Coffee lovers know that nothing compares to a fresh and frothy latte, and only almond milk delivers the smooth dairy-free flavor you crave! Explore how to use almond milk in lattes, cappuccinos, and other coffee drinks with this delectable look at how to select the best almond milk to froth!
Why Froth Almond Milk?
A great latte can turn any day around, but whole milk is outdated. It’s time for delicious plant-based alternatives. That’s where almond milk shines!
Almond milk has an incredible flavor and texture compared to other types of plant-based milks, like coconut milk or oat milk. It can provide all the foamy texture you want in a an almond milk latte or cup of hot coffee, but that all depends on choosing the right almond milk.
How Does it Work?
Regular milk and vegan milks are able to become deliciously foamy thanks to a simple chemical reaction.
Milk foam is produced when dairy (or milk alternative) is heated to between 140°F and 155°F and then agitated. This causes the proteins to move and change shape. The proteins leave behind empty spaces. The fat then moves and traps the air in these newly formed spaces, thus creating an airy, frothy texture.
To make beautiful milk foam, baristas choose non-dairy milk, like high-quality almond milk, that is fortified with extra vegetable fat. This gives the liquid a little more body and thickness even without foaming, and the higher fat content helps trap in the air when the milk becomes nice and frothy.
Different Ways to Froth Almond Milk
There is more than one easy way to make an incredible creamy froth! We've gathered a list of frothers that will fit into different budgets and preferences, from manual milk frothers to electric frothers.
- Steam Wand: A steaming wand is a stainless steel extension of a countertop espresso machine. With the right froth settings, it can blast steam into the milk to rapidly introduce lots of air and create the perfect froth.
- French Press: The plunger of this coffee maker can be used to stir a light airy texture into your almond milk; however, with this trick, you must use hot milk before frothing.
- Handheld Milk Frothers: A handheld frother is a battery-operated agitator that will whip bubbles into your milk in no time. Much like using a French press to make milk foam, you will need to heat up the almond milk up before attempting to agitate it with this handy tool.
- Electric Frother: An electric frother is a kitchen appliance designed to quickly and efficiently create frothy textures in liquids such as milk, coffee, or other beverages. It operates with an electric motor to whisk and aerate the liquid, resulting in a creamy and frothy consistency ideal for various drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. They come in various designs and offer convenience and versatility for home and professional use. A popular option for this kind is the Maestri House milk frother.
- Blender: Believe it or not, you can even make a cold creamy foam with cold almond milk, and the only tool you need is a high-speed blender!
These different options all produce wonderfully frothed almond milk. Ultimately, you'll want to choose the best milk frother that will suite your needs.
What Makes Almond Milk Great for Frothing?
There are a few things to look for when choosing almond milk for making milk foam, including texture, fat, and flavor.
A great almond, or other plant milk, should be fortified with extra vegetable fat to make foaming easier. For best results, use one without added sugar or flavoring. These additives can bring a lot of flavor but they can also interfere with the texture of the drink making it less stable when frothing. For this reason, we believe unsweetened almond milk is the best option.
Things to Keep in Mind
To help you spot the best candidate for non-dairy milk, be on the lookout for ‘barista-quality’ or 'barista blend' products. This specialty style of non-dairy is designed with your favorite cafe creations in mind. Barista-quality almond milk has extra fat and a lusciously smooth and creamy flavor that will always foam just right!
Generally, you can find this type of milk in the unrefrigerated milk section, usually near the special diets or baking aisles. The products are shelf-stable until opened then must be refrigerated, and typically they bear the stamp of barista approval so you can leave the store knowing you’re headed home for a great latte!
If you cannot find ‘barista-quality’ almond milk at your local grocer, try online. Alternatively, you can seek out a regular almond milk with the words ‘extra-creamy’ on the label. This common type of almond milk is made by the major non-dairy milk brands and is enriched with extra fat, so latte art should be easy!
Best Almond Milk to Froth
After steaming and sipping many different brands of almond milk available, we were able to narrow the field to a couple top contenders for the title of Best Almond Milk for Frothing:
Best Chilled Almond Milk
In recent years, non-dairy milk has become the standard for many homes today and so there are tons of delicious types of almond milk available at every grocery, but which one makes the foam?
After trying all the major almond milk brands, one stands out for its excellent flavor and unbelievable texture and that is Silk: Extra-Creamy Almond Milk (Unsweetened).
Silk has the lush, creamy texture you want to make a nice thick foam and its mildly nutty and creamy flavor cannot be topped!
Look for Silk in the dairy case of any grocery store. It is an affordable, long-lasting, and delicious way to make cafe-quality non-dairy drinks at home!
Best Shelf Stable Almond Milk
Pacific Foods is a company that baristas have trusted for years to provide delicious and easy-to-work-with non-dairy milks. They make incredible almond milk for home baristas! Pacific Foods Barista Series Almond Milk is a good option for anyone who loves to stock up.
This fantastic milk is enriched with extra plant-based fat to make foaming a breeze; plus, it is formulated to be naturally gluten and soy-free!
The Pacific Foods non-dairy milk is all shelf-stable until opened, so you can always keep a spare in the pantry for when you run out!
Best Barista-Quality Almond Milk
All of the best cafe drinks start with fresh coffee and milk, so picking the highest quality milk has a real tangible effect on your final drink. That is why certain non-dairy brands have made a commitment to making only the best dairy alternatives for flavor, foam, and health. This elite group of non-dairy milk is known as ‘Barista-Quality’ and these types of milk are the best available for frothing!
The best tried-and-true barista-quality almond milk is Elmhurst Barista Almond Milk. This creamy liquid is fortified with extra fat and blended with rice so you are left with a beautiful smooth and thick milk product. It is naturally GMO-free and has minimal additives, making it a wonderfully clean choice.
Elmhurst Almond milk can be found online or in select stores in the shelf-stable milk section.
The best almond milk to froth is one that contains minimal stabilizers and additives. Look for brands that are labeled as "barista" or "barista blend." These are specifically designed for coffee and espresso drinks, including cappuccinos and lattes, and tend to froth well. They are often fortified to maintain a stable froth and have a creamy consistency.
Additionally, unsweetened almond milk is generally preferred for frothing because it doesn't contain added sugars, which can affect the texture of the froth.
Some popular brands known for their desirable almond milk froth include Califia Farms Barista Blend Almond Milk, Almond Breeze Barista Blend, and Oatly Barista Edition (which is an oat milk but froths exceptionally well). However, the best choice can vary depending on personal preference and the type of accompanying frother you're using, so it's a good idea to experiment with a few options to find the one that suits your taste and equipment.
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