The $245 Almond Cow looks like a slightly extended cow-themed electric kettle, complete with a cow button on the top that you press to start. That’s the only control: The Almond Cow, as the name perhaps suggests, is designed to make milk from almonds, although it can handle other raw milk sources like oats. There is no way to make hot milk like soy milk. It does a pretty effective job of milking almonds, though, so it is a solid pick if almond is your sole milk source.
I tested the $325 Almond Cow Starter Set, which includes the milk maker and a few accessories, such as a rather cute branded glass milk jug, a cleaning brush, and several packs of the Creamy CocoCash coconut and Original Almonds ‘n’ Dates milk mixes that the company sells.
The process of getting milk from your electric cow is simple: Add water to the vessel (between 5 and 6 cups), put the dry ingredients in the filter cup, twist it onto the bottom of the lid so the blender arm is in the materials, put the lid on, and press the button. The Almond Cow then grinds and mixes everything, a process that takes a few minutes. When it is done, the light on the top turns blue, and the milk is ready. The pulp is kept in the filter cup, which you remove and clean by hand. A collector cup is included, which fits over the filter cup to stop it dripping everywhere. The vessel also has to be rinsed out between uses.
I found the milk the Almond Cow produces was delicious: The high-speed blender with multiple blades meant the almonds were well blended and little or no grainy plant material was left behind. The milk came out a little frothy, like a pint of albino Guinness. The froth quickly settled, though, and the 5 cups that the Almond Cow produces should be enough for a family breakfast or a day of coffee-making.
Speaking of coffee, you can also use the collector cup and a smaller amount of water to make creamer, a more concentrated blend for those who prefer the thickness of a nondairy creamer.
The two milk mixes (Almond Cow calls them Milk Medleys) produce tasty milk with a nice, creamy mouth feel. The Creamy CocoCash is made with cashew nuts, coconut, and dates, while the Original Almond ‘n’ Dates is made from, well, almonds and dates. Both of these mixes would be easy to duplicate, although they use one more secret ingredient: a bit of rice flour that thickens the mix.
After using the Almond Cow, there is a lot of cleaning: Clean the filter cup, rinse the top off (the milk gets splashed inside the vessel as it is blended), and clean the vessel itself. It’s no surprise that the starter pack I tested also included a bendy scrubbing brush that helps get the gunky plant pulp out of the filter.
I also found that with chunkier ingredients like almonds, you must push the filter cup up quite hard to ensure it is correctly locked into place when attaching it to the top. That’s because the blender blades sit right at the bottom of the cup, and a nut can get stuck below the blades, keeping the twist lock from engaging properly. If the cup works its way loose during blending, it makes a mess and could damage the blade. The easiest way to avoid this, I found, was to gently shake the cup while attaching it to the top to keep the materials moving.
I also found that when you pour the milk out, the top of the Almond Cow has a habit of falling off as you tip the whole thing to get the final milk out of the vessel. There is no locking mechanism that holds the lid in place, only gravity.
Still, the Almond Cow does an effective job. It makes well blended milk in decent quantities and does it pretty quickly. What it does not do, however, is handle the variety of other types of milk some machines can. You are limited to raw milk like almonds, cashews, and oats.