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Guide to Using Alternative Milks in Coffee - How to steam and froth for latte

Heating, frothing and stretching your alternative milks is slightly different that how you treat your normal dairy milk when preparing it for coffee. When we say alternative milks we are talking, soy milk, almond milk and oat milk for example and they each have their own intricacies that you should be aware of.

Alternative milks are becoming more and more popular among coffee drinkers who are looking to go dairy free. In this video Luke talks you through the basics of the alternates and provides some fundamental do's and don'ts. He also throws a couple of tips that will save you when all else fails.

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Unedited Video Transcript 

hey guys i'm luke and welcome back to
the artisti youtube channel where we
guide you through all things coffee now
so you don't miss out on any of our
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and if you've got a comment about
today's topic which is alternative milk
and how you can get the best out of it
if you've got some tips leave them in
the comments below we'd love to share
this around and answer anything else
that you may have
so as i've said alternative milk it is a
bit different to your dairy your full
cream or your skin on how you actually
will froth and the results that you can
so i want to give you a couple of quick
things that are going to help you get
the best results
first things first is read the packet so
there are some specific things that
happen with alternative milks whether
it's a soy like this or an almond milk
you've got coconut you've got oat
there's a whole assortment of different
but essentially they are
an organic material like a nut or
something that has a very small
percentage that makes up this one liter
container the rest of it is water and a
lot of other thickeners and bits and
pieces that basically come together to
make a product that can be used for
now these brands are designed specific
for latte art or for the barista
community so it's fantastic that they've
got products out there that can help you
make a better product
if you're just popping down the
supermarket and thinking that your local
soy that goes on your cereal is going to
be the right product for you when you
i don't think you'll get the same
results so try and look for a product
that is designed for
baristas and for frothing
nice silky smooth milk so when you take
a look at Bonsoy on the packaging it
says best served at 50 to 60 degrees
so you don't want to overheat this up to
65 degrees it will start to split and
and maybe cause a bit of a
yeah splitting basically with the
acidity of the coffee and that's pretty
true with most alternative milks you
want to keep the temperature down a
little bit cooler so if you're new to it
maybe start around 50 and then work your
way up to 60 degrees
and see which results you can get
on something like this almond milk on
the top it says shake well and i can
guarantee that giving these a really
good shake is going to get all of the
emulsifiers and bits and pieces that are
settled in the bottom because they are a
uht product they've been hanging around
for some time
it'll then be through the whole product
if you can crack open the lid get the
bit more air in there and that'll get it
to shake a little bit better
because they are vacuum sealed and you
can sometimes not get basically an air
bubble moving around there to get them
all shaken up now the other great tip is
these are warm they're off the shelf and
yes that's how they may be delivered
don't use them straight away because
essentially these are at room
temperature and that's about 20 maybe 22
degrees and if you're trying to froth
and then stop at 50 degrees or 60
degrees you actually don't have a lot of
time in terms of the temperature build
up to be able to get the consistency
that you're after
so the number one tip is get it from the
fridge and keep them cold
here's a couple i prepared earlier
now again there's a lot of different
brands out there for these products but
typically what we find is with soy it
tends to get froth quite easily
so you can get a whole a huge amount of
foam just by getting a really large
hiss or a loud burst of steam if you get
too aggressive with it with something
like an almond milk
or these other oat milks and so on
they're a little bit thinner and you
need to be a little bit more aggressive
in the actual steam to get the volume
that you need
so as with any milk know how much you're
going to pour into your jug
how much you're going to start with and
know where you want to end so you get
the right amount of foam there and get
it as quick as you can up to 40 degrees
so you can keep spinning it back because
if we're going to be stopping at 50 or
60 degrees you don't have that much as
much time as you would with milk so
let's go and make a coffee on the soy
as with anything you've got to have a
good espresso
if you've got a really high acidity kind
of coffee it doesn't work as well with
alternative milks um if you do have that
light roast acidic coffee definitely
look for a lower temperature like 50
degrees so we're just going to do
a little double ristretto
again give that a little bit of a shake
okay so we've got our shop pouring
obviously purge to get the water out we
definitely don't want to add more water
into an alternative milk
tiny little air bubbles there and now
i've got enough foam and i've got the
temperature i'm after
it's warm i can still hold that because
it is quite a cool temperature
it didn't get so hot that's one
indicator if you watched our last video
about how to froth without a thermometer
if you can still hold that you know you
