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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

What’s the best barista milk in the UK? We tested 12 in 3 ways to find out

We took 12 of the best barista milks in the UK market and tested them in various ways to see which would win the ultimate barista milk showdown.

Alt-milk is enjoying a wave of popularity it has never known before. In the UK, The Vegan Society predicts the value of dairy alternatives will double by 2025. Plant-based milk grew thrice as much as traditional dairy in the US last year, penetrating two in five households.

Unlike traditional dairy, different plant-based milks exist for different purposes. Barista editions are specifically formulated for use in coffee. Usually, the difference between regular and barista plant-based milk is in the fat and protein content as well as the presence of emulsifiers, thickeners, and acidity regulators.

Without the latter, alt-milk tends to split in coffee, since the pH level of the beans is usually lower than that of the milk. The additives allow the milk to froth and steam as traditional dairy would. But this also means that sometimes, barista versions of plant-based milk don’t taste great on their own. Those extra ingredients are designed to suit its flavour in coffee and ability to froth, which is why I didn’t taste-test the milks plain.

The Vegan Review tested 12 of the best barista milks in the UK in three ways — how they froth, how they hold up and tastes in espresso-based hot drinks, and how they complement cold brew.

For companies making multiple kinds of barista milks, I chose only one, recommended to me by the brand itself for this review. I used a small French press for the tests, as many households don’t have access to espresso machines or electric frothers. Here’s our ultimate showdown for the UK’s best barista milk.

Frothing

This is the most common gripe people have with alt-milk. Use a steamer, handheld frother, or even a French press, it still doesn’t always froth up as well as dairy. And it’s very inconsistent.

In that sense, this was the most important test for the milks. It’s a basic requirement for any barista milk to steam and foam up as desired. Most of the plant-based milk brands in this review use certain thickeners and acidity regulators to help froth and blend with the coffee without splitting.

These tests were filmed for four-and-a-half minutes to determine how well the milk foams up, how long the froth takes to settle, how it mixes with the coffee and whether it splits.

Almond Breeze Barista

barista almond milkAlmond Breeze’s barista milk takes extra time to froth properly, but when it does, the bubbles are super small, which is exactly what you’re looking for in microfoam.

Dry foam is a common problem with home-frothing, but this almond milk doesn’t disappoint, as the foam is just the right amount of wet. It also doesn’t settle too quickly, but it does divide the foam head from the liquid. More importantly, it doesn’t split when added to the milk, as most almond milk tends to. 4/5

Alpro Barista Coconut

alpro coconut milkAlpro’s Barista for Professionals range has four milks: oat, almond, soy and coconut. I chose the latter for the test as it was recommended to me by the brand.

The coconut milk froths well, but not as much as you’d expect — this is essentially a blend of soy and coconut milk, and the protein in the soybeans help with the frothing.

While this doesn’t have a dry foam that settles too quickly, the texture is quite mousse-like. There aren’t too many large bubbles either, which helps with the consistency. 3.5/5

Califia Farms Oat Barista

califia farms oat milkCalifia Farms is primarily known for its almond milk range, but its oat milk has become increasingly popular as well.

Its Oat Barista blend froths incredibly well. Initially, there are a lot of big bubbles, but most of these settle very quickly when you tap the jug onto the surface a few times. The result is a well-developed, non-dry microfoam that resembles whole milk in texture and thickness. 4.5/5

Good Hemp Barista

good hemp milkGood Hemp is the UK’s most well-known hemp milk brand. While it does a pretty great oat and hemp blend, it’s not really made for coffee.

Its barista version is. Full disclosure: hemp milk isn’t for everyone; it’s an acquired taste, but I personally like it. The milk is slightly thicker than semi-skimmed milk, and it is astoundingly good when it comes to frothing.

There are barely any big bubbles. A light tap and it’s beautiful microfoam. While it is overly wet, that helps with the overall consistency when adding it to coffee.

