Latte addiction begone!
March 15, 2012 1:39 AM   Subscribe

Is there a non-sweet milky drink that can replace my latte addiction?

I'm giving up coffee, even decaf. But I'm addicted to lattes. Is there anything I can put in milk to fulfill my craving for something milky and not sweet?

I'm not a fan of drinking plain old milk. I tried making a non-sweet chai, but it turns out that spices taste terrible without some sweetness. Any other suggestions please? I'm very open to weird and exotic beverages. :-)
posted by giggleknickers to Food & Drink (30 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Cafix with milk is OK without sugar.
posted by needs more cowbell at 1:45 AM on March 15, 2012

You could drink Bovril, or "beef tea", which is a hot gravy-tasting drink. Probably less healthy than coffee though. There's also something called Choffee, which is essentially cacao beans brewed in the same way we brew coffee. But if it's the caffeine you're trying to get rid of, that won't work either, I guess. If you're open to teas, Earl Grey tastes great with milk.
posted by costanza at 2:06 AM on March 15, 2012

Rooibos tea? I think that is caffeine free and some people like it with milk.
posted by mary8nne at 2:22 AM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]

Thanks, folks. I'm a bit skeptical about tea because it's not milky enough. If I have a tall glass of milk with tea in it, I'm not going to taste the tea, right?
posted by giggleknickers at 2:37 AM on March 15, 2012

English style tea for sure. There are fine decaf black teas.
posted by rhizome at 2:38 AM on March 15, 2012

Bubble Tea?
posted by iviken at 3:01 AM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

Interesting. I looked up bubble tea and it seems to be tea with tapioca in it. I'll have a go at adding some tapioca to milk and see how that turns out.
posted by giggleknickers at 3:08 AM on March 15, 2012

I'm not sure what your reasons are for giving up coffee, so I'm not sure if a coffee substitute will work for you. Chicory essence makes a great iced 'coffee' and I assume it would work well in hot milk too.

I'm not sure which spices you used in your chai or what your tastes are but I hate any added sweetener Masala tea.

I will happily send you wattleseed if you wanted to make a latte with that. It tastes like a combo of coffee+chocolate+hazelnut. I haven't tried it myself but I have read other accounts. Just say the word!
posted by Trivia Newton John at 3:46 AM on March 15, 2012

Almond or cashew milk with honey & cinnamon
posted by Under the Sea at 3:58 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Chocolate? Although that has many of the same properties as coffee. But unsweetened or very very lightly sweetened cocoa powder is great when warmed and mixed with good milk, and you can add spices to it like cinnamon, aniseed, cardamom or chilis.
posted by Mizu at 3:59 AM on March 15, 2012

Bubble tea is pretty sweet (it's a dessert really), and the tapioca is not the kind used in pies and tapioca pudding. They are about the size of marbles, like this one and are a combination of tapioca and brown sugar. The tapioca itself is sweet but flavorless, and all the flavor in the drink comes from the milk, flavors, and sugar added to it. One bubble tea is about 300 calories, if you are watching those.
posted by Houstonian at 4:01 AM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]

Also, do you know about steamers? They're basically just a latte without the coffee, and most people put some kind of syrup flavor in them. My preference is honey, though. But people often just suffice with cinnamon and nutmeg and call it a drink. Also once memorably I had a steamer with a shot of barley tea, which was fantastic.
posted by Mizu at 4:04 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Warmed vanilla almond milk with a little bit of garam masala thrown in.
Spicy, warm, sweet GOODNESS.
posted by THAT William Mize at 4:09 AM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

Matcha latte?
posted by Ian Scuffling at 4:19 AM on March 15, 2012

Whiskey? Milk and whiskey is a drink right? Although If you are trying to cut out Caffeine I doubt you want alcohol.

Bubble teas are very very sweet. And actually not that milky. - not as milky as a Latte.

I don't usually drink Milk by itself much - but i quite like a glass of Soy Milk sometimes with savoury Asian Foods. I used to have one at this taiwanese restaurant with a spicy noodle soup.

on the Rooibos tea. - I imagine you could steep the tea for a long time in a small amount of water before adding your warmed milk, but it still probably will not be as strong as coffee.

