Is Coffee Vegan? (Full Disclosure)

Quick Answer: Yes, coffee in its purest form is indeed vegan.

Although answers may vary. Still, coffee in its purest form is vegan because coffee beans are roasted seeds of a plant.

As I see it, no animals or animal by-products are involved in the process of making coffee.

However, the vegan stats of coffee might change in a fleeting second especially when you pour additives into that freshly made cuppa.

So, for this article, we’ll disclose other info that can help you arrive at a conclusion on whether or not coffee is vegan.

So, let’s begin!

Is Coffee Suitable for Vegans?

Yes, coffee is suitable for vegans.

Over the past few years, veganism is gaining popularity as a form of dietary lifestyle. It is the practice of avoiding consumption or usage of any product that is derived from an animal, as well as items made from animal products.

Many people embraced veganism for potential health benefits, environmental concerns, and ethical reasons.

So if you are a vegan or planning to become one, you might ask yourself what food products to avoid.

Can Vegans Drink Coffee?

Coffee is perfectly alright to consume if you are vegan.

If you’re vegan or considering becoming one, you don’t have to give up coffee.

The only component of coffee consumption that is not vegan friendly is the addition of dairy products.

But don’t worry, this is optional and replaceable with a broad selection of plant-based milk products that are not only healthier but also cruelty-free.

To Make Sure Your Coffee Is Vegan, Take Your Coffee Black!

cup of black coffee
Black coffee is not only vegan friendly but also low in calories.

Many coffee connoisseurs will tell you that the best way to experience coffee is to take it black. This brew is actually the safest choice for vegans!

Black coffee is often served with no additives, making it a suitable choice for vegans and health-conscious folks. This is because most calories in plain black coffee are sweeteners like vanilla, chocolate syrup, and milk.

One cup of ordinary black coffee made from ground beans has 2 calories, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

A fluid ounce of rich black espresso, on the other hand, has only one calorie.

The number of calories in your coffee is reduced to zero if you use decaffeinated beans. However, adding sweeteners and other additives to your coffee may add up to 700 calories per cup.

Apart from lowering calorie consumption, black coffee has several health benefits since it is high in antioxidants. It also contains higher levels of caffeine which may provide the physical and mental boost you need.

However, others prefer their coffee mixed with milk and other sweeteners. These aren’t usually vegan-friendly but don’t worry, your coffee can still be vegan by replacing the milk with other plant-based alternatives.

To know more about the amazing benefits of black coffee, click here.

Plant-Based Alternatives for Milk

If you are like me who prefers coffee sweet and milky, you might have trouble adjusting to the bitter flavor of black coffee.

That’s understandable! You can still make your coffee vegan by replacing dairy products with plant-based substitutes.

The most popular plant-based milk known to most is almond milk but it’s not your only option because there are now a variety of choices to select from.

The variation of plant-based milk differs in price and taste, but all of them are likely to be dairy-free, lactose-free, and most importantly, vegan.

So, which non-dairy milk should you explore first, and how do you make up your mind?

Let’s look at the top seven plant-based kinds of milk and their compatibility with coffee.

7 Best Plant-Based Alternatives to Milk

#1 Oat Milk

Oat milk is one of the most widely used non-dairy milk in coffee drinks. Many of the oat milk products are rich in vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and calcium.

Oat milk offers a creamy flavor similar to that of full-fat dairy milk in coffee. Plus, it makes a considerable amount of foaming that may be used to make latte art.

Potassium, which helps maintain good blood pressure levels, and iron, which is crucial for avoiding anemia, are two minerals found naturally in oats, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

If you’re on a gluten-free diet, many brands of oat milk are gluten-free, making them suitable for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. It is advisable to examine its nutritional content because various brands may have varying dietary values and gluten levels.

#2 Hazelnut Milk

Hazelnut milk has a delicious nutty taste that pairs well with coffee.

Unsweetened hazelnut milk may contain lower calories, but according to Nutritionix, a nutrition-based database, a cup of hazelnut milk (241 g) may have at least 110 calories.

Good-quality hazelnut milk will contain a higher concentration of hazelnuts, making it higher in calories and fat. However, this fat is mostly in the form of healthy monounsaturated fats.”

Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, nutrition consultant and corporate nutritionist for Foodtown Stores in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.

#3 Hemp Milk

You may have noticed the growing popularity of using hemp milk in coffee.

Hemp milk has a thin texture that dissolves quickly and has a light herbal taste. Because of its high protein content, hemp seed milk steams nicely.

