Why Does Almond Milk Separate in Hot Coffee?

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If you’re an almond milk drinker and you’re a coffee drinker, you definitely know the struggle. Let’s set the scene: you have your hot cup of coffee all good and ready to go, you’ve just added (maybe) a sugar or two, and you’re ready to top it off with some good ol’ almond milk. You unscrew the milk’s cap, pour it in your cup, and watch in horror as it “curdles” and splits within the cup. But, the almond milk isn’t bad, so what gives?

It Comes Down to Science

According to several sources, the main reason almond milk tends to curdle inside black coffee has to do with the temperature and acidity of the coffee. Apparently, the acid in the coffee coagulates the proteins in almond milk, a chemical reaction that’s heightened with the extreme difference in temperature of the hot coffee vs. the cold almond milk. If you let your coffee cool for a bit or heat up the almond milk, there’s a better chance that the almond milk won’t split within the coffee, but it’s not guaranteed.

So, what can you really do?

Well, you could always try making your own almond milk.  According to this recipe, if you cook your own almond milk (rather than simply heat it up), there’s a much better chance it won’t separate within your coffee. It really all comes down to the boiling involved in making your own, and honestly, for the minimal prep time/ingredients, it might be worth it.

At the end of the day, you could also just accept the fact that the milk is going to separate and know that there’s really nothing wrong with it. In a sense, it’s kind of like eating a banana with a bruise. Is the bruise attractive? No, not at all. But, will it really compromise the overall fruit experience? Probably not. The same thing goes here — if you can get over the fact that the milk has separated, you can still enjoy the overall coffee experience.