Best Milk For Cappuccino (Dairy & Non-Dairy Alternatives)

Last Updated on: 20th June 2023, 05:29 pm

Are you a cappuccino lover? Do you crave the creamy texture and rich flavor of this classic Italian coffee drink, but struggle to find the perfect milk to complement its bold espresso shot? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the best dairy and non-dairy options for creating a delicious cappuccino that will satisfy your taste buds.

Firstly, let’s talk about dairy milk. When it comes to cappuccinos, whole milk is typically the go-to choice due to its higher fat content which produces a creamier foam. However, if you are looking for a lower-fat option, 2% or skim milk can also work well. It’s important to note that different brands of milk may produce varying results depending on their protein content and processing methods. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different types until you find your favorite.

Now let’s dive into some alternative milk options for those who are lactose intolerant or prefer plant-based products.

Key Takeaways

  • Whole milk is the go-to choice for cappuccinos due to its higher fat content, but 2% or skim milk can also work well.
  • Plant-based milk alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, and coconut milk are popular options, but different techniques may be required for steaming and frothing.
  • Fresh milk should always be used, and different milk brands may produce varying results.
  • Experimentation and practice can lead to finding the perfect milk for individual taste preferences, and making homemade cappuccinos allows for customization and experimentation.

What Is The Best Milk For Cappuccino?

You’re probably wondering, “What’s the best milk for cappuccino?”Well, let me tell you, it all depends on your taste preferences and dietary restrictions.

Sure, I can provide a general overview of the most common types of milk used in cappuccinos and how well they work. The suitability of each milk type may depend on personal taste preferences, dietary restrictions, and the quality of the froth, which is essential for a good cappuccino. Here’s a basic table:

Milk TypeFrothing AbilityTaste in CappuccinoNotes
Whole MilkExcellentRich, creamyConsidered the standard for cappuccinos due to its balanced fat and protein content, resulting in a creamy taste and excellent froth.
2% MilkVery GoodSlightly less richSlightly less creamy than whole milk but still froths well. It’s a lower-fat option that still provides good flavor.
Skim MilkGoodLess creamyWhile it froths well due to its high protein content, it lacks the richness and creaminess of whole and 2% milk.
Soy MilkGoodSlightly sweet, nuttyFroths reasonably well and imparts a distinctive flavor to the cappuccino. It’s a good dairy-free option for those who like its unique taste.
Almond MilkFairSlightly sweet, nuttyFrothing can be challenging and the result is often less creamy. However, it’s a popular choice for those avoiding dairy or seeking a lower-calorie option.
Oat MilkVery GoodSweet, creamyFroths very well for a plant-based milk and has a sweet, slightly oaty flavor. It has become a popular dairy-free choice for cappuccinos.
Coconut MilkFairSweet, coconuttyIt can be difficult to froth and imparts a strong coconut flavor, but it’s a good option for those who prefer its taste or are avoiding dairy.
Lactose-Free MilkExcellentRich, creamyLactose-free milk typically froths just as well as regular milk, as the lactose is the only component that’s been altered. Good for those with lactose intolerance.

If you’re looking for a dairy-free option when making your cappuccino, there are plenty of milk alternatives that can froth up nicely to create a creamy and delicious cappuccino. Some popular options include almond milk, soy milk, and coconut milk.

If you prefer fresh milk, whole or 2% works well for creating a rich foam that will hold its shape when poured over the espresso shot. Skim or low-fat milk can work too but may not produce as much foam due to its lower fat content.

It’s important to note that plant-based milks may require different techniques when steaming and frothing compared to cow’s milk. Regardless of which type of milk you choose, making a homemade cappuccino allows for customization and experimentation until you find your perfect cup of joe.

Dairy Milk Options

When it comes to dairy milk options for cappuccinos, you have two main choices: fresh whole milk and partly skimmed milk.

Fresh whole milk is the creamiest option and provides a rich, velvety texture to your cappuccino.

Partly skimmed milk, on the other hand, contains less fat and produces a lighter foam that can be easier to work with when frothing.

Fresh Whole Milk

Creamy and rich, fresh whole milk is the classic choice for cappuccino lovers who crave that traditional taste. This type of milk comes straight from the cow and hasn’t undergone any processing, making it one of the freshest dairy options available.

When using fresh whole milk in your cappuccino recipe, you can expect a velvety texture with a natural sweetness that complements the espresso beautifully.

To make the perfect cappuccino with fresh whole milk, you’ll need an espresso machine and a frother. Start by brewing a shot of espresso and set it aside while heating up your milk on low heat.

Once heated, use a frother to create microfoam, which will give your drink its signature creamy texture. Slowly pour the heated milk over your espresso shot until it’s about 2/3 full.

Then add dollop of foam to finish off your cappuccino masterpiece! Remember to always use fresh milk when making cappuccinos for best results.

Partly Skimmed Milk

If you’re looking for a lighter option for your morning cappuccino, partly skimmed milk is a great choice. This type of milk has a lower fat content than whole milk, which means it will produce less creamy froth when steamed. However, with the right techniques and equipment, you can still achieve a deliciously smooth and velvety texture that compliments the rich espresso in your cappuccino.

For those looking for milk alternatives, plant-based options such as almond milk can also be used to make frothy cappuccinos. When using almond or other non-dairy milks, it’s important to choose unsweetened varieties as these will not alter the taste of your coffee. Additionally, using a frothering pitcher specifically designed for non-dairy milks can help create better foam consistency.

With some experimentation and practice, you can create an equally satisfying cappuccino using either partly skimmed dairy milk or plant-based alternatives.

