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Who loves coffee milk?

I'm just learning about this stuff. When did you first drink it? Where does it come from?

Why are schoolchildren drinking this stuff? Isn't there caffeine in it?

And what is the difference between Autocrat and Eclipse syrups, tastewise?

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  1. It comes from Rhode Island, and is the official state drink.
    Autocrat and Eclipse are made by the same company.
    There is caffeine in cola and plenty of people give it to kids.

    1 Reply
    1. re: EastRocker

      I grew up in Georgia in the 60's and my mom would give us what we called coffee milk. Actually, it was lots of milk with a few spoonfuls of coffee (probably the instant variety) and sugar. Boy we thought we were really grown up. And now they market the stuff!!

    2. I first tried it as a kid at a friend's house (late 70's). She would stir instant coffee and sugar in a glass of (cold) milk. I thought it was weird back then, but I love it now. I heat the milk in the microwave with the coffee and sugar (it would probably be even better if if brought to a boil in a pan, but I'm far too lazy to wash an extra pan!). Even my kids drink it as a 'treat' with their Saturday morning bagels...

      Never heard of the syrups...

      1. I grew up on the stuff, I am a native Rhode Islander. They offered all through school in half-pint cartons along with whole milk...


        2 Replies
        1. re: Sean

          Out of curiosity, do you or did you ever mix your own using the syrup? I tried Autocrat, and wasn't really a huge fan. It's very sweet?

          1. re: leobot

            We did own the syrup but rarely used it, many of the local dairies sell it pre-mixed in the milk isle of the local markets.


        2. Eclipse is sweeter than Autocrat. There's also a third brand, Coffee Time, with its own time-warp label, which is supposed to be the strongest, coffee-wise, of the three. It's also made by the same company now. I was always an Autocrat guy, but on my last trip to RI I tried some Coffee Time syrup and was very impressed.

          Read all about it: http://www.autocrat.com/

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bob W

            I love coffee syrup. I grew up just over the line in North Attleboro, and I don't remember the first time I tried it because I've had it since I was a child.
            I'm an autocrat girl. I think Eclipse is too sweet, but it does take some experimenting to get just the right flavor for each person.
            It's the best with a fluffernutter

            1. re: Bob W

              When I was a kid (in NH) we had Lincoln Syrup. It came in a bottle shaped like a bust of Abraham Lincoln. The cap was shaped like a top hat and it had a slot in it so the bottle could be used as a bank once the syrup was used up and the little cardboard inner disk was popped out.

            2. It's very much a "Vo Dilun" thing. I grew up on the stuff, too, and it pairs perfectly with a fluffernutter. Ours was an Autocrat house. We'd put chocolate and coffee syrup on coffee ice cream. Like coffee syrup, I've never seen coffee ice cream outside of this corner of NE.

              4 Replies
              1. re: RI Swampyankee

                Wow, I haven't "heard" swamp yankee for years. My Mom said I was bred and born a "swampyankee". Warwick, RI

                1. re: Lenox637

                  I'm in Warwick, too. The family has been living in the swamps and clamming the west bay for ages.

                2. re: RI Swampyankee

                  I've lived in both NJ & TN and we had coffee ice cream both places. Coffee milk, however, I never even heard of until I came to RI.

                3. As a Rhode Island native myself I love love love coffee milk. I grew up on autocrat which originated about a mile from my home in Lincoln RI. I prefer autocrat to any and all. they sell it by the gallon at this little store in Lincoln for something like $5. really cheap. Used to fill a thermos and head to the Lonsdale drive in. lol

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: snl1129

                    I grew up in Massachusetts and loved Coffee Time in my milk. Yes, it has coffee in it and therefore some caffeine, but it's a syrup that's mostly sugar and even if you use a couple of tablespoons in a glass of milk, how much caffeine could a child possibly be getting?

                    When it became clear that my son (technically a native New Englander, as he was born in CT), who has lived in NY his whole life (all 6 years of it) loved the taste of coffee (as in coffee ice cream - I'm not giving him coffee to drink), I bought him some Coffee Time syrup and now he loves it, too. It's all just part of my nefarious plot to turn him into a New Englander, never mind this New York nonsense.

                  2. I have noticed that Vo Dilunduhs let their kids drink coffee, however diluted with milk and sugar, way earlier than kids in other parts of the country.

                    1. I have been buying Eclipse as part of Rhody gift baskets (that include things like johnny cake mix and Mayor's Own marinara) for relative and friends since I moved here 10 years ago. Last summer I figured I'd better not be so arrogant about the corn syrup issue and tried it myself and I LOVE IT! I am a coffeeholic and this is just right sometimes when I am in neither a strong coffee or coffee icecream mood. I hope this makes me a true Rhode Islander, but obviously there has been a gap in my naturalization: WHAT THE HECK IS A VO DILUNDUH? I can't find it defined in google anywhere...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jcoralwoodbury

                        ha! Vo Dilundah = Rhode Islander. (say it out loud :)

                      2. Yes, I love it. We always had it in the house growing up (syrup, never premade). I've sent it to friends w/kids in other parts of the country and they love it. It's low-caffeine....like 20 mgs per 2 tbs (I think coffee is 50+?). A coffee cabinet made in the blender w/milk, coffee syrup and coffee ice cream is awesome.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JaneRI

                          Thank you! Grew up in Fall River, Mass. When I reminisce about walking to the corner store, hopping up to the soda fountain and ordering a "coffee cab", my kids thinks I'm hallucinating!

                          1. re: coastie

                            I have been running cafeterias for years and in my first Rhode island experience they had a milk cow..(the bg dispensers) in the cafeteria with three bays for the milk...I asked why...and was immediatley told...regular, skim and coffee milk

                            1. re: sodagirl

                              Arrudas dairy in tiverton is the real deal,everything else is imitation!!honestly.......

                          2. I grew up in Rhode Island, and, coffee milk, like mocha ice cream and clam cakes go with the territory. I had the idyllic 1950s childhood...Bonnet Shores every day in the summer, Schatner Farms, Emery's clam cakes and chowder and eclipse coffee syrup coffee milk. I am in R.I. at least once a month...and ...on route 2 south, there it is, the eclipse coffee syrup company. You would be hard pressed to find one us boomers who grew up in Rhode Island who has never experienced coffee milk.