You only need to look at the menu in any Auckland cafe to see the plant-based milk movement is gaining serious momentum. Only a decade ago, vegans and the lactose intolerant basically only had the option of soy milk… maybe almond milk if the place was cutting-edge.
Now there's a huge selection to choose from: Almond, oat, coconut, rice - even hemp milk is growing in popularity. Here in Aotearoa, the plant milk market is currently valued at $76m.
Jamie Wilson, founder of 'Plant Projects', is riding the wave. On Thursday she launched a new coffee that may be music to the ears of coffee enthusiasts and baristas alike: A blend roasted especially to be made with dairy-free milk.
"Just a few years ago, the market for alternate milk were vegans, vegetarians, or those who had an intolerance to dairy. The recent numbers prove plant-based milk has moved to the mainstream," says Wilson.
I can attest to that - I eat cheese with the best of them, but an oat flat white is my coffee of choice. Hey, I'm a contradiction in terms.
Wilson says the new Plant Projects Coffee creates the perfect soy, almond, or oat milk latte. Its low acidity blend prevents the coffee and plant milk from splitting and curdling.
It also retains the punchy flavour notes through your milk choice, so you can still taste all the goodness of the coffee. Plus, the added bonus of a light acidity coffee means it is also kinder on the stomach.
"Coffee is typically created by coffee people, to be enjoyed on its own. We have roasted a coffee specifically for us plant milk people, to be enjoyed with plant milk," says Wilson.
"The perfect blend of beans creates a low acidity coffee and best flavours to ensure the smoothest of all plant milk lattes or flat whites."
Roasted in Auckland, Plant Projects coffee is 70 percent Columbian and 30 percent Ethiopian, and features notes of chocolate, caramel and orange.