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Coffee Shop Drops Reduced-Fat Milk, Customers Flip Out

Who knew something as mundane as milk would cause such a stir?

Avenues Magazine/Facebook

A New Zealand coffee shop is facing some backlash after removing reduced-fat trim milk from its menu. The New Zealand Herald reports the decision has been met by upset customers who think the shop's owners are "a bit rude" and "more than a bit judgemental."

Lyttelton Coffee Company in Christchurch posted a sign reading, "Don't do trim eh. Your fooling ya self anyway," which was picked up on Facebook by a local lifestyle magazine. From there, as is often the case on Facebook, commenters blew up. The result was a lengthy debate on whether the customer is always right, or if a business should be able to serve what it wants. Herald readers joined the conversation with several declarative, no-way-I'm-wrong comments.

  • "Anyone knows that barista-made coffee is better made with trim milk so don't go to that particular cafe ... End of story!!!"
  • "Trim? Some people have conditioned themselves into believing that Trim is healthy. Wrong!! They are better off having it black!! Trim is basically coloured water only."
  • "I don't support it. There are more creative ways of getting your marketing across without stopping to mock people for the way they are. Pretty lame, really."

The cafe says the decision to drop the reduced-fat trim milk comes from a good place. It's attempting to cut down on waste, and "four hundred plastic bottles each week are no longer on my back porch." Lyttelton says its non-homogenized, full-fat milk, which comes from a local farm and arrives in stainless steel containers, "attaches beautifully to the coffee we roast." Owner Stephen Mateer, speaking to Radio New Zealand National, said he wasn't trying to ruffle any feathers.

"I didn't pick a fight, no," Mateer said. "I was just doing my thing. I did make a comment about how I, personally, don't like trim milk. I can't take that back."

If Mateer refuses to serve trim milk as his coffee shop, it seems unlikely he would consider Fairlife, the milk-on-steroids created by Coca-Cola.