Putting Alternative Milks To The Test. And The Winner Is…

I’m a simple girl with simple pleasures. As you all know, I love a good cup of coffee. I’m happy with an Instant (no snobbery here), I’m happy in a coffee shop, but I’m happiest when I’m in the comfort of my own home, cradling a nice hot cup of my own creation.

Milk has always been a foe of mine. I hated it as a child and I still hate it now, except I can make some allowances (like when it’s being made into a mac n’ cheese sauce. So in a vow to be more animal friendly and to find a solution to my life-long hatred of dairy milk, I pulled out all the stops. I tried a different, easy to buy find dairy alternative once a week for five years.

Here are the results:

Almond Milk

First up was almond milk. I’ve bought this on and off for the last few years, but ehh I just can’t get on board with it. It’s a great gateway non-dairy milk if you’re a milk diehard and apparently it is #GoodForYou but it’s just not the milk for me. The taste is okay if you want a sub-par coffee but if you want a tasty drink then move on. I’m not the best with steaming any kind of milk for coffee but almond milk loves to curdle, making it a pretty impossible task.

Coconut Milk

If you want every drink you make to taste like coconut then coconut milk is your pal. I love coconut milk but sometimes you want your coffee to taste like err, coffee and the overpowering coconut flavour is just a little bit too much. Coconut milk is your boy if you’re looking for foam that literally plonks itself on top of your coffee, which I’m going to guess, that’s not what you’re looking for.

Hazelnut Milk

Hazelnut milk has a lovely nutty taste but the sad fact is, it’s a curdler. If you don’t mind your coffee looking a little bit weird then by all means, try out Hazelnut milk. It’s not my favourite but coupled with a shot of a vanilla syrup it makes a gorgeous Sunday morning treat drink.

Oat Milk

I love oat milk more than anything else in life. That might sound over the top but right now we have one opened oat milk in the fridge and three in the cupboard just in case there’s some kind of oat milk apocalypse. I am obsessed. It’s been said that oat milk is the closest to dairy milk in taste and in that it’s actually possible to get some kind of latte art out of it.

Soy Milk

It’s the cool kid of alternative milks. If you’re in an independent coffee shop and they only have one kind of alternative milk, you can bet that it’s soy. Soy milk is frothy as hell but I’ve found it super hard to make a nice looking coffee out of it. It has a nice sweet taste but it’s just not the most exciting to make coffee with.

Overall, it’s pretty clear that oat milk is the king of non-dairy milks but there are so many alternatives out there that you’re sure to find one that you like.

Have you switched to non-dairy milk? Let me know in the comments!

Rachel x-x-x

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Berlin’s Best Coffee

My recent trip to Berlin, like my life, was coffee fuelled. I’d heard about how good the coffee scene is in Berlin so I was really excited to check out the local’s top picks and we found A LOT of amazing places that I want to share with you.

The Barn

Oh The Barn, I well and truly fell in love with you. As well as being situated across from an independent magazine shop (THE DREAM!), The Barn serves up some fantastic coffee as well as having a really lovely atmosphere, which may be in part thanks to its laptop-free areas. The Barn felt like it really had a feel of Monmouth Coffee by Borough Market in London.

When it comes to coffee, The Barn know what they’re doing and they do it well. They currently have 5 places across Berlin but we visited The Barn Cafe on Auguststrasse. It was the perfect place to enjoy reading our newly bought magazines and try out a beetroot flat white, an experience which I surprisingly would try again.

I’ve also recently found out that they do coffee subscriptions and my birthday is coming up soon if anyone is reading this…

Bonanza Coffee Roasters

Bonanza Coffee Roasters is the ‘cool kid’ of coffee shops, i.e. probably not the one for me. They currently have two coffee shops, Bonanza Coffee Heroes in Prenzlauer Berg and the coffee roasters in Kreuzberg. We visited the one in Kreuzberg, which is hidden away by the side of a petting zoo in a cute little courtyard. The interior is gorgeous, rather minimalist and also has the feel of a coffee shop in a museum, but in a good way.

The coffee was fantastic. My boyfriend gave it a solid 10/10 whereas it was a little citrusy for me, however I do know the taste of a good coffee when I err… taste it. This one just wasn’t my favourite. It’s an almost must for any coffee fans when visiting Berlin.

Röstätte 

We stumbled upon Röstätte completely by accident when we needed a break from all our wandering. We were almost ready to order our classic two flat whites when we spotted Coffee Negronis on the menu and knew we had to try them. We took them outside and sat in the sunshine sipping our cocktails, pondering life and how damn nice it was to be in the middle of Europe, enjoying every second.

