Warning: This recommendation is based on FLAVOUR.


With the boom of the ‘conscious consumer’, many people are rethinking their intake of ‘animal based’ products. This has had a huge impact on which coffees people are ordering from cafes. While some are switching from a latte to a long black, others are exploring the latest alternative plant-based mylk trends. With all booms comes a huge wave of competitors shouting about their version of the latest mylk. Cafés have been bombarded with a thousand and one mylk brands including almond, soy, oat, coconut mylks, just to name a few! All this begs the question, out of all these mylk options, which tastes the best with my coffee? And further to that, which brand within each kind of mylk, tastes the best with my coffee? We’re here to help you navigate the non-dairy aisle and show you our recommendations for the best alternative mylks for your coffee’s flavour.

A quick pour through the market trends thus far

Soy Mylk has been the most popular non-dairy substitute for decades as its nutrition profile closely resembles that of cows milk. With the more recent emergence of almond, rice, hemp, walnut, oat, macadamia, and coconut mylks, almond mylk has taken the lead in popularity, with soy mylk coming in second and oat mylk third. That said, we’re seeing that oat mylk is the fastest growing category ever seen, so watch this space!

Our coffee professional team jump into a flavour focused ‘blind taste test’

With all this buzz about ‘plant-based’ goodness in our coffee, our Coffee Professional Team couldn’t resist but to dive in and explore the market. In true ZEST form, our team stuck to an assessment based purely on flavour, spending an afternoon ‘blind’ testing the three most popular plant-based mylks (almond, soy and oat) combined with our Espressist Blends, to determine which produced the tastiest result. Please bear in mind that this is a really subjective topic, and what one person may deem as ‘delicious’ may not be in someone else’s opinion. As professionals, our coffee team work on a scoring system produced by SCAA. This system is what the following results are based on.

The Verdict: Soy

First up, soy mylk. Despite BONSY being a key player in this field we found that Happy Happy Soy Boy’s smooth and creamy character, pairs with our espresso perfectly. Happy Happy Soy Boy mylk pours very well with no curdling, so baristas will find it super easy to work with. It’s also great for the health conscience, as its free from stabilisers, emulsifiers, kombu and GMOs, and has 31 percent less sugar than its leading competitors!
Click on the link for the comparisons; http://www.happyhappysoyboy.com/facts/ .

The Verdict: Almond

Next our team went nuts on comparing the almond mylks. (Pun fully intended)! Alternative Dairy Co Almond mylk uses Australian-grown almonds, actively sourced locally, minimizing their impact on the environment, by reducing carbon miles and not importing from overseas. Our findings indicated a balanced almond mylk, which complements the espresso without the unnatural aftertaste other mylks leave behind. Baristas will find it textures and stretches easily, with a silky consistency, clean taste, and no curdling.
Click the link for more information https://altdairyco.com/barista/almond-milk/

The Verdict: Oat

Then Oat mylk rolled around. When we tried Oatly, our first impression was that it offered a unique flavor, a nuttier profile than dairy milk despite not containing nuts, and held a subtle sweetness. The texture of the mylk was creamy and tasted lighter than soy milk, which didn’t weigh down the flavours of the espresso. The mylk was technically beautiful when stretched. Baristas using Oatley will enjoy total control on the density of the foam to create latte art. The biggest plus is there are no added refined sugars.
Find out more on:https://www.oatly.com/au/products/oat-milk-barista-edition

Why we’re standing by flavour

Thankyou for taking the time to read through our recommendations for plant based mylks. While some of you may have conflicting opinions, we want to make it super clear that we have taken this decision very seriously with a single goal in mind, to supply products that yield the best flavour for our customers. The highlight was seeing how each plant-based product reacted, changed structurally and influenced the profile of the espresso.

While Oatley, Happy Happy Soy Boy and AltDairy may not be on your shelves for reasons such as price, popularity or brand trust, we can assure you that these mylks hold incredible flavour integrity and will only serve to compliment your coffee flavour and recognition as a great cafe overall. We took an open-minded approach and based our recommendations on a blind tasting with our team of qualified coffee professionals. So our humble request is that you give these mylks a crack, don’t distance yourself from this flavour improvement opportunity. We all know the number one thing that has people coming back to your cafe – FLAVOUR.


Images sourced from Instagram: @oatly @happyhappysoyboy @altdcbarista