try hemp milk!!! it can be a little finiky in the foam department but it has a super unique flavor to it. experament, let us know what you come up with, cheers, paulito
Samantha Bako said:What's happening when you steam it?
Soy has a place - there are some drinks that turn out better, due to the slightly sweet nuttiness it adds (unsweetened soy, that is). I've been playing with a drink with wasabi and ginger, and nori flakes, which really won't work in anything BUT soy. It's also great if you want to fiddle with tea lattes, because the water content in the soy milk allows for a pretty decent tea steep, whereas moo juice just doesn't pick up tea well at all.
It does depend on brand, though. I've noticed the soy we use in my shop doesn't want to mix with the coffee at all when it's cold. I can't remember the brand off the top of my head, but it stays really cloudy and separates out, so customers often think it's gone bad.
Some soy that I've worked with won't produce foam at all, whereas others turn out very milk-like (I once got in an argument with a customer while working at a big chain - she wanted a soy cappuccino, and I suggested a latte because I'd never had decent foam out of soy. She insisted, and lo, for some reason this company's soy actually did produce foam).
I've experimented with rice and almond milk - the rice milk wouldn't produce any foam whatsoever, and turned out really thin and watery. The almond just got incredibly nutty in flavor, in addition to also being pretty watery. Maybe others have had different experiences.
Coconut milk is fun, but it gets INTENSE, and seemed to really just accentuate sourness with the espresso.
I've found a brand with a higher fat content now that works beautifully. My original frustration came from the costco brand kirkland. I wanted to throw things it made me so mad.
And to reassure, it was not my skill that was making the soy steam badly, if anyone is still wondering. I'm trying not to be affended by that assumption.
Silk "Coffee house blend" steams pretty well. We used "regular" silk for a long time and as soon as we tried the coffee house blend we switched right away. Good tight micro-foam. You can get nice caps and even get decent latte art. As far as flavor it's pretty sweet, a lot more than normal soy milk anyway. Other than that its just like vanilla soy milk. I can only imagine some of those "baristas choice" soys are even better...never tried any though.
My cafe switched from Silk soy milk to Pacific 'Barista Series' Soy milk about a year ago, and we love it.
The fact is, soy milk is the cheapest, most practical alternative to real milk. I've messed around with rice and hemp milk (not almond milk) and they cause too many taste problems in the final drink. Rice milk seems too watery and hemp milk is very dry and sedimentary. So regarding your personal problem, it sucks, but soy milk is 'in' for now.
But that doesn't mean that, perhaps, the soy milk you're using isn't up to the task - most soy milk wasn't made to be steamed to 155. The soy we use has given us a more 'milky', foamy texture in lattes and capp's, as opposed to the Silk soy we used previously that would tend to 'bubble up' more. As soy is water based, the trick is to make it not bubble up...