Ten years ago, who would’ve thought milk drinkers today would have so many options to choose from? Gone are the days of full-fat, skimmed and semi-skimmed – now the humble cow has some serious competition.
Nut milks, oat milk, soya milk, hemp milk, pea milk – the list is endless. And the latest addition to the UK? Camel milk.
Said to be creamier than cow’s milk, camel milk is hailed by scientists as the closest alternative to human breast milk – supposedly. It’s popular across Africa and the Middle East, but has now arrived at a café in Scotland.
The Willow Tea Room in Glasgow is selling ‘camelccinos’ over the next month to raise money for traders in rural Kenya – 10% of all coffees sold will go towards the charity project.
The Mercy Corps project, funded by the UK government, is helping 141 female camel milk traders near Wajir, in Kenya’s rural north-east, boost the shelf life of their product as climate change leads to increased annual temperatures.
They have been given solar-powered milk coolers, refrigerated transport and vending machines to help preserve the milk in the average 40C (104F) heat – temperatures which previously led to around a quarter of the milk spoiling.
Not only is the milk going towards a good cause, it’s also 10 times higher in iron and has three times more Vitamin C than cow’s milk, according to the charity project. It’s lower in lactose, so is a good option for lactose-intolerant customers.
And the taste has been a hit with customers. Willow Tea Rooms owner Anne Mulhern said: “We’ve road-tested it and our customers loved it. Camel milk cappuccinos could become a permanent feature on our menus.”
Currently, most of Kenya’s camel milk is consumed domestically, but if ‘camelccinos’ become popular in Glasgow, this could open up export opportunities for Kenyan farmers.
Mercy Corps executive director Simon O’Connell said: “We hope this fun initiative will help highlight the importance of supporting communities on the front lines of climate change to find ways to adapt and improve their livelihoods.”