Introduction: Coffee Milk (RI State Drink)

Picture of Coffee Milk (RI State Drink)

I grew up in Rhode Island and I have been living out of state for about five years now. I don't know if other states have state drinks but I do know that Rhode Island's state drink is Coffee Milk. Rumor has it, if you go just ten minutes into Massachusetts or Connecticut and order a coffee milk people will not know what you are talking about. Needless to say, it was hard to come by in Philadelphia and impossible in San Francisco.

This recipe doesn't come out quite like the Autocrat brand coffee milk, but I got pretty darn close.

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools

Picture of Ingredients and Tools

Coffee Grounds


Sugar or Corn Syrup (I never said it was healthy)

Coffee Filters (3)

Pour Over Cone


Drinking Glasses (2)

Step 2: Super Concentrated Coffee

Picture of Super Concentrated Coffee

There are multiple ways to do this step. You could probably use espresso if you wanted.

Boil some water and make a cup of coffee. Now, compost those grounds and run the coffee through the filter again with more coffee grounds. Repeat this three or four times. I ran the coffee through each batch of grounds twice before replacing it.

Each time you run the coffee through the grounds it will be slower and slightly less effective. It might be a good idea to reheat the coffee in the microwave between each round of brewing. I didn't do this but I think it might help.

Step 3: Sweeten and Thicken

Picture of Sweeten and Thicken

I used corn syrup for this but sugar of any kind would probably work just fine. People say to use a 2 to 1 ratio of coffee to sugar but I went lighter than that, because I prefer a little more bitterness. If you are using corn syrup you can mix it cold but if you choose to use granular sugar you will likely need to heat the coffee on the stove to mix it.

Step 4: Mix It Up

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The ratio of syrup to milk is really up to you. I used about 4 tablespoons for the pint jar glass I was using. It also depends how strong your coffee syrup is.

Step 5: Enjoy

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Most Rhode Islanders use coffee syrup for making coffee milk but there are many uses. It is great on ice cream, waffles and some like it in yogurt.


tparker19 made it! (author)2015-02-27

Mine ended up way to thin. Any pointers?

LuckyLady21 (author)2015-01-15

I found it interesting since the coffee can be replaced by other ingredients and different flavored syrups can be made. Thanks for the idea!

LuckyLady21 (author)2015-01-15

I found it interesting since the coffee can be replaced by other ingredients and different flavored syrups can be made. Thanks for the idea!

LuckyLady21 (author)2015-01-15

I found it interesting since the coffee can be replaced by other ingredients and different flavored syrups can be made. Thanks for the idea!

alexis.bauer.14 (author)2014-10-16

Thanks for this! I love exploring new beverages...and I'd also never heard of it.

Sully2582 (author)2014-10-13

I grew up in NH and have had it before. I'm pretty sure you can find the syrup online, but I dig the resourcefulness.

co2h2o (author)2014-10-10

This sounds really good and of course as a Bay Area native, I've never heard of it! I do have a question though: Is it just me, or is there a packet of gelatin in your first photo? If so is that added in? Apologies if I missed mention of it in the instructions. :)

CobyUnger (author)co2h2o2014-10-10

You are correct, I thought I was going to need it but it turned out to be unnecessary. Very observant of you.

NatalieA (author)2014-10-07

You can ordered it online now from Autocrat...I live in Delaware and we order it every is wonderful....

CobyUnger (author)NatalieA2014-10-07

Guess next time I'll order a bottle. Thanks for the tip.

dwhacks (author)2014-10-05

Sorry but that's not a percolator.

CobyUnger (author)dwhacks2014-10-06

Right you are. Thank you for the correction.

Rocky Top (author)2014-10-04

When I was a freshman in college in NY, I used to go home with a friend of mine from RI and quickly learned to love coffee milk. Thanks to your poste, I now know why I have never, ever seen coffee syrup outside of RI. As "Manape" mentioned down below, I have been using instant coffee and sugar with milk in the blender to as a reasonable substitute when I need my coffee milk fix.

CobyUnger (author)Rocky Top2014-10-06

That sounds like a pretty good solution too.

Rocky Top (author)CobyUnger2014-10-06

That said, I am going to give your method a try so that I will have a bottle of syrup in the fridge as that is clearly more convenient than getting out the blender. Thanks for the Instructable!

Dragonjoy (author)2014-10-04

brings back memories for this RI born lady! thank you so much for sharing!

CobyUnger (author)Dragonjoy2014-10-06

No problem. I hope you can get your coffee milk fix.

zyck (author)2014-10-05

In Portugal we brew an expresso onto hot milk.
Here I been using instant espresso coffee.

bgipson1 (author)2014-10-04

I meant they have Autocrat

bgipson1 (author)2014-10-04

Have you tried Amazon
They have it will ship to your door

torimelko1 (author)2014-10-04

I am going to definitely need some!!!

edkv (author)2014-10-04

Nice photos and interesting drink it looks amazing, being a coffee with milk lover lol.I live in houston which is super diverse and I grew up drinking Vietnamese milk coffee.soooo good.which is strong coffee and condensed milk.but I will try the RI coffee milk definitely :)!

CobyUnger (author)edkv2014-10-04

I hope you enjoy it.

kodiwoedee (author)2014-10-04

Coffee milk sounds like a yummy fun project! Thanks for sharing your local treat.

CobyUnger (author)kodiwoedee2014-10-04

No problem. I hope you enjoy it.

VoltageSparx (author)2014-10-03

You need some autocrat? I have to send a case down to GA every year or two for family that moved south. Could always add more names to the list

CobyUnger (author)VoltageSparx2014-10-04

I love autocrat. Haven't had any in a long time. Can you also send Del's Lemonade, Spikes Hotdogs, Narragansett Beer and some clam cakes? Shoot, I miss Rhode Island.

Manape (author)2014-10-03

I cheat, I use 1 teaspoon of instant coffee and 1 teaspoon of suger in 12 onces of milk and let it sit for 10 min. then mix and drink.

CobyUnger (author)Manape2014-10-04

Sounds like a good solution.

emikayee (author)2014-10-04

Being a pa native, I've never heard of this (no surprise) but interesting.
I'm really only commenting because I want to say your kitchen is amazing.

CobyUnger (author)emikayee2014-10-04

The kitchen is part of the Pier 9 Workshop in San Francisco where the Instructables office is located. I have the extreme honor of working here as a resident artist.

choshow (author)2014-10-04

I'm from New Jersey which is pretty close and I've never heard of it. Being a fan of coffee I will be giving this a try. Thanks for sharing!

CobyUnger (author)choshow2014-10-04

Let me know what you think.

bensmiller02 (author)2014-07-15

I find that if you mix coffee milk and maple syrup you get a pretty similar taste

CobyUnger (author)bensmiller022014-07-16

That sounds pretty good also.

I have to say, I lived in Massachusetts for 4 years and never heard of this!

It really is a local treat. So local that people out of state have never heard of it.

jmwells (author)2014-07-14

Wouldn't it be easier to just use Kaloua?

CobyUnger (author)jmwells2014-07-15

Well, then we would be talking about a different drink. Not a bad idea though.

Carleyy (author)2014-07-15

Very cool to see this! I grew up on Rhode Island as well.

CobyUnger (author)Carleyy2014-07-15

Glad you can appreciate the glory that is coffee milk.

About This Instructable




Bio: I build, I teach, I learn. Happiest when covered in saw dust, sweat and machine grease. Visit for more projects and info.
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