What is Postum? Understanding Coffee’s Healthier Alternative

what is postum

With several people avoiding caffeine for either health or religious reasons, alternatives to the beverage have always been in demand. A non-caffeinated alternative was brought to the market by the Post Cereal Company in the late 19th century, allowing several caffeine-averse individuals to consume the beverage without having to worry about the supposed ills of caffeine, such as ‘coffee nerves’. Even if these claims of the ill effects of caffeine might not be entirely supported by hard scientific evidence, a good proportion of the population began increasing their consumption of Postum. 

So, what is postum? And what is postum made from? These are the questions that we’re going to deal with in this blog post, allowing you to understand the beloved family beverage that allowed conscious elders and curious youngsters to partake in guilt-free indulgence. We discuss the various attributes of postum, what made it popular, and how you can incorporate this beverage into your menu to market it to customers that aren’t interested in caffeinated beverages. 

What is Postum?

  • Postum is an alternative to coffee that was first introduced to the market in the year 1895. It was invented by CW Post of the Post Cereal Company. 
  • The drink soon became a popular alternative to coffee due to the dedicated anti-caffeine marketing of the company. Postum was also the chosen drink of religious groups that believed in abstinence and found the drink to be a perfect substitute for caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee. 
  • Initially marketed and sold by its parent company, Kraft Foods eventually took over and continued offering the postum drink to its loyal customer base. However, due to the increasing options and availability of several other choices towards the end of the 1900s and in the early 2000s, Kraft Foods pulled Postum off the shelves in 2007. 
  • Nevertheless, postum made a comeback in 2012, with Eliza’s Quest Foods procuring the rights for the beverage, bringing back the nostalgic taste to everyone still eager to swap out their morning coffee for something different. Postum has once again regained its rightful place as the go-to caffeine alternative and can be bought from just about any grocery store.

What is Postum Made from?

  • So, what’s the beloved coffee substitute made of? And what are postum’s ingredients? Postum is a cereal-based beverage made of roasted wheat, wheat or corn bran, and molasses. Due to the lack of caffeine, the drink became extremely popular with people that preferred to abstain from stimulants present in coffee and tea. 
  • Due to its completely plant-sourced ingredients, postum is a completely vegan drink - something that will allow you to market the drink to customers with plant-based dietary preferences. Postum became popular during the second world war - a period that was rife with strict rationing of coffee coupled with limited supplies. 
  • Postum rose in popularity amongst groups like the Mormons and Seventh-day Adventists that base their beliefs on leading austere lives. The drink presents restaurateurs an opportunity to market their offerings to a vast array of untapped customer markets.
  • The only concern with postum remains its gluten content - something that can trigger allergic reactions in individuals with gluten intolerance and sensitivities.
  • Postum’s straightforward preparation method involves merely adding the drink mix to a cup of warm water, followed by adding milk, cream, and a sweetener of your choice. The flexibility to experiment with this method has led to the creation of a number of attractive postum-based beverages that have taken off in the market. 

The Postum Drink & Its Taste Profile

  • Now that you know what is postum and what postum is made from, it’s time to understand the drink’s taste profile so you can better tweak the traditional recipes to make a number of creative offerings for your beverage menu. 
  • Postum is commonly available in three different flavors. These are postum original, postum coffee, and postum cocoa. 
  • Postum coffee flavor is meant to substitute for your daily morning fix. The beverage, though coffee’s substitute, is much milder and eliminates the acidity that’s commonly associated with a cup of coffee. 
  • Despite the aroma of the powder itself being fairly overpowering, the drink is quite mild and extremely palatable. The drink also brings to the table a robust grain-like essence that comes from the ingredients of postum. 
  • Postum can be coupled with several other ingredients to prepare everyday cafe offerings such as frappes, lattes, slushies, and macchiatos. 

Making Postum in Your Kitchen

Since postum was off the shelves for about five years, several fans of the beverage tried their hand at preparing the postum mix themselves. Since you now know what postum is and what it tastes like, you can try your hand at preparing the postum mix in your restaurant kitchen. Here’s how you can make postum mix: 

  • What are postum’s ingredients?: 4 cups of ground wheat, 2.5 cups of ground cornmeal/bran, half a cup of molasses, or any dark syrup. 
  • Procedure
    • Mix the ingredients using your hands and ensure they’re combined well.
    • Set the mix onto a shallow baking pan, and place the baking pan in an oven. Set the oven to a medium temperature and begin browning the mixture, stirring them every few minutes to ensure uniform browning. 
    • Ensure you don’t burn the mixture and monitor the temperature of the oven closely.
    • After the mixture has browned uniformly, cool it and store it in a clean and dry airtight container. 
    • About one to two teaspoons of the mix can be added to hot water or boiled along with the water to make a postum drink. 
    • You can add either milk or cream to the mix based on your preference, followed by sugar or any other artificial sweetener to suit your taste. 
    • In case you prefer the store-bought postum, make sure you buy in bulk and store them in clean containers for easy storage and accessibility. 
    • You can even use commercial coffee shop equipment to simplify the process of making the postum beverage by customizing the settings to suit the requirements.

Simple Postum Recipes

Here are a few simple postum recipes to help you offer delicious caffeine alternatives at your restaurant or cafe: 

  • Postum Frappe
  • What you will need: 2 tablespoons of postum drink mix, 2 cups of milk, a quarter cup of ice, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and whipped cream
  • Procedure: 
    • Add the postum drink mix, sugar, ice, and milk to a blender and blend until the mixture is well aerated and frothy. 
    • Serve the drink in a glass and top it with whipped cream. You can also dust some of the postum mix over the whipped cream for enhanced flavor and aesthetics. 
  • Postum Latte
  • What you will need: Half a cup of brewed postum, half a cup of milk, 1 teaspoon of sugar, whipped cream, and powdered cinnamon (optional) 
  • Procedure: 
    • Heat the milk in a microwave, and whisk it until it’s frothy. 
    • Add the brewed postum to the milk and top it with whipped cream. 
    • Dust some powdered cinnamon and postum mix over the whipped cream for enhanced flavor. 
  • Postum Chocolate Milkshake
  • What you will need: 2 tablespoons of postum drink mix, 3 tablespoons of chocolate mix, 1 cup of whole milk, half a cup of ice, and whipped cream
  • Procedure: 
    • Add the ingredients to a blender and blend until they form a frothy mixture. 
    • Top the drink with whipped cream and serve. 

Postum being the beloved drink that brings feelings of nostalgia, is slowly returning to the mainstream beverage space. Adding the beverage to your menu allows you to broaden your options and bring variety to your menu. While postum is not only a delicious hot beverage, it can also be used to prepare delectable cold offerings, allowing your customers to beat the summer heat. Supplement your existing operations with high-quality ice makers and coffee machines so you never have to worry about serving beverages to your customers. 

Posted by Damon Shrauner on