Another win for oat milk? Meet the first espresso machine with a one-touch vegan milk setting.

Tired of paying extra for vegan milk substitutes at Starbucks? Espresso machine company Breville is answering that call with a new model, the Barista Touch Impress, which has vegan milk in mind—designed so that a frothy espresso drink is just one button away from perfection.

Matthew Davis, Product Expert, Toast & Beverage, Breville USA, explained that plant-based milks have grown in popularity in the larger coffee industry and created a machine specifically designed to accommodate a variety of milk alternatives beyond traditional dairy. In the modern landscape.


“Making specialty coffee more accessible is a big part of our mission, but it also comes with the work of crafting the process drinking Coffee is more relaxed, enjoyable and less mysterious,” Davis told VegNews.

“It’s even more important as more consumers are looking to bring espresso into their home as a base ingredient and then add other ingredients to compliment it – so aim to make sure all the ‘milk’ is included in that picture,” he says.

Perfect vegan lattes, every time

Why build a completely different machine to accommodate vegan milk? This is because each milk has a variation in protein composition resulting in different results. Barista Touch Impress is equipped with AutoMilk, a technology that zeroes out these differences in latte preparation.


Davis explained that Breville narrowed down his design to focus on three vegan milks—soy, almond, and oat—from a variety of options to perfect each one based on its unique protein and fat content. Offering a setting in the beans, nuts and grains (with milk) section, Breville was able to create algorithms that combine the right amount of pressure and air with the right temperature to avoid protein loss in each milk. , help keep the perfect foam structure.

And all the user has to do is press a button to select between different milks. “Depending on that selection, the Barista Touch Impress will automatically make the necessary internal adjustments so you end up with a beautifully dense, silky, micro-foam that provides a wonderful brewing experience and, if you’re feeling it, the ability to pour some latte art. ,” Davis said.

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A longtime barista himself, Davis explains that developing the machine’s capabilities was a long process with the end consumer—who, in the modern world, swings between different milks—in mind. “It’s been a long and hard road, but we’re very excited to share our results in the form of a direct-to-consumer benefit,” Davis said.

The machine was developed to meet demand in the home espresso market for both manual and automatic coffee-making experiences, with a feedback system that helps novice baristas learn about espresso pulls and milk frothing—especially the plant-based variety.

“I’ve spent over a decade behind the bar and can speak firsthand to how difficult it can be to switch from dairy to plant-based milk because of the technique,” says Davis. “It’s really great to know that we’ve built a bridge for anyone to achieve the end product without a learning curve.”

So when does the $1,500 machine pay for itself? If you get a Grande Latte with vegan milk (a surcharge of $0.70 to $0.80 cents each) every day, that will run you between $1,588 and $1,624 per year at Starbucks.

The rise of vegan milk in coffee shops

Breville is tapping into a larger trend bubbling up at coffee counters nationwide “In 2019, major coffee retailers were reporting that 10 percent of their customers were requesting milk alternatives,” Davis said. “Now, in 2023, it’s increased to more than 20 percent.”

“We know that a growing number of consumers need or prefer a non-dairy alternative to their coffee, and as a brand obsessed with the at-home experience, we cannot ignore the urgent need for tools that provide greater accessibility within this. department,” he said.

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But what is happening at the coffee shop? Some have begun to implement oat milk as the default, both because it meets growing consumer demand for dairy-free milk and because it allows chains to drastically reduce their carbon footprint.

For example, in 2021, Blue Bottle ran an oat milk default program at three California locations and found that in three months, it was ordering 8-percent less cow’s milk. After five months, 75 percent of milk-based drink orders at its pilot cafe called for plant-based milk. This successful pilot led to the expansion of the oat milk default initiative to other Blue Bottle locations.

This year, Stumptown joined the oat milk revolution by offering it as a default. And Panera-owned chain Caribou Coffee has dropped a vegan milk surcharge to help consumers make more environmentally friendly choices.

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