Friday, March 07, 2014

Califia Farms Almond Milk

This review is a bit outside the ordinary for me.  Almond milk?  Not something I normally consume, let alone review.  But I recently had the opportunity to sample the full range of Califia Farms almond milk products, as they were a vendor snack food fair I attended, and they were giving out coupons for full size products.  Amazing!

Califia Farms is a local Californian company, using nuts and fruits grown in the area to make their products.  The product line is all beverages: few citrus juices (orange, lemonade, lemon-lime aid), a slew of almond milks, and cold brew iced coffee (with almond milk).  All the almonds are grown in California.
Original Almond Milk.
I started with the "original".  It consists of only almonds and cane sugar.

Since it was sweetened, it is sweeter than their unsweetened variety, but since it has no other ingredients, it is less flavorful than the vanilla.

I can't see why I'd want to just drink it plain, and I found the almond flavor overwhelming when used for cereal.  It worked fine in tea and coffee however, and I have seen an increasing number of Bay Area coffee shops using it for their drinks.
Unsweetened Almond Milk.
Next I went for the pure thing, the unsweetened version.  It literally contains only almonds and water.

I didn't care for this, as I mostly didn't know what use it had in my life.  It wasn't sweet, so I didn't enjoy drinking it on its own.  And like the original, I thought the almond flavor was too strong to use with cereal.  So, overall, I just didn't have a purpose for it.  It was fine to use in my tea.
Coconut Almond Milk.
Next I went for a more exciting version: coconut!  Their same base almond milk, with coconut cream added. This did indeed taste like coconut, and was a bit thicker than the others due to the coconut cream.  I liked the flavor it added to my coffee, but I didn't really want to just drink it by the glassful.
Holiday Nog Almond Milk.
A holiday time only special: holiday nog!

The nog was thick, like the vanilla.  Sweetened.  It didn't have a strong almond flavor like the plain versions, but I really couldn't identify what the flavor was.  I don't think I liked it.  It certainly wasn't classic nog flavor, and it tasted somewhat chemically.  Sadness.  I really wanted to like this.

I did find it good to mix into assorted tea, as it turned everything sorta into a chai-spiced drink.

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Vanilla Almond Milk

The vanilla was my favorite!  It was a tiny bit thick like a milkshake, with slight vanilla flavor.  The vanilla flavor goes really well with the almond flavor base.   Really not bad, and I think would make quiet good smoothies with frozen fruit mixed in.
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