Before almond, hazelnut, rice, hemp, and whatever else-have-you “milks” came about was the O.G. of alternative “milks”: soy milk, or the resulting creamy liquid of soybeans that are soaked, ground, and filtered.
Thought to have roots in Chinese dou jiang (soybean broth, a byproduct of tofu), it was popularized in the West over a couple of periods, eventually securing its place in mainstream consciousness as—for some time—a “healthier” sub for dairy (though this claim was to be challenged over the years that had followed).
Styles differ across the world, with Asian versions often highlighting soy’s natural “beany” flavor and Western versions instead masking it, likely to better resemble cow’s milk.
Soy milk today maintains a polarizing reputation, with its fair share of fans and haters. As members of the former who appreciate the drink not as a stand-in nor for its nutritional value (or lack thereof?), but as a tasty drink in its own regard, we perused the supermarket shelves and found seven brands from around the globe. How do they compare?
Note: We narrowed down our selection to beverages marketed as soy milk, and went for the default or most basic variants available. However, a number of brands include dairy in their blends, often in the form of whole milk powder for added flavor for creaminess. We took note of this wherever it appeared, but for added security, always check the ingredients!
Green n Go
This local brand from the Zesto corporation comes in small glass bottles sealed with metal bottlecaps—not the most convenient to open, but plus points for using less plastic.
It’s the sweetest of the bunch, tasting little of soy and more of sugar with a peculiar fruity undertone. This brand boasts of having added oat fiber, which seems to come across in a very mild oatmeal-y note.
Stay away if you can’t have dairy though, as you’ll find whole milk powder lurking in the ingredient list. Still, it’s easy to drink, flaunting a slightly crisp, liquid consistency balanced by a creamy feel underneath.