Oat Milk Separating In Coffee – What To Do

Many have likely encountered the unfortunate situation of having a cup of coffee ruined by curdled milk. This can give the coffee an off-putting taste, which can be incredibly disappointing after you’ve gone through the trouble of making it.

Oat milk is an excellent option to avoid this problem with dairy milk, as it is more nutritious than other milks and suitable for those with allergies and vegan diets. However, many may wonder why does oat milk curdle in coffee when it is fresh? There is a reason why you find oat milk curdling in coffee.

Luckily, it has nothing to do with freshness and more with this non-dairy alternative’s fat content. The non-dairy milk offers a thinner consistency and thus is prone to intentional curdling (unintentional curdling is from spoiled milk).

In our guide, you can learn more about why dairy milk (cow’s milk) alternatives like oat milk curdle and what you can do to prevent them. By the end, you’ll learn a few things to help you get the creamy taste and make oat milk your chosen creamer for your daily coffee. (Read Does Dunkin Have Decaf Iced Coffee)

Oat milk curdle in coffee

What is Oat Milk?

Oat milk is a plant milk, non-dairy alternative, vegan-friendly, nut-free, and lactose-free to cow milk. It is made by soaking oats in water for several hours, blending oats, and then straining the mixture to create your cow’s milk alternative.

So, this process for making homemade oat milk at home is simple. It is also simple to making oat milk good for use around the kitchen and easier to make compared to other plant-based milk.

You can include cinnamon, vanilla, and dates for a sweeter flavor. Oat milk is highly nutritious, with higher vitamin D content than cow milk, which is beneficial for bone and dental health.

It is also lactose-free, so it is good to drink oat milk for those with allergies who can’t tolerate cow’s milk. It is also beneficial for those with gastroenterological conditions like Crohn’s Disease and irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis.

Additionally, oat milk contains protein, fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B12, and riboflavin. This nutritious milk is an excellent choice for a dairy-free alternative that can be made easily in the home.

Why My Oat Milk’s Curdle in Coffee?

Oat milk curdles in coffee due to a chemical reaction caused by the acidity and heat of the beverage, not that it is spoiled milk.

The acidity level of the tea or coffee is the main factor in determining if the milk will curdle. Therefore, the combination of the acidity and the hotness of the coffee or tea results in a poor chemical reaction, causing the oat milk to curdle.

Does Oat Milk Curdle When Heated?

The curdling of oat milk results from a chemical reaction, but not all oat milk will curdle when heated. The curdling depends on the natural acid content of the milk. A good thing to remember is that oat milk is more heat-tolerant, as the nut alternative almond milk curdles in coffee as well.

How Do I Stop Curdling in Coffee?

If you’re not a fan of curdled oat milk in your coffee, there are ways to prevent oat milk curdling. It’s essential to keep in mind that not all oat milk will curdle in coffee, as the acidity levels and temperature of the coffee play a significant role. (Learn How Long Can Coffee Creamer Sit Out)

So, how do you ensure that your oat milk won’t curdle in coffee?

Here’s how to avoid curdling in your coffee:

1. Put oat milk in your cup first

You can use a few simple methods to keep your plant-based milk from curdling. Firstly, pour the milk into your mug before adding any coffee. Then, slowly pour the coffee, as this will help bring the milk temperature up to the same level as the coffee. By adding hot coffee slowly, you can stop oat milk curdling.

Tip: you may be able to use these techniques if you prefer to use soy milk or coconut milk as your creamy alternative. It is also possible to heat oat milk separately before adding coffee to stop curdling oat milk.

2. Pick Coffee Beans With Low or No Acid

If you love making coffee with high acetic acid coffee beans, you may have experienced the issue of plant-based milk curdling.

This is due to the high acidity altering the pH balance of the hot coffee when the milk is added. To resolve this problem, use coffee beans with a low or no acetic acid content. This is an easy fix, yet you may end up with a weaker-tasting coffee.

3. Make Sure Your Coffee Mug Is Clean

Many people opt for reusing their coffee mugs for convenience, but it is essential to remember to clean them. If you fail to do so, your creamy liquid could curdle due to the coffee oil residue inside the mug, increasing the hot coffee acetic acid.

This causes a reaction between the lactic acid in the oat milk and the acetic acid, resulting in the milk curdling. To prevent this, wash your mug with dish soap, white vinegar, or baking soda.