After our visit I googled the coffee shop and found that it was a must-visit for coffee drinkers. A wonderful surprise find!

No Fire, No Glory

Potentially the most “German” of the coffee shops we visited was No Fire, No Glory. It had a slightly more European feel to it, rather than the coffee shops that I’m used to in England. The coffee was really good, possibly my favourite of the trip, but the menu was slightly lacking. This was mostly because their brunches weren’t super vegetarian friendly and I am rather picky so more my issue than theirs.

No Fire, No Glory is situated in Prenzlauer Berg and is worth the trip even if you’re the other side of the city.

Rachel x-x-x

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Caffeinated Thoughts

I am trying to find a coffee shop in the middle of Berlin. I’m full of pizza and beer and it’s mid afternoon and I’m starting to feel sleepy. I check my phone to see that we’ve already walked 20,000 steps and despite wanting to pack an activity into every single moment of our trip, I’m also able to acknowledge that I’d like to still be able to use my legs tomorrow so perhaps a break would be okay.

We spot a free table, so cramped that I feel like I’m almost in the plant pot next to me but I’m hopeful that the buzz of the place is a sign of good coffee. As it turns out, we’ve stumbled upon an ‘award-winning’ coffee roasters. We toy with the idea of a coffee and tonic, the newest drink to grace coffee shop menus, but eventually decide that we’re on a holiday so only a coffee Negroni will suffice. The waitress brings our drinks to us, mistakenly saying “coffee and tonic” as she puts them down. I correct her, to check that they are our cocktails and she laughs and says “sorry, that’s what I meant. You are the only ones ordering these kinds of drinks so early.” The bitter cold brew coffee takes the place of gin in the drink and it tastes so much better than any normal Negroni I’ve had.

We sit, mostly in silence but occasionally remarking on something happening in the square, sipping our drinks, taking solace in the fact that although we fly home tomorrow, we’ve made the most of every minute.

 

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A Love Like No Other: A Year of Coffee

We all know I’m quite the coffee fan. While I was decluttering my computer I decided to have a little count of all the coffees I went out for and took photos of last year. Let’s just say I could have saved a small fortune if I didn’t have this caffeine hobby…

Coffee makes me happy. I like to drink it alone. I like to drink it with friends. I like that it wakes me up and makes me feel warm. I like the nutty, bitter, smoothness of it. Sometimes I think my body might potentially be more coffee than it is blood but anyway, here’s a selection of some of the big and small moments of last year, all celebrated with a cup of coffee.

 

Rachel x-x-x

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If We Were Having Coffee…

Last month, the lovely Beth from Adventure and Anxiety tagged me in the If We Were Having coffee tag and I’ve finally got around to doing it! I love the idea of this post because it’s a chance for me to have a bit of a ramble and tell you the things I would if we were having coffee.

Read Beth’s post here!

If we were having coffee…

the first thing I would do is order a flat white. They’re my favourite because even though I’m very partial to a standard Americano with no milk, I love the slight bitterness that comes from a flat white. I’m pretty sure my blood is 90% caffeine and I’m a bit of a coffee snob so if you were ordering a latte I’d probably be judging you for basically drinking a cup of milk.

If we were having coffee…

I’d want to ask you what your favourite true crime stories are. It’s highly unlikely that I’d actually ask you, for fear of sounding like a serial killer myself, but I’d definitely want to. My favourite cases are JonBenet and the Staircase murder. (Please tell me yours in the comments!)

If we were having coffee…

I’d probably tell you that I speak 4 languages. I’m not very often proud of myself but that’s one thing I am proud of. I’d want to know what languages you know and I’d likely bore you to death about Germany.

If we were having coffee…

I’d want to know whether you’re a cat or dog person. (I’d be hoping for the latter but could cope with either answer). I’d want to know your favourite breeds and whether you have any dogs and be all soppy and swap pics.

If we were having coffee…

I’d want to talk about philosophy. Small talk isn’t really my thing so I’d want to know what you think happens after we die, why you think we’re here, your favourite philosopher, whether you really think we’ll ever reach the point of being the Übermensch, why people do the things they do, whether there actually are more dead people in the sea than on land (someone told me this once and it’s bothered me every since). Basically, I’d want to get deep with you pretty quickly.

If we were having coffee…

I’d let you do most of the talking. I’d probably cause some awkward silences but if you’re fine with that then actually do hit me up for coffee and we can talk about serial killers, books and er, coffee.

I’m tagging these 5 lovely people because I’d love to have a real life coffee with them: GwennanShannon, SrnaJosh and Lauren.

Rachel x-x-x

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