Ask any millennial what their favourite plant-based milk is and chances are, they’ll say it’s oat milk.
The appeal is pretty obvious.
On the sustainability front, oat milk has a relatively low greenhouse footprint. The production of oat milk requires 90 percent less land and water, and produces 70 percent less emissions as compared to cow’s milk. and reigning plant-based milk alternatives like soy, and almond milk.
Yet, the true allure of oat milk is its taste. Apart from the fact that it’s low in allergens, the dairy free alternative’s popularity has soared in the last couple of years because of its similarity to regular milk, with a market dominated by a couple of major players such as Oatly and Minor Figures.
“We know that taste is often a barrier for more people adopting sustainable milks, so our goal was to develop an oat milk that could overcome these perceptions. It was a challenge developing the right product with existing setups at contract manufacturers in the early days, so we took the longer approach of building out our own production line that allowed us more customisation and control over the oat extraction process,” says Singaporean Benedict Lim, Founder and CEO of Oatside.
Oatside is Singapore’s (and the world’s) next biggest player in the running within the oat milk scene. The brand was developed by Cambridge graduate and former Kraftz Heinz Indonesia CFO Benedict Lim during the pandemic, and is also one of the first “full-stack” oat milk brands to originate in Asia. For the uninitiated, this means that the company has full control over every part of the business — from in-house manufacturing capabilities to sourcing and production process.
“I can’t wait for everyone to join us on the Oatside. We’ve worked really hard to develop a plant- based milk for Asia that doesn’t feel like a compromise on quality, taste or texture. We hope to contribute to a growing stable of plant-based products where picking the sustainable option no longer tastes of ‘doing your part’,” says Lim.
Before we jump straight into its taste (spoiler alert: it’s quite outstanding, if we do say so ourselves), Oatside presents a pretty solid case for the product itself. Here, they’ve cut out artificial flavours, gums, emulsifiers, preservatives and colouring, and instead chosen to focus on using only the best ingredients available. The oat base, for instance, makes use of Australian oats, which lends a creamier and maltier taste compared to Swedish and Finnish oats.
We have to say, we took a blind taste test against other barista blends of oat milk and Oatside won by a landslide: it held its own with a creamy and rich flavour profile, and went down just as smooth on its own as it did in toasty teas like Hojicha and nuttier coffee blends.
Oatside isn’t just launching the barista blend either: they’ve come up with two other variations, Chocolate and Chocolate Hazelnut. “We prefer to call it variations rather than flavours,” says Lim, “since there are no artificial flavourings involved in it.”
The Oatside Chocolate is crafted with 100-percent Rainforest Alliance certified blend of Indonesian-African cacao beans, and has double the percentage of cocoa and half the sugar content that’s used for regular milks. This variant would serve well for chocolate milk lovers looking for an alternative, but we’d like to turn your attention to the crowd favourite at the table: the Oatside Chocolate Hazelnut.
While it’s just a shy thinner than the barista blend, the flavours of the milk would seem like what a marriage between a Ferrero Rocher and Nutella would taste like. Translate: it’s dangerously delicious. The price of Chocolate Hazelnut is pricier than the other two variants, which we’re told stems from its higher production cost. It is, after all, created with a heavier dose of high-quality hazelnuts, which are also 100-percent Rainforest-Alliance certified and sourced from Turkey.
Those wanting to give Oatside a go can always try them at their partner cafes such as Baker & Cook, PPP Coffee, Chye Seng Huat Hardware, and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, but if you’re ready to purchase a carton or two of your own, you can always get them on Shopee or Lazada(RedMart).
(Hero and featured image credit: Oatside)