RI Food Encyclopedia

Coffee Milk


Considering the fact that chocolate milk is enjoyed internationally, it seems strange that its coffee cousin is mainly associated with Rhode Island. We love it so much, it became our official state drink in 1993. The origins of this sweet caffeinated beverage are slightly vague, but some sources say that a version of the drink – a strong brewed, bitter coffee heavily sweetened and served with copious amounts of milk - was (and is) served in Italy. The recipe came to Rhode Island with the influx of Italian immigrants during the 19th century and eventually debuted in local diners in the 1920s. While Autocrat – once a family owned business based in Lincoln – is the name most associated with the actual coffee syrup, this year the company was bought by an English organization. Luckily, if you’re looking for a local alternative, Dave’s Coffee Syrup is made right in Charlestown. Dave’s Coffee. 5193 Old Post Rd, Charlestown. 322-0006

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