Raw Milk Taste Test: Does Raw Milk Really Taste Better Than Pasteurized Milk?

Many raw milk drinkers rave about the quality of it, praising its creamy texture and fresh taste. One curious Indiana man decided he would see what all the hype is about – by challenging a local dairyman to a blind taste comparing commercial milk and raw milk in a raw milk taste test.

By his own admission, he wondered how much conditioning (that he wasn’t used to raw milk) would hurt his impression of raw milk. He found that, in his personal opinion, he could not tell much of a difference in taste between pasteurized and unpasteurized milk. He could tell a difference in texture – but found raw milk to be thinner, not creamier, than the commercial milk.

So it seems that everyone has different opinions on the taste and texture of the two, and “…the best case for raw milk, then, may be rooted in the idea of consumer choice.”

Read more about the blind raw milk taste test Putting Raw Milk to the Test and whether a “raw milk renaissance” might be on the horizon.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, attend one of the upcoming Wise Traditions conferences.

10 thoughts on “Raw Milk Taste Test: Does Raw Milk Really Taste Better Than Pasteurized Milk?

  1. MMm I find this article so strange.
    I always really, really hated the taste of milk. I liked cheese, but I loathed milk. However, last year I was visiting my grandparents in their small village in the Ardennes. In the local supermarket they sold products from local farms and one of them was raw and fresh milk from a local farmer. I bought it, because I never saw raw milk before. I was scared to drink it because I hate the taste of regular milk so much, but oh my it thought it tasted delicious. I drank almost the whole bottle in one sitting, constantly telling my mother how good it tasted. I was so surprised because I normally loathe milk. This milk was so much creamier and thicker than regular milk. So I find it so strange that this article says it was thinner. Maybe it depends from batch to batch? Depending on nutrition and season? I don’t know, however the raw milk I bought was very creamy and tasted very different than other milk.
    And I was defiantly not prejudiced before drinking it, I thought I was going to hate it too.

    This year I found raw milk in a local store in the bigger city where I live. And I also like the taste, however the milk from the village in the Ardennes was much better. So it probably depends on the cows and what they have been eating and there living conditions I guess. However, both were creamy. Does low fat raw milk exists? Maybe the raw milk you tasted was low fat? Because although the quality of the taste seems to vary from farmer to farmer, full fat raw milk is very creamy, at least the ones that I have tasted. Maybe you should try raw milk from a different farmer and area?

    Also I lot of french cheese is made with raw milk and they use raw milk to create this special kind of flavor. So I guess that is also an indication that the taste is different. And raw cheese is very safe, because the Belgian supermarkets and cheese stores are filled with raw cheeses and I have never heard of an outbreak from raw cheese here in Belgium. At least not in ripened cheese.

  2. I’ll just have to be honest, raw milk taste terrible and nothing like in-processed milk. But I will always drink it because of the amazing health benefits.

    • To each her own, I guess. I do think that raw milk’s taste varies much more widely from farm to farm and cow type to cow type, than processed milk (which, coming from mostly Holsteins from many different farms to big processing plants, thus kind of tastes like “average” milk). I have had raw milk I didn’t care for, mostly in the spring when the green onions first come up, and that taste is in the milk….I just stop my deliveries for a few weeks. I have had absolutely heavenly raw milk (from Dutch Belted cows in Pennsylvania) and then just “averagely good” raw milk from my Amish farm’s Jersey cows (also in Pennsylvania, a different part).

    • I think it depends on the cow, the farm and the food and if the cream was taken out to make butter. The cream is what makes the milk smooth. Without the cream the milk will be thin. Some people use the cream to make butter and cheese. On top of that, I’ve been drinking milk from the same herd and notice sometimes the milk tastes different. Sometimes it takes like ice cream. Sometimes it tastes like leather lol

  3. I just came back from a farm having bought organic grass fed whole raw milk and I’d have to agree with the article…tastes just the same as treated milk but thinner. I was incredibly disappointed having read so much about how thick and sweet and creamy it was. My husband said the same thing although he likes the taste of store bought milk.

    • I have found quite a range of taste, thickness, sweetness, creaminess, etc. in the different raw milks I have tasted. Breed of cow seems to make a big difference, but the forage and geography seem to play a role as well, much like the “terroir” for wine (pinot noir grapes grown in one place don’t taste quite the same as those from another place). Guernsey milk seems quite a bit creamier than Jersey, but Jersey seems to be more widely available. The most amazing milk I ever tasted was from Dutch Belted cows, from a farm in Pennsylvania. Do you know what type of cows gave the milk you tried? Holsteins have less fat than Jerseys, so if it was Holstein milk it might have been a bit thin.

      • Well, also did the take the cream away to make butter? The cream that settles on top is what makes it rich and creamy. If they took that off to make butter the milk will thin.

  4. @Mike: Since they were guests, it is also possible they were just being nice, but secretly thinking to themselves that it was sh**** or lackluster. I rave to my grandma about how incredible her food is every time I eat with her, but she hasn’t been able to taste for thirty years and her food is as bland as the mud puddle outside. I do it to make her feel good, and they have have done it to make you feel good, too.

  5. Raw milk beats pasturized hands down, every time! The taste is so rich and
    full..nothing compares. I haven’t been able to get it in Alabama, but I just dream
    about that creamy raw milk I used to get. So sad…you can buy drugs and alcohol
    anywhere and the government doesn’t care, yet wholesome, wonderful, REAL milk
    is treated like it is poison and you can’t get it anywhere. When will we stop being
    afraid and fight for our real milk rights???

    • When mega dairies and corporate farms can’t lobby to keep their products the only “approved” products. Doesn’t it strike anyone strange that lactose intolerance seems to have increased in proportion to the decline of local dairies?

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