There are many different types of plant-based milk products available on the market. However, soy milk in Australia is one of the best alternatives to using dairy milk for a wide variety of reasons. It is a great source of vitamins and protein, has a high nutritional content, and most importantly, has a delicious taste while giving your coffee a creamy velvet texture.
So, what exactly is soy milk? And how does switching from dairy milk to soy milk still provide you with a deliciously creamy froth?
A healthier alternative to cow’s milk
As one of the most popular non-dairy milk alternatives in Australia, and across the world, soy milk is an excellent choice for coffee drinkers who are looking to cut out cow milk from their diet.
Soy milk provides you with all the nine essential amino acids, the only plant-based milk product to do so. Soy milk also contains less calories and saturated fat than dairy milk, which is great news for your cholesterol levels, heart health and waistline. This is why switching to soy milk is a great choice for coffee drinkers who are concerned with their nutritional uptake and wish to move away from regular dairy milk.
Soybean is the main ingredient used to make soy milk. It is made with a process that basically boils the soybeans and then grounds them up before they are then filtered. It can then be sweetened, flavoured or drunk raw.
How does it taste in coffee?
Soy milk manufacturers have had plenty of time to work on developing and enhancing the taste of soy milk as it is one of the oldest types of plant-based milk products. Contrary to popular belief, soy milk has a notably neutral flavour. This means that it is not going to compromise the flavour and taste of the coffee beans.
As it’s a relatively creamy product, soy milk can provide the same frothy consistency as seen when using regular dairy milk. This makes it a perfect dairy milk alternative when ordering a coffee at a café or restaurant because the baristas will be very experienced in how to produce the best coffee foam without burning or curdling the soy milk.
Why is it difficult to get a creamy froth?
Due to its chemical makeup, this is the reason why soy milk in Australia has an infamous reputation of being particularly difficult to master in getting it to thicken and produce a creamy froth when making a cup of coffee. This is because soy milk is sensitive to heat.
The proteins are hard to mix at higher temperatures because the amino acid bonds will begin to degrade. Basically, heating soy milk at a temperature that is too high will result in the soy milk curdling much easier than regular dairy milk. Another reason for curdling is that soy is alkaline and coffee is acidic.
However, achieving a perfect foamy froth on top of your morning cappuccino or latté is easily achievable with a little bit of practise and knowledge.
Tips to remember when steaming soy milk
Steaming soy milk can be a little tricky. Apart from steaming the soy milk at 50 degrees Celsius to ensure that the proteins and acids are kept in balance and aren’t overheated, here are some helpful tips to remember:
- Instead of using single estate coffee beans, opt for using coffee blends instead as coffee blends are typically roasted darker. This will reduce the risk of the soy milk reacting due to the softer acidity.
- When steaming soy milk, remember to always handle it gently as to not introduce too much air. Doing this will ensure that the milk retains its silky texture.
- When you pour the soy milk into your coffee after steaming, make sure you pour it in at a reasonably fast and consistent pace. Doing so will mix the soy protein evenly with the coffee. If you begin pouring the soy milk in too slowly, it risks the coffee and the soy protein reacting, resulting in the milk becoming curdled.
- In the event that this does happen and you notice the soy milk beginning to curdle, just turn off the steam earlier which will lower the heat of the soy milk.
- Before you start steaming the soy milk, make sure that the soy milk you are using is cold and from the fridge. Do not use soy milk that has been stored at room temperature. Also make sure that you shake the carton well before using.
Whether you are looking to broaden your taste palette, suffering from lactose intolerance or looking for a healthier way to enjoy your favourite cup of coffee, switching to soy milk in Australia is a perfect choice. Keep an eye out for a carton of soy milk in your local supermarket and taste the difference for yourself!