Missing your barista coffee?
With more of us spending more time at home, many of us have been missing our favourite barista coffee.
That sublime mix of strong perky coffee and hot sweet milk. Foamed to perfection for a rather splendid milk moustache!
It’s been especially hard on those of us who can’t or don’t consume dairy products. Because recreating barista-style coffee with non-dairy milk has been... challenging.
What is the ideal barista milk?
For the perfect foam, you need a light, creamy milk that froths well. This is why most barista coffees are made with whole milk as standard.
Milk is a suspension of fat, protein and carbohydrate. When the barista adds steam, the milk froths with lots of tiny bubbles. This creates a stiff, lightweight foam that holds its shape and is ideal for making latte art.
Whole milk works best because its higher fat content makes the most stable foam.
Why doesn’t plant-based milk work well in coffee?
For those of us using dairy-free milk, there’s a range of plant-based alternatives including soya, oat, rice and nut milks.
The reason these plant-based milks are less successful in the hands of a non-barista is down to their make-up. And we don’t mean their mascara!
Dairy-free alternatives are basically a suspension of the liquidised ingredient — soya, oats, rice or nuts — in water.
Because their chemical make-up is different to animal milk, they don’t froth. And if you’ve ever used them in coffee, which is naturally acidic, you’ve probably found they curdled, too.
What’s the best milk alternative for coffee?
If you’re using non-dairy milk in your coffee, it’s important to use a special barista blend. These milks have added stabilisers to regulate their consistency. The stabilisers stop the milk from reacting with the coffee, so it doesn’t curdle.
One such blend is Oatly Barista, which, as the name suggests, is an oat milk.
The milk has a little rapeseed oil added, which gives it a creamier texture. And it froths, too — but more on that later.
What makes oat milk so good in coffee?
Oat milk is one of the healthiest plant-based milks. It’s rich in unsaturated fats — and nutritious, with calcium and vitamins. The milk is made from liquid oats, so it has a little natural sweetness and isn’t too heavy.
Oatly Barista is a non-chilled product, which can be stored in the cupboard until you open it. The milk has a pleasant neutral flavour and it isn’t grainy or chalky like some plant-based milks can be.
It heats and froths beautifully for the full barista experience, but can also be used straight from the carton, like regular milk.
How do you froth Oatly Barista?
You can froth Oatly Barista in the same way you would froth regular milk.
Heat as much as you need — in the microwave or on the hob — and use a frothing wand or manual frother to create the foam.
What’s that? You don’t have a frother?
Well, thankfully, all is not lost. Pour the unheated milk into a large jar and screw the lid on tight. Then shake it like you mean it for 30 to 60 seconds, or until you see the froth has formed. Once frothed, the milk can be heated in the microwave. Just remember to use a microwave-safe container for this bit.
Creating the latte art
It wouldn’t be a true barista experience without the final flourish. To achieve this, you ideally need your warmed milk in a pouring jug. Hold it about 5cm above your cup and pour it so the thin milk under the foam goes into the coffee first.
Then you’re ready to create your design.
For this part, move the milk jug close to the top of your coffee and tilt the cup slightly towards you. You can then start your design by pouring the foam, a little at a time into the middle of the cup. If you need a demonstration, there are videos online that will show you exactly how to do this.
And there you have it! Your perfect barista coffee, created at home using oat milk.
Where can you buy Oatly Barista?
If you’re based in the UK, you can order Oatly Barista Edition direct from us.