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Milk Substitute that tastes similar/good in Tea?

Trying to avoid dairy to see if it helps with congestion and allergies.

Coconut milk - I love coconut milk in cooking, but in tea - too coconutty
Rice milk - too thin and watery
Almond - different flavor and texture (grittier) and doesn't 'lighten' tea enough
Soy milk - I actually liked this for a while but after about a year became allergic to it :)

Any suggestions? I can't be the only one looking to replace milk.. there just doesn't seem to be anything close in taste and texture to it, when it comes to putting it in tea.

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  1. Nondairy creamer doesn't have a great health rap but that with almond milk would probably be close. I use almond milk with a little cream, to cut carbs, and it is a great combo.

      1. If you can't find a satisfactory milk substitute, how about switching to a tea that doesn't require milk? Most teas were originally made to stand alone; should be easy to find one to your taste.

        Milk was introduced to cut the astringency of teas that were broken (e.g. tea dust, rather than whole leaf), as broken leaves are more permeable and thus more liable to release bitter and tannic compounds.

        1. While not similar to milk, a squeeze of lime or lemon can cut astringency in tea.

          1 Reply
          1. Have you tried different brands of almond milk? I do find that the homemade ones can be gritty. And some almond milks taste a bit "weak." But I find Almond Breeze brand serviceable. No, it doesn't replace half and half, but I find it better than the other stuff out there. I also tend to be generous with the pour -- I make my tea stronger than usual and add about 3/4 water and 1/4 Almond Breeze.

            1. Thanks for the suggestions.

              I do drink a variety of teas and some like green and rooibos don't need milk. But there's nothing like a nice cup of black tea with milk and sugar!

              I don't seem to mind the taste of substitutes for baking, over cereal, even in coffee. However for tea, finding a replacement which doesn't overwhelm the taste of tea, and without a chalky residue, doesn't seem to be easy.

              Nondairy creamer - have tried, don't like this in tea
              So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer - will try, hopefully it's not similar to nondairy creamer
              Oat - will try it out

              5 Replies
              1. re: gemsquash

                gem, i'm curious, did you ever find an acceptable substitute? i'm off dairy right now so i picked up a container of the So Delicious Coconut Creamer to try in my morning coffee, and it's really not bad - the coconut flavor is quite subtle.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Funny, I tried So Delicious recently too as it was on sale, but it was labeled 'milk' not creamer so maybe not the same product? I thought it was ok but still no replacement for cow's milk, at least in tea (coffee has a stronger taste so I'm not so fussy there).

                  I've given up finding a good substitute, tea just doesn't taste the same without milk.

                  1. re: gemsquash

                    not the same. you got the "coconut milk beverage" in the large carton, right? the creamer comes in a smaller pint carton, and it's usually near the heavy cream in the refrigerated case.

                    this is it:

                    it's much better than the "milk" - richer, creamier more body - if you want to give it a shot.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Yes, the one I got was in a large carton and labelled milk. I'll look out for the creamer next time. It doesn't have a lot of artificial ingredients / transfats like some creamers?

                      1. re: gemsquash

                        no trans fats, and only a handful of ingredients.

                        i'm not *crazy* about the fact that it contains titanium dioxide - a common whitening agent found in fat too many commercial coconut products - but the only other things in there are organic coconut cream, dried cane syrup (sugar), and carrageenan (a thickening agent derived from seaweed).

              2. I have done what you are doing and have come to the conclusion that there is nothing like plain cows milk for black tea. All other teas are fine with lemon and coffee is fine with milk substitutes. How about cutting back your black tea consumption to one a day and have a small amount of milk with that 1 cup?

                1. How about just regular old non-dairy coffee creamer?