For some people, the hardest part of going vegan is giving up your favorite dairy-based coffee drinks like vanilla lattes and caramel macchiatos. However, it doesn’t need to be like that – nowadays, there are plenty of vegan-friendly choices to tempt you.
Here are some of our favorite vegan coffee recipes – plus one non-coffee drink we thought was worthy of making our list.
1. Soy café au lait
Let’s start with a super easy one – easy, but totally delicious too. To make this drink, you just need soy milk, good quality instant coffee, and some vegan-friendly sugar or other sweeteners.
You can replace the soy milk with any non-dairy milk substitute of your choosing, including almond milk, coco milk etc. Of course, if you don’t like your coffee too sweet, you can skip the sweetener entirely.
Ingredients: Soy milk (or other non-dairy milk substitutes), good quality instant coffee, vegan-friendly sweetener (if required).
Instructions: Heat the soy milk (or other milk substitutes). Add the other ingredients and stir in well. Serve and enjoy!
2. Vegan iced coffee
When the weather is too hot for regular coffee and you need a refreshing brew to cool you down, iced coffee is an ideal option. As a vegan, however, there’s nothing to say you need to stick to black coffee – here’s a recipe using vegan condensed milk that is sure to hit the spot.
This recipe uses store-bought vegan-friendly condensed milk – but if you have a recipe for making your own, so much the better!
Ingredients: Water, good quality instant coffee, vegan-friendly condensed milk, ice.
Instructions: Boil enough water for one cup of coffee (or more if you want to make more) and pour it into a mixing jug. Add the vegan-friendly condensed milk and stir well (the amount of condensed milk depends on how sweet you like it – but one to three teaspoons should be about right).
Next, you have two options. You can either pour it directly over ice into a glass. The ice will cool the hot coffee but will also melt, diluting the drink.
The other choice, if you’re not in a rush and can plan ahead, is to leave the coffee mix to cool first – you can even leave it in the fridge. When you’re ready to drink it, pour the cold drink over the ice and enjoy a more concentrated, intense version of the drink.
3. Vegan Irish coffee
Sometimes we need something a little bit stronger than just a coffee, and as a vegan, you don’t need to pass up on the pleasure of a delicious, creamy – and alcoholic – Irish coffee. The key is finding a non-dairy vegan-friendly cream. Here’s how to make the drink.
Ingredients: Coffee, Irish whiskey, raw sugar, non-dairy cream.
Instructions: Brew the coffee as usual (using drip machine, French press or whichever method you prefer) and pour into a glass.
Add one shot of whiskey and add sugar according to your taste; mix well. Slowly pour the cream over the back of a teaspoon so that it floats on top of the coffee. Your vegan Irish coffee is ready to drink!
4. Vegan hot chocolate
Ok, so this is not a coffee – but we wanted to include a hot chocolate option too for those times when you feel like something a little more indulgent. So here goes, luxurious vegan-friendly hot chocolate.
Ingredients: 1 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa, 1½ tbsp dairy-free chocolate chips, coconut whipped cream, sugar or sweetener to taste. Option: vanilla or peppermint extract.
Instructions: Heat the almond milk in a saucepan (or in a cup in the microwave). Stir in the cocoa, chocolate chips, and sugar or sweetener and mix well. Add the vanilla or peppermint for extra flavor if desired. Pour into a cup (if made in a saucepan), top with coconut whipped cream to serve. If you want convenient, an auto cocoa machine can be a good choice.
5. Vegan cold brew caramel Frappuccino
Here’s a delicious recipe for another coffee drink that’s ideal for the summer months. To do it properly, you need to brew up a batch of cold brew coffee in advance – which can take up to 24 hours or longer.
If you’re in a hurry, make regular coffee and chill it in the fridge – but the result won’t be quite the same.
You’ll also need to plan ahead and make the almond milk ice cubes – but the result will be worth all the prep time.
Ingredients: Cold brew coffee, almond milk ice cubes, caramel.
Instructions: Pour half a cup of cold brew coffee into a blender and throw in some almond milk ice cubes – about another half a cup in volume. Add the caramel to taste and blend. When the mixture reaches a slushy, icy texture, it’s ready to serve. Pour out and enjoy.
6. Coconut mocha
Another luxurious coffee drink, this time made with coconut and chocolate – what a heavenly combination!
Ingredients: 5oz brewed coffee, half cup coconut milk, 3 tbsp of chocolate syrup. Toasted coconut powder and vegan-friendly hot chocolate powder to garnish.
Instructions: Set the coffee brewing in an electric drip machine (or prepare using your usual brewing method). While the coffee is brewing, heat the coconut milk in a saucepan and stir in the chocolate syrup. When the coffee is brewed, remove the coconut milk from the heat and stir in the coffee.
Serve in a glass and sprinkle the coconut powder and hot chocolate powder on top to serve. Sit back in your most comfortable chair and enjoy a decadent vegan mocha!
So many other options – time to get creative
As you can see – and as we hope these six recipes have shown – vegans can enjoy a lot more than just plain black coffee. As delicious as an espresso or a high-quality drip coffee can be, sometimes there’s no replacing something a bit more elaborate.
These recipes are just a start. Using all-vegan ingredients, you are free to create your own equally delicious coffee drinks that you and your family are sure to love.
My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Ag Ferrari, a Coffee buff. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.