If you have noticed in recent years, the rise of plant-based dieting and the call for dairy substitutions is growing.
It has seen the demand for milk alternatives increase, especially for tea, coffee, and other popular beverages like smoothies and iced drinks.
However, if you consider yourself a tea connoisseur and require non-dairy milk for your favorite hot brew, you might be worried about the potential concern of this milk curdling in your tea.
Thankfully, there are easy solutions to avoid this issue and plenty of non-dairy milk options for various types of tea which we have listed in this ultimate guide!
Even if you have an allergy, there are a variety of options for you, and if you prefer more of a cold brew or iced tea, you will be spoiled for choice.
Seeing as tea is often a healthy beverage, you will be pleased to know that the list of non-dairy options has plenty of health benefits and some are lower in calories which can support you with weight loss.
About Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives
Suppose you’re planning to switch to a plant-based diet or experiencing inflammation issues, there are various reasons why you might want to choose a non-dairy milk alternative.
Here are some examples:
- Lactose intolerance or dairy allergy: This is one of the most common reasons why you will choose a non-dairy milk alternative. If you have always eliminated dairy products from your diet, fortunately, there’s plenty of great substitutes available.
- Plant-Based Diet: The rise of veganism has consequently increased the demand for non-dairy milk. As vegans don’t consume animal products, which include milk, honey, eggs, and cheese, there are alternatives available. There are multiple types of plant-based milk called for in various types of recipes.
- Inflammation: If you’re experiencing serious inflammation concerns, you might be advised to temporarily eliminate milk from your diet to help recover from this issue.
- Weight Loss: Some of the common milk alternatives have fewer calories and added health benefits. With fewer calories in your daily beverage can help with your weight loss meal plan.
- Health reasons: The alternatives below have various added health benefits like healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. This can be a great supplement in case you lack certain nutrients in your diet. For example, hemp milk contains all essential amino acids which can be important for you on a plant-based diet.
The Best Milk Alternatives For Tea
Each non-dairy milk alternative has its own pros and cons for each tea which is why there is no best choice but instead, you can pick what will be most suitable for you.
For example, if green tea is your favorite type of tea, then hemp milk will most likely be your go-to choice.
Nevertheless, most choices below are suitable for hot brews, cold brews or iced teas.
To give you a quick insight on the list of non-dairy milk alternatives, below is a Google trends comparison between the popular choices and how they have competed over the last five years.
Oat milk is in high demand and has been a fast-growing trend in recent years as a non-dairy alternative which is a great all-around choice – especially if you have a nut allergy.
Compared to other plant-based milk, oat milk is more creamy and has a thicker texture suitable enough to replace cow’s milk in many recipes.
The way oat milk is made is by blending oats and water together which is strained and then turned into a creamy texture which is ideal for hot and cold brew teas.
One of the main benefits of oat milk is that it tastes similar to cow’s milk which pairs well with your cup of tea, but it also doesn’t curdle, and you don’t need to heat the milk before you pour it into your tea.
In similar ways to rice milk, because this is grain-type milk, it’s also higher in carbohydrates compared to other types of milk.
Most suitable: all-round choice for teas, especially for creamy teas similar to cow’s milk or if you have a nut allergy.
Almond milk is one of the most popular plant-based milk options today and is often called for in smoothie and overnight recipes. Does it work with tea? Yes, almond milk can be good for a hot brew!
Generally, it’s a fantastic substitute for milk and is a lower-calorie alternative that has a nutty flavor and creamy texture.
Almond milk is made from soaked almonds which are blended with water which is strained into a fine liquid. Commercially, it can be sweetened or unsweetened, but you can also make it at home.
Although it has a nutty flavor, almond milk can work well with a variety of strong black teas but is also good for a cold brew or iced tea.
The best way to use almond milk for tea and prevent it from curdling is to heat up the milk prior to adding it to your tea.
You can solve this problem by heating the almond milk a bit before you pour it into your tea.
The main health benefits of almond milk are that it’s a low-calorie and low-sugar choice which can be ideal for weight loss and is high in vitamin E and enriched with vitamin D.
Most suitable for: black teas or cold brews and iced teas. Low-calorie teas.
