What Type of Milk Your Favorite Coffee Shop Uses

The quality of the coffee bean used gets a lot of credit in espresso drinks' final taste, but the most popular espresso-based drinks, the latte, and cappuccino, actually have more milk than espresso in them. So the type and the quality of the milk used are super important to the drink's flavor. In this article, we'll cover what types of milk are used to make your coffee at your favorite coffee shop and which options are available as alternatives.
What Type of Milk…Uses in their Coffee
Tim Hortons

Dutch Bros Coffee is a well-known entity in the coffee industry. As of the reports from September 2019, they boast of more than 325 coffee franchises spread across seven states within the US. From their modest start in Southern Oregon in 1992, Dutch Bros have exponentially grown their brand to emerge as one of the significant private entities owning drive-through coffee chains nationwide. The key to their tremendous achievement not only lies in delivering exceptional coffee quality but also providing a unique, upbeat ambience that caters to a broad customer base. Not settling for just domestic expansion, Dutch Bros Coffee has ventured into international markets by initiating a licensing deal with Vittoria Food & Beverage, which will be responsible for distributing their goods in the Asia-Pacific.
Provide your views on DutchBros, utilizing social media platforms with the hashtag #DutchBros. Reach out to DutchBros.com/help for any related concerns and visit DutchBros.com/expansion to stay updated with their plan for expansion.

Another two articles I've written that you'll find helpful: What Type of Cream Your Favorite Coffee Shop Uses

and Why Drinking Lattes and Cappuccinos Upsets Your Stomach

Before we get started, here is a graphic outlining the basic differences between the most popular milk types used in coffee shops. I think you'll find it helpful.

What Type of Milk Does Starbucks Use in Their Coffee?

Starbucks has seven milk options in total. The dairy milk available includes nonfat (skim) milk, 2% milk, and whole milk. Starbucks’ non-dairy options include oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk. Milk brands that Starbucks sources from include: Lucerne, Borden, Good and Gather, Dean Foods, and Oatly.

If you order a drink that contains milk such as a latte or cappuccino, it will be made with 2% milk unless another type is requested. 2% milk is the default milk used to make all tea lattes and espresso drinks except the “flat white”, which is made with two shots of espresso and steamed whole milk on top.

If you order a drink “skinny” at Starbucks, like for example a “skinny chai tea latte,” the drink will be made with nonfat (skim) milk.

Starbucks Mobile App Milk Options


You can get the exact brand of oat milk that Starbucks uses, Oatly Barista Edition Oat Milk, on Amazon here.

Combine Oatly with Starbucks Ground Coffee Pike Place Roast or Pike Place Roast Keurig K-Cups for the most Starbucks-tasting homemade coffee possible.

As a reminder, whole milk is milk that contains 3.25% fat by weight, 2% milk is 2% fat by weight, and nonfat/skim milk is milk that is 0% fat by weight (actually about 0.1%, but we round to 0).

Fun Fact: A Starbuck barista on the popular question-and-answer site, “Quora” says that his Starbucks store could go through 25 gallons of milk in a day, and that drive-through stores could hit 50 gallons of milk use on any given day!

What Type of Milk Does Dunkin Donuts Use?

Dunkin Donuts has five milk options available. Their dairy milk options are whole milk and skim milk, and their non-dairy options include almond milk, oat milk, and coconut milk. Dairy-free Dunkin coffee drinkers should be aware that all flavor swirl additives except for mocha contain dairy, and all unsweetened flavor shots are dairy free.

What Type of Milk Does Tim Hortons Use?

Tim Hortons has six milk options available. The Canadian-based coffee shop’s dairy milk options include Whole, 2% and nonfat (skim) milk. Dairy-free options are almond milk, oat milk, and coconut milk.

Tim Horton’s Almond and Soy milk are Silk brand and their Oat milk is made by Chobani.

If you’d like to make a coffee that tastes just like Tim Hortons at home, you can get a 30-pack of Tim Hortons Dark Roast K-Cups on Amazon here. Combine it with Chobani Oat Milk Barista Edition, or a Silk Almond Milk or Soy Milk Value Pack.

What Type of Milk Does Peets Coffee Use?

The dairy milk options at Peets Coffee are whole milk, 2% milk, and nonfat (skim) milk, and their non-dairy options include almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, and soy milk. Peets uses Pacific Foods Barista brand for their dairy-free milk options.

What Type of Milk Does Mcdonald's Use

Semi-skimmed, also known as 2% milk, is the only milk available at all Mcdonald's to make coffee with, although some Mcdonald's have nonfat (skim) milk available. All milk used at Mcdonald's is organic and sourced from U.K. farms.

Oat and soy milk are now available in McCafe located in Australia, but no dairy-free milks are used in United States McDonalds at the moment.

What Type of Milk Does Dutch Bros Use?

Dutch Bros has whole, 2%, nonfat (skim), and chocolate milk. They also have non-dairy options of almond, coconut, and oat milk. Dutch Bros defaults to using 2% milk to make all of their lattes and cappuccinos, but if you’d like to substitute a different type just ask and their baristas are more than happy to make it with your preference.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a Starbucks fan who has more questions about the coffee shop, I recommend you check out my article Why Starbucks Writes Your Name on the Cup

And, if you’ve never heard of a “Quad” order at Starbucks, I wrote an article all about the secret order, What Quad Means at Starbucks and How Much Caffeine is in Quad Drinks

This article was written by Josh, the founder of AngryEspresso.com. You can learn more about Josh on our About the Team page.

If you are a barista at any of the coffee shops above and notice that some of the information in this article is wrong, please contact us through any of the methods below so that we can correct it. Thank you.


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