The milk itself is very white in colour and has a strong hemp aroma. Out of all the barista milks in this review, Good Hemp takes the longest to settle and is the best plant-based milk for frothing. 5/5

Happy Happy Soy Boy

happy happy soy boy I’ve worked with Happy Happy Soy Boy in my days as a barista. I personally wasn’t always a fan, because it sometimes split in the coffee and latte art was usually a no-go. And this is why I was surprised when I conducted this test, because Happy Happy Soy Boy works wonderfully for home baristas.

Upon frothing, there are tiny bubbles that don’t all go away after tapping. But the foam itself is very good. Unlike many soy milks, it doesn’t produce any dry foam. Crucially, when added to espresso, it doesn’t curdle or separate, which is another common mishap with soy milk in coffee. 4/5

Minor Figures

best barista milkMinor Figures is one of the industry-leading plant-based milks used widely in specialty coffee shops. I’ve tested Minor Figures before in our best oat milk showdown, and it came out on top then. This time as well, it was one of the best when it came to foam. The oat milk frothed really well and very quickly.

The foam is texturally perfect — not too dry, not too wet, just the right balance. The milk aerates rapidly, forming next to no bubbles. But it does settle quickly.

The only caveat with Minor Figures is that freshness is key. It loses its ability to froth as it sits; within two days of opening, it got considerably harder to froth it up. Given that this is a home-based test and milk cartons aren’t finished in the matter of an hour, this is a sizeable negative. However, while it’s fresh, Minor Figures is one of the best. 4/5

Read our ultimate showdown for the best oat milk in the UK.

Oatly Barista

oatly barista milkIt’s a $10 billion company now. Oatly is the biggest alt-milk brand, with a flagship product so loved, shortages have led to people bootlegging $20 milk online.

So how does the world’s most popular oat milk hold up when subjected to rigorous French press plunging? Very well, it turns out. Oatly froths easily and wonderfully. There are loads of bubbles, but most of them — not all — settle very quickly once tapped and swirled.

The foam is quite wet, but in a good way. And it lasts a good while. 4.5/5

Oaty Bruce

oaty bruce So this one’s really interesting, the odd one out from the range. Oaty Bruce is the only milk on this list that uses zero additives — no emulsifiers, no thickeners, no — get this — acidity regulators.

It’s not even marketed as a barista milk, but it stands out from other “natural” alt-milks in one very unique way: it uses twice the amount of oats in its milk. More on that later.

Oaty Bruce assured The Vegan Review that the oat milk can be used in coffee when agreeing to participate in the test. But would the extra oat content make up for the lack of thickeners and acidity regulators?

Sort of. I’ll answer the acidity question in the flavour bit of the review. Oaty Bruce takes a minute to froth and form foam, and when it does, it is quite bubbly. These bubbles never really settle, however much you tap.

To add to that, the foam head doesn’t stay for long; it settles relatively faster. And the lack of thickeners means the milk is quite thin, which doesn’t help when it comes to frothing. Still, the fact that it did all this with minimal ingredients is pleasantly surprising. 2.5/5

Provamel Barista Oat

barista milk review Provamel, like Alpro, is owned by Danone. Its barista oat milk, like Alpro’s, uses pea protein, which the brand says is added “to help it foam”.

This oat milk feels a lot thinner than most of the contenders in this review. While it foams well, the bubbles settle very quickly. This also doesn’t use any acidity regulator, which proves to be its undoer. This separates quickly — it doesn’t split, but the foam and liquid create a divide. You’re on a fast-running clock with this. 2.5/5

Rebel Kitchen Barista

james hoffmannRebel Kitchen has been making a lot of noise in the coffee industry recently. After years of selling its whole and semi-skimmed milks, it finally unveiled its barista edition on New Year’s Day 2021. The USP is a collaboration with coffee expert James Hoffmann, who helped create the milk.

Rebel Kitchen’s barista version, at least for frothing, lives up to the hype. It’s a great example of milks formulated specifically for barista use. It froths fantastically, leaving only tiny bubbles that disappear into the silky-smooth microfoam once tapped and swirled.

