Califia Farms Pure Almondmilk


Note: Califia Farms previously released “protein” varieties of their almond milk which contained dairy milk. They have since reformulated and the new protein almondmilks are dairy-free, soy-free, plant-based and vegan (made with pea protein and brown rice protein).

It would take two hands to count the number of times someone at Expo West mentioned Califia Farms and their almond milk to me. As soon as I uttered the words “dairy-free,” I was bombarded with suggestive questions: Have you tried that new almond milk? Have you been to the Califia Farms booth yet?

On the second day of the show, I finally made my way to the Califia Farms booth to see what all of the fuss was all about. I was immediately greeted by the enthusiastic founder of the Almondmilk products and an insanely cute set-up with beautifully packaged products, from the Califia Farms Almondmilk and Dairy-Free Iced Coffees (seriously!) to their aptly named Cuties juice and smoothie products.

So why the hype? For starters, Califia Farms seems to be a darn good company. They are non-GMO verified, use 100 percent recyclable packaging (BPA-Free PET bottles), and take special care in product production. While other brands of almond milk use roasted almonds, Califia uses blanched “raw” California almonds to retain more of the fresh almond taste and natural nutrients.

Tasting Notes for Califia Farms Almondmilk

We concurred that Califia Farms Almondmilk does indeed retain more flavor; it has a more intense almond vibe than most other almond milks. It’s also very rich, and even a bit creamier than 2% dairy milk. It comes in four five flavors:

Califia Farms Almondmilk - Dairy Free Milk Alternative

Creamy Original

For true almond milk lovers only, this variety has just a hint of sweetness, but is rich with almond flavor. Tony loved it in his coffee. I found it a little rich for me for general sipping as did my niece. Although, it was very good in smoothies, hot chocolate, and when coupled with hearty granola.


Considering Califia’s penchant for richness, we were expecting some in-you-face vanilla with this flavor, but it was surprisingly mild. Just an essence of vanilla, and actually a little less sweet than the Original variety. It had the same full-bodied consistency though.


Pure, no sugar added, almondy goodness. I love having a good almond milk on hand without any sugar, to compliment when something is already a bit sweet, or to help out in savory dishes. The true almond flavor doesn’t work with all savories, but is great for heartier or earthy recipes.

Toasted Coconut

I didn’t think coconut would be able to compete much with the almond milk base, but it actually overpowers it! Even richer than the others, and quite coconutty, this could work as a great stand-in for half and half in recipes, as long as the coconut profile suits the dish. I’m thinking it would make a marvelous light pina colada, too! Tony liked it in his coffee, but preferred the Original Almond Milk.

*Seasonal* Holiday Nog

I feel that this nog falls under the Almond Milk category rather than busting out on its own as a special beverage. Made primarily with the Califia Farms base of almond milk and pure cane sugar, the consistency mimicked their other almond milk flavors – lightly rich, like a 2 percent milk. It made for a fantastic nog-inspired or nog-flavored almond milk. It is tasty in its own right, gently sweet, perfect for baking, great in coffee and tea. Even delicious splashed over oatmeal, but much lower on the indulgence scale than a classic “nog.” Enjoy it as your holiday milk alternative of choice for a seasonal treat!

Califia Farms Almond Milk - Holiday Nog

Beyond the taste and consistency, I loved that all four varieties had no to very low sugars. I eat enough sweets; the last thing our house needs is sugar in our milk! For those who are concerned about vitamins and minerals, Califia Farms Almondmilk is substantially fortified with calcium, vitamin D (vegan), vitamin E, vitamin B12, and more.

Ingredient Confusion? Beyond the warning about about their new varieties of “Pure” Almondmilk with dairy protein (above), I was initially thrown off by the Califia Farms “Pure” Almondmilk label and odd ingredient statement listing. When I glanced at the back of the Unsweetened bottle, I saw “Ingredients: Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds)”. I immediately got excited thinking “it really is pure almond – no additives!” But when I noticed the high calcium and vitamin D, I questioned how that was possible. What I didn’t initially see was that there are more ingredients, just spaced downward and separated from the two main ingredients. They do indeed have fortification, thickeners, and emulsifiers, but the way Califia Farms lays out the ingredients and uses the “pure almondmilk” title was quite misleading for me.

The Facts on Califia Farms Pure Almondmilk

Price: $3.99 / 48-ounce container

Certifications: Califia Farms Pure Almondmilk is labeled as non-GMO, vegan and gluten-free, but we didn’t see any certifications

Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Califia Farms Pure Almondmilk beverages are vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, and soy-free. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.

