Vegan Coffee 101: A Quick Guide for Beginners
Can vegans drink coffee?
Absolutely! If you are living a vegan lifestyle, which means that you do not consume animal by-products in your diet, it is safe to drink coffee! However, this does not mean that you can just drink any coffee when you walk in at Starbucks or in any other coffee shop.
Aside from coffee, your cup of Joe may contain sugar, creamer, and milk. In most instances, they are a no-no for vegans.
Fortunately, you can still enjoy your coffee. You just have to be meticulous when it comes to what goes into it.
Looking for vegan coffee in a coffee shop can be frustrating. With this, most people opt to experiment with vegan coffee recipes at home instead.
If you want to know more about vegan coffee, including how to prepare it at home, read on and learn from the insights that we will be sharing in the rest of this post.
Vegan Coffee Beans
The fundamental ingredient of any coffee is the beans. Without it, coffee will just be water. Sadly, not all beans are vegan!
Coffee beans are not always vegan. More often than not, you have to look at the label and make sure it specifies that it is 100% vegan.
It will also not hurt to ask. When you enter a coffee shop, ask for their selection of vegan coffee beans. You might just end up being surprised with the selections that will confront you!
Is Organic Coffee Vegan?
When shopping for coffee, the word organic is one thing that you will often see. Some sellers tend to misuse the word just to sell their products.
If the coffee is organic, this means that it is grown and harvested without the use of toxic chemicals that can harm both humans and the environment. This means that the beans have not been exposed to pesticides and herbicides.
However, take note that organic is not equal to vegan. The coffee might have been grown in a process that is vegan-friendly, but when it comes to its preparation and the ingredients used when it is consumed, this is where it is possible that it is no longer vegan.
Take note as well that being a vegan is not just all about eating foods that do not contain animal by-products. It is a philosophy, a lifestyle wherein you reject the status of animals as a commodity.
Therefore, even if coffee is organic, if it is not bird-friendly, it is not vegan!
Is Bulletproof Coffee Vegan?
In recent years, bulletproof coffee has been popular, especially amongst weight watchers. It is also believed to be beneficial for the improvement of cognitive function and energy.
In case you have been living in a cave, bulletproof coffee basically has three ingredients – coffee, butter, and oil.
If you follow the traditional recipe of a bulletproof coffee, it is not vegan because of the use of butter. However, there is a way to make this energizing coffee vegan-friendly. You just need a swap for the ingredients that are used.
Rather than using the usual butter, you should look for a vegan butter. An all-natural almond butter will do the trick, as well as other pure nut butters.
Is Espresso Coffee Vegan?
Vegans can drink espresso but not just any espresso would do. Similar to regular coffee, you need to take a look at the label and its attributes.
The espresso should not contain any animal by-products. It should have been manufactured without the exploitation of animals. It must be cruelty-free.
Looking for an espresso that will suit your vegan lifestyle? Here are some of the products worth a try, which are made in a manner that is eco-friendly and cruelty-free as well.
Other Vegan Coffee Ingredients
While beans are the fundamental ingredient in a coffee, your drink will not be complete without the others. Some people like their drink black, but there are others who also often add milk, creamer, and sugar
To each his own. But, for me, I like my coffee flavored, so I always add other ingredients, which will depend on my mood. More often than not, I go for creamer and sugar.
The milk that we often use and find in the supermarket is not vegan. They are usually taken from cow or from goat, which is why they are considered as animal by-products.
The good news is that you can find an abundance of alternatives to milk that will pair well with vegan coffee. Individual preferences will be the deciding factor when it comes to which one is the best.
Plant-based milk is the way to go. On the top of the list is soya milk, which will give the coffee a nutty flavor. It has natural oils, so make sure to keep on stirring the coffee as it can produce clumps when left for quite some time.
Coconut milk is also a common plant-based milk alternative. However, the flavor is too strong and it can be overwhelming. This can overpower the coffee.
You might also want to consider almond and hazelnut milk as alternatives. Use only a little amount as the flavor can end up being too nutty.
Here is a list of some of my personal favorites when it comes to brands of vegan milk to pair with your coffee. Try them out and see if their flavor suits your palate.
Vegan Coffee Creamers
Personally, I love my coffee creamy. There is something indulgent over having a creamy foam pass from my lips to my tongue. It just makes coffee so much better!
Creamer is a good add-on to coffee providing many benefits to your drinks. It makes the liquid thicker, basically because of the fat. It gives it a unique velvety smoothness.
Take note that creamers are not vegan. Thankfully, you will have a lot of options on the market if you want a vegan creamer.
Make your coffee thick and velvety with the use of the right vegan creamer. Below are some of the brands that I personally love. They provide the same effect to your coffee as non-vegan creamers.
If you wish to make vegan coffee at home, there is one thing that you should stay away from – household sugar. Sugar is not vegan.
Sugar contains bone char, which is also known as natural carbon. This makes the sugarcane white. It is made of the bones of cattle, which are imported from other countries. This is a shocking fact for most of you! This alone does not make sugar vegan at all!