The texture of the foam is perfectly balanced between wet and dry. And it doesn’t separate or settle too quickly. 5/5

Rude Health Barista Almond

rude health almond milk baristaRude Health is one of the two brands on this list with multiple barista milks on offer (the other being Alpro). The brand nominated its barista almond blend for this test.

This being almond milk, I was curious to see whether it splits in the coffee, but this doesn’t, which I’m guessing is owed to the presence of oats. This mixes well with the coffee and makes for a homogenous blend.

But this aerates a lot — a little too much, in fact. There are small bubbles that don’t go away, and the foam is slightly dry. 2.5/5

Sproud Barista

sproud barista Pea milk is the new kid on the block and it’s making a lot of waves, given its high protein content, and Sproud is the leading brand this side of the Atlantic.

It froths up really well and more than doubles in volume. The foam has medium-sized bubbles, but they disappear after a couple of taps. However, the head settles rather quickly, which means you have to work quickly too. 4/5

Read our ultimate showdown for the best peanut butter in the UK.

Espresso-based hot drinks

The all-important taste test. After so much frothing, the next stage was tasting these best barista milks for their flavour and to determine how they perform in coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.

All the espressos and milks were the same quantity, to make the review as even as possible. I wanted to work out what the flavour of the coffee did to the milk and vice versa, and how the presence or lack of additives affected the overall impression.

Almond Breeze Barista

almond breezeWith Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze Barista, a strong, roasted almond flavour comes through the drink. I’m not sure if the nuts are actually roasted.

The flavour of the milk masks the coffee’s ever so slightly. But it is still a good, milky drink that doesn’t taste watery. There’s also a hint of saltiness that is delightful.

However, since the foam doesn’t blend too well with the liquid, the drinking experience is disturbed. 3.5/5

Read our guide to the best almond milk brands in the UK.

Alpro Barista Coconut

alpro barista coconut The texture is quite thick, and the coconut milk mixes in really well with the coffee.

Unlike most non-barista coconut milks, this doesn’t have too much of a coconutty flavour. So while it doesn’t completely distract from the coffee’s flavour, the milk still dominates the drink slightly. 3.5/5

Califia Farms Oat Barista

califia farms ukAt first sip, this is wonderful and complements the coffee beautifully. The oat and coffee pair well together and it’s delightful.

But as I found in my oat milk test, Califia Farms’s barista edition has a chemical aftertaste that just doesn’t go away. The promising early signs are all steamrolled by this late hit of off-tasting notes. 3/5

Good Hemp Barista

barista hemp milk Good Hemp’s barista milk tastes watery at first, but that quickly subsides to unveil a really well-rounded flavour. Yes, it’s very hemp-forward, but it doesn’t overtake the coffee’s flavours and complements it well.

It is slightly bitter, though, and as you drink it, the watery consistency is a bit more noticeable. 3.5/5

Happy Happy Soy Boy

best plant based milk for latteHoly crap, this is good. This is really, really good. Happy Happy Soy Boy is quite possibly the best soy milk I’ve ever had.

Soy, like almond, has a problem with acidity and pH levels when added to coffee, which can cause splitting and separating. This doesn’t split at all, blending really well with the coffee. The texture is thick in the greatest of ways.

It doesn’t taste beany at all, instead exhibiting dairy-like notes that elevate the flavour of the espresso. And that’s exactly what you look for in a good barista milk. 5/5

Upgrade your vegan pantry and treat yourself with luxury products like Happy Happy Soy Boy.

Minor Figures

minor figures This is incredible. It’s not watery at all, it acts like regular dairy would and it doesn’t overpower the coffee. The natural sweetness of the oats shines through with this.

Like Happy Happy Soy Boy, Minor Figures doesn’t just complement the coffee’s flavour — it lifts it to a whole new level. 5/5

Oatly Barista

barista oat milkThe thing with Oatly’s barista milk is that it has a very distinct, wonderful flavour. You can pick it out from a selection of different oat milks. It’s that unique.

