Aldi Shoppers Have Noticed Something Unusual About Almond Creamer

It's been a good few years for vegans and lactose-intolerant coffee drinkers. Cafés across the U.S. have steadily increased the variety of vegan drinks offered with plant-based milks over the last decade or so, with even Starbucks now offering four options on its menu: coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk (via Starbucks Stories & News).

It's not just coffee shops that have made the lives of plant-based coffee drinkers a lot easier, however. The Plant Based Foods Association found that the sale of non-dairy milks in American grocery stores went up by 5% in 2019, accounting for 15% of all milk sales in the country. Safe to say, if it's a dairy-free milk or creamer that you're looking to add to your morning java, you're not going to have to look too far to find it.

While it may be easy to find a plant-based creamer, however, that doesn't necessarily mean that all work well in coffee. One Aldi shopper recently noticed something strange going on their coffee after they added the store's almond creamer. Posting a time-lapse video of the strange activity on Reddit, the shopper jokingly asked whether the coffee "contains a micro galaxy or a spacetime portal" and wondered what exactly was happening inside their mug.

Some horrified comments suggested maggots and tapeworms hatching in the coffee, but others had a more helpful (and likely) explanation – curdled almond creamer.

Almond milk can curdle in hot coffee

A former barista piped in on the Reddit thread and offered some insight by pointing out that almond milk — which is the base for almond creamer — is "not as homogenous as dairy milk" and so, sometimes it will react with coffee by splitting into particles that will float inside your mug. Other comments suggested that almond milk and almond creamers curdle when they're cold and then added to hot coffees, especially if the coffee is very acidic.

Some Redditors advised that the Aldi shopper swap the almond creamer with one made from oat milk or another plant-based milk that won't curdle in hot coffee so easily — but if you do have a penchant for the nuttiness that almond creamers and milks add, there are ways to prevent it from splitting and curdling in your coffee.

Cooking Light recommends adding the creamer to your cup before pouring hot coffee in slowly. This will help the milk's temperature increase gradually as you pour hot coffee over it, preventing it from curdling under the heat of the coffee. If this seems a bit too controversial, Baking Kneads suggests heating your almond milk or creamer just a little bit before you add it to hot coffee so that the temperature difference isn't great enough for the curdling effect.

If the sight of this video is enough to put you off from using almond creamers for good, Mashed has ranked 10 dairy-free creamers for you to swap in instead.