haven't got too too hot on that product
let your milk sit or your alternative
dairy products sit
it will then bring all those bubbles to
the top and you can see here we do have
a couple of bigger bubbles which are a
bit of a high speed product that
happened but if we do just
tap those out
then give it a swirl
you can see it does come back nice and
now give your espresso a good swirl as
and get that foam in
and really start to blend it up
and then you should be able to do your
little pretty patterns
now just start off with something easy
like a heart or a tulip
and you'll start to see
if you look closely at a pattern like
that there is a tiny little bit you can
see these little dots where it is
starting to to separate or you know it's
not congealing which can be really bad
when it's super splits but there is a
bit of a reaction happening there
now if you found that no matter what you
did with the coffee that you've got at
home and the milk you've got it kept
a bit splitty i just put two or three
grains of sugar into that espresso shot
give it a quick little dissolve it's not
enough to really make it a sweet tasting
but you're going to start to change that
acidity level
of that and it will help as well so
let's go and use the almond milk so
let's make that almond milk
get our shot on
so again the same double straddle in the
latte glass there
a bit of air in there so that allows us
to really
get it mixed up nicely
so it was really easy to get that amount
of foam that i wanted from that soy milk
what i do find with the almond it is a
little bit trickier
you do have to be very precise
if you make a mistake when you're
frothing here
it will really
affect the soy but being on an almond
milk or an oat you tend to be a little
bit more forgiving on those
so that's come up really nice
constant little hiss is the key there
again let your alternative milk sit just
as we do with other ones our espresso is
tap out a little bubble that might be on
the top give a bit of a swirl
the sweetness sort of comes out first so
that does help come up to the crema
again tap out our milk give it a bit of
a swirl
get that sweetness in get around the cup
there you go so that almond milk has
actually performed a lot nicer it hasn't
or not split but just started to
separate a little bit like that soy and
it's really easy to see
when you look at them side by side that
different products do behave differently
so even though this is what we regard as
one of the best soys on the market the
the bonsoi
at the same temperatures basically
you can see that the almond is actually
holding up really well
so if you look at the amount of
foam that's in there they're identical
on those two lattes
and typical of soy you can see that it
does look a little bit
i guess separated or congealing there a
but essentially the same espresso shots
with two different milks and we can
still pour latte up
so when we look at these two coffees
we've also got to consider how much we
have left over so we don't want to over
basically alternative milks it will
really change the amount of foam we get
and the texture that we're going to end
up with so i did have a little bit left
over there so next time i would have
hopefully started a little bit lower
that's the soy that's the almond there
and just trying to get the right amount
to start with and froth only what i need
and that's going to give us a much
end result
now one hot tip if you're really
struggling and if you've got a soy that
no matter what you do it just keeps
splitting i'm going to give you one
little hack and what is it well
i usually find it with soy so
let me just start with a clean fresh
drug always with any alternative milk
clean fresh jug
if no matter what you do temperature a
little bit of sugar
and it just keeps splitting but you do
enjoy the taste of that particular
alternative milk or soy that you've got
there's two little hacks that you can do
get your espresso
now the first hack is to before you
froth this actually add just a dash of
your alternative milk into your espresso
and it seems to counteract the acidity
or the reaction that's going to take
place in that actual alternative milk
once it's heated so
i've seen this done
quite a few times and i've done it
myself and it has worked with particular
coffees and particular milks so give
that one a go
if that doesn't fix it
and i only say this because if you
really want to enjoy that particular
flavor of alternative milk and that
particular espresso
and that tip of that cold bit didn't
add your espresso to your alternative
you've got a slight little coating on
your glass
then give it a frost
because it's totally combined
it's not going to split
you can pick the temperature that you're
you've basically taken away that whole
reaction of how it would would separate
or split if you've got a little bit of
espresso there you may be able to
basically get your
little pattern no look there wasn't
quite enough there but essentially this
is the same thing it's just that there's
not going to be the pretty pattern on
the top
you can see that it is silky it's nice
and smooth there
and it's going to settle
actually there is a faint little heart
if you can see that
there you go
it hasn't split the espresso espresso's
in there it's still exactly the same
coffee it just doesn't look the same so
hopefully guys that gives you a couple
of really cool tips to be able to make
beautiful silky
milk and foam for latte art and get you
practicing now if you've got any other
tips out there i'd love to hear them put
in the comments below thanks so much for
watching guys i hope this helps you with
your alternative milk have an awesome
day we'll catch you next time

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