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If you drink milk regularly, then it is likely that you are familiar with A2 milk from desi cows and have at some point considered switching to distributors who sell this variety. For the uninitiated, A2 milk is obtained from indigenous cows, in this case originating mainly from the regions of Gir and Kankrej. It is known for its health benefits and is named as such due to the presence of A2-beta-casein protein that makes it more digestible. It is also known to possess healthy cholesterol and immunity-building agents in quantities higher than the A1 variety.
Started in 2017, Mumbai Gwala’s Pvt. Ltd. wanted to share its love for desi cows and popularise A2 milk through a distribution system in the city. They noticed that the urban milk-drinking populace was opting out of dairy due to adulterated supplies, often turning vegan. The cruelty associated with milk production was also among the reasons for going lactose-free. In an attempt to counter this and to provide nourishing, cruelty-free A2 milk, DearCows was constituted.
Look no further than DearCows
Mumbai Gwala’s mission is now accessible to the residents of the metropolis in two simple formats: a website and a user-friendly app. When you log on to either, you are sure to first admire DearCows minimalist branding. Adopting green and purple, DearCows pays tribute to the men behind it all, the gwalas (milkmen) through the use of a simple sketch. We quite like the simplistic format.
Next, we suggest you stick to the website if you want to do some research before you place your first order. It is here that you will read the story of how DearCows came into being and have access to information about A2 milk that might be pivotal to your forthcoming conversion.
Much like their brand philosophy, the DearCows website is fuss-free and direct, providing information where necessary and not overloading the consumer. The FAQs section follows a similar theme answering basic questions about pasteurization and homogenisation, among others. DearCows milk is pasteurized for safety and suitable to use in milk-based preparations, we learnt. You could make rasgullas with it, the answer suggests.
DearCows also makes its quality analysis reports accessible on the website, so you can make an informed decision. Transparency is key and the brand seems to understand this well. Head over to ‘Our Paathshala’ tab for two additional posts on the benefits of A2 milk and the adulteration vs nourishment debate.
While at it, take a look at their process that details their sourcing, packaging and delivery mechanism. No machines are used and the humane treatment of the cows is emphasized as is the fact that the calves rightfully receive the milk before the customers.
All About Service
Once you have collected all the information you need and have decided to place your first order, we suggest you switch over to the DearCows app. There are only two products available, milk in half-litre packets and cow ghee. The ghee is available in two varieties based on the two cow breeds and in different packaging sizes. The ghee can be purchased as a single order but milk orders are encouraged as subscriptions.
The system on the app allows you to recharge your wallet with a minimum of seven litres worth milk. Once done, you can choose your daily, weekly or monthly delivery and continue to recharge once you run out of credits. The process seems fairly seamless and the app is as fuss-free as the website.
For those of you who, like us, feel the idea of committing to seven litres of milk at once is a bit much, they also offer trials on demand. In fact, they are rather communicative and it is the first thing you will notice about the service. The moment we signed up on the app, we received a call from DearCows. When we expressed our concerns, we were offered a trial milk packet.
Delivered to us the next day (at 5 am), we were not charged for the half-litre packet. We also received a call the day after delivery enquiring about the quality and subsequent orders. We were also requested for feedback on both service and the quality of the milk.
The milk is delivered in typical plastic packaging (we wish there was another way) with their logo and branding, and a set of instructions about usage. The instructions are simple and similar to the use and storage of any other variety of milk. The price, at Rs 72 a litre, is also the same as that offered by our local dealer.
Pure, Not White
We opened the packet and boiled it soon after. Though, we’d like to admit here that it was a few hours after the 5 am delivery. Thereafter, the milk was stored in the refrigerator in a steel container without a cover.
It is pale yellow in colour, not white, something that the information on the website warns you about, repeatedly. The consistency is moderately thick without the powdery taste or mouth-feel of the regular tetra pack milk we often procure for its ease. It is also mildly sweet and relatively creamy. It isn’t thick the way we had imagined it to be.
Once left unattended, you will see a thin layer of cream emerge that can be collected and stored for use in different preparations. The cream isn’t thick like the type you’d collect from full-cream varieties. It is, however, quite flavourful.
We used the milk for the first time in our morning cup of brewed tea. The difference in taste is easy to tell. Our tea was lighter and more pleasing without any suspended particles or coarseness. We tried it in a cup of instant coffee and the result was similar – full-bodied and creamy without being too rich.
However, the true test lay in tasting it as is. We sipped on it cold and poured a dash of it in our cereal bowl that morning. In both cases, the milk fared well. We needed no sweeteners or flavour enhancers in our glass of milk, which is not something that happens often. In our breakfast bowl too, the milk integrated well. We are hoping to use it in a jar of overnight oats and chia next.
Besides the taste, we also felt noticeably lighter after breakfast. One of the main reasons we have always chosen to restrict milk usage to tea and coffee is due to the digestive trouble it sometimes lands us in. With DearCows, it felt different. We would, however, try it out for a longer period before we are sure of this.
The milk was consumed over a period of three days and there was no sourness or rancidity. The cream kept well, too. We used some of it in a pasta sauce three days later. It blended well with a batch of fresh pesto.
Despite the limited use of milk in the household, we may be ready to make the switch soon and commit to the seven-litre programme. Going by the service so far, we are also quite certain that we will likely not be disappointed.