Consider this: In 1992, George Howell, a specialty-coffee pioneer, owned a small chain of cafés in Cambridge, Massachusetts, called the Coffee Connection. Oat Coffee Milk is a fun and easy DIY recipe, which is a take on a classic Rhode Island drink! So much so, that Rhode Island designated coffee milk the official state drink in 1993.. “Customers tell us it reminds them of old Silmo syrup, which was the local brand here around New Bedford,” says David. It is the official state drink of Rhode Island. Rhode Island Coffee Milk. Whatever the wellspring of coffee milk, it was popular enough by the 1930s for a company called Silmo Packing Co. in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to come out with a commercially produced coffee syrup. Buy local whole milk. “My family lived in a triplex house with my grandparents and godparents and cousins, and every time I’d go in to visit my godmother, she’d always have a Viceroy cigarette hanging out of her mouth and a coffee cup in her hand—always!” he says with a laugh. Coffee milk is a combination of coffee syrup and milk. In fact, it is the Official State Drink of Rhode Island. 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. But this much is known: As a group, Yankees have a predilection for coffee-flavored dairy delights that is old and well-documented. Served throughout New England and mainly in school cafeterias, coffee milk also has a special place with hot dogs. “I really wanted to focus on the quality of the beans, and to only use coffee and cane sugar,” he says. No, we are not talking about milk in coffee. Imbibe is liquid culture. Who did Howell & Co. hire to supply the coffee syrup? Arguably, Rhode Island has held onto its coffee milk out of necessity. Coffee milk is so popular that it is available in little jugs at convenience stores and served at coffee shops and diners across Rhode Island. It never occurred to me that children in most of the country didn’t have that last option. “Our farm is just a few miles from the Rhode Island border, so really, making coffee milk was a must,” Casadei explains with a laugh. Brand loyalties ran deep, and towns and neighborhoods formed de facto coffee-syrup allegiances, which in true Rhody fashion, they argued with a passion. Go to Walmart, stop and shop or a local market and get Autocrat coffee syrup. In 2006, he launched Dave’s Coffee, a small specialty-coffee bar in the same old farmhouse where he and his wife owned a clothing boutique in Charlestown. Finally, in the early ’40s, the Autocrat company of Lincoln, Rhode Island, joined the fray. Add 2 cups cold water to water reservoir and brew according to manufacturer’s directions. Silmo began selling coffee syrup in 1932; six years later, Alphonse Fiore added coffee syrup to his product line at Eclipse Foods in Warwick, Rhode Island, and started to give Silmo a run for their money. Coffee milk is a combination of coffee syrup and milk. How did coffee syrup make the leap from soldier’s brew to statewide staple? The only ingredients in our coffee syrup are cane sugar, coffee, and tapioca syrup. There are reports of Rhode Island shop owners throwing out chocolate milk, because it just cannot compete with the demand for coffee milk. Over the state line in Connecticut, a hands-on, homegrown coffee-milk tradition is still carried on at Smyth’s Trinity Farm in Enfield, and Arethusa Farm Dairy in Bantam. That concoction, by the way, is known as a “coffee milk” and in 1993 was officially decreed Rhode Island’s official state beverage, narrowly edging out another Ocean-State original, Del’s Frozen Lemonade. Use as directed. Finally, in 2012, when the company began roasting its own beans, Lanning decided it was time to try his hand at making a modern coffee syrup—and like the Sylvias, he was committed to avoiding inferior ingredients and preservatives. Though Lanning’s syrup was initially stocked only at Dave’s Coffee outlets, the dark, rich taste—not to mention the stylish amber glass bottles in which it was packed—generated immediate buzz. “It took some tinkering, but we ended up with a formula using nutty, chocolatey Brazilian beans that pair so perfectly with the sugar.”. As Lanning’s coffee business took off, he expanded, opening a headquarters in Narragansett and another retail outlet in Providence. But for those non-Rhode Islanders out there, coffee milk is simply milk mixed with sweet coffee syrup, stirred together the very same way you’d make a glass of chocolate milk. Among the famous Rhode Island creameries which serve them are Delekta's Pharmacy in Warren, and the Original Vanilla Bean in South Kingstown. Her work appears regularly in The Wall Street Journal’s Off Duty section and has been featured in publications including Saveur, Vogue, Cooking Light, Real Simple, Every Day with Rachael Ray, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and Businessweek. How to use coffee syrup: Make official Rhode Island Coffee Milk, glaze meats for an amazing BBQ, candy vegetables and yams, use as a mixer in cocktails, add to your favorite baking recipes, blend delicious milkshakes (aka coffee cabinets), or drizzle over ice cream! Coffee milk is a popular beverage in Rhode Island and the immediate surrounding area. Vat-pasteurized, non-homogenized, and topped with a thick and luscious layer of cream, this is no ordinary hash-house cupful. I love Oat Coffee Milk in the morning with breakfast for … Growing up, we had three types of milk to choose from at school; regular white, chocolate and coffee milk. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. It’s a staple in Rhode Island kitchens, but travel a short distance from the tiny state, and it is completely unheard of.