Milk Vending Machine

July 14, 2009 By: erik Category: Food, Spain, USA, Weird 2,690 views

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thumbThe other day when we were out and about in nearby Laredo, I saw a previously unseen contraption. A milk vending machine, right there out on the street corner. A testimonial of a friend told us that it’s the “good fresh kind” of milk that hasn’t undergone UHT processing. According to that Wikipedia page, 95.7% of the milk consumed in Spain is UHT. Despite UHT giving milk a nine-month shelf-life, the wary doubtful Americans are afraid to buy it since it’s not delivered under refrigeration (which is the whole point of the process, anyway!). It’s a little like not buying an automobile because it doesn’t have horses pulling it.

From what I can tell, the process goes like this:

  1. You buy a 0.40€ bottle, or bring your own.
  2. You put in 1€, open the door, hold your bottle under the spout and push “Start”.
  3. A tiny little dairy farmer milks some miniaturized cows into your bottle.
  4. You thank the farmer and close the door.

Pretty weird. The photos are close and cropped because there was a crowd of curious onlookers around the machine.

Milk Vending Machine

Milk Vending Machine


  • how cool… i didn’t know they had made it to spain… they have them all over the place in france, they’re apparently part of the massive protest that’s going on in france and spain and several other european countries over the way the major supermarket chains dictate the price of everything they buy and the milk producers are still earning the same price for litre that they’ve been earning for the last 20 years… so some enterprising french farmer came up with the idea of cutting out the middle man, and selling fresh milk at a cheaper price to the consumer and a better price to him… i’ve been wondering when they were going to make it here…

    the uht thing in spain is something i’ve never understood…. in australia we always bought fresh milk from the chilled section (and maybe had a carton of uht in the cupboard for emergencies) i couldn’t believe it when i first moved here that it was actually impossible to buy fresh milk in a supermarket… it’s not a fear thing about uht on my part, it’s just simply that fresh milk does in fact taste different (in my humble opinion), and i couldn’t believe in a country that prides itself on its fresh produce and authentic flavours that they’d all gone over to uht processed milk!

  • Thanks for the explanation, mondraussie! That was nice. I’m always glad to hear ways how cleverness is used to “beat the system”.

    As I don’t drink milk, except as a garnish for cereal or coffee, I can’t comment on the taste.

  • This is marvelous. Hopefully there is a dairy close enough to where I live that is doing this, too.

    UHT really does taste different. Sometimes even on cereal.

  • Perhaps these folks, the url on the machine, could be contacted to find one near you?

  • Josh

    I saw this on the news (A3, I think) not too long ago. The way the story was presented, the machine was the invention of some humble Cantabrian dairy farmer. No mention was made of similar devices in France, the struggle against globalization, etc. It’s nice to get another side of the story.

  • we are agents for these machines , in uk and irland, so if you would like a one near you , get in touch and maybe we can find a farmer to supply milk to it .
    matt & pat

  • Habib

    Great post and great packages regarding Coffee Vending Mechine…Thanks