The problem is, that strong flavour eats into the coffee’s when added to it. An Oatly cappuccino or flat white is very pleasant and sweet. It’s what you expect of oat milk.

But it’s pretty oat-forward, which somewhat mutes the flavour of the coffee. 4/5

Oaty Bruce

best oat milk Like Oatly, Oaty Bruce’s flavour is what you’d expect from it. There’s a nice oat sweetness to it, but owing to the ingredients, it tastes like a watered-down latte.

Yet, it’s quite delightful. And surprisingly, given the lack of a pH buffer, it doesn’t taste too acidic, nor does it split. But the whole drink is still not milky, and that consistency element dominates the positives. 2.5/5

Provamel Barista Oat

provamel oat milkEven with the lack of a pH buffer, Provamel doesn’t taste acidic. Instead, it’s quite sweet, which is probably due to the addition of agave.

The flavour feels slightly artificial and overly oaty, and there are vivid notes of pea protein. Combined, these take over the coffee’s flavour.

It’s also a little thinner and less creamy in texture than most of the other barista milks in this review. While the drink is refreshing, the milk masks the coffee a little too much. 3/5

Read our ultimate showdown for the best vegan protein powder in the UK.

Rebel Kitchen Barista

rebel kitchen mylk Okay, for all of the brand’s preaching that this tastes like cow’s milk, it doesn’t.

Sure, it acts like it with the consistency and foaming. But disappointingly, Rebel Kitchen’s barista milk has that artificial, synthetic undertone that I tasted in Califia Farms’s oat milk.

And that’s such a shame, because it takes away from the otherwise wonderful combination of this milk and espresso, which is thick and texturally sound. The flavour just isn’t there yet. 3.5/5

Rude Health Barista Almond

vegan milkRude Health’s barista almond milk is strangely sweet. It feels artificial and slightly chemically.

There’s not a lot of almond flavour, which is due to the fact that there are more oats than almonds in this milk. This isn’t a watery drink, which is a plus, but the flavour is just a little too loud and funky to actually make the coffee shine. 2.5/5

Sproud Barista

best plant based milk for coffee This is amazing. Sproud has a super creamy texture, and the pea protein flavour is very muted, more so than even Provamel’s oat milk.

It works incredibly well with espresso, creating the perfect balance between the flavours of the coffee and milk. Sproud Barista tastes like dairy-based coffee drinks in a good, wonderful way. 5/5

Read our take on how blending Sproud with milkadamia makes the best plant-based milk for tea and coffee.

Cold brew

Not just because it’s summer, but iced coffee is just as important a test as hot drinks. Instead of testing the milks in iced lattes or iced filters, I decided to conduct the review in cold brew.

Cold brew has its own unique taste profile and brings out something quite different from the milk when compared to espresso-based cold drinks. Iced filters have a lovely acidity but don’t make for a great conductor for milk-testing.

I used equal parts cold brew concentrate and milk for each test to determine the milk’s influence on flavour and texture.

Almond Breeze Barista

almond breeze baristaJust as the foam and liquid were separate entities in the espresso-based test, Almond Breeze takes a while to properly blend with the cold brew, but it never really mixes in fully.

It tastes almondy, but not overly so, and leaves a hint of a bitter aftertaste. This is because it isn’t as milky or smooth as it should be. You essentially need quite a bit more of the milk to make the drink taste better, but that would then overtake the coffee.

Moreover, this separates a little as it sits, with tiny strands of what I can only guess is the tapioca starch used as a thickening agent. 2.5/5

Alpro Barista Coconut

barista coconut milk Just by appearance, this milk looks thick and creamy in texture. It smells incredible, but not overpoweringly coconutty.

