When we were just knee-high to a grasshopper, Granny and Mamaw would make us special drinks that made us feel like grown-ups. As the 'dults drank from the ever-ready pot of hot coffee, we'd get a tiny cup containing milk, sugar and really, just a splash of coffee.
We weren't missing out on that big-person joy...and we like to think this is why we love our coffee.
Used to think grandmother's home made coffee-milk was just a Southern thing, but after extensive research -- and by research we mean asking most people we've come into contact with over the last week if they remember such a thing -- we've discovered it's really more of a New England thing, and a Midwestern thing, and a Pacific Northwest thing. Then we found out the soda fountain version (akin to chocolate milk but made with Autocrat or another coffee syrup) was actually the official beverage of Rhode Island.
But that's not the point of this Days Gone Bite. This is about a packaged, supermarket wonder that disappeared from the shelves at some point in the last 20 years depending on where you live and what you mean by, "But I remember buying that fairly recently." We speak of Schepp's Coffee Milk.
Folks, it sat up there in the refrigerated case right next to Jamie Oliver's passionately despised chocolate and strawberry (so you know it wasn't too long ago) milks. It was, essentially, coffee-flavored milk and if memory serves, it was divine. Not as divine as grandma's, mind you, this seemed less sweet than chocolate and strawberry milks but still very rich and smooth. In fact, it could be likened to the melted version of Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream. Do you remember the magic?
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It was in no way a thirst quencher, but it satisfied something else: that desire to be back at your grandmother's table trying to act like a big person, drinking your "coffee" just one more time (or times, depending on how often you bought the stuff).
Why did Schepps do away with the product? Surely, because you can easily make your own and no one bought it on the regular. Now we've got bottled Starbucks Frappuccinos to sate our sugary coffee needs, but it would be nice if a dairy company decided to bring back coffee-flavored milk if even for a seasonal jolt.
Wait, let's clarify. Wouldn't it be nice if a local or, at least, wider-sweeping dairy brought back the coffee milk on a seasonal basis? Because it seems that a few independents in far-away places do such things. Harris Farm, for instance, sells a variety...in Maine.
Aters, if you remember the times, or know of a local(ish) dairy that offers coffee milk, tell us in the comments.