This month we had a cup of chai with Lauren, founder of h.alt milk. With a creamy taste and rich silky texture, h.alt is the new hero of plant-based alternatives. Hemp milk (the h in h.alt) complements coffee just as well as any mainstream milk, with a unique taste and a texture other alt milks wish they had.
h.alt milk is also a great source of calcium, low in sugar, vegan friendly and gluten free and also comes in protein powder and seeds, making it ideal to add to just about everything.
Let's start with a bit about yourself - who are you and what are you the maker of?
My name is Lauren Chapman and I am the CEO and Founder of h.alt, Australia's first barista crafted hemp milk.
Tell us a bit about h.alt Milk, how did it all start?
I’m always searching for better ways to be healthy and in early 2020 during the first COVID lockdown I fell in love with hemp and its health benefits and started making my own hemp milk at home to go with my morning coffee. When I was unable to buy hemp milk in stores I noticed the gap in the market and thought the milk I was making at home could possibly fill it.
Fast forward 2 years we have just launched Australia’s first barista crafted hemp milk! I am really proud of the product we have created, and I believe it is the best-tasting plant milk on the market and is a great alternative for anyone looking to move away from dairy but not willing to sacrifice on taste and texture in their morning coffee.
For me, the h.alt brand is about being alternative in the way we consume and find health. There are a lot of people who want to live better but don’t know the best ways. They want alternatives and more choice, and my purpose is to make alt easy. The simple choice to take a different path and to be open to better, alternative ways underpins all I do and has been a lifelong journey for me. People are ready for different and h.alt enables the alt in all of us to flourish.
However, until now, being alt for coffee lovers has meant milks that are often too overpowering or thin. It has meant compromise when it shouldn’t.
What does an average working day look like for you?
My average working day starts with a daily huddle with my team. In this quick morning huddle, we check in on how we're feeling and let each other know what our key focus is for the day.
After this, I get into the h.alt milk van and spend the next few hours on the road visiting cafes. With a brand such as h.alt I believe you need to be interacting daily with customers to understand their needs and reactions. My afternoons are spent catching up on emails, meetings and anything else I need to do that day.
What are h.alt's greatest achievements and what are you most proud of?
Our greatest achievements to date have been seeing our product come to life ad start to show up in the alt-ist cafes across NSW & VIC. I'm also a big believer of celebrating the daily wins we have with our cafes, distributors and team.
One thing I'm most proud of is when I hear a person in front of me order hemp milk in their morning coffee or chai!
What's been the biggest challenge?
One of our biggest challenges we come up against is why coffee shops and retailers need to add another plant milk to their current line up and shleves that are already packed with varieties of almond, oat and soy milk. We know the plant milk market is growing, with the non-dairy segment having 38% penetration and is up 3.1% versus this time last year, so naturally with the size of the market growing the choices need to grow to meet different consumer needs.
I think our biggest opportunity is that we are the first to market hemp milk that has been crafted for baristas to really hero the taste of coffee. Our hero ingredient hemp has so many health benefits as well as being a carbon-negative crop, making h.alt milk a better option compared to other milks on the market.
When you've got a bit of free time, what do you like to do?
When I have some free time I like to spend it doing things that help me recharge. This is often a walk with my dog, lunch out with my husband, a yoga class or time around the house.
What coffee do you drink?
A hemp milk latte, always!
Do you have a favourite Prana Chai blend you like to brew with h.alt milk?
I am a big fan of the entire Prana Chai range and think the Prana Chai Original Blend 250g makes the perfect addition to any gift.
My favourite chai is the Prana Chai Vegan Blend. It goes great with the hemp milk and is my go-to afternoon drink after I've hit my daily coffee limit.
If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
Are you working towards anything exciting that you can share with us?
We have some exciting new products in our pipeline, however I can't quite share the details of them just yet! Stay tuned. It's safe to say that as a brand, h.alt will continue to find ways for people to find their alternative.
There's always a better choice if you look hard enough. That's what drives our work.