Alpro’s barista coconut milk fuses well with the coffee, creating a homogeneous consistency. It doesn’t have the same sweetness you associate with coconut milk, but it does highlight the bitter notes of the cold brew more. Still, all in all, it’s a pretty refreshing drink. 3.5/5

Califia Farms Oat Barista

plant based milk cold brewThis mixes really well with the coffee and it doesn’t separate at all, making it a texturally brilliant drink.

But while there are hints of oat in it, this resembles watered-down cold brew with a splash of milk a lot more than an equal parts composition. You don’t taste those weird synthetic notes, but you don’t taste much else either. It’s very average and doesn’t do anything to the coffee in terms of the flavour.

And that just goes to show that while Califia Farms’s barista edition is a technically sound oat milk, the flavour is what brings it down. 2.5/5

Good Hemp Barista

good hemp barista It’s pretty wild. While the milk and coffee don’t match harmonise in consistency, with a little separation happening, the flavour is out of left field.

This tastes very interesting. It’s fruity and citrusy, with very prominent notes of grapefruit zest. Initially, it’s very acidic, but it gets better as you drink it.

Good Hemp Barista is slightly sweet as well, and, frankly, adds a completely new dimension to the coffee. Whether that’s a plus or not is up to personal preference, but it does take focus away from the coffee and its notes, neither of which you can taste much.

For us, the acidity isn’t as well controlled as it should be, and it dominates everything else. 2.5/5

Find out how Good Hemp’s Oat + Hemp blend fared in our review.

Happy Happy Soy Boy

barista soy milkThis is ever so slightly watery, but it doesn’t matter much. Because this is one of the only barista plant-based milks that don’t just complement the coffee, but actually make it shine.

You can taste the coffee’s notes, even though they’re muted. The soy pairs stunningly well with the coffee, even if the consistency is just a little thinner than you’d want. The coffee is the star here, and that’s what matters. 4/5

Minor Figures

best plant based milkMinor Figures turned out to be amongst the best plant-based milk for cold brew coffee too. There’s a fruity acidity to this, not as loud as Good Hemp’s, but it’s still rather unexpected and very welcome.

The drawback is that there’s always a little slimy residue at the end. And as you drink more, the acidity is just a touch too much. 

But the thing this milk does really well is blunt out any bitterness in the cold brew, whilst making for a completely homogenous drink. 4.5/5

Oatly Barista

oatly baristaThis is not at all acidic, which is what you look for in cold brew. Oatly complements the coffee really well, and the oat flavour isn’t too strong either.

However, just like the previous taste test, the oat milk’s distinct characteristics quietly dominate the coffee. But this is very creamy in mouthfeel, more so than any of the other milks in this test. 4/5

Oaty Bruce

oat milk ukUnlike Oatly, Oaty Bruce is, well, pretty oaty when it comes to cold brew. This was quite surprising as it isn’t cloyingly acidic to the point that it would taste sour.

While it makes for a nice drink, it is highly watery in texture, even with the double amount of oats in the milk. 3/5

Provamel Barista Oat

provamelGoing with the theme, Provamel is the oatiest of them all. And when added to cold brew, it makes for a super acidic drink. You don’t taste the pea protein at all, though, which is a relief.

It does get better as you drink it, and turns out to be quite refreshing and light. But the acidity is just way too high and distracting. 3.5/5

Rebel Kitchen Barista

rebel kitchen barista Along with Minor Figures, this is one of the best. It mixes in tremendously well and never separates, producing a quality drink.

The flavour is quite neutral and there is no trace of that chemical aftertaste present in the espresso test. My guess is that it’s the application of heat to certain ingredients that lend plant-based milks like Rebel Kitchen’s and Califia Farms’s barista editions the unappetising artificial flavour.

Apart from some minute traces of bitterness, this is a fabulous pairing with cold brew. 4.5/5

Rude Health Barista Almond

rude health baristaRude Health’s barista almond milk is both quite sweet and acidic in cold brew. There’s no almond flavour and the consistency resembles that of semi-skimmed milk added to cold brew.

