Oatly vs. $200 milk machine: Which tastes better in coffee?

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If you’re looking for an affordable option for dairy-alternative milk, is it ultimately worth just investing in your own plant-based milk-making machine?

The dairy alternatives market is projected to grow by 11% in the next six years and reach $44.89 billion in revenue by 2027. Over 30 million Americans are lactose intolerant, so finding good-tasting, reasonably-priced alternatives is important to a lot of people.

While people hold their own opinions and preferences when it comes to plant-based milk (I am Team Oat), the cost of regularly buying dairy alternatives can add up. A carton of Oatly milk, for example, comes in at around $5 for 64 ounces. On the other hand, a gallon of whole milk from Whole Foods is $4.

To really examine how much it’s worth it to continue buying Oatly, we compared it to the ChefWave Milkmaid Vegan Milk Maker, which advertises that it can make any plant-based product into milk in less than 20 minutes.

We put the Vegan Milk Maker to the test and rated it on three factors: price, versatility and taste. To find out whether it’s worth buying over grocery store cartons, watch the video above or keep reading.

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Is it worth the cost?

The Vegan Milk Maker clocks in at $200, which seems like a hefty investment considering you also need to buy the raw ingredients to make your own milk.

Shop: ChefWave Milkmade Dairy Alternative Vegan Milk Maker, $200

Credit: Amazon

But it may actually be saving you money.

Let’s say you buy a carton of Oatly once a week. That’s $5 per week for a year, which means you’re spending $260 annually on milk.

That’s already more than the machine, but let’s add in a bag of rolled oats, which comes out to around $4 per bag. Over the course of a year, you need to buy around 11 bags of oats for the same amount of milk as buying weekly cartons.

That totals out to $44 plus the machine, so a total of $244 for the first year of making milk.

The following year, while you’d still paying $260 for Oatly, you’re only paying $44 to make your own oat milk.

This round goes to the machine!

Can the machine actually turn “anything” into milk?

A benefit of grocery shopping is that you have all sorts of dairy-alternative options to choose from.

The Vegan Milk Maker comes with six presets for milk options: almond, cashew, coconut, soy and macadamia. But can the machine expand its capabilities and turn other things into milk?

For this, we tried out two wild-card options: quinoa milk and pistachio milk.

Both times, the machine had no issue converting the products into milk. It took the same amount of time as the preset options and came out fully liquid — albeit somewhat thicker than the other options.

For taste, quinoa and pistachio are not really up my alley, but this round was about the machine’s capabilities, and it passed. Another point for the machine.

Does it actually taste good?

This third round is important. For the experiment, I made two cups of instant coffee and poured Oatly into one and my homemade oat milk into the other. I did this because I, like any normal person over the age of eight, don’t drink glasses of milk on a regular basis. The instant coffee was so I wouldn’t taint the milk tastes with anything too flavorful.

My homemade milk was really thin, which makes sense because it is very, very natural. This oat milk is purely made out of rolled oats and water, which made it barely noticeable in the coffee I was drinking.

Unfortunately, I add milk to cut the bitterness of coffee, so my homemade milk wasn’t doing it for me. I awarded a point to Oatly for this category.

The Winner

The machine totally proved me wrong. I thought a $200 Vegan Milk Maker was an unnecessary purchase, but it really does make sense to buy it if you’re someone who prioritizes naturalness in their dairy alternatives. It also self-cleans, which is a huge bonus for someone like me who is lazy.

If you’re a dairy-alternative connoisseur, we recommend buying this machine for all of your milk needs.

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If you liked this story, check our video on how to make “vegan” bacon out of bananas.

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