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I tried this barista-loved oat milk to see if it's worth the hype

Minor Figures is a mainstay at coffee shops worldwide.

A tattooed person pour oat milk from a carton into a glass of iced coffee. Credit: Minor Figures

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I won’t deny that I’m a coffee snob; I like to buy my coffee beans fresh from the roaster, grind them by hand, and mix my own cold brew to strain after 12 hours of soaking—it’s a labor of love. And though I don’t have a fancy espresso machine or latte maker, having a good milk to add to flavored cold brew is essential, but I don’t drink dairy. Enter: Minor Figures, a barista-loved dairy alternative that I’ve spied on the counter of some of the best cafes in my neighborhood. I thought, if my go-to coffee shop trusts it, why shouldn’t I?

What is Minor Figures?

A carton of oat milk sits on a counter in a coffeeshop in front of an espresso machine.
Credit: Minor Figures

This London-based brand ships it's oat milk products worldwide.

Minor Figures is a London-based brand that sells it’s dairy-free drinks and milk alternatives online and in select retailers stateside—currently limited to CA, OR, WA, NY, NJ, TX. Its Organic Oat M*lk is slated to be carried soon by Whole Foods locations in the Mid-Atlantic.

The company aims to provide oat milk alternatives for those who can’t or don’t drink dairy, which is especially helpful to those who may be allergic to other dairy alternatives due to nut allergies. Minor Figures is a sustainable company, with non-GMO and Organic certifications, and it offsets all emissions to be entirely Carbon Neutral. The brand is also reportedly “in the process of becoming B-Corp Certified,” according to its founders.

Minor Figures’ products are sold direct to consumer, which means no retail markups and the ability to order in bulk. Aside from oat milks and pre-made brews, the brand also sells a curated selection of coffee beans. Unlike some other alternative dairy options, Minor Figures products have become standard ingredients for many baristas—and you can certainly taste the difference.

Why drink oat milk?

People drink dairy alternatives like almond milk, coconut milk, and oat milk for a variety of reasons. Some people have allergies or intolerances, and others avoid dairy due to ethical and environmental values. I fall into both categories; I’m lactose intolerant and I try not to consume most animal products. I’ve been drinking oat milk for the last two to three years, and I’m so excited to have options! (A few years ago I could only choose from two brands.)

Even if you don’t have to find a dairy replacement, there are benefits. Minor Figures' founders claim that drinking an oat latte over a dairy latte saves enough water to run an entire bath. Plus, Minor Figures Oat M*lk doesn’t have to be refrigerated immediately, which means you can stock up without sacrificing precious space in your refrigerator.

I tried Minor Figures Oat M*lk and here's what happened

Left: A carton of oat milk is silhouetted on a white background. Right: A carton of organic oat milk sits on a counter next to a latte in a black mug.
Credit: Minor Figures

Minor Figures' Oat M*lk is available in organic and non-organic versions.

The Minor Figures Oat M*lk came packaged safely and dry in a pack of six. All the materials were recyclable, and the milk cartons themselves are made using Tetra Pak, which is a recyclable material, but not all towns and cities are able to accept it; so check your local guidelines to dispose properly.

The six oat milk cartons are shelf-stable, so I put two in the fridge and the other four in the pantry. In the last two months I've used three of the cartons, so I’d say one 6-pack goes far, though I used it mostly in my morning coffee and tea. Minor Figures’ website suggests that once you open the oat milk, you should store it in the fridge and use within seven days. The milk is made to compliment coffee best, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for other applications. Its sweetness and creaminess lends itself well to items like smoothies, cereal, oatmeal, tea, and more.

Because the Oat M*lk (both the regular and organic oat milk) is barista grade, it tastes delicious in coffee. It's creamy and frothy when mixed, but it doesn’t sink or separate in the mug the way other dairy alternatives do. It works just as well in iced drinks and is the milk alternative I request when a cafe carries it.

What are the Minor Figures Specialty Brews?

Canned coffee beverages arranged in neat rows.
Credit: Minor Figures

Minor Figures Specialty Brews come in packs of 12.

Minor Figures recently introduced four Specialty Brews which are premade caffeine drinks with the brand’s signature oat milk. I had the chance to try all four—lucky me!—and I was charmed by the colorful packaging, the cute graphics, and the sweet taste.

I did notice that the cans are a bit small at 8.5oz instead of 12 or 16 like a standard coffee shop latte or cold brew order would be, and the aluminum cans were a little too thin for my car’s cupholder so they tipped when I drove. You can solve that with a reusable travel cup, but note the size if you’re looking for something to grab and go.

Oat Milk Latte

The Oat Milk Latte was the first Specialty Brew I tried. I liked the oat flavor since I’ve been drinking oat milks for a while, but it could be a bit overwhelming for new drinkers. I also like to drink my coffee black, so the latte was a bit too much milk and not enough coffee flavor for my taste. It almost tasted like cereal milk, but I did feel a bit more energized after thanks to the caffeine. The Oat Milk Latte has 166 mg of caffeine per serving over one and a half times the amount of caffeine in an 8 oz cup of drip coffee.

Get the Minor Figures Oat Milk Latte 12-pack at Amazon for $29.95

Oat Milk Matcha Latte

I love a good matcha latte, especially in the afternoon when I shouldn’t be guzzling too much more caffeine. The Oat Milk Matcha Latte was creamy, floral, and earthy, as many matcha drinks are. I liked the earthy flavor and I think the balance between matcha and oat milk was just right. I could definitely drink a case of them.

Get the Minor Figures Oat Milk Matcha Latte 12-pack at Amazon for $29.95

Oat Milk Mocha

The Oat Milk Mocha was my favorite of the Specialty Brews: a bit chocolatey, a bit creamy, and 162 mg of caffeine for a solid jolt of energy mdid-morning. It was definitely the sweetest of all four canned beverages, but this blend was tasty like a treat.

Get the Minor Figures Oat Milk Mocha 12-pack at Amazon for $29.95

Oat Milk Chai Latte

The Oat Chai Latte drink was good, but wasn’t special. The chai flavoring was nice, but I prefer a stronger mulled-spice flavor. The drink had too much sweetness to it, which many may enjoy but it just didn’t hit the mark for me. Again, I think the chair flavor and oat milk balance was great, and with only 18 mg of caffeine it’s a nice drink for anyone who doesn’t want a ton of jitters.

Get the Minor Figures Oat Chai Latte 12-pack at Amazon for $29.95

Are Minor Figures oat milk products worth it?

This depends on how often you reach for a dairy alternative or non-dairy milk. I’d recommend trying the Oat M*lk at the very least, especially if you drink coffee or tea often. It’s truly one of the best non-dairy milks I’ve had. I also like how versatile it is, but if you don’t drink milk often it may not be worth having in your fridge. I think it’s great that you can purchase online without retail markups, especially in bulk, which cuts down on packaging waste. I’m thankful my local cafes have the Oat M*lk so I can stick to my high coffee standards, but now I can do so from home, too.

Get Minor Figures oat milk products on Amazon starting at $25.95

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