Alternative Milk Options

If you’re looking for alternative milk options for your cappuccino, there are several options available.

Almond milk is a popular choice due to its nutty flavor and creamy texture.

Oat milk is another good option that has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its smooth and slightly sweet taste.

Coconut milk provides a rich and tropical flavor, while soy milk has a creamy texture and mild taste.

Finally, rice milk is a thinner option with a subtle sweetness that can complement the espresso in your cappuccino.

Almond Milk

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how well almond milk complements the rich espresso flavors in your cappuccino. Almond milk is one of the most popular plant-based milk alternatives, and for good reason. It has a mild, nutty flavor that pairs nicely with coffee and provides a creamy texture when frothed properly.

When using almond milk in your cappuccino recipe, it’s important to choose an unsweetened variety to avoid overpowering the taste of the espresso. To achieve an optimal froth, use a high-quality frother or steam wand. Almond milk can be more challenging to froth than dairy milk due to its lower fat content, but with some practice and patience, you’ll be able to create a velvety foam that rivals traditional dairy options.

Overall, if you’re looking for a plant-based alternative that won’t compromise on taste or texture, almond milk is definitely worth trying out in your next cappuccino.

Oat Milk

Nowadays, oat milk has become a popular option for those looking to add a creamy texture to their coffee drinks without using dairy. This plant-based alternative has a mild and slightly sweet flavor, making it an excellent choice for cappuccino recipes.

If you’re curious about trying out oat milk in your cappuccino, here are three things to keep in mind:

  1. Frothing: Oat milk can be frothed just like dairy milk, but it may take a bit longer due to its thicker consistency.
  2. Texture: Oat milk tends to be creamier than other non-dairy alternatives like almond or soy milk, which makes it an ideal choice for adding richness and depth of flavor to your cappuccino.
  3. Taste: The taste of oat milk is distinct from cow’s milk but has a unique sweetness that pairs well with the bitterness of espresso.

If you’re someone who prefers non-dairy milk alternatives or follows a plant-based diet, oat milk is definitely worth considering as an option for your next cappuccino recipe. With its creamy texture and subtle sweetness, it can enhance the overall flavor profile of your drink while providing all the benefits of being dairy-free. So give it a try and see how it stacks up against other options!

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a popular choice among milk alternatives for cappuccino. Its rich and creamy texture adds a unique flavor to your morning cup. It’s important to note that not all coconut milks are created equal, so be sure to choose unsweetened varieties without added thickeners like guar gum or carrageenan.

To froth coconut milk for your cappuccino, use a high-speed blender or handheld frother. Start by heating the coconut milk in a small saucepan until it reaches around 160°F. Then, pour it into your blender or frother and blend/froth until it becomes thick and foamy.

Pour the frothed coconut milk over your espresso shot and enjoy! For an even creamier texture, try mixing coconut milk with almond milk before frothing for the perfect cappuccino recipe.

Soy Milk

If you’re looking for a creamy and plant-based option for your morning coffee, try frothing soy milk to create a velvety texture that complements the bold flavors of espresso.

Soy milk is a popular milk alternative among those who are lactose intolerant or vegan. It has a subtle nutty flavor that pairs well with coffee and can be frothed just like regular dairy milk.

To make cappuccino with soy milk, start by pouring the desired amount of soy milk into a frothing pitcher. Heat the milk until it reaches between 140-150°F, then place the frothing wand just below the surface of the soy milk and turn it on.

Move the wand in circular motions to create microfoam throughout the milk. Once you have achieved your desired level of foam, pour it over your espresso shot and enjoy! If you prefer an even creamier texture, you can also try adding almond milk froth to your cappuccino or using fresh dairy milk instead of soy.

Rice Milk

Rice milk, with its smooth and subtly sweet flavor, can be a great option for those looking to switch up their coffee routine. This milk alternative is made from milled rice and water and doesn’t contain any lactose or cholesterol. Its low-fat content also makes it an ideal choice for those watching their calorie intake.

When it comes to making cappuccino using rice milk, there are some things you need to consider. As rice milk doesn’t froth as well as fresh milk, you might not get the same level of foam that you would with regular dairy milk. To overcome this, you could try adding a little almond milk froth on top of your cappuccino made with rice milk.

Overall, if you’re looking for a tasty dairy-free option that won’t compromise the taste of your morning cup of coffee, give rice milk a try!


Congratulations! You’ve now learned about the best milk options for cappuccino. But wait, before you go off to make your perfect cup of coffee, let’s recap what we’ve covered.

Firstly, we explored different types of dairy milk that are ideal for making a creamy and delicious cappuccino. Whether it’s whole milk or skimmed milk, each has its own unique flavor and texture that can elevate your coffee experience.

However, if you’re lactose intolerant or prefer non-dairy options, don’t worry. There are plenty of alternative milk choices such as soy or almond milk that can provide the same richness and frothiness without compromising on taste.

Now that you know which type of milk suits your preferences best, it’s time to put it to use and create your ultimate cappuccino. Just remember to steam your chosen milk correctly and pour it over a well-brewed espresso shot for the perfect balance of flavors.

So go ahead and grab your favorite mug – an amazing cup of cappuccino awaits you!

Mike Shaw

Mike is a fervent aficionado of all things coffee. His journey has taken him from the verdant coffee farms of South America to the vibrant coffeehouses of Europe and many places in between. Over the years, he's delved deep into the intricate tapestry of coffee, savoring, brewing, and analyzing myriad varieties. For Mike, coffee transcends its role as a morning energizer; it's a world waiting to be explored and cherished.