Is Norwich done with cow's milk?

Giles Hayward-Smith, barista at Strangers' Coffee

Giles Hayward-Smith, barista at Strangers' Coffee, said half of his customers now buy oat milk coffees instead of the regular stuff - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Coffee nuts across the city are turning their backs on dairy - and it's not "just the hipsters". 

Independent cafes have said they can't get their hands on enough oat milk, and are glugging through ten cartons a day. 

Strangers Coffee barista Giles Hayward-Smith said out of the 300 or so coffees he sells on a Saturday at the All Saints Green kiosk, at least half are made with oat milk.

Oat milk in coffee is becoming increasingly popular in Norwich

Oat milk in coffee is becoming increasingly popular in Norwich - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Strangers' Coffee, All Saints Green

Giles Hayward-Smith, barista at Strangers' Coffee, said half of his customers now buy oat milk coffees instead of the regular stuff - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

He said: "Oat milk has absolutely taken off. Some days it's not even 50/50. Some days we sell more oat than we do regular milk and go through about ten cartons.

"It's not even just hipsters who love it either, it's all demographics.


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"A few years ago your gran probably won't have had a clue what oat milk was, but now her drink of choice is an oat milk cappuccino. It's amazing.

"I don't know if they're just lactose intolerant, or they're doing it for the environment, but the tide is definitely turning."

Josh Reynolds at Artel pouring himself a nice glass of oat milk

Josh Reynolds at Artel pouring himself a nice glass of oat milk - Credit: Sarah Burgess

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Artel barista Josh Reynolds, who works on Norwich's London Street, said oat milk was becoming the "industry gold standard".

"It's half and half here as well", he said.

"I've been making coffee all my life and oat milk has changed the game.

"Five years ago people didn't have a clue what it was, and now there's no real reason not to drink it."

Oat milk in coffee is becoming increasingly popular in Norwich

Oat milk in coffee is becoming increasingly popular in Norwich - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

He said not only was it "delicious" but was actually better for making coffee than other non-dairy alternatives, like almond or soya, because it doesn't split.

At Merchant's House on Fye Bridge Street, barista Kyle Booley said the ratio was about 60/40.

"We have a lot of older people who come to our coffee shop. They tend to stick with normal milk, but plenty of them do have alternatives," he said.

"Out of the alternatives we do have, oat milk is miles ahead. People go for that almost every time over soya, almond or coconut.

Kyle Booley, a barista at Merchant's House,

Kyle Booley, a barista at Merchant's House, said it was more of a 60-40 diary to oat ratio among their customers - Credit: Sarah Burgess

"We sell vegan cakes as well though, so oat goes hand-in-hand with that.

"It's a lifestyle thing."

At Ancestors Coffee just down the road, the option is oat or nothing.

Ceiran Trigg said: "Oat is our house drink and has been since day one. We don't even do dairy milk."

Ceiran Trigg, at Ancestors Coffee on Magdalen Street, ONLY serves oat

Ceiran Trigg, at Ancestors Coffee on Magdalen Street, ONLY serves oat - no cow's milk - Credit: Sarah Burgess


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