Before using the Almond Cow, you have to decide whether you want to make a milk or a creamer. Depending on your end goal, you’ll fill either the stainless steel canister or the smaller plastic collector cup (which sits inside of the canister) with water. Both are included with your purchase, but the latter allows you to reduce the amount of water used by the machine. This provides an end result with a higher fat content for a creamier consistency—hence the “creamer” option.

The next step is measuring out nuts or grains to put into the filter basket; you’ll need the same regardless of the liquid amount used. This is also when you’ll need to decide how you want your milk to taste. The brand recommends using either maple syrup or dates to naturally sweeten your beverage (I’ve even used agave before in a pinch), as well as a dash of salt to help enhance the flavor. I personally like incorporating vanilla, too, as it gives the final product just a bit of extra oomph.

When your filter basket is full, you twist it onto the bladed lid; all the blending and straining will happen within this piece. Once you place the lid back onto the canister, you’re ready to begin. Simply press the button on the lid to kickstart operation. The machine runs automatically for three 15-second cycle, blinking green for each new cycle.

Although the device is slightly high-pitched, it’s not too loud. My dog runs out of the room, but I’m fine to continue in the kitchen as the Almond Cow operates. Altogether it takes less than 60 seconds to complete the entire process—so it’s not disruptive.

I personally like to dump my milk into a secondary container right away, so I can toss it into the fridge to chill. However, I typically put the filter basket and lid back onto the canister, so the pulp continues to strain out excess liquid. This ensures I get every last drop of my creation. It also puts the pulp is on the drier side, which makes it easier for repurposing into crackers, sauces, and my personal favorite, “gruel.” (FYI, this is why I consider the Almond Cow a great gift for those trying to reduce their footprint.)

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