Non-Dairy Milk, Vegan Milk
I am going to tip-toe here on the thinnest of eggshells. The last few decades have seen a huge rise in the volume of milk consumed in coffee. When I say milk here, I am referring to the one also recognised in the dictionary and google, produced by mammals*. What no one is talking about is that accepting non-dairy milk as the norm is going to greatly affect coffee quality from your local coffee shop to the World Barista Championship.
If we go back to the beginning of milk in coffee (Deja Vu?), it was to soften what coffee was doing to the palate. Fast forward to the current day, we now have the luxury of coffee that is better than ever before. Better (just about) everything all of the way through. Sourcing has become a relatively simple exercise now. What I can foresee is that to accommodate alternative milk, coffee flavour will have to be stronger. This will open up the excuse for darker roasting in coffee, which will in turn open up the door to old, cheap, and less special coffees. I am aware that this is a regurgitation of how some view “House Blends”, however, the flavour and texture of non-dairy milk (to me, so far) are strong.
Before you judge me and my observations here, I tend to drink coffee without milk. I taste coffee with milk professionally and also when I dread how a commercial espresso might make me feel.
- *Also, I must add that the World Barista Competition does NOT allow human breast milk to be used. Thank goodness!