The Ultimate Guide to the Best Milk Alternatives for Tea

The best dairy alternatives for tea

Many people today are looking for milk alternatives for a variety of reasons – allergic reactions, headaches, or simply curiosity about nutrition, cooking, or new flavors. When it comes to tea, milk is a common addition, but not everyone can or wants to consume dairy. Fortunately, there are several plant-based alternatives that can provide a similar taste and texture. In this article, we will explore the best dairy alternatives for tea.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a popular dairy alternative for tea. It is made by soaking and grinding soybeans, boiling the mixture, and then straining it. Soy milk has a consistency and texture similar to dairy milk, but with a hint of sweetness. It is relatively neutral in taste and complements the natural flavors of teas such as Oolong, Earl Grey, or Rooibos. Some brands of soy milk may split and flake when added to tea, but this can be avoided by warming the milk before mixing it with tea.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is another great option for tea. It is made from the white pulp of ripe, brown coconuts. Unlike coconut water, which is the liquid found inside immature green coconuts, coconut milk is the milky texture that comes in a carton. Coconut milk has a light, bright and slightly sweet taste that complements tea without overpowering its flavor. It is especially good with iced or blended teas. While coconut milk can break up in hot beverages, the flakes are minimal and do not significantly affect the texture.

Rice Milk

Rice milk is a good choice for those with nut allergies. It is known to be the least allergenic of all dairy alternatives. Rice milk has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a thinner consistency, similar to skim milk. It can be made from white or brown rice milled with water. However, rice milk contains twice as many carbohydrates as cow’s milk. So if you are watching your carbohydrate intake, rice milk may not be the best choice for you.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is one of the most common and well-known plant-based dairy alternatives. It is made by soaking almonds for several hours and then blending them with water. The mixture is strained to obtain the milky white liquid. Almond milk has a nutty flavor that adds a pleasant aroma to tea. It is particularly popular in hot black teas, but may not be universally appreciated in green, floral, or less pungent teas. One problem with almond milk is that it tends to split when added to hot tea due to temperature differences. This can be overcome by slightly warming the almond milk before adding it to the tea.

Oat Milk

Oat milk is a creamy and thick alternative that works well in both hot and cold teas. It is made by soaking oats in water, blending the mixture, and then straining. Oat milk has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a texture that adds richness to tea. It is a versatile choice that can be used in a variety of tea recipes. Oat Milk is suitable for those looking for a creamier alternative without the use of dairy products.

Other Milk Alternatives

In addition to soy, coconut, rice, almond, and oat milk, there are several other dairy alternatives that can be used in tea. Some examples include hemp milk, cashew milk, and pea milk. These alternatives can have different flavors and consistencies, so it is worth experimenting to find the one that suits your taste preferences and dietary needs.

Bottom Line

Choosing the best dairy alternative for tea depends on personal taste and dietary considerations. Soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk, almond milk, and oat milk are all excellent options for replacing dairy milk in tea. Each alternative offers a unique flavor profile and texture that enhances the tea drinking experience. Whether you are lactose intolerant, on a vegan diet, or simply prefer a different flavor, these dairy alternatives provide a satisfying and nutritious addition to your cup of tea. Experiment with different options to find your favorite dairy alternative for tea. Enjoy the variety of flavors and benefits these plant-based alternatives have to offer.


Why would anyone choose dairy alternatives for tea?

People choose dairy alternatives for tea for a variety of reasons, including lactose intolerance, dairy allergies, health concerns, ethical considerations, or personal taste preferences.

Which dairy alternatives work best in hot tea?

Milk alternatives such as soy, coconut, almond, and oat milk work well in hot tea. These alternatives are known to blend smoothly and complement the flavor of the tea without overpowering it.

Can I use dairy alternatives in iced tea?

Yes, dairy alternatives can be used in iced tea. Coconut milk, almond milk, and oat milk are particularly popular choices for adding creaminess and flavor to iced tea.

Are dairy alternatives safe for people with nut allergies?

Some dairy alternatives, such as soy, rice and oat milk, are suitable for people with nut allergies. However, it is always important to check specific product labels to ensure there are no traces of nuts or cross-contamination.

Will dairy alternatives affect the taste of my tea?

Milk alternatives can add their own flavors to tea, but they are generally chosen for their ability to complement and enhance the taste of tea. Each milk alternative has its own unique flavor profile, so it’s best to experiment to find the one that suits your preferences.

Can I foam dairy alternatives for tea lattes?

Yes, many dairy alternatives can be frothed and used to make delicious tea lattes. Soy, almond, and oat milk are particularly good for foaming and can be used to create creamy and frothy tea-based beverages.