Varieties of Milk Used by the Barista in Coffee

As a barista there is an abundance of information and knowledge which is essential for one to acquire in order to be successful and effective in the field. One of these topics, and one of the most important, is to have a clear understanding of the types of milk which are commonly used in the making of coffee drinks. Here we will discuss the many milk types and the ways they are used by the coffee maker, as well as the differences between them.

Types of milk commonly used in coffee

Rice Milk

Rice milkThis milk is made from rice and is a common preference for those who are avoiding the use of dairy products or live a vegan lifestyle. It is also excellent for those who enjoy sweet café beverages, but try to avoid refined sugars and artificial sweeteners.

Milk which is rice-based will turn any run-of-the-mill coffee into a sweet, enjoyable morning beverage without compromising your personal dietary preferences. It can be found in almost any grocery store, and is a very tasty alternative to a regular dairy milk.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is one of the most popular alternatives to traditional milk today, and is used in a variety of ways. As far as its use, it is typically popular among those who not only enjoy an option which is full of flavor, but is also free of all the fat found in cow’s milk.

It is a very tasty choice to add to coffee any time, and it is also a great option for those who avoid dairy products in general. You will find this milk to be a frequently requested option when preparing your customer’s beverages.

Skim Milk

Skim is nothing more than fat-free cow’s milk, and is often requested by those who are dieting or regularly avoid food products which contain fat as a rule. Compared to whole or lower-fat milks, skim is a bit more watery, but does indeed do the trick when it comes to adding it to caffeinated beverages.

It succeeds in cutting back on the bitter flavor which is common to espresso and other coffee forms. You will probably also find that skim is not the most popular of the milk options, but it is commonly requested.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is most often requested by those who suffer from lactose intolerance, a condition which can cause severe stomach pain, bloating, and gas. Made from soy, this milk form is one of the more commonly requested by customers, but this milk tends to curdle when added to the beverage, though not always.

Why does this occur? Coffee itself contains acid which will cause this effect when it comes into contact with soy. To simplify the issue for clearer understanding, it turns the soy into tofu so to speak. There are a few factors which contribute to this, one being the brand of soy milk being used, but there are a few things you can do which will help the matter. First, always be sure to give your container of soy milk a good shake before each use.

Next, put the milk into the cup before the coffee, and finally, when you do add the coffee do it very slowly. Practicing these steps seem to minimise the curdling effect.

Full Cream Milk

This milk addition is sweet and delicious, and you may be surprised at how often it is requested. The issue with full cream is that while it is wonderfully flavorful, it is high in fat and calorie content. While these facts motivate many to avoid its use, most who prefer it couldn’t really care less.

You will find those who are dieting, lactose intolerant, or vegan will avoid this milk form at all costs, but regardless, it is simply the perfect addition to any café beverage.

Coconut Milk

coconut milkMilk from coconut is simply made by soaking shredded coconut in water. It can be purchased already prepared, or it can be easily made fresh on site. This milk is used in a variety of ways in caffeinated beverages, both hot and cold, and is very tasty.

It is a common alternative for the vegan coffee drinker, as well as those suffering from lactose intolerance issues. This milk is versatile, and because of this it can be a fun and tasty alternative to regular milk, as well as the others listed above.


As a barista having a strong knowledge of the types of milk commonly used is essential to your success, as is knowing the ways the are used and why. Be sure to familiarise yourself with as much information as possible to ensure your success in your chosen field.

Experiment, practice, and be creative, but most of all know your customers needs and what they desire. With this, you will find yourself one of the most popular baristas around!

Varieties of Milk Used by a Barista in Coffee