- I have a dairy sensitivity and have tried all the major milk alternatives out there like soy, coconut, and almond. I like oat milk the most because it tastes great and isn’t too sugary.
- Since oat milk is pretty popular, it’s sometimes hard to find in stores or online, but I’ve always been able to find one of my favorite brands — Califia Farms — without a problem.
- I like the barista blend because it tastes great when frothed for a latte or just poured straight into my tea, and because I always find in stores and online, I’m never without it.
I’m not very lactose-tolerant, so I’ve tried any dairy-milk alternative that I can get my hands on.
Soy milk often makes me feel bloated, coconut milk makes everything taste like coconut, and almond milk can taste too thin and watery. But I’ve discovered that oat milk is an amazing substitute in my morning tea. It’s creamy, slightly sweet but not too too sugary, and overall, feels like a warm hug.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way.
The original brand that introduced this phenomenon to the US is Swedish company Oatly. People went so nuts for it that there was even a global shortage in 2018. People were paying more than $200 on the black market just to get some creamy oat goodness.
There are more oat-milk brands now, and one of my favorites is actually the one behind the best almond milk on the market (don’t argue with me on this one) — Califia Farms. It tastes great and is also always in stock wherever I shop, which is great for someone with a dairy sensitivity.
I don’t eat dairy for health reasons and I follow a mostly plant-based lifestyle, so I’m excited by the strides that plant-based meat and dairy industries have made in taste and availability. And sometimes when I try something like The Impossible Burger, or in this case — oat milk — I end up liking it more than the original anyway.
I’ve tried a few other brands of oat milk, but their versions either felt chalky or thinned out. I knew I loved Califia Farms for its almond milk, so I picked up a carton of the Barista Blend version. It was also smaller than the refrigerated version and I just wanted to try it out without fully committing.
A "barista blend," I’ve learned, is formulated to not separate and chunk up when used in a hot drink, and tastes creamier and more concentrated than the refrigerated version. This is partially due to the addition of sunflower oil which also has unsaturated fats that may help lower your cholesterol.
I also love that the Barista Blend from Califia Farms is sold in a shelf-stable carton. That means I can pop it in the fridge when I’m ready to start using it, and not have to worry about it going bad before I’ve even cracked it open.
Upon first sip, I could taste the creaminess without it being heavy. There’s a hint of sweetness from the oats, but it’s not overpowering. I like the taste so much that sometimes I just whip out the carton and chug away.
I’ve found it retains that slightly sweet taste even when frothed like I’m a latte artist, or simple just poured into my tea. Some people also use non-dairy milk for baking and cooking, and because it maintains its consistency while being a pleasantly neutral drink, I can see it going well with cookies or in soups too. But don’t take "pleasantly neutral" as a bad thing — I’ve had amazing vanilla ice cream that was more enjoyable than the chunkiest rocky road.
The only oat milk that could stand up to Califia Farms is the original — Oatly. It arguably created the market for oat milk in the first place and it tastes great objectively, but now that I’ve become a full oat-milk convert, I can’t take the risk of it being out of stock at a grocery store.
Oat milk has become a part of my daily routine now. I’ll even pay the extra $0.50 at a coffee shop to make sure it’s the dairy-milk alternative in my drink. It’s so bad that I’ve now become upset every time it’s not in my fridge.
Actually, that last part isn’t entirely true — I’ve always been able to find Califia Farms at grocery stores, supermarkets, and even online, so I know I’ll never go without my oat-milk fix.
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