4. Avoid Using Refrigerated Oat Milk

For the best results, only use fresh oat milk. Opened milk sitting in the refrigerator for a while should be avoided, as it may be harmful and could be responsible for the curdling of oat milk in your coffee. Keep in mind that any unopened oat milk will remain good for 7 to 10 days, so it is best to finish the milk within a week.

Doing so will help you to avoid using expired milk and the potential risks associated with it. Ensure to properly store the milk in the refrigerator, as not doing so can cause it to deteriorate, resulting in a change of taste, smell, and flavor.

Curdled Oat Milk in Coffee

Is It Safe To Drink Curdled Oat Milk?

Does oat milk curdle in coffee? When using oat milk for your coffee, it is important to make sure that it is fresh.

There are two types of curdled milk: intentional and unintentional. Intentional curdled milk is milk that is fresh and has not expired, so if you drink curdled oat milk in coffee this way, it is perfectly safe, even if it doesn’t look appealing.

If you drink oat milk that is unintentionally curdled milk, it will be from expired oat milk, and this spoiled oat milk can lead to health problems. It is always best to use fresh oat milk for your coffee to avoid any issues. That way, you can enjoy your coffee with no need to worry. (Read Does A Pink Drink Have Caffeine)

Does Oat Milk Curdle in Coffee As Well As In Tea?

Although oat milk may curdle in tea, it is less likely than in acidic coffee. Every tea has a different pH, and the temperature of the tea can also impact the likelihood of oat milk curdling.

To stop oat milk from curdling, warm the oat milk before adding it to your tea.

Does Lemon Make Oat Milk Curdle?

Due to its low pH of around 2, lemon is known for its sour taste. Consequently, there is a potential that your oat milk separates when mixed with lemon, as well as other acidic fruits such as strawberries.

However, this may not be a concern if you use it for cooking or baking. People often use lemon juice to make dairy-free buttermilk or infuse strawberries into oat milk to make lactose-free strawberry oatmeal. Ultimately, the separation and curdling won’t matter once the liquid is cooked and dispersed throughout the dish.

Does Vinegar Make Oat Milk Curdle?

Oat milk can curdle if it comes into contact with vinegar, but not always. It will depend on the amount of vinegar you use and how long it sits. Also, the brand of oat milk and the freshness of your oat milk makes a difference.

Tips To Stop Oat Milk From Curdling?

Now that you are aware of why oat milk curdles, you are prepared to take the necessary steps to ensure it does not occur.

Consider these tips to help prevent oat milk from curdling:

Know Your Brand:

Starting with the correct brand of oat milk can assist in preventing curdling oat milk. Try choosing “barista” brands of oat milk instead of conventional varieties. These might serve your needs better because they have been mainly developed to resist specific circumstances.

Warm Oat milk and coffee

Warm the Milk:

When paired with something hot, cold oat milk occasionally curdles due to the abrupt shift in temperature. Before adding your oat milk to a hot beverage or liquid, consider gently warming it. Oat milk shouldn’t be heated up because doing so could change its consistency.

Add the Coffee to the Milk:

If you’re using oat milk for your coffee, you might want to warm it up a little first before adding the coffee rather than the other way around. As opposed to adding cold oat milk into a hot pot of coffee, this can temper the oat milk and prevent curdling.

Also, ensure you use less acidic coffee beans if possible.


Does Oat Milk Curdle?

Does oat milk curdle? Many oat milks can curdle similarly to regular milk, but it won’t likely hurt you. Some oat milks curdle because they aren’t fresh, but most oat milks curdle when they come into contact with anything acidic.

If this occurs, you can shake, swirl, or blend the mixture to re-emulsify everything. Otherwise, curdled oat milk won’t likely hurt you in the long run, despite looking unpleasant.

Why does oat milk curdle in coffee?

Oat milk curdles in coffee due to the coffee’s acidity. Instead, consider buying coffee that has been darker-roasted or adding oat milk to cold brew.

These coffee varieties often have less acid. If you don’t have access to it, you might want to consider warming up some oat milk before adding it to your coffee to see if it makes a difference.

Is curdled oat milk bad to drink?

Oat milk that has curdled can be harmful, but this is rare.

Can I drink curdled oat milk?

Drinking curdled oat milk is entirely safe as long as it is fresh.