Here in the Netherlands some cafes serve an Orange Juice / Buttermilk mixture that is rather tasty and more tangy than sweet. But its served cold.
posted by mary8nne at 4:22 AM on March 15, 2012

Seconding Ian Scuffling - I make Matcha Green Tea drinks, and love them very much. There's one I buy that's kind of like this one, in individual packets, that I can throw in my bag to have on the go - just add water. However, it does have caffeine, if that's what you're avoiding. But I like it because it doesn't make my stomach feel grungy like too much coffee does.
posted by peagood at 4:47 AM on March 15, 2012

I love warm milk and pumpkin pie spices; if you have an aerolatte you can make absolute piles of delicious milk foam. Roasted Saigon Cinnamon is great, as are sweeter cinnamons. If you have a go at milky tea again, the Red Leaf stuff (found in massive boxes at Indian and Afghani stores) tastes quite sweet to me and it's great in very milky cups.
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:47 AM on March 15, 2012

On days I don't feel like coffee but want something warm and milky I make a rooibos latte, with just under half a cup of tea and the rest frothed milk. It works best if the rooibos also has some vanilla flavouring.
posted by Joe Chip at 4:50 AM on March 15, 2012

Bonus points: it was introduced to me by a South African colleague, so it must be authentic!
posted by Joe Chip at 5:17 AM on March 15, 2012

Eastern Canadian-style tea is most properly brewed within an inch of its life and then served with a generous amount of milk - two to three times the typical amount. The colour of the tea should still be rosy, despite the large amount of milk. (It's a lot like chai in its strength, but with no spices).

When I don't want caffeine, I do this with decaf tea, but I do have trouble getting the brew to be as strong.

Note: tea sold in Canada and the UK actually is stronger than tea sold in the US. When I lived in the US, I drank Tetley's "British brew" which is exactly what they sell in Canada/UK.
posted by jb at 5:58 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

1 tea bag of Tetley's British brew to one mug of boiling water, brewed for about 4 minutes (or more) -- that should be fairly strong. But never brew with the milk already in the mug (like Tim Horton's regular tea - yuck), or the tea just won't brew strongly.
posted by jb at 6:00 AM on March 15, 2012

Unfortunately Postum has gone to the great supermarket shelves in the sky, but Ersatz claims to be a viable gluten-free alternative. (I've never tried it.)

Well I'll be darned! Someone has apparently bought the Postum trademark and is bringing it back, though it's still "coming soon" as of right now.
posted by usonian at 6:01 AM on March 15, 2012

Why not just go with a tea latte instead? I'm partial to mate lattes with soy milk and a touch of vanilla (it's not really sweet, but you could just as easily nix the vanilla; it still tastes great), but there are plenty of tea options... assuming, of course, that you like tea.
posted by divisjm at 6:07 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Another vote for tea lattes. I steep a tea bag in about 1/2 a cup of water, then add about 1 cup of warmed milk. I like earl gray, but it tastes better with a little sugar. I recently discovered Harney & Sons cinnamon tea, which has a nice sweetness without any sugar. It makes a great tea latte.
posted by apricot at 7:31 AM on March 15, 2012

Have you tried dandelion root tea? The packaged kind makes an acceptable substitute for coffee, especially if you steep several bags at once to make it stronger. It has a little natural sweetness on its own. Serve with milk, almond milk, or coconut milk and a little cinnamon.
posted by mochapickle at 8:28 AM on March 15, 2012

IF your skipping coffee then why drink tea? Tea has caffene in it also. They also stated no decaf coffee so decaf tea is out also.
posted by majortom1981 at 11:55 AM on March 15, 2012

They said that they are not drinking coffee, but not why. It could be that coffee gives them digestive trouble or another reaction that is unrelated to the caffeine content.

Or perhaps OP has given coffee up for lent.
posted by jb at 12:11 PM on March 15, 2012

I make homemade Chai tea regularly. You can poke around here for some great recipes. It's %50 milk, %50 water, with Ginger, and spices (cardamom, allspice, star anise, bay, cinnamon all optional). I use either English Breakfast, decaf, or authentic chai tea laves, which are tea leaves rolled into little balls.

Tastes nothing like the store-bought kind, so make it a few times yourself to see. Sweeten to taste. My wife hastes the taste of tea and loves my Chai.
posted by Four Flavors at 2:55 PM on March 15, 2012

By non-sweet, do you mean non-sugar? Are sugar-free things ok? If so, I have been using Torani sugar-free syrups to flavor milk. My favorite is the Salted Caramel.
posted by CathyG at 3:32 PM on March 15, 2012

posted by jefftang at 11:06 AM on April 2, 2012

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