Where does oat milk come from?
Coffee aficionados know the pain of wanting a latte but having underwhelming options to replace dairy, whether due to lactose intolerance or other health/diet reasons. Soy milk can be too sweet and is a common allergen, and almond milk is both water-intensive and doesn’t froth well. Enter oat milk. It’s creamy enough to make precious latte art with but retains flavor when steamed.
Like many plant milk recipes, oat milk is simple to make and has been on the market since the 1990s. It saw a meteoric rise in the United States in 2017–18, however, due to the popularity of Swedish oat milk brand, Oatly, long popular in Europe. More specifically, Oatly found a niche in the booming specialty coffee industry (a.k.a. the hipster coffee shop industry) as a delicious alternative to dairy milk.
With the boom, oat milk is now common in both small and large coffeeshops. It became so trendy in 2018 that Oatly regularly sold out of its barista variety of oat milk. Do you remember where you were during the Great Oat Milk Shortage of 2018?
Examples of oat milk
Who uses oat milk?
In 2018, oat milk made the rounds as a food and culture topic on the likes of HuffPost, Refinery 29, and various barista-centered magazines. The general consensus is that, while trendy, oat milk is great—and even nutritious. Its popularity is expected to gain among the eco-conscious and lactose adverse.
Oat milk out of stock. pic.twitter.com/Rl66OwY5SM
— Tarek Pertew (@tarekp) December 23, 2018
Consumer opinions on oat milk do vary, however. Some say it’s delicious and easy to drink.
oat milk is the best milk alternative don’t @ me
— victoria (@victoriadinaro) December 27, 2018
Others say it’s too expensive, unappetizing, or is just another bizarre bougie invention.
If you drink almond or oat milk I can’t trust you
— sam (@ssamrrodriguez) December 26, 2018
This is not meant to be a formal definition of oat milk like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of oat milk that will help our users expand their word mastery.