It tastes good, but the sweetness of the oats overtakes any flavour lent by the almonds. It also takes focus away from the coffee, which is a shame. 2.5/5

Sproud Barista

pea protein milkSproud Barista blends beautifully with cold brew. It’s not watery at all and doesn’t overtake the flavour of the coffee.

Crucially, it doesn’t taste like pea protein at all and, like Minor Figures, it undercuts most of the coffee’s bitter notes. The end result is a balanced, delicious drink.

It does leave a little residue at the end, and, surprisingly, is slightly less creamy than you’d expect it to be. 4/5

Read our ultimate showdown for the best vegan Easter egg in 2021.

Ingredients, price and availability

As is the case with our other ultimate showdown tests, I wanted to look at the ingredients, price and availability of all these plant-based barista milks. Accessibility, affordability and composition are key to the success of any product.

This isn’t designed to be a factor in the actual review, but more of an informational guide to what makes up these milks, whether they’re worth the buck, and where you can find them.

All the prices listed are the lowest these products are available for, and the availability excludes the brand’s own website.

Almond Breeze Barista

Almond Breeze has developed its brand around the fact that it calls the world’s almond capital, California, home. While the regular versions can be found widely, Almond Breeze Barista can only be found in larger supermarkets like Waitrose for £1.90 or at certain health stores and online retailers.

This almond milk contains 2.5% almonds, maltodextrin (presumably for thickness and shelf life), two acidity regulators, tapioca starch, sea salt, natural flavourings as well as stabilisers and emulsifiers.

Alpro Barista Coconut

Alpro Barista Coconut is virtually a blend of soy and coconut. With a base containing 2.9% soybeans, it’s blended with 3.5% coconut milk. There’s added sugar, fructose, sea salt, flavourings, acidity regulators, calcium and stabilisers.

This is quite hard to find. Alpro is one of the most accessible brands on the market, but the barista milks can’t be found in local supermarket stores. While it’s available in a few local off-licences for a much higher price or at online retailers, Tesco superstores are where you’re most likely to find the barista coconut milk.

Priced at £1.80, this is one of the joint-cheapest barista plant-based milks in the UK.

Califia Farms Oat Barista

Califia Farms is very accessible. It’s on the shelves of the large stores of most major supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and Morrison’s, and it’s usually sold at £2.

Looking at the ingredient list, Califia Farms has 10% oat content, sunflower oil for thickness and mouthfeel, an acidity regulator, calcium supplements, and sea salt.

Good Hemp Barista

Apart from online retailers, Good Hemp Barista is stocked at some superstores, like Tesco and Waitrose. But the target market for this are health shops like Holland & Barrett, Planet Organic, and Whole Foods. You’d be hard-pressed to find one at a smaller store like Tesco Express or Little Waitrose. This usually retails for £2.49, placing it on the higher end of the spectrum.

Good Hemp Barista has pure malt extract, an ingredient unique to this list, and a 4% hemp seed base. The only other ingredients are an acidity regulator, emulsifier and stabiliser, and the short ingredient list explains the steeper price.

Happy Happy Soy Boy

This is the hardest milk to find. You can’t find Happy Happy Soy Boy in any supermarket or health store in the UK. That’s because, as the brand explained to The Vegan Review, it’s primarily marketed as a foodservice product and is only available in coffee shops that use it as their house soy milk.

The only way you can get your hands on some is by visiting a coffee shop that stocks it, which is also a great way to support independent stores. You can find one nearby with this handy map. One way to get it online is through Ozone Coffee Roasters. It sells for £3.50, making it by far the most expensive out of all milks on this list.

And that price is reflected by the ingredients list, which, given the milk’s effectiveness in this test, is stunning. At least 15% non-GMO soybeans (almost double the amount most barista soy milks have), brown sugar, sea salt, and calcium carbonate.

Read how Ozone is reusing its coffee sustainably with a traditional technique.

