By now, you've likely heard about the oat milk bonanza that started in 2018 — either because you've noticed the option in a local coffee shop, saw it stocked up at Whole Foods, or cackled at the vaguely doomsday-ish oat milk shortage headlines that threatened to plague its newly-obsessed audience. Now, though, as the trend is taking off, major brands are getting in on the game — brands like Coffee-mate, whose Oat Milk Creamer quietly hit shelves in January of this year and just made trying this new milk trend even more accessible to the curious.
The oat milk creamer, which is part of Coffee-mate's "natural bliss" line, is vanilla-flavored, and the first oat milk option offered by the brand. It makes a great option for non-dairy folks, but interestingly, a lot of the hype around oat milk is not just that it's a good option for those with dietary restrictions, but rather the distinctive smoothness in its texture, the richness of its taste, and the way it blends well with other drinks. The Swedish brand Oatly, which sells oat milk by the carton in major grocery stores, is responsible for the sudden boom of oat milk in the U.S. last year that led to this massive millennial-driven revelation; Coffee-mate's version sets itself apart in that it isn't just a milk, but was created with the intention of being a creamer.
Coffee-mate provided Bustle with a sample of the new creamer so we could get a sense of how it tastes. A bit of my background as an oat milk consumer: I've only tried it once, and appreciated the texture of it in a cold coffee drink, but since I am a ride-or-die Starbucks tea drinker, I haven't really been exposed to it since. Not only does it usually take me out of the way of where I'm going to find it, but it's also a bit of an upcharge (and understandably; oat milk is made by soaking oats, blending them, the removing solid oats, and the process — while notably more sustainable than other milk options — takes time).
I tried the Coffee-mate version in two ways: first, the more traditional route, which was hot coffee. Granted, this was decaffeinated coffee that came from a pod, which I only mention because the oat milk creamer made such a task out of elevating it that I really could not tell. The texture made the coffee so smooth that it tasted like something I might have paid five bucks for down the street. And the vanilla flavoring is just subtle and sweet enough that I — a known sugar monster — didn't even feel like I had to add any to my drink, which was a major first.
I also tried this version with my morning tea, just to see how it would fare — it also lent a much smoother texture to the tea, and since it was black tea, the subtle vanilla flavoring also really enhanced it (although I did add just a wee bit of sugar). I'm not sure if I'd replace my usual milk or creamer in tea with the oat milk version, but the bitterness of coffee and the richness of the oat milk creamer made for an excellent pair.
Moreover, with an option like Coffee-mate — which has a suggested retail price of $3.29 for a 16-oz bottle — the affordability becomes less of an issue. You can find it now in refrigerated aisles nationwide, or check on Coffee-mate's website here.