Many baristas equate the taste of hemp seed milk to that of soy milk, however, the foaming of hemp seed milk may evaporate faster.

#4 Soy Milk

Soy milk has a mild flavor and a smooth, creamy texture.

It is widely available in most places, and its comparatively low cost makes it a viable option for many. One of the reasons soy milk has been a popular alternative to dairy milk in coffee is its excellent foaming ability.

There are many different kinds of soy milk on the market, and the number of calories and added sugar may vary depending on the one you choose.

#5 Rice Milk

Rice milk is obtained by combining white or brown rice with water. It has a light texture that lets the taste of coffee overpower its flavor.

As the texture is very thin, the creaminess of your coffee may feel underwhelming for some. However, I consider this the best option for anyone opting for hypoallergenic alternatives instead of other non-dairy milk with nuts and soy.

#6 Cashew Milk

Cashew milk has a creamy texture and it resembles the taste of dairy milk. It has a sweeter, less nutty flavor than other kinds of nut milk.

This plant-based drink is rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Consuming these fats in place of less healthy ones may decrease your risk of heart disease.

#7 Pea Milk

Pea milk has a higher protein level than other non-dairy options, and it also has a good amount of potassium.

Many people consider pea milk to be the finest alternative for dairy milk. This non-dairy milk has a smooth, neutral flavor that doesn’t taste like peas and doesn’t consist of vegetable aftertaste.

Is Coffee With Almond Milk Vegan?

Yes, coffee with almond milk is definitely vegan.

Almond milk is one of the most recognized vegan-friendly nut milk. Of course, no doubt about it pure coffee is vegan!

Coffee and almond milk are quite a good mix and you can have the latter sweetened and unsweetened which makes it a real deal-breaker for most types of coffee drinkers.

However, the taste may not be suitable for everyone because when used in coffee, I find almond milk to be a little bitter but it’s just my personal judgment. The taste might be different for you.

So, coffee being plant-based and almond milk dairy-free make a great combo for a vegan beverage!

Are Coffee Creamers Vegan?

It depends. Not all coffee creamers are vegan.

Some people prefer creamers to milk to go with their coffee. The majority of creamers, however, are dairy-based which is unsuitable for vegans.

When shopping for a vegan-friendly creamer, you must be very attentive.

Even if the creamer includes 0.5 percent milk or less, it may be labeled as “non-dairy,” but it may contain casein, which is derived from milk.

So, you better investigate a particular brand to ensure it is safe on a vegan diet.

Check out my top recommendations for vegan coffee creamers here. You should try all of them!

If you want to try making your own creamer, here’s a video that can help you.

WATCH AND LEARN: How to Make Vegan Coffee Creamer

What Types of Coffee Are Vegan?

To be safe and sure, I’d say black coffee!

In my opinion, black coffee is 100% vegan because it is free from additives that might be non-vegan.

I am honestly not sure if those creamers and artificial sweeteners from the grocery store are vegan despite their labels. So, choosing to drink a hot cup of black coffee over any kind of grand coffee seems to be the safest option.

Moreover, I have done a bit of research and I have found these other options for vegan coffees:

  • cold brewed coffee
  • vegan Irish coffee
  • vegan spiced Turkish coffee
  • coffee liqueur

Is Coffee Ethical?

One of the other significant aspects of coffee being vegan for some may largely depend on whether it is made in a sustainable manner.

Two people clicking their cups of coffee in cheers by the mountain side.
Try ethically sourced coffee for your vegan lifestyle.

To maximize income, a certain coffee farming method that involves some sort of fertilizer and chemical input is utilized to speed up the production process.

Because of the excessive use of pesticides, some vegans are concerned that their food items are unethically sourced, and this form of coffee production may harm animals and decrease the nutritious value of the soil.

If you are environmentally conscious, you may opt for organic coffee. You could search for USDA-certified organic coffee, which means the farmers who harvested it did not use any synthetic chemicals in the previous three years.

To Sum It All Up

Coffee, at its purest form, is vegan.

Made from roasted beans of a plant, coffee is 100% plant-based and therefore, vegan.

However, some additives like milk, creamer, sugars, and chocolates can alter the coffee’s composition. It may no longer be vegan when mixed with non-vegan ingredients.

Err on the side of caution by consuming your coffee black. With no additives, you can be sure your coffee is definitely vegan-friendly!

If you prefer to drink your coffee with milk, there are several plant-based alternatives to milk out there that you can try.

Now, off you go to enjoy your vegan coffee!

Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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