The creation of the perfect cup of tea is a divisive subject at the best of times. From the optimal brewing time to the exact order of composition, every tea lover has a routine, developed over time to achieve their ideal cuppa.
Setting aside all the variables, this intricate ritual is made all the more difficult to navigate when you’re trying to go Dairy Free.
It’s no secret that dairy is a trigger for many people’s digestive discomfort, as well as being a culprit for a host of other conditions from skin complaints to aching joints. But if you do discover Dairy is causing you to feel unwell, how do you go about replacing it and what will become of your beloved beverage?
Fortunately, food manufacturers have recognised this need and there are plenty of variations readily available – but when it comes to the perfect cuppa, which of the many milk alternatives is the most tea-riffic?
As a scientific company, we decided to do what we do best and run an experiment, drafting in some of the YorkTest staff to help. Jenna, Lydia and Jackie try to avoid cow’s milk after receiving their Food Intolerance test results. As a Vegan, Emmalene avoids all dairy products, and Sarah, our Nutritional Therapy Manager joined in, eager to discover which Dairy Free alternative would prove to be the cream of the crop.
• Yorkshire Tea
• Control Cuppa (made with cow’s milk for colour reference)
• Hemp Milk
• Coconut Milk
• Soya Milk
• Almond Milk
• Rice Milk
• Oat Milk
• 5 thirsty volunteers
We brewed 7 cups of Yorkshire tea, setting aside one to be made with cow’s milk for reference.
To ensure a fair and unbiased experiment, we added the alternative milks to the teas before inviting the participants so no-one know which mug contained which milk.
We then asked our volunteers to get stuck in and rate each cuppa for colour, aroma and taste. The results were…interesting!
SAMPLE A (Alpro Coconut Milk)
Colour 6/25 Aroma 10/25 Taste 9/25
Jenna – “There’s a strong smell of suncream coming from this one!”
SAMPLE B – (Good Hemp)
Colour 7/25 Aroma 6/25 Taste 8/25
Jenna – “Smells like Playdoh!”
SAMPLE C (Alpro Soya)
Colour 25/25 Aroma 18/25 Taste 19/25
Sarah – “This one looks and taste most like Builder’s tea – which is good for me!”
SAMPLE D – (Rice Dream Rice Milk)
Colour 5/25 Aroma 18/25 Taste 16/25
Jackie – “It looks like gravy but tastes really nice!”
SAMPLE E (Oatly Oat Drink)
Colour 9/25 Aroma 20/25 Taste 18/25
Lydia – “Smells and tastes like normal tea, but a bit bland”
SAMPLE F – (Blue Diamond Almond Breeze)
Colour 11/25 Aroma 14/25 Taste 15/25
Emmalene – “This is definitely my favourite by far”
Winner – Alpro Soya 62/75
When added to tea, the variation between the milk alternatives was quite obvious. Some decided to split and curdle, giving a grainy and unappealing appearance, whilst others blended perfectly, creating a much more convincing cuppa.
The differences in aroma and taste also varied wildly. Everyone instantly identified the distinctive smell of the coconut milk but the jury was out on Oat and Almond.
Strong contenders for first place included the Almond and Oat milks and, despite its curdled gravy like appearance, everyone agreed the tea made with Rice Dream tasted a lot nicer than it looked.
The runaway winner however on all three counts was the Alpro Soya milk – giving the best all round tea experience and was voted ‘Most Likely to Be Found in My Fridge’ by the participants.
Choose the test that’s right for you
Emily Catterall, 24: IBS
“I feel like I’m in a new body! I’m so much healthier. I can’t tell you how amazingly different I have felt since!”
Sally Gunnell OBE, 52: Energy levels
“I’m not waking up as much during the night, not as bunged up in my nose and I’ve got so much more energy”