No one knows what the body can do. -Spinoza

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Soy Milk Taste Test

Milk was some compulsive act for me as a little kid. My memory includes being endlessly thirsty, thinking water tasted like dirt, and loving the sweet cream of whole milk. As an adult, I can't bear it. Liquid dairy leaves a horrible after taste, and just doesn't appeal. I live with a nine-year old, however, and she's a little closer to that compulsion I recall living with. Usually I deal with this by alternating types of milk--dairy for her occasionally, almond, hemp, soy, oat, each time a different type (Rice milk upsets my stomach, and let's face it, it's damn watery anyway). We realized though that we'd like to know which soy when we hit the fourth notch of the cycle, and so this morning we did a blind soy milk taste test with four brands. Here are the results.

  • Four brands--all original flavor
  • A small amount of each poured into a red mug
  • Order of mugs matched to order of soy boxes poured from
  • Soy boxes left in kitchen; taste test in living room
  • Taste in random order
  • Report taste notes
  • Rate by order of preference

1. Pacific Natural Foods, Ultra Soy, Plain

Rachel's Results (the 9-year old opinion):
  • tastes like two types of nut
  • taste lasts longer in mouth than other soy milks
  • rating: 3-4 out of 5 (5 being mega yum; 1 being absence of yum)
Elaine's Results (the I'm tired but care opinion):
  • strong taste immediately
  • sweetest of the milks
  • very creamy
  • a dessert beverage

2. Soy Dream Soy Milk, Original Classic

Rachel's Results:
  • smells good
  • vanilly
  • 4 out of 5
  • good for breakfast
  • but could work for lunch
Elaine's Results:
  • creamy
  • nutty taste
  • touch of sweetness
  • flat, bland taste

3. West Soy, Organic Soymilk, Original

Rachel's Results:
  • almondy
  • would work for lunch
  • good for dinner
  • 4 out of 5
Elaine's Results:
  • toasted oat flavor
  • creamy texture (most appealing texture)
  • touch of sweetness
  • very slight hint of fruit
  • most interesting complexity of flavor
  • would definitely drink as regular soy milk buy

4. Organic, Eden Soy, Original Soymilk

Rachel's Results:
  • slight almond taste
  • 2-3 out of 5
Elaine's Results:
  • dry toasted nut flavor
  • watery flavor that manages to dry out the tongue
  • bland, not interesting
  • monotone taste

The definite winner was Westsoy, Rachel and I agreed. She said she liked Soy Dream just as well though, but that they had very different flavors. If you're asking me to write a personality taste based on soymilk preference: I'll admit, I have no idea.


  1. this will prove very useful.

    i am also stealing "absence of yum."

    that is all.

  2. That was very enlightening. You should look into joining the team at Cooks Illustrated. They do taste tests like yours for a living! love, Chloe

  3. Hi...
    This would be very helpful. My favourite is the silk soymilk flavor VERY VANILLA. It has less than 2% fats.