Oat milk – Coffee’s eco-friendly companion

07.2019 / INSTANT / AUTHOR

We hear a lot about dairy’s massive environmental impact but the average consumer is unaware of how high it really is. Feeding and caring for dairy cows require thousands of litres of water. The land use needed for dairy is nine times higher than it is for any of the plant-based alternatives. Cows are also large emitters of methane, a greenhouse gas, that further contributes to global warming. 

To put our daily food choices into perspective, one cup of coffee with traditional milk has about double the carbon footprint of a cup of coffee complemented by a milk alternative. Here’s the good news: There is no need to give up your favourite latte! A number of plant-based milk alternatives not only have a considerably smaller impact on the environment, they also taste great, are packed with nutrients and complement your coffee like a charm.

Why Oat Milk?

With all these options, it can be difficult to decide what type of milk alternative to opt for. But there is reason to argue that oat milk is the way to go. Oat milk uses less water, less power, and less land than dairy milk and most other milk alternatives. One liter of dairy milk requires the use of 1,020 liters of water or 14 loads of laundry. Comparatively, one liter of oat milk only uses 48 liters of water. Other alternatives, like almond milk, require six times more water than oat milk. 

For decades, soy milk was often the only widely available milk alternative. It is still one of the most popular varieties and uses slightly less water than oat milk and a similar amount of land. However, much of the crop used for soy milk is farmed on clear-cut land in South America, resulting in the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest. Oat is grown in more temperate climates and therefore does not contribute to rainforest loss. 

Oat milk has added benefits for coffee lovers too. Since it has a naturally similar texture and creaminess to dairy milk, your flat white or cappuccino will be just as frothy if you steam oat milk for it. Some other varieties may be good for a cereal but if their water content is too high, as is often the case with nut milk, they won’t have a thick enough texture to develop the froth that will satisfy your cravings for creamy coffee.


The news is out, cappuccino & co don’t need dairy anymore to be a creamy delight. Milk alternatives, with popular varieties such as rice, soy, almond, and oat, are launching into the market, and customer curiosity is at an all-time high. The reasons for its increasing popularity range from alternative milk’s sustainability, its smaller environmental impact, health, dietary restrictions, and, of course, its delicious taste.

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