*UPDATE: For even more coffee shops serving almond milk check out this post – also includes a Google map of them all!)*
Since I pointed the finger at cow’s milk for being a potential cause of my acne and rosacea, I’ve been happily going about my life as normal. I don’t use milk on a regular basis anyway, seeing as eggs and bacon don’t usually require it. Nor do green or herbal teas. As for bulletproofing my coffee? Butter doesn’t seem to affect my skin in the slightest (likely due to the lack of lactose and casein, the possible culprits.)
The one place I miss my milk? In my cappuccinos. Now this isn’t a daily habit either (that would get expensive pretty quick) but 2-3 times a week I take my work to a coffee shop, and enjoy spooning off the foam (with chocolate sprinkles) a top my cappuccino – I love that a drink is both drinkable and eatable.
Unfortunately, there isn’t always a good dairy-free alternative for the foamy coffee treat. I won’t go into why I don’t drink soy milk here, but this sums it up better than I could anyhow.
So what are the other options? Well, almond milk, hazelnut milk, coconut milk (the thin stuff, as opposed to canned), rice milk and oat milk. These are all cropping up in health shops and even big supermarkets in the UK… but coffee shops and cafés seem to be slower on the uptake. The ones that do serve dairy and soy alternatives seem to be sticking to almond milk mostly, but I’m hoping the future means multiple milks will be available.
Another reason I can’t wait to hit NYC – apparently Dunkin’ Donuts have added almond milk to their menu!
In the meantime, I’ve been hunting down the finest dairy-free, soy-free coffee shops and cafés I could find. Leaving no coffee cup unturned, I’ve actually managed to find 8 such places, all in the cosy capital of London*.
*I’m still on the look out for similar places further afield, and hear Brighton supports the dairy-free scene, but I need to do some more investigation here! If you have any UK-wide establishments to suggest that serve dairy or soy alternatives, do get in touch! I’ll try to plan a visit and update this post.
So, without further a-moo (HA) here are my 8 places to get your cappa’s, lattés, and café au laits all without the cow or soybean juice.
1. New Row Coffee, Covent Garden
This was the first coffee shop I found that served almond milk – and not just any almond milk from the big brands. They make their own. How awesome is that? The only problem with the almond milk you find sold in cartons is the other junk they put with it (sweeteners, gums, preservatives…). But the only problem with NRC’s almond milk is… it runs out! Get in there in there bright and early to bag a homemade nut milk cuppa.
2. Matthews Yard, Croydon
My softest spot is for my hometown’s hidden gem. Seriously, this place is the flagstone for Croydon’s path toward (eventual) gentrification. I can spend hours working here; it’s huge and never gets too crowded during the week. Plus you get a good sized mug, not some piffling paper cup.
3. Moosh, Soho
More a stop ‘n’ gulp than an chill and get-your-laptop-out place, but big points for their range of protein smoothies, healthy snacks and baked goods.
4. Detox Kitchen, Soho
After discovering the Pressery online, who make cold-pressed almond milk (without the junk) and supply it to some fine establishments, I did a little looking around. DK are around the corner from Moosh, so you’ll need to flip a coin to choose (unless you go for both, and end up with a buzz fit for shopping Oxford Street like a champ).
5. Macintyre Coffee, Hoxton
Another stockist for the Pressery’s almond milk, these guys keep it simple with a shorter menu than most, with the grand choice of coffee with milk, or without. So, my cappuccino was more of a cafe au lait, but the coffee itself was quite lovely. Also the patrons are quite entertaining – you don’t forget you’re in Hoxton! I liked that I was brought water with my coffee, and the old school hip hop in the background.
6. Curio Cabal, Haggerston
You’re spoilt for choice if you’re in East London when it comes to coffee stops, and CC also serve the Pressery’s juice! It has a different vibe to MC, a little smaller, more feminine and polished. They even have avocados gowing everywhere! Unfortunately I made the mistake of going on a sleepy Sunday morning and they had run out of almond milk – though they did have some of the Pressery’s almond milk with tumeric in the fridge – amazing! Possibly not one to make a coffee with though…
7. Brooklyn Coffee, Shoreditch
I was working near here for the longest time before I decided to forego my french press and splash out on a fancy coffee. I was going to stick to black, but when I saw ‘Almond milk’ up for grabs on their coffee menu I leaped and jumped for joy. The coffee is also the best I’ve had – I’m planning on picking up some Caravan coffee beans when I’m next there. Oh and the staff are amazing, as are their gluten-free chocolate orange cookies. My loyalty card is filling up fast!
8. Healthy Cook Company, Kingston
OK – a bit of a cheat entry. They’re more of a bakery than a coffee shop, and the alternative milk here is actually Koko coconut milk! I’ve tried the milk plain before, and it really doesn’t have a strong coconut taste – perfect for creaming your coffee! They’re also a great place for gluten-free and vegan baked goods – I know where I’m ordering my next birthday cake from… or y’no, next Tuesday cake from.
So, let’s support these fine folk and the alternative milk cause! I’d love to see more options popping like these up all over.