To be sure that the sugar you are using is vegan, the label should say that it is char-free. To make it easier for you to choose, here are some of my personal favorite brands.
How to Make Vegan Coffee
Now that you know the ingredients that are needed in making your vegan coffee, this section will quickly tackle quick recipes that you can follow. With the basic tools, you can be a barista at home. This is also good for the budget as against to buying overpriced commercial coffee.
New Orleans Coffee
If you like chocolate and caramel, this dark-colored coffee is one thing that you will love. It is thick and rich, known for having a low level of caffeine. However, instead of coffee, it uses chicory, which is a root that has been baked, roasted, and ground
- 1Add water to your drip-style coffeemaker.
- 2In the brewing basket, put the coffee, chicory, and salt.
- 3Bring the water to a boil.
- 4Make the chicory and coffee moist by adding a splash of water.
- 5Pour half cup of water into the filter.
- 6Serve and enjoy while the coffee is still hot.
Spiced Turkish Coffee
If you do not like sweet coffee, this is a drink that will tickle your taste buds. It is for the people who have a penchant for bitterness. Milk can be added, as well as cardamom, in case the bitterness is too much for you to take.
- 1In an ibrik, a long-handled pot, combine water and sugar and wait until it boils. Alternatively, you can also use a small saucepan.
- 2Remove the ibrik from the source of heat. Add coffee and cardamom.
- 3Now that the ingredients are all together, bring it back to the heat and wait until you see foam.
- 4Remove from heat, wait for the foam to subside, and bring it back to the source of heat.
- 5Pour in a cup. Let it sit for about two minutes before finally enjoying your vegan spiced Turkish coffee.
Vegan Irish Coffee
It contains Irish whiskey, so this s for people who love two things – coffee and alcohol! In most cases, this is consumed as a way to end a hearty meal.
- 1Mix whiskey, coffee, and sugar. Keep on stirring until the solid ingredients are dissolved.
- 2Once they are perfectly blended, add whipped cream on the top. Take note, you are making a vegan version of the drink, so use only dairy-free whipped cream.
Vegan Cold Brewed
If you would rather have your coffee ice cold than hot, this is the perfect drink for you. This is especially perfect during a hot day when you need a kick of caffeine.
- 1Grind beans based on the consistency that you prefer.
- 2Add eight cups of water and stir.
- 3Allow the mixture to sit overnight or for one full day. If you want the coffee to be stronger, allow it to sit longer.
- 4Remove the grinds and store in the fridge. Add ice when you are ready to drink.
Home-made Vegan Coffee Liqueur
Similar to the Irish coffee, this is also for the people who would like to have a shot of alcohol in their caffeine.
- 1In a saucepan, put water and mix sugar. Wait until it boils. When it reaches the boiling point, lower the heat and wait for about ten minutes.
- 2Take it out from the heat and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
- 3Add vanilla extract and vodka.
- 4Keep in an enclosed bottle and store for a few days before drinking.
Coffee Machine vs Coffee Maker: What you Need to Know
For starters, let me get one thing straight – coffee maker is not the same as a coffee machine. Yes, they can both make coffee, but they do so in different ways.
The biggest difference between the two is perhaps the fact that a coffee machine uses paper filters. Coffee machines do not use paper filters. Filters are biodegradable. But, if you use them daily, you are clearly not doing something that benefits the environment.
If you want to be eco-friendly, opt for reusable coffee filters instead. Here are some of the products that I like the most.
Ordering Vegan-Coffee Friendly in a Coffeeshops
Starbucks. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Dunkin Donuts. These are just some of the most popular coffeeshops that we love. Sadly, they do not offer vegan coffee as standard drinks. Nonetheless, you can always request for it to be made using ingredients that are vegan.
Whether you are ordering a latte, cappuccino, or Frappuccino, among others, here are the basics of ordering a vegan coffee.
- 1Pick a drink from the menu.
- 2Ask to swap the milk. In most coffeeshops, they offer non-dairy milk as a substitute. If you are ordering a latte, soy will be great. Nut milks can also be great, although there are times when they can be overpowering.
- 3Check the syrup. Ask the barista if it is vegan. If not, ask for an alternative or just skip the syrup.
- 4Do not ask for whipped cream.
To make it easier, some of the vegan drinks to order in your favorite coffeeshops include latte with soy milk, cappuccino with almond milk, hot tea, café Americano, or plain black coffee. Better yet, tell the barista that you are vegan and see what is in store for you!
Choosing a vegan coffee is an overwhelming task. Consider the fact that it is not just all about the beans. It is the totality of all the factors that contribute to your coffee.
The creamer, sugar, and milk you are using should also be vegan. Even the things used in preparing coffee should be cruelty-free, if you really want to make an impact on the environment.
The best way to drink vegan coffee is to make it at home. You will have the freedom to customize the coffee based on how you personally like it!
Have you tried vegan coffee? Is there anything else that you would like to share? Did you enjoy reading this post? Let us know by leaving a comment below.