10 Best Dairy and Non-Dairy Milks for Frothing

Frothing milk can take your basic cup of coffee to a fancy cup of joe you find at a coffee shop.

Barista hands frothing warm milk on a coffee machine

It might sound complicated, but frothing milk is easy. A milk frother works best, but you don’t have to run out to the store to get one if you don’t have it. Instead, you can use kitchen staples such as a jar, whisk, or hand blender to froth the milk.

The process is simple – heat your milk, froth with your preferred method, and serve.

Not all milks froth the same, though. Deciding which milk will work best depends on your preference and dietary needs.

Here are the ten best dairy and non-dairy milks for frothing. 

Whole Milk

Whole milk wins the top spot as the best milk for frothing. The froth of whole milk creates a rich, creamy texture that is unlike any other milk.

High levels of fat, protein, and sugar are the reason whole milk froths the best.

The smooth blend of whole milk creates a thicker foam than other milk, and the high fat produces a sweeter flavor.

Frothing requires milk to be heated at a specific temperature. Heat your whole milk to the optimal temperature of 150 degrees to produce the best foam.

Froth the milk and turn your coffee into a cup of foamy goodness.  

Almond Milk

Almond milk is a great alternative dairy milk to froth. It is a plant-based milk that produces a lower-calorie foam.

Non-dairy milk works best when frothed at room temperature. You can warm your almond milk up to 130 degrees, but do not go hotter than that. Frothing almond milk at a higher temperature will not work well.

Almond milk comes in a variety of flavors and sweeteners. Sweetened or unsweetened, the froth of almond milk maintains the milk’s sweetness.

It contains less protein and fat, which create a thinner foam, but it is long-lasting. Califia Farms Barista Blend is known to be the best almond milk to froth.

Oat Milk

Oat milk is another popular milk alternative for frothing. It is creamier and thicker than most non-dairy milk.

The texture and flavor of oat milk are similar to whole milk.

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The thicker texture of oat milk makes it the best to froth. It contains enough fat and protein to create a flavorful and creamy frothing.

Steam or heat your oat milk to 140 degrees before frothing. The foam won’t last as long as whole milk, but it does add a rich, sweet foam to your coffee.

Your favorite brand of oat milk will likely work great, but Oatly Oatmilk, Califia Farms Oat Milk Barista, and Elmhurst 1925 Oat Milk are the most popular brands of oat milk to froth. 

Soy Milk

Dairy-free milk options are not limited when it comes to frothing. Soy milk is lactose-free, flavorful, and great to froth.

Soy milk contains 7 grams of protein, similar to whole milk’s count of 8. The good amount of protein helps produce a thick, fluffy, and creamy foam.

Soy milk also takes a similar amount of time to froth as it would take to froth dairy milk.

The light frothing of soy milk contains fewer calories making it an ideal option for anyone watching their calorie intake.

Trader Joe’s Organic Soy Milk and Soy Dream Soy Milk are two great brands to froth. 

Coconut Milk

Anyone who loves coconut milk will love the distinct flavor its froth adds to their cup of coffee.

Coconut milk has more water and a thinner consistency. It is the fat in coconut milk that produces the unique froth.

For the best foam, it is best to use whole-fat coconut milk from a carton rather than any canned or low-fat coconut milk options.

The flavor of coconut milk is delicious but can overwhelm your cup of coffee. If you are not a fan, this non-dairy milk option may not be the one for you. 

Macadamia Milk

Milkadamia Milk Latte Da Barista is known to be the best, and possibly the only, macadamia milk to froth.

The brand has expertly produced various macadamia-based products, and its milk is one of the best.  

Macadamia milk does not have any sugar and contains only one gram of protein. The lack of protein and sugar can make this milk difficult to steam.

Most macadamia milk cannot produce the best quality foam you would desire.

Milkadama offers macadamia milk that can get the job done. Although the foam does not last long, the milk itself adds a delightful sweetness to your coffee. 

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Rice Milk

Rice Milk is a great option for anyone who has dairy and nut allergies.

The non-dairy milk is the most hypoallergenic option. It is free of dairy, gluten, nuts, and soy and contains beneficial nutrients with few calories.

Rice milk has a sweet flavor that perfectly complements coffee, but the low count of fat and protein makes rice milk difficult to froth.

You might attain a bubble when frothing rice milk, but it won’t produce a foam.

To achieve better-frothed milk, you might consider blending rice milk with another non-dairy milk. 

Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is rare to find at coffee shops. The nut-based milk contains minerals, vitamins, and valuable nutrients. It is a healthy substitute for milk with a creamy, neutral flavor. 

You can have a luxurious latte or cappuccino with cashew milk when frothing at home.

Frothing cashew milk is a good option for anyone who loves nut-based milk and does not mind extra work.

It requires a bit more time and effort than other milk requires. It is best to use homemade cashew milk, which can be time-consuming to prepare.

The result of frothing cashew milk is a thin and bubbly foam. 

Hemp Milk

Hemp Milk has a similar consistency and flavor to soy milk. It contains a similar amount of protein but requires more care when frothing.

If hemp milk is not heated properly, the milk can curdle when added to your coffee.

However, finding the right temperature to steam hemp milk for frothing can take time and effort.  

Once you find the right temperature, you will have a thin and light froth.

Brands such as Elmhurst Barista Hemp Milk, Califia Farms Hemp Barista Blend, and Pacific Foods Hemp Milk Barista Series are the best hemp milk to froth. 

Skim Milk

Skim milk is for you if you’re a beginner and looking for the easiest milk to froth.

Skim milk contains little fat content that creates a thin and delicate foam.

It takes little effort to create the foam of skim milk and shapes easily, making it an easier milk to froth.

The foam of skim also holds together longer than whole milk foam would.

This milk is perfect for anyone who wants to practice their art skills and get creative with their latte, macchiato, or cappuccino.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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