Episode 9: The Milks You’re Putting In Your Coffee

For the longest time milk meant cow’s milk, but today, walk into a Starbucks, or a neighborhood cafe, ask for a coffee with milk and you’ll probably get asked “what kind of milk?” And depending where you are, that list of possible answers could include almond, oat, pistachio, macadamia, soy…the list goes on and on.

In this episode we explore the foodprints of the various options you have to make your coffee a little creamier. What are the production issues with each? What do you gain or lose by choosing one over the other? We talk to experts about dairy farming, almond farming, oat production and more— as well as coffee professionals who are shaping the landscape change in real time— all to help you get to the bottom of your coffee cup.

Available wherever you listen to podcasts.


"Whatever we do as a high-end specialty coffee community will be reverberated five years from now through the big guys. And so, Starbucks offering milk with Oatly now and nitro cold brew, whatever flavors they're offering, you may think that we look down on it, but it actually gets us excited.”

Jon Allen

Co-Founder & Creative Director, ONYX Coffee Lab

Episode Guests

Patty Lovera

Patty Lovera works on food and agriculture policy, with a special focus on animal agriculture. She helped start Food & Water Watch (FWW), serving as their Food and Water Program Director for 14 years.

Tom Philpott

At the time of recording, Tom was the food and agriculture correspondent for Mother Jones Magazine. He is now a researcher at Johns Hopkins’ Center for a Livable Future. He is the author of “Perilous Bounty: The Looming Collapse of American Farming and How We Can Prevent It.”

Anna Canning

At the time of recording Anna was the Campaigns Manager for Fair World Project. where she worked to build a more fair food system through corporate campaigns. She also co-hosted the podcast “For a Better World,” telling the stories behind everyday foods and lifting up the stories of workers, farmer leaders and advocates building a better world.

Jon Allen

Jon is the co-founder and creative director of ONYX Coffee Lab, a coffee company based in Northwest Arkansas that he started and runs with his wife Andrea. Onyx aims for “quality, truth and accountability in coffee.”

FoodPrint Tools and Articles

Resources mentioned in the episode and beyond:

Top photo by nextrecord/Adobe Stock.