Coffee Milk: A Rhode Island Specialty

You Need This Coffee Milk Recipe From Rhode Island

Have you ever heard of coffee milk? Need a coffee milk recipe?

No, we are not talking about milk in coffee.  Coffee milk is a special substance that takes on a life of it’s own.

It’s a staple in Rhode Island kitchens, but travel a short distance from the tiny state, and it is completely unheard of.

So, what is this mysterious coffee milk and why do you need an awesome coffee milk recipe?

What is Coffee Milk

Coffee milk is a combination of coffee syrup and milk.

A sweeter alternative to traditional milk with a hint of coffee taste, it’s a hit with Rhode Islanders.  So much so, that Rhode Island designated coffee milk the official state drink in 1993.

Origins of Coffee Milk

Coffee milk is thought to have originated from Italian immigrants who came to the US East Coast and who often made bitter coffee which they heavily sweetened.

In the 1930s, diner owners were trying to attract customers with creative drinks, and adapted the Italian concoction into coffee milk.

The craze quickly spread throughout Rhode Island, and some parts of New England. Coffee syrup manufacturers sprang up, making it possible for people to make coffee milk in their own homes.  At the same time, dairies started producing coffee milk in glass bottles, and cartons.

Today, in Rhode Island, coffee milk is found in the dairy section with other flavored milks, and the coffee syrup is also readily available.  However, once outside of Rhode Island, the specialty milk is harder to come by.


Rhode Island Coffee Milk Recipe

Coffee milk flies off the shelves in the smallest state in the nation.

There are reports of Rhode Island shop owners throwing out chocolate milk, because it just cannot compete with the demand for coffee milk.  In 1988, a Massachusetts based dairy reported that coffee milk outsold chocolate milk nine to one.

However, wander far from Rhode Island and it seems customers prefer the more traditional chocolate milk.  Despite trying to expand into other markets coffee syrup manufacturers seem bound to Rhode Island.

It seems the rest of America just does not have the taste for this famous local beverage.


How to Make Coffee Milk

For many, Rhode Islanders coffee milk tastes like home, and they crave it long after moving out of the state.

The good news, for former Rhode Islanders, is that this simple recipe will let you to make coffee syrup wherever you are.

Coffee Syrup Recipe

  • ½ Cup Finely Ground Coffee
  • 2 Cups Cold Water
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  1. Place ground coffee in filter basket of a drip coffeemaker. Add 2 cups cold water to water reservoir and brew according to manufacturer’s directions.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine coffee and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; transfer to a small bowl or covered container. Refrigerate, covered, until cold or up to 2 weeks.
  3. Preparation: In a tall glass, mix 1 cup milk and 2-4 tablespoons coffee milk syrup.

* Recipe Source


Fresh Coffee Milk Delivered Right to Your Door in North Eastern USA

For coffee milk lovers in New England, it is still easy to come by on grocery store shelves.  However, if you want a farm fresh option, many local dairies offer coffee milk in glass bottles, and even home delivery.

People living near Providence, Rhode Island, and Dracut, Massachusetts can buy farm fresh coffee milk at the following dairies:

Other Dairies Offering Coffee Milk in New England are:

Find Farm Fresh, Organic Milk Near You