We put branded products to the test so you know which ones to look out for. This month, we tried different types of oat milk to see which came out on top.
Looking for the best oat milk to buy? Read on to find the results of our oat milk taste test. Want to try other plant-based milks? Read the results of our almond milk taste test.
What is oat milk?
Soaked porridge oats are blended with filtered water (and often a dash of sea salt and oil) to make a dairy-free alternative to milk that’s ideal for use in vegan baking, eating with cereal or drinking. Oat milk is also sometimes fortified with extra vitamins and minerals and comes in different varieties: whole, semi (think of this like semi-skimmed cow’s milk), barista-style (good for foaming with a coffee machine) or UHT. With ever-increasing competition on the shelves in this area, we tried more than 20 oat milks to find the best.
How we tested
We tried the oat milks on their own and in a cup of coffee, looking for colour, consistency and creaminess.
At a glance:
- Best soya-free choice: Oatly oat drink whole, £1.95
- Best for an Americano: Califia Farms oat barista blend, £2
- Best for porridge: MOMA barista-edition oat milk, £1.55
- Best allrounder: Alpro barista oat milk, £1.80
- Best for ice coffee: Glebe Farm PureOaty barista, £1.99
- Best for foaming: Oatly oat drink barista edition, £1.75
- Best semi-skimmed milk alternative: MOMA oat original, £1.50
- Best for cereal: Jörd Nordic oat drink, £1.40
- Best for hot chocolate: Tree of Life organic oat drink, £1.90
- Best light oat milk: Plenish organic oat unsweetened, £1.75
- Best for tea: Provamel organic-bio oat, £1.99
- Best for a café au lait: Minor Figures barista oat, £1.80
The results of the best oat milk taste test
Oatly oat drink whole, £1.95/1 litre
Best soya-free choice
Creamy with a smooth consistency and rich dairy milk flavour, with no powdery aftertaste. A hint of savoury saltiness was perfect in iced coffee or desserts such as rice pudding. This was the best-tasting oat milk on test, with superior flavour and versatility. We’d happily drink it on its own and in coffee – it adds great creaminess.
Califia Farms oat barista blend, £2/1 litre
Best for Americanos
A light but silky-smooth milk with a roasted smell and sweetness that's reminiscent of a flapjack. There's added calcium and an overall dairy-like mouthfeel. It also looks and tastes the most similar to dairy milk, as it has a touch of fat – it's good in coffee, as both liquids combine well to create a tan colour.
MOMA barista edition oat milk, £1.55/ 1 litre
Best in porridge
This oat milk has a nice, sweet smell, despite being unsweetened. It's thick and creamy on its own, and slightly more brown in colour than others. This oat milk feels indulgent, and when you add it to coffee, you can taste a fine grain that is not unappealing.
Alpro barista oat milk, £1.80/1 litre
The most versatile milk, this Alpro oat milk has a roasted smell and flavour, with a velvety texture that is drawn out in coffee. Tasters thought this oat milk was the most like dairy milk, and it creates a silky, creamy froth that's good for chai lattes.
Glebe Farm PureOaty barista, £1.99/ 1 litre
Best for iced coffee
This is the sweetest oat milk of the bunch, but also resembles cow's milk the most, making it a good option for those trying to incorporate dairy-free milk into their diet. It also has a nice thickness, so it holds up well in tea, coffee and smoothies to lighten them up.
Oatly oat drink barista edition, £1.90/ 1 litre
Best for foaming
On its own, this milk has a slight chemical flavour that's not masked by its slight sweetness, which tasters found disappointing. In coffee, the chemical flavour disappears and the milk becomes a thicker, more velvety liquid that does not separate and foams up very well. It would work in a cappuccino.
Best for a semi-skimmed milk alternative
Slightly more watery than others, but this has a definite smooth, creamy oat flavour with a milky aftertaste. Great as an alternative to semi-skimmed cow’s milk in a cuppa.
Jörd Nordic oat drink, £1.40/1 litre
Best for cereal
One of the thickest milks in consistency, this is very creamy with a dash of sweetness in the aftertaste. We could imagine having this with cereal or drinking on its own.
Tree of Life organic oat drink, £1.90/ 1 litre
Best for hot chocolate
Super-sweet, this oat milk tastes like the milk left at the bottom of a cereal bowl. This oat drink has the highest percentage of oats of the group at 14%, but tasters found it a bit thin. It tends to dilute coffee, but does draw out some more bitter of notes. Tasters thought this could work well in overnight oats, thick hot chocolate or smoothies.
Best light oat milk
A no-nonsense oat milk with no oil (the only one on test to not contain oil) that's slightly more watery in consistency than others. But, it makes up for this in flavour. Fairly transparent in a glass, but great for smoothies or cereal. No artificial sweetness or chemical aftertaste, either.
Best for tea
Quite watery, but with a nice, smooth finish and no chemical aftertaste. Tastes like good-quality oats, with a refreshingly nutty flavour – a good alternative to skimmed cow’s milk if you prefer a lighter, less creamy milk for adding to teas or coffees.
Best in a café au lait
Very pale in comparison to the others, with a very milky smell. This would be great in a classic cup of coffee or to drink on its own.
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Lemon curd taste test
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Dried spaghetti taste test
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