It’s January and all of us here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company want to wish you a happy new year. Are you ready to start your resolutions? We are, too! For many, January means ‘veganuary’. But the question begs: Can vegans drink Coffee? 

In this article, we will explore all aspects of Coffee and veganism, including ‘raw veganism’, by answering some of your frequently asked questions (FAQ). If your particular question is missing, feel free to ask us. We’re always willing to help. 

So, without further ado, let’s answer once and for all “can vegans drink Coffee?”.

Can Raw Vegans Drink Coffee?

Raw veganism is, essentially, as the name suggests. It’s a subset of veganism whereby adherents not only consume food that’s free of ingredients of animal origin, but also avoid substances cooked above heats of 46-C (115-F). Meanwhile, most people like their Coffee served hot. So can raw vegans drink Coffee?

It sort of depends on your perspective. For Coffee to taste like, well, Coffee, it must first be roasted at high heat. Indeed, before roasting takes place, green Coffee beans bare little resemblance to their roasted counterparts.

This is one of the most important stages in the Coffee Process. As such, it means the very strictest of raw vegans should avoid any brews made from roasted beans.

Is Cold Brew Coffee Raw Vegan?

Those who’re a little more easygoing with their dietary requirements, however, might opt for Cold Brew Coffee. This is a beverage created by soaking roasted Coffee beans in cold or room-temperature water for 12 hours minimum. 

Although it still undergoes the same initial processing as hot brewed Coffee, the finished product is unmistakably chilled. 

What about Iced Coffee? Again, this very much depends on your perspective. When it comes to “how to make Iced Coffee?”, it’s worth noting that a hot brew is most often required before any other stage can take place.

In other words, stricter raw vegans might need to look elsewhere for their morning cuppa. Sorry for the bad news!

How to Make Vegan Iced Coffee?

Now for some good news. Although raw veganism has some limitations, options open up a little more when it comes to ‘regular’ veganism. The one and only limitation here is the milk you use.

Once you’ve decided upon the Best Dairy Free Milk for Coffee, however, you’re ready to start brewing. Follow the steps below and learn how to make vegan Iced Coffee:

Ingredients: Coffee (we recommend Colombian Coffee), Dairy-Free Milk, Ice Cubes and Sugar.

  1. Start by brewing our Colombian Coffee HOT (sorry, raw vegans!). Adding milk and ice later will inevitably dilute the beverage, so make sure it’s stronger than usual.
  2. Consider adding sugar as an optional extra before the infusion goes cold.
  3. Pour the beverage into a heat-resistant vessel.
  4. Allow it to cool to room temperature for AT LEAST an hour.
  5. Transfer it into a fridge for AT LEAST two hours.
  6. Serve in a tall glass with a few ice cubes and the desired amount of milk or cream. Be sure to STIR THOROUGHLY before drinking.

Can You Put Vegan Milk in Coffee? 

As mentioned previously, if any vegan wishes to have a cup of Coffee, they must first consider whether they want milk. While regular dairy milk is off the cards, there are, of course, other options. Indeed, there are several dairy-free milk choices worth considering, all of which have something unique to offer. 

It then becomes a question of “which vegan milk is best for Coffee?” Almond, coconut, soy, oat or hemp? Or perhaps something different altogether? The possibilities seem almost endless, which inevitably makes it immensely difficult to decide, once and for all, the ultimate milk alternative for Coffee

Vegan Milk That Could go into a Coffee

Which Vegan Milk is Best for Coffee?

But we’re going to have a crack at it all the same! One of the first port of calls is often Almond Milk, which, perhaps coincidentally, is one of the best options. This is because it boasts a distinct nutty taste well-suited to Coffee, and also rarely curdles. 

Coconut Milk is another option to think about with its sweet, floral, nutty flavour. However, it also contains high levels of saturated fat, a factor that might put off some people. Soy Milk, meanwhile, has a creamy texture but can, at times, curdle in Coffee.

