OK, so it’s unlikely plant-based alternatives will emulate dairy exactly – and besides, we wouldn’t really want them to – but this one comes pretty close. The brand’s idea, which came after drinking plenty of mediocre vegan milk in teas and coffees during lockdown, was to blend different grains together, so while oats can be heavy, and rice too sweet, this refreshing concoction blends the best of both.
From silky lattes to the creamiest mac and cheese, milk is practically everywhere. A ubiquitous and admittedly handy addition to sauces, coffees, cakes and cuppas – you get the idea.
But what if you’re lactose intolerant? Or dabbling in veganism? Or perhaps you’ve just gone off the stuff. Luckily, the once niche vegan milk market is now brimming with choice. From oat and pistachio to pea and potato (yes, milk made from spuds), you’ll find an ever-expanding smorgasbord of substitutes to try.
A third of people in Britain are now opting for the vegan white stuff. Why? Well, for one thing, it’s more sustainable. The diabolical environmental impact of the dairy industry isn’t exactly a trade secret, but plant-based milk produces a third of the greenhouse emissions that dairy does and uses far less land too – 10 times less to be exact. And, from an animal welfare perspective without the cruelty of the dairy farming industry, it shows more compassion to our cow friends too.
So whether you’re dipping your toe in the plant-based pool or planning to cut out dairy completely, we’ve been hunting for the best vegan milks that are well worth the fridge space.
How we tested
We selected vegan milk from both industry leaders and newer brands on the block, testing for taste, consistency and versatility. We were on the hunt for both dairy dupes and plant-based drinks that were delicious but in a lane of their own – think coconut and pistachio.
We looked for a tasty milk alternative for a stellar cup of tea, as well as a cracking cuppa joe. And all were tested using our favourite milk frother to see which had the silkiest of froths for our coffees.
The best vegan milks for 2023 are:
- Best overall – Lilk The Common Blend oat and rice: £1.90, Waitrose.com
- Best for cooking – Sproud plant-based milk unsweetened: £1.50, Waitrose.com
- Best for coffee – Oatly oat drink barista edition: £1.65, Ocado.com
- Best almond milk – Califia Farms unsweetened almond: £2.10, Sainsburys.co.uk
- Best fresh taste – Innocent coconut: £1.75, Sainsburys.co.uk
- Best for minimal ingredients – Plenish cashew m*lk: £1.87, Ocado.com
- Best hemp milk – Jord oat and hemp drink: £1.25, Sainsburys.co.uk
- Best sustainable option – Dug original: £1.80, Hollandandbarrett.com
- Best for something sweet – Rude Health roasted almond and oat drink: £1.60, Ocado.com
- Best for aromatic indulgence – Borna lightly sweetened pistachio drink, two-pack: £4.29, Navesu.co.uk
- Best for tea – Alpro soya no sugars: £1.25, Sainsburys.co.uk