It is rare that a dairy-free milk alternative makes headlines.
But when oat milk’s popularity surged this summer, coffee shops in major cities couldn’t keep the product on their shelves and people were paying hundreds of dollars for the substance.
While the oat milk craze still continues, it is now easier to find the milk alternative in coffee shops around D.C. that stock oat milk – which is made by soaking raw oats in water, blending the mixture and straining it – utilize the product to make lattes richer and coffee creamier, usually for an extra charge.
Many shops add a disclaimer to the menu that the oat milk option is subject to availability, but here are a few spots you can try the trend around the District:
For the weekend getaway: The Cup We All Race 4
Located in the heart of Adams Morgan at the LINE Hotel, The Cup We All Race 4 is nestled in a hotel lobby. The quaint coffee stand takes up just a small corner of the lobby, but it is the first thing you spot when you walk into the hotel and instantly feels luxurious with bright white walls and golden interior accents.
The coffee shop itself has a sleek aesthetic with greenery on the counter and shelves, hanging light fixtures and pink and yellow pastel cups that drinks are served in. For beverage options, The Cup We All Race 4 offers a variety of espresso beverages like lattes ($5), macchiatos ($3.50) and cappuccinos ($4), along with more trendy drinks like golden-milk lattes ($5) made with turmeric powder – all menu items you can add oat milk to for an extra 45 cents.
The Cup We All Race 4 stocks oat milk from Minor Figures, a United Kingdom brand made specifically for baristas and espresso beverages. Rapeseed oil added to Minor Figures’ recipe helps the oat milk blend more easily into coffee drinks and leaves a thicker consistency.
1770 Euclid St. NW.
For an all-day affair: Elle
Take the trek up to Mount Pleasant to get a taste of Elle, an all-day cafe, bakery and restaurant. With bar-style seating, brick walls and plenty of natural light, Elle is the ideal spot to stay all day, read a book or catch up on classwork with an oat milk latte.
For 75 cents, you can add oat milk to a crushed-ice latte ($4.50) or a London Fog, a latte with Earl Grey tea, your choice of milk and vanilla syrup to make the drink sweeter.
While the Pacific Foods brand that Elle serves is slightly thinner in consistency than other brands, it still easily matches the texture and flavor of its dairy counterpart.
3221 Mount Pleasant St. NW.
For a close-to-campus classic: Bourbon Coffee
Bourbon Coffee is a cozy coffee shop that roasts Rwandan coffee beans and gives off a homey feel with lounge seating and intricate woven baskets hung on the walls just off campus.
The coffee shop makes drinks in unconventional flavors like macadamia nut mocha and honey cinnamon along with special seasonal offerings like a cardamom latte ($3.85). For an extra dollar, you can swap milk in any drink for oat milk made by the brand Oatly.
Oatly, which also makes a special version of oat milk for baristas, has the creamiest consistency of all oat milk brands with a texture and viscosity that almost identically mimics regular milk.
2101 L St. NW.
For an escape from the crowd: Pluma by Bluebird Bakery
Just steps from Union Market, Pluma by Bluebird Bakery serves as an escape from the crowded, loud marketplace.
Although the shop is known for its selection of pastries, Pluma by Bluebird Bakery also offers a selection of caffeinated beverages like cold brew, lattes and Americanos.
Each drink can be amplified with Minor Figures oat milk for an extra 50 cents – one of the cheapest options in D.C. for adding a milk substitute to your caffeine fix.
391 Morse St. NE.