Can You Add Milk to Cold Brew Coffee? Find out Here!



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Coffee is one of the most customizable beverages on the planet.

From hot coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, flat whites, americanos, espresso to iced coffee, milkshakes and frappes…You name it – the possibilities are truly endless.

Another popular type of coffee that many coffee lovers now enjoy is cold brew coffee.

Cold brew coffee is made with, you guessed it, cold water instead of hot. A common question about this brew method is can you add milk to cold brew coffee?

Adding a splash of milk to your cold brew coffee is not unheard of.

If you are wondering if you should, then we are here to answer all of your questions about combining cold brew with milk here.

Glass of coffee and ice with milk pouring in from silver milk jug.

Can you add milk to cold brew coffee?

You can of course add milk to a cold brew coffee, but keep in mind that too much milk, dairy or cream can make your cold brew coffee taste less like coffee and more like a milk drink. 

The question should not really be can you add milk to a cold brew coffee, but should you add milk to a cold brew coffee? 

Cold brew is most beloved because of its smooth flavor, which is naturally a little sweeter than regular coffee.

It is for this reason that many people choose to drink cold brew coffee without milk, as the coffee flavor doesn’t taste as strong or as bitter as hot coffee.

However, you should absolutely add milk to your cold brew coffee if you enjoy the flavor of milk in coffee or you don’t enjoy black coffee. There are plenty of examples of tasty cold brew coffees with milk in this collection of cold brew recipes.

Our only suggestion is that you should exercise caution when adding milk as too much milk or cream can dilute the flavor and make it a little tasteless.

For this reason it is best to add milk in small amounts to your cold brew coffee.

You could also brew your coffee a little stronger so that it can compete with the sweetness of the milk, and you can really enjoy the flavor of the cold brew coffee beans.

You may also prefer to create a milk foam made popular by Starbucks for your cold brew, as many people enjoy a light cold foam on their cold brew coffee.

In some coffee shops, they even provide flavored cold foams to top the cold brew for a more personalized touch.

Cold foam is generally made with a mix of heavy cream and milk.

If this is something you want to try, take a look at our homemade pumpkin cream cold foam recipe or this vanilla sweet cream cold foam recipe.

Can you add milk to Nitro cold brew?

Yes, you can add milk to nitro cold brew coffee – before or after infusing it with nitrogen.

Nitro cold brew is naturally sweet thanks to the fine nitrogen bubbles infused in the drink, but it is fine to add milk, flavor or creamer to your brew after pouring.

It is also possible to add milk coffee to your keg and charge the milky coffee with nitrogen. Not common, but absolutely possible!

Iced cold brew coffee in a tall glass with cream poured over.

What happens if you brew coffee with milk?

Whilst unusual, it is also possible to brew coffee with milk instead of water.

It is not recommended to do this in a coffee maker or espresso machine, but it is possible using a manual pour over filter, French press or in a cold brew coffee jug.

Coffee is traditionally brewed with hot water at a temperature of around 200 F (93 C) to extract the maximum flavor from coffee grounds.

If preparing hot, preheat your milk (being careful not to boil it) and pour over ground coffee.

To brew cold brew in milk, simply add coffee grounds to your cold brew filter in a jug of milk and brew in the fridge for 12-18 hours.

This is perfect for people who do not like the bitter flavor of some types of coffee, and those who just love milky coffee.

If you find the idea of brewing coffee in milk intriguing, check out this video of a manual pour over coffee brewed with milk.

What can I mix with cold brew coffee?

The only problem you may have with cold brew coffee is that you cannot really add granulated sugar to sweeten it to your liking.

This is because granulated sugar will not dissolve as well in cold liquid as it would in hot coffee. 

The best things you can add to your cold brew coffee to flavor it are liquid syrups and creamers. Here are some of our favorites:

It is also possible to flavor your cold brew coffee while brewing.

Popular flavors include vanilla and cinnamon. Find out more about flavoring coffee here.

jug pouring milk into glass of cold brewed coffee.

Cold brew with milk recipes

Here are some great recipes to try cold brew coffee with milk that you can make at home:

What milk is best for cold brew?

You may be wondering if you can use any type of milk for your cold brew coffee, and the answer actually is yes!

Milk, cream, condensed milk, half and half and plant based milks are all great options to add a dash of milk to your cold brew.

A great way to enjoy your cold brew coffee is to brew extra strength cold brew coffee, and mix in a little milk such as almond milk, soy milk, cashew creamer or other non dairy milk if you choose to do so.

You can even add a protein shake to coffee to make a proffee, a homemade protein cold brew coffee.

This can often sweeten up the mixture a little, or make it less bitter for those who prefer a smoother tasting coffee. 

Coconut milk

However, some cold brew connoisseurs will argue that coconut milk actually creates the best results:

This is mainly down to the fact that this type of milk has the creamy coconut flavor, which balances well with the coffee beans.

Just make sure that it is chilled in your refrigerator first, and then add a dash to your next cold brew coffee for a creamy cooling taste sensation!

More on cold brew coffee

Find more coffee brewing tips here and the best coffee gear reviews here.

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Rachel Rodda

It's no surprise that as a former barista and founder of Creators of Coffee, I'm obsessed with all things coffee. I love to share easy and delicious coffee recipes, expert brewing tips and helpful coffee gear reviews with my fellow coffee lovers!

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