Then there is Oat Milk, which, although not as well known as its counterparts, has much to offer. When added to Coffee, this alternative consists of a naturally sweet, if somewhat subtle, flavour. Finally, there is Hemp Milk, a choice that isn’t as shady as it sounds. 

While somewhat unusual in taste, Hemp Milk has a creamy texture that tends to be thicker than other milk alternatives. It won’t curdle, either, and is undoubtedly a good choice if you’re avoiding nuts and soy. And just to allay any concerns, it has no side effects associated with other components of the plant.

Is All Coffee Vegan?

Now for the Coffee Beans itself. We’ve established that there are some vegan-friendly milk alternatives for coffee to add to your favourite beverage, but is ALL Coffee vegan?

Typically, Coffeeshop brews such as cappuccinos, lattes, flat whites and cafe au laits aren’t vegan because they contain dairy milk. And while you’ll likely find milk alternatives at such establishments, you’ll almost certainly be paying more for it! 

There is always, of course, the option of making Coffeeshop-esque brews from the comfort of your home. This way, you can avoid extortionate prices while indulging in your favourite, invigorating infusions. 

Is Black Coffee Vegan?

Yes. Black Coffee will, inevitably, be your best option if you’re vegan. Less so, admittedly, if you’re a raw vegan, however, seeing as it’s most commonly served hot.

What’s more, whether you’re choosing Black Coffee, Cold Brew Coffee, Iced Coffee or any other variety, the beans must still be roasted. In other words, strict raw vegans can’t have Black Coffee the same way they can’t have any other.

But if you’re a ‘regular’ vegan, having your brew served black is an excellent choice. Best of all, here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we stock around 80 Types of Coffee!

From Brazilian to Rwandan Coffee; Pure Arabica Espresso Roast to Costa Rica Coffee, the possibilities seem endless. 

Instant Coffee Vegans

Is Instant Coffee Vegan?

Instant Coffee is a type made by either freeze-drying or spray-drying the beans. After a few other stages, this ultimately creates a powder that forms your morning cuppa with convenience in mind.

It’s the brew of choice for those who wish not to waste too much time making their Coffee.

But is Instant Coffee vegan? Yes, like Black Coffee or any Coffee to include dairy-free milk, Instant Coffee is 100% vegan-friendly. Raw vegans will again be disappointed, however, as even this type requires the roasting of the beans.

Can Vegans Drink Decaf Coffee?

Decaffeination is the process of removing caffeine from products such as soft drinks, chocolate and, of course, Tea and Coffee. Before this takes place, EVERY beverage to contain one of these ingredients has caffeine in it.

Here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we use two methods to decaffeinate our Coffee. These are the Co2 method and the water process. 

Briefly, the former method uses pressurised liquid carbon dioxide to remove caffeine, accounting for up to 98% of its content. The latter, also known as the Swiss water process, uses hot water to extract up to 96% of the caffeine molecules.

Can vegans drink decaf Coffee? Put simply, ‘regular’ vegans can while raw vegans, unfortunately, cannot. It’s all to do with the roasting. 

Conclusion Vegans Coffee

Can Vegans Drink Coffee Conclusion

Vegans have several options when it comes to their morning cuppa, including Black Coffee and Coffee with milk alternatives. While Coffeeshops can sometimes charge a small fortune for a vegan-friendly cappuccino, it nevertheless remains an option.

If you’re not willing to fork out, however, then there’s always the possibility of making such luxurious beverages at home with your own ingredients to hand. 

Cold Brew Coffee, Iced Coffee, Instant Coffee and Decaf Coffee are all also available to vegans. However, raw vegans might find a few more difficulties seeing as all beans must be heated above 46-C (115-F) during roasting.

Yet if you have a little more of a ‘liberal’ view on raw veganism, you might still have hope! One way or another, be sure to buy from us for the best quality and consistency! 

We hope this article had been useful to you if your looking to partake in veganuary or just looking for the answers to some of those burning questions.

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.