Minor Figures

Minor Figures is finally making itself more visible. While it’s omnipresent in health stores, this oat milk can now be found in Waitrose and Morrison’s as well. You’ll spot it in some local stores too — I randomly found it in my local Nisa. It usually retails for £1.80, making it one of the most inexpensive barista alt-milks in the UK.

What’s even cooler is that Minor Figures is the only branded plant-based milk in the UK that has refill stations in many zero-waste stores. As a carbon-neutral brand, it’s taken a step forward. You can bring your own bottle and refill it with the regular barista oat milk, usually starting at £2 for a litre.

It’s made from 10% oats, rapeseed oil, salt, a calcium supplement and an acidity regulator, which is quite clean-label as barista milks go.

Oatly Barista

Oatly is the most widely available barista plant-based milk in the UK. You’ll find it virtually everywhere — from the smallest of local stores and off-licences to the massive superstores and health shops. It’s priced at £1.80 as well, joining a few others as the joint-cheapest barista alt-milks.

The ingredients list begins with the standard amount of oat content — 10% — with rapeseed oil, iodised salt, an acidity regulator and calcium and vitamin supplements rounding up the rest of the composition.

Oaty Bruce

I briefly talked about the ingredients Oaty Bruce uses and banks on. It’s quite astounding that the only ingredient apart from water is oats. They make up for 13% of the milk, which is higher than the average 10%. The fact that the milk can hold its own through rigorous testing with the cleanest of labels is a testament to the brand.

Where can you find it? It’s marketed as a health-conscious product, so Whole Foods, Planet Organic and Holland & Barrett all stock this. You can also find it in larger Sainsbury’s and Waitrose stores for £2.

Provamel Barista Oat

Provamel is known as Danone’s organic, health-focused, “clean-label” brand. It’s exclusive to the major health stores and you won’t see it in supermarkets, big or small, at least just yet. It resides in the middle range of the price spectrum at £2.09.

The barista oat milk has a slightly lower amount of oats than the average, with 8.4%. It also contains sunflower oil, agave fibre, pea protein and sea salt. No acidity regulator here.

Rebel Kitchen Barista

Currently, you’ll only be able to purchase this at local and branded health shops. Its non-barista counterparts are everywhere, but as a six-month-old milk, the brand is treading carefully before moving into mainstream retail. And it’s priced on the higher side at £2.49.

The Rebel Kitchen Barista Mylk uses 10.5% oats, 1.5% coconut cream, sunflower oil, 0.5% faba bean protein, sunflower seed extract, nutritional yeast (it’s the only brand on the market to use this in its milks), sea salt and an acidity regulator.

Rude Health Barista Almond

Rude Health’s barista almond milk has an intriguing and impressive ingredients list. Even though it is marketed as an almond milk, its oat content is way higher than the almonds.

In fact, it uses more oats than any other oat milk on this list, even Oaty Bruce, with a 14% oat base. The almonds, given their strong flavour, make up for only 3% of the milk, which is also higher than most almond milks. Sunflower lecithin and sea salt are the other two additions. It’s a quite remarkable and minimal blend for a barista milk.

As a health-conscious brand, you can find the Rude Health Barista Almond at most health stores. It’s also available at Waitrose for £2.

Sproud Barista

Sproud is amongst the lesser accessible milks on this list. While it’s not as rare to come by as Happy Happy Soy Boy or Rebel Kitchen, the only physical stores that currently stock it are Waitrose and Booths. You can’t even find it at most health stores. Online supermarkets, like Ocado and TheVeganKind, are the only other option.

Sproud joins Alpro, Oatly and Minor Figures as the most affordable plant-based barista milk in the UK at £1.80. The ingredients list for this pea milk is quite expansive: rapeseed oil, 2.5% pea protein, agave, gluten-free oats, salt, and acidity regulator, supplemented with calcium and vitamins.

Read our exclusive interview with TheVeganKind CEO Scott McCulloch.

This is an objective taste test for The Vegan Review, and strictly not an advertorial. None of the companies paid to participate in this test for the best barista milk, but some did supply free products for the review.

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