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Does Oat Milk Curdle in Coffee? (And How to Stop it)

Does Oat Milk Curdle in Coffee? (And How to Stop it)

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Oat milk is quickly becoming a popular and common alternative to regular milk. It’s vegan, and more sustainable than cow’s milk or almond milk.

There are many reasons that people like to drink oat milk, and use it in their coffee. However, oat milk can curdle in coffee. Don’t let this dissuade you from adding oat milk to your coffee, though.

Plenty of other milks are susceptible to curdling, and there are ways that you can help prevent your oat milk from curdling in your coffee cup.

What Is Oat Milk?

Rolled Oats in Wooden Bowl

Oat milk is a non-dairy alternative to regular cow’s milk. It’s vegan, which makes it great for both people who follow vegan diets as well as people who can’t drink regular milk due to dietary and health restrictions.

Oat milk is prepared with a similar method that other milk alternatives are made. All that goes into a simple oat milk recipe is oats and water.

The oats and water are blended together to create the “milk.” To make the oat milk thicker, oats can be soaked in water before they are blended together.

Often, when you buy oat milk at the store, it has other added ingredients. These added ingredients are mostly to preserve the mixture and add flavor. Many oat milks have sugar added to them, or other flavorings to make them taste sweeter.

There are a lot of health benefits to eating oats, which is part of the reason that oat milk is so popular. They are rich in fiber, protein, and various vitamins and minerals that are important to your body’s daily functions. Oat milk has less carbs than cow’s milk, too.

If you are buying oat milk for health reasons, make sure that you read the label of the oat milk before you buy it. Check the added ingredients to make sure that it doesn’t have too much sugar, and that what you are buying is actually going to be healthy for you.

Some brands and flavors of oat milk have hidden sugars, so if you are wary of your sugar intake, you’ll want to read the label.

Does Oat Milk Curdle in Coffee?

Oat Milk Cappuccino

The short answer is that yes, oat milk can curdle when you add it to your coffee. However, there are some specific circumstances in which oat milk curdles in coffee.

Most of the time, you are probably safe to use oat milk in your coffee. If you regularly use oat milk as a creamer in your coffee, you might not ever have it curdle.

The situations in which oat milk would curdle in coffee are very specific, but not rare. To make sure that your oat milk does not curdle when you add it to your coffee, there are a few things that you should be aware of before you start to regularly use oat milk as a creamer.

Why Does Milk Curdle in Coffee?

The reason that milk curdles in coffee mainly has to do with a difference in acidity. Coffee is a drink that is often high in acidity. This acid works to accelerate the aging process in the cream or milk.

If a milk is older, it has a buildup of lactic acid, which is what will eventually cause the milk to curdle even without being added to coffee.

When you add milk that has a buildup of lactic acid to coffee, which is naturally acidic, the milk is likely to curdle.

Why Does Oat Milk Curdle?

Steam From Hot Tea or Coffee

As mentioned above, oat milk seldom curdles in coffee. For oat milk to curdle, there are very specific reasons. While it is more rare, oat milk has the potential to curdle just like regular cow’s milk does. It all just depends on how acidic the coffee is, and how old the oat milk is.

Even though oat milk is plant based, and doesn’t have a buildup of lactic acid in the same way that cow’s milk does, it can still curdle when you add it to coffee. Plant based milk like oat milk functions in a similar way to regular cow’s milk.

If the oat milk that you are using is old, expired, or about to expire, it has a good chance of curdling when you add it to the acidic coffee. This is especially true when the coffee that you have brewed is more acidic than usual. Different coffees have different levels of acidity.

It’s possible that you are brewing your coffee with water that is too hot. Check the package that your coffee comes in to see if there is a recommended temperature to use when you are brewing the coffee.

Hot temperatures can make a coffee more acidic, and can make oat milk more likely to curdle when you add it to your coffee.

Is it Okay to Drink Curdled Oat Milk?

Expired Date on Bottle

When your oat milk curdles in your coffee, you might be worried about whether or not you would get sick from drinking it. However, you shouldn’t worry yourself too much.

Milk is often curdled on purpose. Curdled milk is what is used to make yogurt and cheese. So, while curdled milk might look unattractive in your coffee cup, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t safe to drink.

As long as the milk that is curdled hasn’t gone bad, you should be okay to drink it. It’s possible for milk to curdle simply because it is expired. In that case, you should not consume the milk in any way.

It’s okay to keep drinking your coffee if the oat milk has curdled. The only reason that you should not drink oat milk in your coffee is if the oat milk has already expired. This expiration date is a reminder of when your oat milk has deteriorated, and could be harmful to your health.

Then again, it’s perfectly okay to want to dump out your coffee once the oat milk has curdled in it. If you want to make sure that your oat milk does not curdle in your coffee, there are a few different things you can try to stop this from happening.

How to Stop Oat Milk From Curdling in Coffee

Two Bags of Coffee Beans

The easiest way to prevent oat milk from curdling in coffee is to make sure that you have oat milk that is fresh. Do not let your oat milk expire. If you have expired oat milk, it could be dangerous for your health, and you should throw it away and purchase new oat milk.

You should also consider how acidic your coffee is. If you have issues with milk curdling in your coffee on a regular basis, even though the milk that you are using is not expired or close to being expired, chances are that the coffee you are using is highly acidic.

Next time you are buying new coffee, try to find a roast or brand that makes their coffee less acidic.

Another way to help keep the acidity in your coffee down is to brew it at a lower temperature. Make sure that you are using the recommended temperature outlined on the bag of coffee that you are brewing.

Many machines will have settings that let you control the temperature of the water.

Intentional Curdling vs. Unintentional Curdling

Traditional Cheese Making - Curdled Milk

When you are looking into why milk might curdle in coffee, you will come across these terms. They might be a little bit misleading based on the words that are used. You would think that intentional versus unintentional would just mean whether or not you wanted to curdle the milk in the first place.

However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Intentional curdling is often a conscious effort to curdle the milk. For instance, you would want to curdle milk if you were making cheese or yogurt. It also can reference milk curdling in coffee.

While this is technically an unintentional result, it is still the product of something that you have done intentionally.

Unintentional curdling refers to milk that curdles based on something that you did not do. Most often, this is referencing milk that curdles because it is old and has expired.

Unintentional curdling is a result of leaving the milk alone for too long, and it curdles on its own, not as a result of something that you did.

Is Oat Milk Good to Use in Coffee?

Two Glasses of Oat Milk With Oats

Even though oat milk can curdle in coffee, it’s a great milk to use as a creamer. It curdles less often than other milks you might add to your coffee, which means that it is one of the best options to use if you are trying to avoid curdling.

The reasons that oat milk would curdle in coffee are very few. Most often, you would not have to worry about oat milk curdling at all.

If your oat milk does curdle in your coffee, it is likely an easy fix, and you probably won’t have to work too hard to find a solution to the problem.

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