For More Product Information: Visit the Califia Farms website at

Califia Farms Almond Milk - Holiday Nog

Top two images from Califia Farms on Facebook! The nog images are from my home!

Average Reader Review

2.3 rating
2.3 out of 5 stars (based on 3 reviews)
Very good34%

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What Others Are Saying ...

Better than ripple

2.0 rating
February 9, 2020

It has a flavor similar to Ripple, which was quite bad IMO but this wasn’t AS bad. It has an uncanny resemblance to play doh flavor


Allergic reaction

1.0 rating
October 30, 2019

I liked the taste of the unsweetened almond milk. However, when I used it I an an allergic reaction. An hour or so after consuming it, I became very itchy, especially my feet . I had tried the unsweetened almond milk from Aldi., with no reaction. Is this because they use unroasted almonds?


Response from Go Dairy Free

Are you allergic to almonds? If your allergen wasn’t in the ingredient list, then you should contact the company to notify them of your allergen and that you had a reaction.

A very rich and creamy consistency

4.0 rating
February 27, 2019

Califia stands out from the almond milk pack with four intensely almond varieties that have a very rich and creamy consistency. Great for coffee, hot chocolate, baking, and when those creamy cravings hit. Overall, if you are a fan of 2% milk and the true flavor of almonds, this brand could be your go-to. Note that their entire products line (including the protein milks) is now dairy-free.


About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Pauline Lincoln on

    I`ve been purchasing both the original and coconut almondmilk over a year now,…..Love them both…..Works well with my IBS syndrome……

  2. This is the best almond milk ever! What I really like about this product there is no soy, it’s gluten free, there’s no oils no GMO in it! Thank you for caring and taking pride in your product!

  3. I was really angered to find that my “pure almond milk” contains dairy! Of course I didn’t see the fine print until I opened it the day after purchase. I will never again purchase any Califia product. And it doesn’t even taste very good – as if it has too much fake “almond flavoring” in it. I will continue making my own.

  4. I purchase the coconut flavor, and I really like it. I’m going to use it instead of creamer, I did paid 5.99 at Krogers.

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  7. I actually have to disagree with the yummyness of the Vanilla Almond Milk. I thought it was one of the worst tastes from an almond milk. To me it tasted like play-do. I was super disapointed because I am always looking for a new Almond milk. =(

  8. This sounds like the beginnings of a marketing nightmare. It’s a shame because on the surface they seem like a great company. I wonder why they would create a protein milk called Pure almond milk yet put dairy in it? They sound like confused teenagers to me 🙂

  9. The pure chocolate almond milk is not dairy free!!!! I had an allergic reaction. The bottle says 50% more calcium than dairy, yet there is dairy in it. The ingredient list says whey which I did not see before purchasing. Pure almond milk should be pure almond milk! This was so dangerous for me to consume.

    • Hi Madison, it sounds like you purchased Califia Farms new “Protein” Almond Milks (which do contain dairy milk). These are a different class of milk alternatives from their regular almond milk line (which don’t contain dairy milk), but I agree in looking at the packaging on their website and the name “Pure Almondmilk” makes it very confusing! Have you reported your frustration to the company? I would contact them directly. I’m going to put a warning on my review here and share it with the Go Dairy Free audience today on Facebook to hopefully spread the word.

  10. I’m upset with Califia but have myself to blame for missing the 2% of “other” ingredients listed in fine print. A ingredient/s from it caused me GI distress whereas homemade and Trader Joe’s almond milk (refrigerated) did not.

  11. Really bummed that they use carageenan. Nice to see they are working on a replacement, but it will likely be replaced with more gum/yucky thickener. Make your own at home!

  12. I have to confess, it was the beautiful dairy bottle that attracted me. So yes, I paid more cuz I liked the bottle. I just had a bowl of Cereal with the “Vanilla” almond. Then I had another bowl. OMG, this is the BEST Almond Milk I have EVER had and I will forever buy this wonderful “guilty pleasure”. It’s Creamy, delightful and simply wonderful. Nothing compares to this.

    • Most brands of almond milk aren’t organic. Two that you might trial are Pacific Foods brand (aseptic / shelf-stable packaging only) and 365 organic (from Whole Foods, but may be sold elsewhere, too).

  13. I kind of tripped over this at Whole Foods. I’m somewhat new to Almond Milk, and I liked the look of the bottle so took a chance. I purchased the “Original”. THE BEST – and the only Almond Milk that I will ever purchase.

  14. Thanks for the great product review. I have some almond milk that I rely heavily on, but am always looking for new choices. Thanks for sharing another one.