You may have noticed by my twitter feed that I've been joyously sampling almond milk lattes all over the city. Just yesterday, I decided I was ready to write this post because I had one that blew all the others away!
Before I share the results, you might be wondering why almond milk? Well, I rarely drink cow dairy not only because it makes me bloated and gassy (sorry for the visual), but it has pretty much nothing left in it of nutritional value once it's been processed, homogenized, pasteurized, making it very hard to digest (may people have milk protein allergies and food sensitivities AND many people do not produce lactase - the enzyme responsible for digesting milk sugar, lactose). It's acidic, pro-inflammatory, contains no good bacteria (thanks to pasteurization) and much less calcium than you might think. Instead, eat your leafy greens, nuts and seeds to get your calcium - no joke.
I do hope the corporate cafes (ie. Starbucks) jump on the almond-milk-bandwagon, because unfermented GMO soy milk is NOT a healthy milk alternative (which is what 99% of the cafes use).
Now for the fun stuff, the results from a few cafes across the city:
Sense Appeal (Adelaide & Spadina)
Almond milk latte rating: 7.5/10
Pros: Sweet, very strong espresso taste (no bitterness present whatsoever), perfect temperature. Cons: Not quite creamy or fatty enough, tasted a bit like a skim-almond-milk latte probably due to the almond milk brand which was Silk.
The people: If you wake up grumpy, then you MUST (repeat *must*) make your way to this cafe en route to work. The baristas are happy guys (and cute!). These guys can make a Monday morning feel like a Friday afternoon. Peter, one of the owners, is a coffee bean genius and happy to educate anyone on coffee.
Other: Their pastries are all homemade and absolutely foodgasmic! Try the granola bar -- sweet, crunchy and satisfying. The pear choco croissant is ridonkulous! Translation: AMAZING. Forget parking anywhere. Walk, ride your bike or TTC it.
Merchants of Green Coffee (Queen St. East)
Almond milk latte rating: 6/10
Pros: Good foam, good quality (green, fair trade) espresso. Cons: Too watery. The milk was steamed for too long because it was way too hot. Almond milk brand: Blue Diamond. I think it's worth another try.
The people: This is one of my favourite independent cafes in the city of Toronto. Good service -- Morgan and team are always very friendly and make me feel welcome. There's a very sweet black and white cat who will purr good vibes right into you.
Other: One of the most inspiring places to work, hang out, indulge in delicious conversation with a friend. If you are a business owner like me with a flex schedule, it's the perfect work-hideaway. You want coffee experts? These guys are it. I love the atmosphere at this cafe, always good tunes playing, very comfy seats and original artwork that changes every several weeks decorate the walls. Aside from this almond milk latte which was a bit disappointing, I would give this cafe a 10/10. You can also find them at Brickworks Farmers Market on Saturdays selling their beans. Free street parking and a short walk from Queen East streetcar stop.
Broadview Espresso (Greektown)
Almond milk latte rating: 9/10
Pros: Creamy, rich, perfect thick foam, satisfying. It tasted like it was made with TLC. I've been back to this cafe several times and it's been consistency delicious. Almond milk brand: Blue Diamond. Cons: It would be a 10 if the almond milk was homemade.
The people: Mike, the owner is always available (if not too busy) for a quick chat and a friendly hello.
Other: A cute, cosy, small-ish cafe that you can get comfy with some good company and share an absolutely heavenly macaroon to go along with your almond milk latte. Parking is a bit of a pain and I say that because I got a parking ticket on two separate occasions ugh!
Mylk Uncookies (Cabbagetown, well... almost)
Almond milk latte rating: 10/10 This made me very JOYOUS!
Hands down the best almond milk latte ever. Why? Well, these ladies make their own almond milk in-house. No packaged, pasteurized almond milk can even come close to the sweet, creamy and delicious taste of homemade almond milk. The combo of sweetness from the milk and light espresso taste was heaven for my joyous taste buds. The foam was pretty and the vegan raw lucuma cookie was a the perfect compliment to top off my afternoon post-yoga snack.
The people: The lovely ladies, owners Toni and Elaine are passionate about their almond milk, very health-aware and even go as far as reco'ing their soy-loving customers try almond milk - LOVE that! This is a cafe where the healthy-foodie feels at home.
Very accessible on TTC, street parking right in front.
Their address is: 253 Gerrard Street East.
If you know of a cafe I've missed that has a great almond milk latte, please comment below as I would love to check it out and share with others.
For my readers who don't live in Toronto or close to the T.Dot, I am going to post my own personal almond milk latte recipe later this week. So stay tuned for that!
Have a joyous week!