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This Ain’t Your Grandma’s Postum

Postum adFive years ago, I was pregnant with my last child, enduring the heartburn that always came with my pregnancies. With a little baking soda, some medication and the swearing off of Diet Coke during my pregnancies, I could manage the heartburn, and as soon as the baby came out, I was back on sweet, sweet Diet Coke (with lemon, if you please).

Except for after my last kid…the heartburn never went away. In fact, it got worse and eventually, I had to swear of Diet Coke forever.

As an adult who tries to watch her calories, all carbonated beverages were out as was fruit juice. And, as a Mormon, coffee and like 90% of tea was out.

Water gets kind of boring (and don’t go telling me about ways to “jazz it up” with a lime wedge).

I was at a loss when I heard that they stopped making Postum* (and then, I heard they started making it again, but I haven’t been able to confirm, and I wonder who “they” are—I feel like “their” food lab is probably a 1950’s pink kitchen), so I’ve done a little research, and here are some alternatives that I drink often.

Pero is probably the best replacement for Postum. I’m actually starting to like it better now if I forget about the nostalgia of having a cup of Postum with my grandmas because Pero stirs in better and is way easier to find (plus I know it’s still being made so I’m not risking it being like 10+ years old when I see it for sale on the internets).

One heaping teaspoon of Pero in a one cup boiling water with 1-2 tablespoons of a flavored coffee-creamer (coffee-creamers are my new best friends, and Girl Scout season is the best because that’s when they bring out the Samoas and Thin Mint flavored creamers—oh my!) for a tasty, easy morning beverage.

This is tricky to replicate in like 80% of the world but for a refreshing summer drink, I offer my tried and true:

Pero Caramel Coconut Latte

2 heaping teaspoons Pero
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons Nestle Caramel and Coconut Girl Scout Flavored Coffee Creamer
1 cup milk (I’m partial to almond milk right now because of the calorie issue, but oh man, with whole milk…it’s AMAZE!)
1 cup ice

Mix Pero and boiling water. When well-mixed, add milk and coffee creamer. Pour over ice.

Recently, I’ve started trying Crio Bru to mix things up. I like it also as a latte over ice (though I triple the amount of the recommended Crio Bru in my French Press). I don’t like it so much warm because it makes me irrationally angry (I’ve always had a thing about watery hot chocolate).

I’m not so interested in a discussion on the ins and outs of the Word of Wisdom, avoiding the appearance of evil, or why coffee should be okay to drink, but I would like to know if you’ve tried coffee-alternatives. What are your favorites?

*After writing this post, I thought to google “Postum” and it does appear that it is again available. Hooray!


EmilyCC works for a national non-profit and lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her spouse and three children. She is a former editor of Exponent II and a founding blogger at The Exponent.

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16 Responses

  1. Penny says:

    This post brought back so many memories of my grandma! Every visit to grandma’s was met with a cup of Pero (with lots of cream and sugar) and a slice of coffee cake. I’ve never tried Postum, but have seen several coffee substitutes at a local health food store. Who knew there was such a market for this stuff outside Mormondom? Feeling nostalgic and will have to brew a cup tonight!

  2. EJM says:

    Loved Postum! Now when I’m in the mood, especially during the winter months, I use Sanka but made with whole milk – because really that’s the only way to have it, and of course at least 2 teaspoons of sugar.

    But I have to say my most favourite drink is Rooibosch (not rooibos – ugh, some one Americanized the word) tea and it must be the 11 o’clock brand directly from South Africa for a true and rich flavour. The tea is derived from the “Red Bush” grown in South Africa. Drank buckets of it as a child and still do, and it’s loaded with antioxidants.

  3. Patty says:

    Oh, yes! My mother used to make me Postum and toast before I went off to early morning seminary. Have you tried Celestial Seasonings Roastaroma? It’s coffee-like. And I like Twinings Peppermint and Cranberry/Raspberry Herbal Teas ( no tea, just herbal stuff).

  4. Caroline says:

    Thanks for this tip, Emily! I’m going to try your Pero recommendation soon.

    I’ve tried coffee substitutes. Like teeccino. Not bad – but I suspect they would be a lot better if I tried an awesome coffee creamer with it.

    I’ve also had some rooibos (or rooisbosch) tea. Add enough splenda, and I think it’s pretty good.

