Peoples Coffee

Our four contendors: Goats Milk, Oat Milk, Coconut Milk, Zero Lacto Milk

The milk blog has become something of a Peoples Coffee tradition. Last year we did a little blog featuring milk alternatives (Almond, Hazelnut, Rice & Soy) and how they stacked up when paired with our coffee and before that we smashed out some flat whites with a range of organic and off-the-beaten-track milks in ‘Honour the Cow’.

Turns out you guys have a LOT to say about milk – 12 months on we’re still getting a steady flow of comments, so we thought we’d do a bit of a follow-up and test out some your suggestions!

We set aside a morning in the cupping room and set Robbie, Rene and Jamie the unenviable task of making flat whites with Lactose Free milk, Oat milk, Coconut milk and Goats milk.

Zero Lacto: Easy to work withRobbie give the Zero Lacto a taste test

Robbie gives the Zero-Lacto a taste test

First up was Anchor’s Zero Lacto milk which they proclaim to be ‘tummy friendly’. The first thing we noticed was how sweet the milk was. I did a little research and found that ‘removing lactose’ involves altering the chemical make-up of the lactose enzyme, splitting it into two smaller, more easily digestible sugars; glucose and galactose. Those sugars bind to the sweetness receptors on your tongue in a way that lactose does not – therefore a sweeter taste.

The milk was super easy to work with producing perfect microfoam and making latte art a dream. There was a definite reduction in sweetness when added to coffee but it also tasted quite thin, lacking the creamy quality of regular milk.

Stretching: 5/5
Taste: 3/5
Overall: 4/5

Oat Milk - AKA 'Porridge Milk'Jamie won't be making the switch to Oat Milk anytime soon

Jamie won’t be making the switch to Oat Milk anytime soon

Our second milky mimic was an Oat milk from the Vitasoy line. We use Vitasoy in our Constable Street cafe and so far as soy milk goes – it’s king, so we were interested to see if this mastery extended to their other products.

The answer was no – at least so far as coffee was concerned. Dubbed unceremoniously by Robbie as ‘Porridge Milk’ the Oat milk was rice-pudding with a slightly sour aftertaste. Once stretched it produced a tonne of foam and made for a very sweet and ultimately disappointing flat white.

Stretching: 2/5
Taste: 2/5
Overall: 2/5

Coconut Milk - not great with coffee but AWESOME on it's own!MRW all my Coconut milk hopes and dreams are crushed

MRW all my Coconut milk hopes and dreams are crushed

Contender numero three was a gorgeously packaged Coconut Drinking Milk from Little Island. Robbie was especially excited about this one – he was chomping at the bit to get a taste and was already planning a line of coconut beverages for our cafes.

It has to be said that the coconut milk was lovely cold. Light, refreshing and not overpowering in sweetness. The milk did not stretch particularly well, separating easily and holding the bulk of it’s sweetness in the foam. Opinions were varied on it’s suitability with coffee – Jamie and Robbie were unimpressed whilst myself and Rene weren’t so critical.

So low scores for coffee potential but Jamie did make a killer coconut hot chocolate with it later in the day.

Stretching: 2/5
Taste: 3/5
Overall: 2.5/5

The infamous Goats milk flat whiteRene give the steamed Goats milk a sniffThe taste of the Goats milk flat white was too much for Rene

It’s all in the expression…

We saved the most interesting milk for last – a Goats Milk from Living Planet. Goat, in any form, is always a rather dividing flavour, it has a reputation for being strong and distinctive – not exactly the qualities you’re looking for to showcase the subtle flavours of coffee. But ‘why not?’ we thought.

We thought wrong. Whilst I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who swear by goats milk I can tell you that we are not among them. The milk had a very distinctive feta flavour than only intensified with stretching. It was salty and, as Rene so graciously put it; ‘tasted like socks’. Honestly the very thought of that cheesy, gamey flavour is making me dry retch a little.

In it’s defence it stretched OK but nothing will convince me to go back for seconds.

Stretching: 3/5
Taste: 0/5
Overall: 2/5

Rene looked like this for a good long while after the Goats milk flat white

Rene looked like this for a good long while after the Goats milk flat white

And there you have it. We’d loved to have tried out a recent addition to the milk scene ‘Jersey Milk’ and the vastly popular ‘Cashew Milk’ but alas, there is only so much one can do in a single blog.

We’d love to know what you think – did we get it wrong? Did we miss something out? What milk alternative do you swear by?

– Jesse F

February 23rd, 2016

Posted In: Coffee, Fair trade, Milk, Organic

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


  • Megan says:

    Hi there, great to read your article – especially the praising of Lactose Free Milk – I could not agree more with you!

    I don’t suppose you know of any cafés around Wellington, that stock Lactose Free Milk, for their coffees?

    • Jesse Finn says:

      Hey Megan – cheers for the feedback! Erm, not that I’ve heard of but I’ll keep an eye out and let you know if we find anyone 🙂

  • René says:

    I should mention I my sock comparison was 100% cotton not wool, and 2 days “on” 😉

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