Nutripro - More Plant-Based, please: Plant-Based Products for Baristas - A Matter of Taste

Monday, December 6, 2021

Cooking with plant-based alternatives is one thing but using them in coffee-based drinks is another.

When it comes to meeting customers’ expectations for smooth, creamy, and delicious beverages without using cow’s milk, here are some proven ways to deliver great results.


Try these expert tips for using plant based – no milk products in your café:

  • Keep plant-based ingredients cold (3-4 °C) and shake them very well before mixing with coffee. They are less homogenized than cow’s milk.
  • For a balanced taste profile that pairs well with coffee, choose products such as oat or pea which are naturally sweet but will not overwhelm the flavour.
  • Always taste and evaluate the sweetness of products before adding them to coffee. For best results, taste them both cold and after steaming. You can then adjust the sweetness of the blended beverage.
  • To avoid curdling plant-based products, warm them first, then slowly add hot coffee.
  • When perfecting your recipes, taste the beverage after you blend it to see if you need to add sugar.
  • If you are promoting plant-based drinks as vegan, make sure ALL ingredients are vegan. For example, since honey is made by bees, it is not vegan.
  • To make the best microfoam, add LESS air volume in the beginning, and add it very FAST to give yourself the longest time possible for swirling the liquid. This action causes big bubbles to break down, so the longer you can swirl, the nicer the microfoam will be.



The barista’s bottom line

“In coffee beverages, there’s no room for off-flavours to hide, so the taste of a plant-based alternative needs to complement the coffee instead of cashing or overwhelming it. At the same time, I expect the creamy, velvety texture that cow’s milk brings to mixed coffee drinks. And of course, it needs to produce durable, fine-textured micro foam that’s worthy of my best latte art.”