Drinking soy milk has lots of health benefits. First, it is non-dairy and good to those with lactose intolerance, which is also why it has become popular these days as milk substitute.
There are variants of soy milk you can choose from as well as different brands offering soy milk in the market. Each bottle of soy milk has distinct taste and added flavor that makes it unique.
If you are not familiar with soy milk, you can mistake it for non-fat milk, but this is very different from milk. Since it has been the choice of some to smoothen their latte, you should also know what difference it can make to the taste, consistency, and appearance of latte.
So, what can be the perfect soy milk to your latte? Soy milk are less creamy than milk but there are formulated soy milk enhanced to be as creamy as milk and these brands of soy milk are perfect for your latte.
I personally choose the Barista Series Soy Blender by Pacific Natural Foods and I will share with you detailed information about what, why and how can you make a perfect latte with soy milk.
Making the Perfect Soy Latte
Most coffee addicts have tried different gourmet coffee and one of these is the famous latte. If you are in a hurry going to work or just need a variant on your typical coffee, the nearby coffee shop can definitely serve you a latte. While at home, you can make your own latte provided you have all the ingredients. You do not need much ingredient to make your own latte, but you need to know what kind of milk can make you a perfect homemade latte. If you have not tried a soymilk latte, then here are the details for you to know.
What Exactly is a Latte?
Latte is a gourmet coffee blended with whole milk. It can be compared to espresso with a twist since the milk makes it creamier and tastier. It is prepared by adding whole milk to espresso and when blended, foam forms on top of your coffee which looks delightful as it tastes rich creamy coffee.
Others water down coffee like American style, in this case it will not taste like real latte. If you were able to make it foamy with less milk, it will not be a latte, but another variant called cappuccino. If it is not foamy enough, then you will simply have café au lait.
It does not matter what kind of milk you want to use to make latte, soymilk as a non-dairy option can also make you a perfect latte, but the amount of milk should be enough because it what makes latte a real latte.
The Dangers of a Soy Milk Latte
Soymilk contains less fat and sugar compared to whole milk that is traditionally used to make latte. When added to something hot or at about 110 degrees F, soymilk will start to curdle whereas whole dairy milk can froth beautifully even at about 180 degrees F. When the soymilk curdled, you already lose the latte with foamy appearance or you will not a real latte.
If you have not tried using soymilk to make latte and you do not know the characteristic of soymilk, then your latte will look like curdled soy or has deflated bubbles, the latte will look far from the classic latte.
Choosing a Soy Milk for Your Latte
There are also different types of soymilk available in the market. There are soymilk variants that contains emulsifiers. Emulsifiers stabilize the soymilk so it will not curdle when added to hot recipe or beverage.
Another way to stabilize soymilk is by adding soy lecithin or calcium lactate to soymilk. These are available in powdered form, so you need to dilute it in your soymilk.
Professional and Barista Quality Soy Products
Since soymilk has become popular substitute to dairy milk, different variants can be found in the market. Read the label of soymilk before buying it if you are looking for the kind of soymilk for your latte. You can choose between barista or professional. These two kinds of soymilk are used in latte and they do not curdle when heated. It will also foam like whole milk on your latte.
Here are some brands with barista or professional blends.
- Alternative Dairy Co
I was recommended the soymilk barista blend by Califia Farms but then I was not able to find it in stores. You might want to keep an eye on that brand too. My personal favorite however is the soy blends distributed by Pacific Natural Foods and I will share its details with you.
Barista Series Soy Blenders by Pacific Natural Foods
The Pacific Natural Foods company is known to provide organic and naturally produced products of high-quality plant-base, and delicious milk through the Northern America. They accept customers’ demands and meets the need of consumers. They became popular with their Barista Series.
- Soymilk is formulated to give latte frothy and smoother finish
- Naturally emulsified so it does not curdle when heated.
- Available in variants and very delicious.
- Best non-dairy alternative for making latte.
It is less creamy than whole milk so if you want thick or heavy cream on your brewed coffee, this is not the best choice.
Other Non-Dairy Milks for Perfect Lattes
If you are looking for non-dairy milk for your latte, it is best to look for barista blends since these are the typical blends made for latte. This type will not curdle when heated and becomes frothy enough for latte.
Another factor to consider apart from foamy effect is taste. Soymilk is the popular alternative to whole milk to make coffee creamier. However, if you have health concerns with soy intake, you can try other alternatives as listed here.
- Oat milk. This is naturally creamy and sweet. Most people consider this as the closest substitute to dairy milk because of its taste, consistency, and texture.
- Hemp milk. This is both nut and soy-free. It has fat content that is higher than other plant-based milk. Its foams well than most non-dairy milk substitutes. However, it is expensive and has after taste on your latte you might not like at first.
- Almond milk. This gives a mild nutty taste to your latte. Though most people enjoy almond, it does not give much body to latte because its milk is low in fat and thinner. You need to look for barista blends that is especially formulated for latte.
- Cashew milk. This nut milk is a bit sweeter than other alternatives. Since it is low in fat and the milk is thinner, it also does not froth well even when steamed.
- Coconut milk. This is available in fat-rich formula that is lusciously creamy than other plant-based milk. It has a mild sweet flavor that does not overcome the taste of your latte.
- Rice milk. This milk substitute can be pleasing but its consistency is thin and a bit watery. You need to find a blend especially made for latte to give you the creaminess and extra froth you like.
When using nut milk or seed milk at home that is not specifically formulated to make latte, you may add soy lecithin or calcium lactate to enhance the consistency of the milk.
Which is the healthiest non-dairy milk?
Most dairy milk are rich in calcium, protein, and other vitamins essential to our health, but they could also be unhealthy depending on the additives or other ingredients added to it when they are manufactured. It is wise to check the label when buying dairy products to know its contents.
Compared to dairy milk, plant-based milk which are purely organic contains low fat and less sugar. They are also rich in protein and other vitamins. Most have fiber contents but milk from oat is rich in fiber than others.
What is not good about soy milk?
Soy contains isoflavones which affects people’s estrogen level and can cause unhealthy side effects. A study showed that it can increase the body’s estrogen level when taken daily or from too much consumption and can cause cancer. However, some studies also showed that ingesting soy products contributed to a lower rate in cancer and related diseases.
Processed soy may contain additives or artificial flavorings that can be unhealthy whereas one can enjoy the health benefits of consuming purely organic whole soy products followed by moderate consumption.
What kind of milk is good for diabetics?
Diabetics should be always aware on the sugar and carbohydrates content of the milk they want to drink as these are what can make milk unhealthy or bad for them. Choose the milk that is low in fat and sugar. Plant-based milk can be a good option for diabetics since they are low in sugar, has less carbs and rich in fiber. Flax and almond milk are two of the suggested options for diabetics.