We Tried 12 Different Oat Milks & This Was Our Favorite

For almost a year, the hippest of coffee drinkers have been buzzing about the oat milk shortage that has been ruining their morning caffeine fixes. Because Oatly was originally the only oat milk brand used by baristas, and because demand for it has been so high, drinkers have been faced with several waves of the ingredient being out of stock at their local coffee shops and online. And then, all of a sudden, Oatly was no longer the only brand in the game.
In the past few months, both Califia Farms and Silk have released their own versions of the extremely popular plant-based beverage. Additionally, brands who have been offering oat milk for a while gained more attention due to the climbing clout of this dairy-free milk. Now, there are at least five mainstream brands carrying oat milk in various flavors and blends.
While it seems that the coffee community has spoken, naming oat milk as the new favorite dairy milk alternative, there's no current consensus on which brand is the gold standard. Which of the now numerous kinds of oat milk is the tastiest in coffee?
We conducted a blind taste test of eleven oat-based products made by Silk, Pacific Foods, Oatly, Elmhurst, Califia Farms, Coffee Mate, and Planet Oat in coffee. Ahead, they're ranked from our favorite to our least favorite.
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1. Califia Farms Oat Barista Blend

With all three brands that make a barista blend — Califia Farms, Oatly, and Elmhurst — our tasters preferred them each to their regular blend counterparts. (To clarify, barista blends are meant to lend themselves better to use in specialty coffee beverages by foaming more readily, often thanks to the addition of dipotassium phosphate.) Of all the barista blends and all of the regular blends, Califia Farms Oat Barista Blend was the top favorite. All of our tasters pointed out that it was the most like actual milk. One even said, "This feels the most restaurant-quality. It tastes like what you would get with a fancy brunch."
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2. Oatly Oat Milk - Barista Edition

Oatly's Barista Edition wasn't far behind Califia Farms. The participates described its taste as "expensive," and highlighted its creamy consistency as a major draw.
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3. Califia Farms Unsweetened Oatmilk

Califia Farms' regular blend was also a top-ranked contender. All of the taste-test participants thought it was creamy and had a nice flavor, but they did point out that it separated a bit after sitting in coffee.
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4. Pacific Foods Organic Oat Beverage

Pacific Foods' Oat Beverage, which interestingly enough was actually released way back in 1996 but never made much of a stir — perhaps because it's not stocked alongside the milk in grocery stores — was a surprising front-runner among a majority of the tasters. One commented, "I like this one. It goes down easy without overwhelming the flavor of the coffee." However, its ranking wasn't unanimous. Upon taking her first sip, another taster stated, "Oh, no! It's like skim milk, and the color is terrible."
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5. Oatly Oat Milk - Original

Since Oatly has long been the oat milk of choice for many, we were a bit surprised by its middle-of-the-road ranking. No one seemed to dislike it, but it didn't seem to blow anyone's socks off either. It was described as "pretty good."
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6. Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk - Plain

Silk's plain-flavored Oat Yeah Oatmilk, which hit stores this month, didn't seem to make much of a stir either way. One taster simply said, "Meh," when asked to describe its taste. The one thing that the tasters surprisingly didn't like about this oat milk was its extreme creaminess.

A taste test participant pointed out that the Plain Oat Yeah would be a good choice for someone who is "tentative about oat milk" because of its "light, subtle flavor." Another even said, "The after taste is a bit like raw almonds, of all things." Anyone who is trying to transition from almond milk to oat milk, this milk just might be for you.
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7. Elmhurst Milked Oats - Barista Edition

Both of Elmhurst's Milked Oat beverages were ranked poorly by our taste testers. Descriptions of the newly-released Barista Edition ranged from "tastes okay" to "not so good." All of the participants pointed out that it separated quite a bit in their coffee.
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8. Elmhurst Milked Oats

Elmhurst's regular Milked Oat beverage was not a hit with our tasters. More than one brought up that it had a sweet, strangely artificial smell. One remarked, "Terrible. Tastes like shitty diner coffee."
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9. Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk - Vanilla

The least favorite among the oat milks that were tasted in coffee was the Silk vanilla-flavored Oat Yeah Oatmilk. Its flavor was described as "cloyingly sweet" and and more than one of the tasters said that it tasted like PlayDoh.
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Bonus: Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk - Chocolate

Though we didn't include Silk's chocolate Oat Yeah Oatmilk in our official ranking, we did try it out — on its own and not in coffee — just for fun. The consensus was that it wasn't bad, but it tasted too healthy to feel like an actual chocolatey treat. One taster commented that it was very similar to "a chocolate-flavored health food shake."
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Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Oat Milk Coffee Creamer - Vanilla

Also not included in the official ranking, as it was not yet released at the time of the initial taste test, is Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss' new oat milk vanilla coffee creamer. If you're a fan of regular coffee creamer, we think you'll be a fan of this as well. It's sweet, though not overwhelmingly so, and it's got a nice creamy texture. It also doesn't have a very prominent oat-y taste.
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Planet Oat Oatmilk - Original

Tasted after the initial test as well is Planet Oat Oatmilk: This new brand of oat milk comes in original, vanilla, extra creamy, and chocolate. We tried original, which had a similar texture to skim milk. If you're a fan of oat milk because it's a dairy alternative that offers the creaminess of whole milk, we'd recommend trying out the brand's extra creamy edition. As for the Planet Oat Original Oatmilk's flavor, it's extremely neutral, which is definitely a plus for those not looking for anything too oat-y.

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