Great coffee deserves great milk. We sent our education team on a field trip to visit our dairy suppliers, Battenkill Valley Creamery LLC to learn how they keep their product’s quality as high as they do. Our educator Kris learned so much, we just had to share..
“After using Battenkill Valley Creamery products for countless drinks in our cafes, I was beyond excited to visit the farm and observe the work that goes into making such an exceptional product. Having no experience with dairy farms, I didn’t really know what to expect from the visit, so it is easy to say that it exceeded my expectations.
We arrived at 11:30am and were greeted by Seth McEachron, owner and 5th generation dairy farmer. Seth was an incredibly gracious host and guide, talking us through their entire process. Battenkill Valley Creamery does all of their own bottling onsite, which allows them to maintain the high quality of their product and we were lucky enough to see this on our tour.
Battenkill Valley refers to their milk as “Farm Fresh” which made a lot of sense once Seth walked us through the process. During their busy season (Sept – Dec), BVC schedules three production days a week. The raw milk is moved to the creamery after milking, where it is processed based on fat content. Battenkill uses a low pasteurization process which. though it takes more time and makes their product more perishable, it is integral to the overall flavor of the milk. The milk is then homogenized, cooled and bottled. Once bottled, the milk is crated and loaded directly onto a truck which drives straight to their distribution partners in New York City, and delivered shortly after to restaurants and cafes throughout the city. The milk we use everyday was milked from a cow just days prior to enjoying in our cafes…truly “Farm Fresh.”.
Their cows are a mix of Jersey and Holstein cows which produce a much higher fat content. Because much of their business is from cafes and restaurants, Battenkill Valley sells a lot of Whole Milk which varies in fat content depending on the cow. Typically their Whole Milk is around 4% (vs the industry standard of 3.25%) in fat content which provides great mouthfeel and structure while steaming.
After watching the bottling process, we visited the cows and their calves that were just weeks old. Seth told us that cows really like having a steady routine so they do their best to keeping to the same milking schedule. They are fed a high energy diet of corn and hay silage which is necessary as cows loose a lot of energy through the milking process.
Talking with Seth, it’s clear that he really cares about his animals. BVC’s milk is “functionally organic” as they reserve the right to treat their cows with antibiotics should they get sick. Cows rest on mattresses lined in sawdust (replaced regularly) when resting between milking and the pens are cleaned regularly. Large fans line the open air pens to ensure that the environment is nice and cool, which is just how the cows like it.
Like our company, Battenkill Valley Creamery is dedicated to small batch production of a high quality product. Huge thanks to Seth and his team for having us over and for all the work they put into producing such a great product to work with and enjoy.”