Alternative milks - any clear winners for making latte art?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
BaristaMcBob

#1: Post by BaristaMcBob »

I tried almond, soy, and oat milks. I'm having a tough time getting those to froth and pour properly. Any tips?

Any thoughts on lactose-free milk?

NicoNYC

#2: Post by NicoNYC »

I mostly stick to standard whole milk, but I've dabbled in a few alternatives. For flavor and texture, hands down it's been oat milk. Oatly has been my preference and every so often I'll grab a carton, either their regular or their barista edition, both seem to work well. I think the barista edition has a bit more fat and feels a little tighter steamed, but either one is good.
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jdrobison

#3: Post by jdrobison »

I messed around with some a bit for a few weeks and found Califia Barista oat milk to be the most favorable.

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Kaffee Bitte

#4: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

Best bet for alt milks is generally going to be oatmilk. The barista blends are better for microfoam though extra creamy versions are close.
Personally not a fan of almond milks though several of the barista blends are acceptable for foam.

They require less air to create the microfoam. For small amounts don't even bother with the stretch phase. At the start get a few slurps or air to get some bigger foam then bury the tip so it isn't visible. This should pull the larger foam to incorporate into microfoam.

Key for me is sound usually. If it's in the quiet zone while incorporating you should be good. This may need adjustment to stay in the quiet though.

Oatmilk as far as I have seen tends to start recreating large bubbles between about 140 to 150 F. I generally aim for 130ish to avoid this.

Also I enjoy goats milk lattes in occasion. Can be a bit odd with the tanginess but with some coffees it is amazing.
Lynn G.
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DownTheRabbitHole

#5: Post by DownTheRabbitHole »

jdrobison wrote:I messed around with some a bit for a few weeks and found Califia Barista oat milk to be the most favorable.
Califia is my favorite as well, Oatly has a stronger taste to me and also textures much faster imo

Graymatters

#6: Post by Graymatters »

Oatly Full Fat is my all-around favorite - readily available* and much less expensive than barista blends, while performing as well, or at least very close.

* = I don't know if it's just my area, but Oatly Full Fat will occasionally - we'll say two or three times per year - be sold out everywhere. Other than those instances, it's easy to find, though.
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chipman

#7: Post by chipman »

And Califia is almost half the price of Oatly.

Graymatters

#8: Post by Graymatters replying to chipman »

Not in my area; they're both ~9¢ per ounce: Califia is $4.29/48 oz, Oatly is $5.69/64 oz
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Jake_G
Team HB

#9: Post by Jake_G »

I've had great luck with Chobani extra creamy as well as lactose-free milk. Lately my preferred lactose-free milk has been the simple truth organic lactose free milk, which is available at Kroger-branded grocers around the US (Fred Meyer, Pick N Save, Kroger, to name a few).

I've found the Chobani extra creamy to be equivalent to barista versions of Oatly and Califia for steaming quality with a better price point and my wife prefers the flavor, so it's a win-win.

I prefer lactose-free milk as it is naturally sweeter than milk with lactose in it. For those curious, lactose-free milk is normal milk with lactase enzyme added to break the lactose down into galactose and glucose, which are both 2-3 times sweeter than lactose. Since the calories are the same, I'll take the sweeter milk, thank you :P
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CSME9

#10: Post by CSME9 »

Oatly Barista or Chobani oat is good. If low carb is a concern Silk Next whole milk is not bad.