This is a request post. I would never have thought to do a milk taste test on my own, mostly because we barely go through any milk. James and I don’t eat cereal, and we don’t drink tea, and I don’t drink coffee. So basically I just buy James milk for his coffee (and he doesn’t give a damn what kind of milk it is because coffee coffee coffee is the only thing that matters) and occasionally I’ll buy some if I need it in baking. And that’s it.

So really, this was an education for me. I have no brand loyalty to any type of milk. I brought a few types of standard supermarket milk and a couple of varieties of ‘fancy’ milk. I really doubted that I’d be able to tell the difference between various types of milk in a blind taste test. I once had a boyfriend who loved the good proper milk, with the full cream and the gold top. Then again he grew up in the Irish countryside, so he was used to the good stuff. And he drank milk and ate cereal, so had far more of a vested interest than I did.

Yes, I buy whole milk. I am not one for low-fat products, and I’ve bleated on about that more than enough. But here’s some science too. And a bit more.

As before, I feel I need a rambling disclaimer: obviously, I am doing this in my kitchen and not in a lab and I am not a scientist. These are the opinions of one person – that said, one person who has been trained to taste for quality. Also, the products used in this series are just examples – obviously each supermarket has, say, eight or nine different types of milk or whatever the product may be, and I’m not going to try every single one because what am I, made of money?

Finally, I should highlight that I tasted all the products blind, and at the time of tasting and making my notes I didn’t know which product came from which shop. I sat in one room while my glamorous assistant (er, my husband), prepared the samples in another. Any notes added regarding packaging and so on were only done after blind tasting, when I learned which supermarket had made A, B, C, D, or E.

The Blind Taste Test: Whole Milk

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Whole Milk
100ml
£
kcal
fat
carb
fibre
protein
salt
Sainsbury’s
568ml
0.45
66
3.7
4.7
0.5
3.5
0.11
Sainsbury’s Organic
568ml
0.60
67
4.0
4.5
0.5
3.3
0.1
Yeo Valley
1litre
1.15
68
4.0
4.7
3.4
0.1
Tesco Finest
1litre
1.00
79
5.0
4.6
0
4.0
0.1
Graham’s
1litre
1.10
81
5
4.7
3.7
0.2

A – Yeo Valley 

  • Looks like milk. Tastes like milk.

B – Sainsbury’s 

  • Looks like milk. Tastes like milk. A little less acidic, a bit milder and sweeter than A.

C – Graham’s

  • Looks like milk. Tastes like milk, although a little creamier than A, B, and E.

D – Tesco Finest

  • Looks visually thicker – can see a creaminess. Small cream deposits on the taste glass. Tastes notably creamier and sweeter than A, B, or E. Definitely nicest if you’re just drinking straight milk.

E – Sainsbury’s Organic 

  • Looks like milk. Tastes like milk.

Conclusion

You may notice that I haven’t done the normal ‘marks out of ten’ scoring system here. That’s basically because it would be very difficult for me to differentiate between the samples in any sort of numeric way. None of them were bad at all: they were all just… milk. Perfectly acceptable. That said, if you were a particular milk lover or aficionado, I can’t deny that there was a definite difference between the Tesco Finest milk and the others. I just can’t imagine spending more money for slightly creamier milk when the normal stuff does perfectly well.

Maybe I’m just not getting this. Maybe I should make five pannacotta samples with different milks. Now there’s an idea.