Can You Be Vegan & Still Enjoy A Cup Of Coffee?
12th January 2020
Many of us are making our changing tactics when it comes to sticking to a healthier diet and lifestyle. This includes the option to go vegan. Veganism is a way of living which seeks to avoid and minimise harm to all animals by avoiding all animal products such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey, gelatin, lanolin, wool, silk, suede and leather. In other words, becoming vegan means adhering to a strict plant-based diet which is not only very beneficial for our health and wellbeing adding great nutritional value but is also good news for the animals that are used to produce clothing, makeup and bathroom materials.
The question is, if you are a coffee lover, does becoming a vegan mean you can still enjoy a cup of coffee? Well, the answer is yes! But you need to be aware of the facts first when it comes to choosing the right coffee. Factors such as the type of coffee beans, milk and journey of your coffee from bean to cup can affect whether or not it is suitable for you to drink as a vegan.
Vegan-Friendly Coffee Beans
The most common way of growing coffee beans is under a canopy of sun-filtering shade trees. However, some coffee plants require intensive use of chemicals and pesticides and fertilisers to help provide enough nutrients. Unfortunately, this process leads to soil erosion, toxic water runoff and soil nutrient depletion. Rainforest Alliance coffee beans are the best type of coffee beans available for vegans. They aim to conserve all wildlife, safeguard soils and eliminate the use of chemicals and pesticides in the coffee bean process. Rainforest coffee can be found in many modern coffee shops, restaurants and bars. You can also look out for coffee beans that have been organically certified and grown naturally without the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
The Best Non-Dairy Milk Alternative for Vegans
Now we have determined what type of coffee beans you can consume it is time to consider how you drink your coffee. It is important to note that non-dairy kinds of milk do not compromise the quality of the coffee you drink; they alter its taste and texture. If you are more of a milky coffee drinker than a black coffee drinker, than you will need to consider what milk you consume. The good news is that there are many plant-based kinds of milk on the market for you to choose from.
Soya milk is the most popular choice among vegans because of its creaminess and neutral taste and is a hit in coffee shops. This means you can still get your caffeine fix throughout the working day and stop off for your favourite latte or cappuccino. The benefits of soya milk are that it adds a nutty flavour to coffee. Try experimenting with different brands to determine which one suits you best. When it comes to using soya milk in your coffee, make sure you ask for it to be heated up first; otherwise it can curdle and affect the taste of the coffee.
Almond milk is also trendy among vegans and can be used as an alternative to dairy milk. This type of milk comes in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties to meet different tastes and preferences. Almond milk, however, is not often used to make lattes or cappuccinos because of its inability to form a milky foam. Like soya milk, heat and acidity can cause almond milk to curdle.
Oat milk is also a valuable alternative to dairy milk, adding sweetness to your coffee. Some oat milk varieties are rich in creaminess and famous among supermarkets and coffee shops. Many businesses are becoming more invested in non-dairy milk alternatives and stocking up to target individuals who are transitioning to veganism but don’t want to give up their love for coffee.
What To Do To Make Sure Your Coffee is Vegan-Friendly
- Ask your barista about the type of vegan-friendly milk they have available and enquire about the quality of coffee beans used. How have the coffee beans been roasted? Where have they come from?
- Use a reusable cup at all times to cut down on waste.
- Look out for eco-friendly coffee brands, including those that are organic, Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance certified.
- Examine your mixers carefully to make sure all your options are non-dairy and contain vegan-friendly ingredients.
- Pick vegan-friendly sweeteners and syrups as some types of refined sugars are processed with animal bone charcoal filters and preserved with animal products.
Vegan-Friendly Espresso-Based Beverages
When it comes to ordering a latte or frappe, you will want to make sure you ask for a vegan alternative to dairy milk and make sure ingredients like whipped cream, caramel drizzle, pumpkin spice and java chips are not included. The good news is many clear syrups are vegan meaning you can still look forward to flavoured lattes and frappuccinos. Here is a list of vegan-friendly espresso-based beverages you can order from your local coffee shop right now:
- Soya Mocha-Hazelnut Latte
- Iced Vanilla Soya or Coconut Latte
- Coconut or Soy Mocha Latte
- Soya Mocha Frappuccino
- Cappuccino with Soya Milk
- Soya Hazelnut Latte