Why Oat Milk is Here to Stay

With many people opting for dairy-free options in their diets, we’ve seen the popularity of dairy-alternatives rise and fall in popularity for several reasons. Although still popular, Almond milk has fallen by the wayside in recent years from the data being revealed of the negative environmental impacts of mass-producing almonds. Coconut milk still retains its untarnished title as a sustainable dairy-alternative but has garnished attention as being too thin and containing too many artificial thickeners such as xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, and sodium benzoate, to name a few. 


Consumers are hungry for the next interesting dairy-alternative that can be both good tasting and environmentally sustainable. Enter oat milk, first produced 25 years ago by Oatley, a Swedish company. The process of creating oat milk is one that retains its digestive fibers while adding plant-based fat content to create an effect like milk creamer. What does this mean for the barista at your local coffee shop? To understand what oat milk brings to the table we first have to understand what oat milk can do that other dairy-alternatives simply fail at. As stated in The New York Times article “How Oat Milk Could Change the Way You Drink Coffee”:


“Caroline Bell, co-owner of Café Grumpy in New York City, says, “We had tried soy, almond, hemp, coconut, and nothing worked with coffee.” With some varieties, you couldn’t taste the coffee; with others, the milk would curdle. The oat fibers plus the added oil in the barista edition of Oatly give the milk a thicker consistency, which produces a stable, undulating foam that will hold for a long time. The milk also contains an acidity regulator called dipotassium phosphate, which ensures that it doesn’t separate when mixed with an acidic drink like coffee. The effect is not exactly as creamy and foamy as whole milk, but it was the best-performing substitute these baristas had encountered.”


Not only is there a definitive excitement in the air surrounding the new kid on the block, but there is also a legitimate reason why it stands a cut above in comparison to other dairy-alternatives. 


Oatley recently opened its first U.S. production plant in Millville, New Jersey to make their presence known to the American market that their product is more than just hype. Since Oatley has begun a revolution in alternative milks, companies such a Califia and Silk have quickly joined in the oat milk revolution. We personally use Oat Yeah! Made by Silk at our cafe and invite you to ask one of our baristas for oat milk the next time you stop in so you can see what all the buzz is about. 

 

-Patrick McGurran