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Hot Espresso Beverage made with Soy Milk

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Superior to Milk Based Lattes

  • Feb 26, 2009
  • by
When it comes to espresso based hot beverages...I think that Soy Lattes are the best. I do not drink soy milk on its own and I do not have an anti-dairy bias so I consider myself to be an objective latte evaluator. My reasons for asserting the superiority of the soy latte:

Most importantly,  I think that they taste better than milk lattes. Soy milk has a natural sweetness that complements the shot of espresso. I was surprised to learn (via the Starbucks website) that lattes made with soy and 2% milk have identical quantities of sugar in them. When purchasing a regular latte I find it necessary to add additional sugar to the drink. Additionally, there is a slight nutty taste that adds to the drink.

Soy milk is a bit thicker than 2% and I think that this adds a richness to the drink. If you taste test them I think you will find that the milk latte is thin and runny by comparison.

Nutritional Info*: (As compared to a 2% latte which is the default at Starbucks and many chains)
The soy latte has slightly fewer calories. There is a substantial fat difference, however. The soy latte has 4.5 grams of fat with .5 grams of saturated fat. The 2% has 7 grams of fat with 4.5 grams of saturated fat. The 2% wins on protein with 12 grams vs 9 grams for the soy. These figures assume that additional sugar is not added and as stated above, I find it necessary to add sugar to the 2% in order to achieve a commensurate level of sweetness.

A note about Foam:
I also find soy foam to be superior to milk foam. This is mainly because of the sweetness discussed above. Even when I add sugar to a milk latte, it does not get incorporated into the foam. It is also thicker and more substantial than milk foam. Ironically, the soy foam tastes like a closer cousin to whipped cream than milk foam.

Store Brand:
I prefer the Starbucks Soy Lattes to those at Peet's (the espresso taste is overpowering) and Coffee Bean (can't quite remember why as I have not purchased one from them in awhile.

While I have compared the Soy Latte to its 2% based relative, I also prefer it to mochas and other flavored espresso milk based drinks. My main concern has been taste, however the added sugar in these drinks heavily tips the nutritional debate in Soy's favor. Many people have an anti-soy bias (when at Starbucks with a friend, he referred to my drink as very "Berkeley"**) and I would encourage those who have not tried one to give it a shot.

* Nutritional info for the Grande size from http://www.starbucks.com/retail/nutrition_beverages.asp
** I did attend Berkeley

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November 25, 2009
A friend of mine was the manager of a coffee shop for a while and she swore by the soy latte. She turned a couple of her regulars into soy drinkers too. It adds a bit of flavor to the latte, though, which only really works, in my opinion, with spicier drinks. If chai is your thing, soy chai lattes are pretty great.
October 24, 2009
Great arguments for soy based lattes!  Of course though, I might be a little biased because I am, well, from Berkeley :P
October 26, 2009
Thanks for the comment! I love these things
June 13, 2009
I love soy lattes at Starbucks but also don't care so much for any of our local independent coffee shop versions. There must be a magical formula that Starbucks has discovered.
June 15, 2009
Yeah...it is strange that Starbucks' are the best. I had one the other day that tasted terrible and when I inquired, they told me that they had run out of the usual soy milk so ran to the market for a replacement. Whatever their normal soy is...that is the reason. Thanks for the comment
April 30, 2009
Thanks...I have not ventured out of latte land with respect to soy, but your suggestions sound really tasty.
April 29, 2009
Soy milk is the greatest (well not by itself, but with hot drinks)! Gingerbread Soy Steamers & Soy Lattes from Starbucks are the best (it wouldn't have the same yummi-ness with any other type of milk) and my special recipe for Moroccan Mint tea (made with soy milk & fresh mint) is absolutely delicious.. I'll have to post the recipe. Anyways, i totally agree!
More Soy Latte reviews
Quick Tip by . February 07, 2010
Just as delicious as a dairy latte, with less saturated fat.
About the reviewer

Ranked #87
I am a fan of healthy living, science fiction, the opinion page, Korean food, UCLA basketball and oatmeal.      I like to read reviews of restaurants, recipes and cooking products … more
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Hot Beverage made with Espresso and Steamed Soy Milk.
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