Back in 2014, specialty coffee professional Sarah Dooley starred in a semi-ironic video that spoofed any number of roaster-made coffee sourcing videos.
Yet in instead of sourcing coffee, Dooley was sourcing dairy milk — rolling fresh cow dung between her fingers to release the grassy aroma, and making comments like, “When I travel to origin, I’m not only looking for the best product ever, but I’m also looking for a product that transcends from hand to hand — and in the sense of milk, from hand to udder to cup.”
Fast forward to today — where phrases such as traceability and single-origin have been nudging their way deeper in the specialty coffee lexicon — and it seems we are truly on the verge of “single-origin,” nay, “single-cow” milk. Think fresh milk from Bessie 2385, Guernsey L7 74 or MooMoo 9.
The single-cow milk concept is being developed by the Dutch food development company TOP, in collaboration with Matthijs Baan from Molenaarsgraaf, Holland.
‘’Every cow is unique, so every cow’s milk tastes different,” Baan said in a press announcement on the TOP site noting that the single-origin milk will soon be market-ready. “One might be creamy and taste like ice cream, while other bottles might be very fresh or sweet.’’
Like coffee, milk requires a certain amount of processing to be transformed into a stable, consumable product. As Munchies recently noted, traditional milk processing, pasteurization and packaging facilities require large volumes of milk to be processed at once, eliminating the potential for “single-origin” differentiation.
Without going into detail, TOP says it is creating technology that will allow farmers themselves to pasteurize and package milk from individual cows in individual bottles, thus giving them more control over the value chain while satisfying a niche market that increasingly seeks traceability and individualization.
What’s that I smell? An opportunity for blockchain integration?
Nick Brown is the editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine.