Which Milk? A Guide to Vegan & Dairy-Free Milks

Which Milk? A Guide to Vegan & Dairy-Free Milks

I know that milk and cheese can be the final things that stop people from moving to a plant-based diet, or even if you just want to cut down on animal products, knowing what milk to use can be a little overwhelming and confusing. 

Today I’m going to run through my top vegan/dairy-free milks, and what drinks they are most suited to. I’ve been vegan for almost 3 years, and before I moved over to the V side, I dabbled with dairy-free milk on and off, as I felt it was a healthier option.  

Something that you may have already experienced is milk separation. I certainly was pretty distressed when I first noticed that my soya milk didn’t react too well with hot drinks and ‘curdled’. At this time, wow perhaps 5 years ago, I was rather perturbed at this strange soya milk that made my coffees look pretty vile – constantly mixing it and swigging it quickly so as not to taste it! 

NB – if you either heat the milk before mixing, or add a little cold water to your coffee before adding the milk, this should prevent the curdle. Some say the acidity of the coffee can affect the outcome, but I’ve found that these little tricks make for a nice and smooth cup of Joe.  

Fast forward to now, I’ve tried enough types of vegan milks to know what works best. I often see new vegans struggling and thinking they will have to drink black coffee forever, but that’s not the case at all! 

 Below you will find some of my favourite milks to use. There are other options coming out all the time, such as hemp, almond/coconut and hazelnut, and you can also get flavoured varieties ranging from chocolate, to banana and beyond. Most of these milks are available at your local supermarket, health food store or online at places like Amazon or veggie shops – so take your pick! 




The gold standard: Oatly Barista 

Best for ‘proper’ tea and suits coffee very well too 

This is the ultimate vegan milk. It’s seriously next level stuff, and I couldn’t believe how creamy it was when I first tried it. It goes perfectly in tea – you can barely tell it’s not dairy milk. For coffee lovers, not only does it taste great, it even froths when heated. 

For UK peeps, large Sainsbury’s will usually stock it or grab it from Amazon here. 


Oatly (normal version) 

Suits tea and coffee

If you can’t find the Barista version, then the standard Oatly is your best bet for both tea and coffee.  

Find it at your local supermarket or online here. 


Almond milk 

Best for coffee 

Coming in sweetened or unsweetened varieties, I find this works best for coffee, and doesn’t suit tea so much. Alpro is my favourite brand, but most supermarkets now have their own versions, even in Belgium! Note, to get the required ‘milkiness’, you’ll need to pour more than you might be used to. 

Find it at your local supermarket or online here. 


Soya milk 

Best for tea 

Usually the cheaper of the dairy-free milks, and the one you’re most likely to find in cafés and out and about, this goes well with tea. You can certainly pair It with coffee, as it is a little creamier than almond milk, however, a little goes a long way.  

Find it at your local supermarket or online here. 


Coconut milk 

Best for matcha tea or smoothies 

 I’m a bit of a coffee snob, so wouldn’t use coconut milk in anything except matcha tea (it adds a glorious sweetness to a matcha latte), or in a smoothie. It’s a little too flavoursome for coffee and tea, in my opinion. 

Find it at your local supermarket or online here. 


Rice milk 

Best for smoothies 

Typically rice milk is quite watery, so you either have to use a lot of it to meet your hot drink requirements, or get used to a rather weak beverage.  

Find it at your local supermarket.


Cashew milk 

Best for coffee 

 This works well for coffee, and has a lovely creamy consistency. A little more pricey than other milks, it’s a good idea to buy when on offer. 

Find it at your local supermarket or online here. 


I hope that was helpful folks. What’s your favourite vegan and dairy-free milk? Let me know below!


Don’t forget you can still order my luxury vegan gift box and be in with a chance to win a bottle of the amazing Skinny Prosecco!



Rachida Brocklehurst

Rachida is Founding Editor-in-Chief of Green Vie Magazine, and has worked in editorial and publishing for over 10 years. With a strong background in marketing and PR, she is currently Digital Content Manager at Veganuary. In her spare time, she enjoys international travel with her partner, creating different flavours of hummus and rescuing cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *