Travel Milk (non-refrigerated?)

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
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#1: Post by MNate »

Does anyone have a suggestion for a milk to use while traveling that doesn't require refrigeration?

We travel with the Robot (next week to Vegas and the Utah national parks, staying in hotels) and usually bring some sort of milk frothing device which we use after microwaving a bit of milk. (Roughly 4 oz). Nice little latte on the road. But... the two parts of this I don't like are 1, the need to keep cold milk on hand as we may not have a cooler, and 2, the frothing and even heating the milk seems like a waste of time and space. I'm the summer we could certainly do cold drinks.

I've always been leery of those little half and half cups you see at coffee stations but they would work. The more real the milk the better. Even dried could be an option.

What do you suggest? Especially if it could be bought at Target... (always do a Target drive up pickup when we arrive somewhere). Non-refrigerated.


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Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

Horizon makes 8 oz boxes of "UHT" or "shelf-stable" milk that do not need refrigeration (until opened). I believe they are available at Target in at least whole and reduced fat, at least here in Northern California.

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#3: Post by HB »

UHT was everywhere when I lived overseas. Like Jeff said, no refrigeration is necessary until opened. It may not make as great microform, but it's travel friendly.
Dan Kehn


#4: Post by Marmot »

How about a good thermos? I would find a good one (vacuum) with a wide opening and just put in cold milk from the refrigerator or a shop in the morning. Depending on how hot it is during the day you could drop in some ice cubes as well to keep it cool for longer.
I also thought about the same problem you have now but considering staying outdoors at night. Milk powder would be a good solution (considering weight compared to UHT). However where I live it's always fat reduced powder. I read somewhere that there is whole milk powder available on some outdoor shops. Maybe you are lucky and can find it in your area?

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Team HB

#5: Post by another_jim »

There's many pages of options on amazon or google shop, including multipacks of small, resealable bottles.
Jim Schulman

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#6: Post by Marcelnl »

If you can stand the taste of UHT that would likely be easiest, I'd vote for buying fresh and using a thermos or powder.
LMWDP #483


#7: Post by Johnny77 »

At Walmart you can buy "Milk2go" - that's what I use for my latte when I travel around in Canada and the US. Works well. It's either in the cooled milk session (why?) or near the cashier. Depends on the Walmart you're at :D ... 0197627158

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MNate (original poster)

#8: Post by MNate (original poster) »

Good thoughts, all. Thanks.

So no one on here uses those little shelf stable half and half packets then?

Yup, I see that UHT, good to know. Sounds like our best bet so far, maybe a thermos of real milk too.

Of course the other option is we learn to enjoy our espresso without milk.... But a little milk just seems to round it out so nicely.

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Kaffee Bitte

#9: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

The shelf stable half and half isn't terrible if thats the best you can do. Not as good as fresh of course but functional for travel. I have brought some on trips before along with UHT milk. Not top flavors but better than random coffee shop or the drip "coffee" anywhere

Edit to add. I believe the packets of real half and half need to be refrigerated. The nondairy varieties are all shelf stable.. I think there should be some real half and half that is shelf stable though. Just read closely before buying.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110

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MNate (original poster)

#10: Post by MNate (original poster) »

Thought I'd give an update of how the milk went for me... no real insight...

I did find shelf-stable UHT whole milk at Target and I also got some real half and half that needed refrigeration. I used the real the first two days, UHT for 4 days and milk from the breakfast bar 2 days. I did all of these just adding some to the espresso as-was, no heating or frothing or anything.

Basically I didn't like any of it and I really think I need to just skip the milk and do straight shots. But this could be because I didn't like the espresso I was pulling in the first place and you can't expect a dash of milk to fix it. For me that probably means not trusting that I'll find a usable bean at a new-to-me coffee shop.

We went to PublicUs in Las Vegas and I had a very very good cappuccino (the order-taker tried to talk me into more milk but the barista affirmed my choice and was quite knowledgeable). I tried to buy a bag of those beans, a Costa Rican, but they didn't have any more so I ended up with a Java that I knew was a bad decision since I don't typically like them but the barista was right about the Costa Rican so I went with the advice on the Java. Probably should have just gone with their standard blend as it would have likely been easiest to pull. I also stopped at Mothership and it was only fine so I didn't buy beans there.

So... next time...

I'm going to dial in a bean on the Robot I like well enough at home as straight espresso and just bring it along. Even what I had brought that I liked well on how I dialed it in on my Niche/Decent I really could not get right on the Robot/Kinu. So sour... and the too-roasted-for-me Java beans also turned out so sour. I've never had this problem before and it was a little perplexing. So maybe I'll just go back to buying cans of whatever cold brew espresso is out there at the moment like I did 5 years ago. Sad to come to that though, but hauling espresso stuff around is a little ridiculous, especially if what I end up with isn't what I like.

Long story, all too complicated, but that's where I'm at!