Weird-tasting milk in Amsterdam

(Ha, ha, make the obvious jokes…)

When I was in the Netherlands, the milk they had to put in my coffee tasted very strange. It was a bit sour and very flavorful, almost like buttermilk. Any idea what it could have been? The same stuff was served in more than one place, so it wasn’t just one hostel or something.

Could it have been UHT milk? This long lasting product does have a slightly different taste due to the heat-treatment it undergoes. I quite like it.

I’ve had Parmalat before–this had a much stranger taste.

What kind of consistency did it have? From the “a bit sour and very flavourful” description, it sounds a little like crème fraîche, but its consistency is noticeably different from that of milk and I’ve never heard of it being used in coffee.

I had very very fresh, unpastuerized and unhomogenized grass-fed cow milk, and it tasted “weird” too.

UHT half and half… bleah. I put some in my coffee and it tasted really off. I thought the half and half was turning so I tasted it, and it tasted OK straight from the bottle. Just really nasty in coffee.

Wow, you live up to your handle. I wouldn’t touch unpasteurized milk if I was on fire.

Straight from the cow, and I knew that cow by name. In that case, it’s pretty damn safe. Otherwise, you have a point.

It was probably “koffiemelk” which is thicker and stronger than regular milk but not quite like half and half, either. It is usually brownish in color which may throw your tastebuds off when you see it.

I think it’s evaporated milk. I like the stuff, myself.

I used to hate UHT milk with a passion. Yuck. But I’ve had some very “normal”-tasting UHT milks in Mexico. I’m in Europe now, so maybe I’ll try and see how they taste these days.

When I was a nipper we used to go on holiday to a farm in Cornwall. They sold unpasteurised milk in the farm shop, still warm if you got there early. They put it in normal glass milk bottles with a green foil cap. As I recall it tasted slightly of disinfectant, presumably from the milking lines, but it never did us any harm…

Yeah, I used to drink it this way as a child. I mean, they didn’t have pasteurization forever and we survived - wouldn’t drink it from a factory farm cow, though.

The shape of the bottle, which you can see via a google image search, looks right. I think you’ve got it.

Can anyone confirm that koffiemelk is, indeed, evaporated milk?

ETA: This ad (vaguely NSFW) for the stuff is ridiculous: http://www.

People whose immune systems were strong enough survived. A lot of other people died, especially children. Before widespread pasteurization, “dirty” milk was a big concern – it was one of the reasons condensed, canned milk was invented.

Knowing the cow’s name doesn’t make the milk that comes out of her any safer, and neither does the cow being on a little ol’ farm. Unless the cow’s being milked in laboratory conditions, there are lots of opportunities for contaminants to be introduced into the milk. Drinking unpasteurized milk is a crap shoot.

On a related note - is it just the dairy product that you found odd tasting? I was in Holland in November for the first time for about a week. When we arrived, a fellow American warned us that if we drank the coffee, we would end up with ‘odd’ smelling urine. Sure enough, we drank lots of black coffee, and shortly thereafter, trips to the bathroom produced a new odor.

Anyone else experience this? Any idea what the cause was? The coffee tasted different, but not THAT different.


(Who spent his teenage years milking cows and drinking lots of unpasteurized milk)

Knowing the cow’s name indicates that you probably know how it’s been handled, its history, the milking facilities, etc. Drinking unpasteurized milk that you don’t know anything about is a crapshoot. Drinking milk that you know has been properly handled, not so much.

The milk truck guys all got milk from my sister’s dairy. They knew all the test results from all the farms in the region and knew that hers was always clean. She worked very hard to make that happen - it wasn’t a crapshoot, by any means.

Another vote for unpasterized milk.

I pasturize my own fresh unhomogonized milk (which I buy from gourds carried in on the heads of nomads.) When I get it, it’s usually already soured a bit, and it doesn’t sour in the same way that pasturized milk sours. It gets a little chunky and sour, and if it’s too hot it gets bitter by the end of the day.

Most supermarkets in the Netherlands carry skim, partially skimmed, and whole milk, as well as another product called karnemelk. I don’t buy the stuff because I find it pretty unpleasant.

I have no idea which of these is usually put in coffee (since I don’t drink coffee), but a quick look suggests karnemelk is called buttermilk in english.

I currently live on a dairy farm, so I know all about milking cows, having handled my fair share of tits. I’ve lived on a dairy farm my entire life, and I would not drink unpasteurized milk from our own bulk tank, though I milked the cow myself. Why? Because despite every wash, wipe, and dip, there’s still the chance for contamination. No system is infallible, and it only takes that one time for someone to end up dead or very sick. If you drink unpasteurized milk, then you open yourself up to a lot risk. Not because the people who milk the cows are lazy or incompetent, but because nothing can be perfect 100-percent of the time. Pasteurization reduces that risk. It’s not done because of a some fiendish plan by the government to make milk taste bad, but because it helps kill viruses and bacteria that make make people sick.

If you go around saying that unpasteurized milk is perfectly safe, you’re just plain wrong.

The more I thought about people drinking raw milk, the angrier I got. So I started a Pit thread. My very first. And it was about dairy. Go figure.