One of the most popular and best replacements for milk is soy milk because the texture and consistency are similar which is ideal for a cup of tea.
Soy milk is made from soybeans that have been soaked and grounded which consequently boiled and strained into a fine texture.
Most store-bought versions of soy milk will either contain no sugar or have additional sweeteners. However, the additional sweetener can be ideal if you usually prefer to add sugar to your cup of tea.
Soy milk is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, contains vitamin B, and is high in protein which can be a healthier alternative to milk.
In terms of flavor, soy milk has a mild, neutral, and bean-like flavor, which can of course vary between brands.
As a result, soy milk is a suitable replacement for your regular cup of tea and if it also contains additional sugar, it can certainly add extra flavor.
Most suitable for: most general hot brews as texture similar to dairy milk.
Rice milk is a naturally sweet and very runny milk alternative which can be ideal if you also have a nut allergy and need a substitution.
If you use skim milk for your tea, then rice milk will be similar because it has a very similar watery consistency.
This is because rice milk is made by pressing either white or brown rice through grinding, blending, and straining the milk.
There are other recipes and ways to make this at home too, in case you want to use rice flour or combine it with another sweetener like Medjool dates.
Overall, rice milk is a great all-around alternative and works well with a hot brew of tea.
The only downside is that rice milk will be higher in carbohydrates compared to cow’s milk and another non-dairy alternative which means you may need to measure your portions to be aware.
Most suitable for: if you have a nut allergy or want to replace skim milk. Suitable for most teas.
Coconut milk is super refreshing and ideal for cold brew or iced tea recipes in the summer months. An ideal example is the vegan Thai iced recipe which is an incredible beverage.
It’s made from coconut flesh which is grated and soaked in boiling water which is consequently strained into a fine liquid.
Although it’s often confused with coconut water, the texture and appearance of coconut milk is a white liquid and looks just like milk.
However, it’s thinner and lighter which isn’t always suitable for hot drinks like tea because split apart, and can affect the texture.
Furthermore, if you plan to use coconut milk for your tea or smoothies, you should buy the carton at your supermarket and not the can, because the texture is very different.
Ultimately, coconut milk is perfect for iced and cold teas because it’s naturally refreshing and perfect in the hot weather which also contains important nutrients like manganese and copper.
Most suitable for: cold brew or iced teas during the summer.
Similar to almond milk, cashew milk is a very healthy choice and alternative to non-dairy milk which can be used for teas.
Cashew milk is made with cashews and water blended and strained to produce a creamy and rich consistency similar to milk but with a strong nutty taste.
If you particularly enjoy the nutty flavors, then this would be another great milk substitute for your tea because it’s creamy, sweet, and looks similar to cow’s milk.
The main health benefits of cashew milk are the loaded nutrients which contain healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Cashew milk is good for strong black tea and is naturally sweet which may not which additional sugar.
Most suitable for: black teas and cold brews.
If you’re a matcha or green tea connoisseur but need a non-dairy milk substitute, then hemp milk will be your ultimate go-to option.
Hemp milk is made from blended hemp seeds and water, but it has a creamy texture with an earthy and nutty flavor which is ideal for smoothies, coffee and green tea.
Hemp milk is popular in recipes like the vegan matcha latte or creamy hemp latte which are very tasty beverages.
One of the main benefits of hemp milk is that it’s low in calories, which can help support weight loss, and is a great protein source for vegans because it contains all essential amino acids.
Most suitable for: matcha tea and green tea.
Last on the list is hazelnut milk which is made from roasted hazelnuts that are blended with water and strained into a thinner consistency.
It’s another sweet and nutty milk alternative, but hazelnut milk is richer and has a distinct flavor that is more suitable for cold brews and iced teas.
However, it also works well with most hot brew teas and especially strong black teas.
Hazelnut milk is also a very healthy choice because it contains important healthy fats, vitamins, and dietary fibers.
Most suitable for: cold brews, iced teas and black teas.
Spicy Meal Prep is a food blog and resource for busy people and home cooks around the world. What started as a solo blog has now turned into a website of healthy recipes and home cooking tips written by home cooks, chefs and nutritionists around the world. Our mission is to make healthy cooking easy, with realistic recipes that you will actually cook and balanced meals that you can fit into your meal plan.