When you are searching for the best plant milk to go in your morning cup of coffee, there are many options available to you such as coconut milk, soy milk and almond milk. Made from mixing almond paste or ground almonds with water, almond milk is a very popular plant-based milk alternative to traditional dairy milk.
It features a sweet and slightly nutty flavour, and is widely used by vegans, vegetarians and people that suffer from lactose intolerance and milk allergies. Despite its huge popularity, there is one particular issue for people new to using almond milk – it can curdle easily.
What is the reason?
The main reason for almond milk curdling is due to high heat and the coffee’s acidity. When the proteins come into contact with the acidity, they will coagulate. This chemical reaction then splits the milk. This is because of a big difference in temperature due to pouring in cold almond milk into a piping hot cup of coffee.
But why doesn’t dairy milk curdle?
Traditional dairy milk doesn’t curdle if poured straight from the fridge into a cup of hot coffee. Cow milk won’t react to the coffee due to having a very low acidity. Cow milk can curdle, but this is due to the milk being old and having bacteria that is producing extra acid.
Why is this not an issue with cafes?
When ordering a latte or a cappuccino from your favourite cafe, your almond milk coffee will always be perfect. This is because they are professionally trained and use barista-quality plant-based milk, which is made from higher quality almonds or alter the calcium levels to lower the acidity.
What can I do to not curdle it?
If you have just switched to using almond milk and are struggling to not curdle it when making your morning cup of coffee, then there are a few helpful techniques you can try. One popular method is letting the coffee cool down a bit while heating the almond milk before adding it into the coffee. The balance in temperature will stop the milk from splitting.
A quicker version of this is to add in a little bit of the coffee into the almond milk, mixing it together and then pouring the milk into the coffee. This can be a quicker way to evenly balance the temperatures and prevent curdling.
For a completely fool-proof approach, you can use this method while also using coffee that has a low acidity such as darker roasts and coffee beans which have been grown in lower altitudes. Or you can simply continue to have your favourite cafe make your cup of coffee to ensure you are never burdened with a curdled cup of coffee!
Almond milk is healthy, delicious and full of minerals and vitamins. When searching for the best plant milk in the supermarket, keep an eye out for a high-quality brand of almond milk to avoid ending up with a curdled mess!