FIRST THERE WAS milk.
And milk came from cows, or sometimes sheep and yaks, and it was good.
But some did not consume the milk; they were lactose-intolerant, or they were vegan, or they were “just trying to cut down on dairy.” So they created soy milk, but it was sweet, and there were concerns about estrogen, so it was less good. Then almond milk came, which was, you know, fine. It was fine. Then hemp milk: also fine, better than almond, and it was pretty good in a latte.
And then they created oat milk. And lo, it was creamy, and tasted like the milk of cows and sheep and yaks, with the addition of things like rapeseed oil for fat content. And also it did foam well, and so madeth good lattes.
And this milk becameth the new “it” milk, the milk to have in a third-wave coffee shop with natural-process Guatemalan beans from the organic co-op farm. Because it tasted pretty fricking close to real milk, which was the milk that, forsooth, everyone secretly craved.
And the first of these milks was called “Oatly.”
Nay, all right; perhaps not actually the first, but the first major player, and the one that did maketh all the lactose-free coffee snobs go forth and rejoice. And this milk was made in Sweden, from whence come Ikea and the world’s most functional example of democratic socialism, and that was very good. But there was woe in the land, because Oatly was made in very small batches, possibly by a captive princess forced to press oats one-by-one into milk using her thighs by candlelight until she guessed the name of her gnome-captor, so it was always going out of stock.
Once there was a man who had a coffee shop in another state; he purchased an entire pallet of Oatly for resale and cafe use, and I knew this man. And I knew also that Oatly was made in such small batches that possibly it was he, all the way in New Mexico, who had stolen the Oatly out from under the city of Seattle. And I cursed this man, but it was to no avail, and the Oatly drought continued for at least another week.
And the people, they went to Caffe Vita.
And the people, they went to Herkimer Coffee.
And the people, they went to Victrola.
But there was no Oatly, for supplies were low.
And the people, they went to Starbucks, but up until recently, Starbucks did not even carry oat milk, so forget it.
And the baristas did apologize, and the customers did settle for hemp or soy, but it was with a heavy heart.
But oh joy, oh rapture! Since then, the gods have worked a miracle. Like loaves and fishes, the supply of Oatly has since magically increased — perhaps by the addition of several more captive princesses — so that now you can even find it in grocery stores in profligate-feeling gallon-size cartons, even in low-fat (without the rapeseed oil). And now there are other brands of oat-milk brands, like Pacific or Planet Oat, for which I cannot directly vouch but, for truth, are probably good. You can maketh it at home by blending oats with water, but it will be thinner and more watery than Oatly. You can even find a Trader Joe’s brand now, and can order oat milk at select Starbucks locations as well, and so, the gods willing, the people need never be without oat milk again.