  5. Rachel says:

    My favorite (hot) drink lately is Numi’s chai rooibos. My dad drank postum and my husband (very occasionally) drinks Pero, so we have some in our house. I’ve tried it, but have thus far not been a fan. I am willing to try your delicious sounding recipe.

  6. Rachel says:

    Also, I think that this is “their” kitchen you were referring to: http://news.distractify.com/pinar/perfectly-preserved-1950s-kitchen/

  7. Margaret says:

    This post is totally up my alley! I was raised on Pero, my grandma had it every day at breakfast (she gave up coffee when my grandfather was called to be Stake President. This was in the olden days when the WoW was somewhat optional.)

    Dandy Blend is a big favorite, you can buy it on amazon.com. I think it has the most authentic coffee flavor, especially when served as an iced latte with soy milk.

    I second the Rooibos recommendation. My favorites are Ginger Peach and Earl Greyer from Republic of Tea.

    I also like Honeybush tea from Fortnum and Mason, which is an English company. You can order it online.

    This isn’t a zero calorie drink but you can control the amount of sugar and I’ve been drinking a lot of it to get me through this horrific winter: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/warm-russian-tea/

    I make “Peroccino” by blending some ice, milk or cream, vanilla and pero in a blender. Delicious. But it’s more of a dessert.

    I make a “Perocha” by adding about a tablespoon of pero to hot chocolate.

    For creamers I use soy, hazelnut, almond and coconut milk (Trader Joe’s sells a coconut milk “beverage” that is watered down).

    Thanks for the recommendations everyone!

  8. anita says:

    My mom is a huge fan of this Dandy Blend stuff, which apparently tastes like coffee but is made from dandelion roots (healthy and WofW approved): http://www.amazon.com/Dandy-Blend-Instant-Beverage-Dandelion/dp/B000SMN0DO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424912851&sr=8-1&keywords=dandyblend

  9. Mike R. says:

    Little White Lab Rat reports that the currently available version of Postum also definitely ain’t your grandma’s Postum.

  10. Liz says:

    My dad served his mission in Argentina back in the 70’s, so I was raised on a daily dose of Yerba Mate tea, and I’ve continued that tradition through my whole life. I love the ritual of sitting down with a hot teapot of water and my loose tea in a cup (with a strainer straw), either by myself or with my family. My husband hates the stuff, but any time my parents/siblings are around, we always brew up a pot. It’s definitely an acquired taste (very bitter), but I absolutely love it, and the way that the process of making and drinking it slows down a part of my day.

  11. Lauren says:

    If you like Pero, you’ve got to try Roma! I buy it on Amazon and I’ve never gone back!

  12. Laura says:

    A friend in my ward introduced me to Inka. I like it better than Pero. And it’s easier to find than Postum. I love Crio Bru, too. But mostly I’m a tea drinker. Numi tea’s green rooibos and honeybush are favorites. I also really like Republic of Tea’s coconut hibiscus, and Yogi tea’s lemon ginger.

  13. sherry johns says:

    Decaf (cafiene makes my heart race) spicy chai tea with almond milk and liquid vanilla stevia – drinking some now!

  14. larryco_ says:

    Giving up diet coke? Heaven forbid. When I was a kid, my mom would give me coke syrup to soothe my tummy ache. I was wondering if I was the only one, but I found this online”

    “Remember when you had an upset stomach and your mother would soothe it with a dose of pure cola syrup? You can’t find it at the drugstore anymore, but cola syrup is still an excellent remedy for upset stomach. 12 oz. glass bottle.

    Mix 1 oz. of cola syrup to 5 oz. of water to make a tried-and-true remedy for upset stomach
    Mix cola syrup with seltzer water and ice for a delicious, caffeine-free, homemade cola
    At The Vermont Country Store you’ll find tried-and-true remedies trusted for generations, like cola syrup. Forget about foul-tasting antacids. This old-time remedy for upset stomach tastes like a soft drink.”

  15. Olea says:

    I’m so sorry for all you early-morning seminary students who didn’t start off your day with a hot Milo!

    We also had Horlicks (malt), and Ecco and Caro (coffee substitutes), but I was never a fan.

    Good quality loose leaf herbal tisanes, though? Yes, please. The one that’s basically just sugar with apple flavouring is my favourite. Or rose.

  16. Siobhan says:

    Just out of curiousity, why is Postum/Pero (also a hot drink) okay under the Word of Wisdom but not coffee/tea?


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