I wasn’t born in New England, but I did grow up here, and still call it home. I distinctly remember the first time I came across coffee milk. I was maybe 10 or so, in the school cafeteria, reaching for a carton of what I thought was chocolate milk. I sat down with my friends, excited to dig in (well, as excited as you could be to eat a school lunch in the ’90s). The first sip was startling, and I’m sure I reacted with all the grace and dignity you might expect from a 10-year-old.
Closer inspection of the carton revealed that it wasn’t chocolate milk at all—the label was a lighter shade of brown, for one, and sure enough, it said “coffee milk.” Huh. I’d lived in Chicago, Miami, and Cancún before moving to Maine, and I’d never heard of it. Chocolate milk, strawberry milk, sure. But this was new to me, a young transplant.