3 Creamy Coffee Drinks for Your Inner Barista

From frothed to frozen, oat milk's got you covered.

August 23, 2020
Photo by Ty Mecham. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis.

We’ve teamed up with Planet Oat to share the many delicious ways you can enjoy their Oatmilk at home. Here, cookbook author and Great American Baking Show winner Vallery Lomas shares expert tips and ideas from her neighborhood café owner—Rahim Diallo of Ginjan Cafe—for making your morning coffee even better with oat milk.

From refreshing iced cold brew to creamy frappuccinos, oat milk is ideal for caffeinated drinks for one simple reason: The plant-based beverage does a great job of mimicking the consistency of whole milk. Not only does it whip up to make a perfectly stable foam, its creamy texture is very close to dairy milk's.

Oat milk’s mellow, neutral flavor also lets the taste of roasted coffee beans really shine—unlike other dairy alternatives with a distinct taste that can overpower the other aromas. As a bonus, it has a longer shelf life than many dairy products, which gives you plenty of time to enjoy it without having to worry about it spoiling in a week or two.

Whether you’re an everyday pour-over coffee person, or a just-on-Sundays cappuccino connoisseur, there are tons of ways to use oat milk to give your coffee a boost. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Make the Frothiest, Foamiest Cappuccinos

One of the most satisfying parts of enjoying a cozy cappuccino on a crisp morning isn’t just the taste of freshly brewed java—it’s the way the froth warms you up on the inside, from head to toe. In my opinion, it’s what separates a run-of-the-mill cup of joe to a coffee drink worth savoring.

Achieving that creamy dollop of foam is key, and unlike with other dairy alternatives, it’s totally doable with oat milk. When aerated, oat milk whips up just like whole milk, creating a frothy layer that won’t over-froth, then collapse and deflate just a few minutes later.

One of the easiest ways to do this is with a frothing wand: If you’ve got one at home, heat the oat milk and immerse the wand into the milk. Turn the wand and whisk, swirling in circular motions, until you achieve your desired level of froth. If you’re lucky enough to have an espresso machine with a milk steamer, that’ll work too.

2. Infuse Oat Milk With Spices for Cold Brew & More

When you’re in the mood to mix things up with different flavors, oat milk is the perfect companion, thanks to its neutral taste. You can make barista-worthy infusions by using vanilla pods, or whole spices like cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice berries. You can even take the coffee flavor up another notch by infusing the oat milk with coarsely ground coffee beans.

I especially love to add a splash of my infused milk to iced cold brew, but it’ll work with just about any coffee drink. Here’s how to make it:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the oat milk along with the whole spices over medium heat until the mixture is just beginning to simmer. (You can stick with just one spice or use a combination of your favorite flavors; vanilla and cinnamon is my go-to.)
  2. Remove it from the stove and allow the spices to infuse for an additional 30 minutes.
  3. You can use the spiced oat milk immediately, or you can store it in the refrigerator and save it for later (it’ll last for up to a week).
Ty Mecham. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis.

3. Blend Up a Creamy Frappuccino

When you’re looking for a little something extra to beat this summertime heat, you can use oat milk to make a creamy, cooling frappuccino. All you need to do is blend 1 cup of ice with 1/2 cup of strong, chilled coffee, 1/4 cup oat milk, and one tablespoon granulated sugar.

If you want to take a sweeter route, you can even blend oat milk with coffee and a frozen dessert—vanilla works especially well here, but feel free to use your favorite flavor. I sometimes like to top the whole thing off with whipped cream because, well, why not?

What's your go-to morning coffee order? Tell us in the comments below!

In partnership with Planet Oat—makers of creamy, dreamy Oatmilk and other oat-y products (like non-dairy frozen desserts)—we're showing off the versatility of their Oatmilk with tons of tasty cooking tips and ideas.

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Vallery Lomas

Written by: Vallery Lomas