter when foamed. So, we've rated this number one.

The trick is to heat it more than you would cow’s milk, because oat milk has a higher temperature thresh-hold. Overheating it stops the milk from curdling, which prevents smooth latte art. This won’t change the taste so don’t worry!

Swirl the pitcher for about a minute after steaming. This allows for all the large bubbles to surface and disappear, while cooling the oat milk at the same time.

This should give it the same consistency as whole milk.

How was this decided?

Pretty simple—we bought all the alternative milks we could, made a flat white with each one, and rated the latte art and taste.

Oat milk stood out as having the best taste and being reasonably easy to foam—so we put it in the number one slot.

The rest of the milks are in order of how easy they are to foam and create latte art with.

Goat Milk 🐐

Goat’s milk is pretty much the same as cow’s milk in terms of fat content, consistency and taste. So no wonder it does well for latte art.
BUT, it tastes AWFUL. It genuinely tastes like goats cheese when foamed.

Cashew Nut Milk

Cashew has great consistency and holds micro-foam very well, so latte art is no problem. Unfortunately it becomes bitter when foamed.

Tiger Nut Milk 🐅

At this point on the list, the milks become more bubbly, and it's hard to make micro-foam. Tiger nut does a good job though, so a simple heart or rosetta is definitely doable.

Hazelnut Milk

This milk does surprisingly well, but getting that essential micro-foam is hard. We managed to get some complex shapes with it, but large bubbles constantly emerge.

Almond Milk

Almond milk can’t stretch the air very well so results in a bubbly consistency every time. Simple art is definitely possible, but if you want to do a peacock riding a swan, we don’t recommend this milk.

Coconut Milk 🥥

This milk becomes very bubbly when foamed and has an almost cappuccino-like dry texture. Coconut milk tastes very nice with coffee, but latte art is not its forte.

Rice Milk 🌾

Rice doesn’t do very well either.

In the latte art scheme of things, it isn’t that much lower in the rankings than tiger nut, but still can’t quite stretch the bubbles small enough.

It also tastes quite sweet and bitter so it completely drowns the taste of coffee.

Soy Milk

Soy is one of the most popular non-dairy milks—yet it is notorious for not being able to create latte art.

It curdles instantly when it hits the espresso and turns almost like tofu.

There are some talented baristas who can make latte art with soy, but for most, they end up with a curdled mess.

Hemp Milk 🌿

You can’t even get air into hemp milk, let alone micro-foam.

Even when you mange to aerate it, it’s hard to make latte art with it.
Sorry hemp, you lose.

Modified — Friday, 17 April 2019

Published —