Coffee. A word we respond to with love and affection. Be it a treat, wake up call, winter warmer or necessity, the majority of Melbourne folk beam at the thought, smell and taste. Coffee and, well, caffeine is as much a part of Melbourne culture as is the booming popularity around health/wellness within the food industry.
Now, thanks to almond milk, latte lovers who have ditched the cow and are apprehensive about soy milk can avoid the struggle and indulge in some creamy coffee once again. Hurrah!
We are talking almond milk and almond milk lattes – the new movement in café and health culture. Much like any health food trend, though, some nut milk coffees can be a little hit and miss when it comes to taste and quality. To help you on your dairy-free path, we've sipped our way around Melbourne to bring you Melbourne's best almond milk lattes.
Monk Bodhi Dharma | Balaclava
The tinnie tiny brick walled hide-away, Monk Bodhi Dharma, is a haven for veggos and those seeking a little soul food. The baristas know their beans and let's just say when teamed with their roasted-in-house coffee, the house made nut mylk is the business. To quote Will.I.Am, the texture, flavour and quality is 'super-duper dope!' Made with love and not in the largest quantities, if you get hooked be prepared to miss the boat some days due to its popularity. The milk tastes creamy but pure and uncomplicated. Chow down on your vegan apple pancakes or raw berry granola and sit in a blissfulness of cruelty free, quality creamy, creations. Try the vegan carrot cake alongside your organic almond latte for the ultimate 'om'.
The Little Ox | Brighton
One of the lads from The Little Ox, Cameron Earl, is the creator of Almond Milk Co Melbourne. What he originally set up as a little bit of fun has now turned into a popular business among the Melbourne café scene. Almond Milk Co complements the already delicious fair-trade red star coffee that's the new rock star in health-food town. Word has spread and the demand is gaining momentum to stock the raw, natural, gluten and sugar free almond milk. It really works, as far as texture goes, in coffee. Despite tasting velvety and delicious, it does not dilute to an unpleasant watery, dark drink that leaves little to pleasure the taste buds. Quite the contrary – it is as creamy as soy milk, retains its nutty flavour when heated and goes down a treat, more so with a treat too! If you are taking away from The Little Ox, hang out near the display window of treats and we guarantee you will walk away with a companion for your coffee. Almond Milk Co Melbourne can also be bought in bottles from selected cafes or The Staple Store in Ripponlea.
Little Big Sugar Salt | Abbotsford
On trend and on point, Little Big Sugar Salt upped the health food ante on their menu, recently adding more vegan and gluten free options like the Rainbow roots salad. Add to that their house made cold pressed nut milks and you have goodness that leaves you feeling just that! You can buy their almond milk in bottles and enjoy cold, or request a warm cup of love to have or to go. The nut milk is quite sweet and definitely hits the spot. The staff are a super friendly bunch who think of everything really – from quirky personal take away cups set to make you smile, to the #selfiestation. Right here right now, the only thing better than a flat white is almond milk flat white. Get around it!
Tall Timber | Prahran
We told you the new kids on the block were finding their way around – Almond Milk Co is also stocked at Prahran's local favourite, Tall Timber. It was worth another mention due to the fact the coffee here is ranked right up there on our list; to give extra love to your caffeine hit, opt for the almond milk blend instead of cow. Go on! Vegan friends – the fig/cacao muesli can be enjoyed with almond milk now, too. Almond Milk Co is sweetened with dates, so no added sugar is all up in your grill.
Patch Cafe | Richmond
Recently opened Patch paleo cafe provides a generous menu for the paleo community and the more health conscious crew. Patch offers almond milk as well as its nutty friend, the coconut. Ex AFL footballer, PT and fit food fan Tom Davidson opened Melbourne's first paleo eatery with the intention to have fun with food in a relaxed atmosphere. So perch yourself and indulge in a little patch of paleolithic goodness. If you are unfamiliar with paleo or wondering what we are talking about, it is basically a hunter-gatherer style diet ditching grains and dairy and sticking to natural foods untouched by humans. Coffee at Patch comes direct from Code Black, Brunswick. The nut milks are fresh, free from preservatives and good for you. Win, win.
Melbourne Street Organics | Malvern
Melbourne Street Organics is a must visit for health foodies who love to Instagram a tasty raw dessert! They offer light meals, salads, raw vegan treats and take home meals, and yes you guessed it – organic homemade almond milk. They are rather nuts about it all really, offering other alternatives including activated cashew milk with walnut and hazelnut milks on rotation. You know you are getting the real healthy deal when it is coming from an organic wholefood café passionate about chemical-free sustainable produce. The organic nut milks are all fresh-pressed on site every day and it would be rude not to accompany a winter warmer latte with a treat. Go for the raw vegan caramel slice; really go for it!
Combi | Elwood
If you are a fan of chia seeds, acai and superfood smoothies over brunch, chances are you have heard of or visited Combi by now. Located in Ormond Rd Elwood, the partnership in love and in business, Penny and Anthony, opened their doors only recently with an over flow of gratitude and welcome for the community. Finding a table or chair is a challenge but once you do you are in for a treat. The chia party and other sexy smoothies are made using their house made almond mylk. True to form, their milk is organically made, fresh daily using filtered water, a nut bag and organic almonds – literally free of ANYTHING else. Add that to their organic Fairtrade coffee and you have nut milk lattes good for your soul and your stamina.
Pressed Juices | Various locations
Switching it up a little, if you a looking for a 'cold one', the Pressed Juices Espresso almond milk is a perfect post hot yoga pick me up or on-the-go energizer. Sweetened with cinnamon and dates, it is moreish and well…freakin' delicious! At $9 a pop, we suggest making it a now and then treat as the taste that hits your lips will be oh-so-addictive. Cold pressed and with a life span that does not exceed two days, you need to drink this guy quick…but we feel you will have no issues here. Nom!
Main image credit: Pinterest