Wondering how to sweeten cold brew coffee? You’ve come to the right place! In this post I’ll break down a few delicious ways you can sweeten cold brew to make your morning coffee absolutely delicious.
A refreshing drink, cold brew is a great way to cool down on a hot summer day or just start your morning. Recently cold brew has been on the rise. And, for no surprise it’s a great choice! But by adding a bit of sweetness you can take your cold brew recipe to a whole new level, especially for those with a sweet tooth.
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BUT FIRST, WHAT IS COLD BREW?
Cold-brewed coffee is essentially long steeped coffee. Because the coffee has been stepped anywhere between 6-24 hours (typically it’s overnight), it reduces the acidity and enhances the flavor.
You can get cold brew at any of your favorite coffee shops or you can actually make it at home pretty easily. If you want to make it at home, make sure to read my notes below on how to make cold brew taste as delicious as possible.
HOW DO I MAKE COLD BREW TASTE GOOD?
Here’s a few tips I suggest to make your cold brew taste delicious before you even start adding sweetener:
Pick a Roast you Like: Since roasts differ in caffeine level, acidity, and flavor, it’s important to pick a roast that you like! You can also pick one up at your favorite coffee shop.
Coarse Ground Coffee Beans: For cold brew, you want to coarsely grind the coffee beans. Not only does it make the filtration process easier, but if you grind them too much it can make your coffee a bit bitter.
Figure Out your Ideal Water to Coffee Ratio: How much water you should add is dependent on how strong you want your cold brew to be. Most people like a ratio of around 1:4 to 1:5, but it’s personal preference. You can always dilute it after you’ve made your cold brew, so I recommend starting with a lower ratio and increasing if needed.
WAYS TO SWEETEN COLD BREW
NON-DAIRY MILK / CREAM
A good choice to sweeten your coffee is with a splash of non-dairy milk (almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, etc) or with a non-dairy creamer. Unsweetened vanilla milk will add a subtle flavor while sweetened milk will, of course, add a bit more sweetness!
Other fun options can be to use chocolate milk for a chocolate-y cold brew. Or, you can whisk in a tablespoon or two of coconut condensed milk for a creamy, sweet drink.
Another delicious way is to add a bit of coconut whipped cream and swirl it into the coffee!
A great option to add a touch of sweetness to your cold brew is through making (or purchasing) a simple syrup! A simple syrup is a liquid sweetener made by dissolving sugar in equal parts water.
With simple syrups, you can also get fancy and add any extracts you enjoy. Vanilla extract and almond extract are two easy ways to mildly increase flavor. But you can get creative and add peppermint, apple, cinnamon stick, a vanilla bean etc. You can also purchase a TON of different simple syrups online to make it even easier.
DIY CHOCOLATE SYRUP
One of my favorite ways to add sweetness to coffee is by making a diy chocolate syrup. I use this in my Starbuck’s copycat iced chocolate almond milk shaken espresso recipe.
It’s just a syrup made from unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, and water. Simmer it until the sugar is dissolved and strain it and you have a chocolate syrup that will last 2-3 weeks in the fridge! It gives a great rich, sweet flavor.
SWEET CREAM COLD FOAM
Sweet cream is a delicious way to sweeten up your cold brew. You can make sweet cream at home by frothing together canned coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. It creates a delicious, creamy foam. I have a copycat recipe for Starbuck’s pumpkin cream cold brew you can find here (it is honestly SO good!).
COFFEE ICE CUBES OR MILK CUBES
A unique way to add sweetness to your cold brew is by making flavored ice cubes! You can either blend together coffee with sweetener or milk with sweetener (I’ll also add cinnamon sometimes). Then pour into ice cube trays and let freeze overnight. Add into your cold brew and as it melts it will add a bit of sweetness.
NATURAL SWEETENER IDEAS
If you are looking for a healthier alternative to sweeten your cold brew, you can also add less refined sweeteners such as:
- Pure Maple Syrup
- Date Syrup
- Coconut Sugar (Dissolved in hot water before adding to avoid a grainy texture)
Or, you can even blend cold brew with non-dairy milk and a banana to make a cold brew smoothie and it will add natural sweetness as well as give it a creamy texture.
You can also blend together non-dairy milk, cold brew, and dates for a sweeter (but less creamy) coffee.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Should I add artificial sweeteners?
Most artificial sweeteners are not great for you (or your gut!) There’s a few natural artificial sweeteners out there like stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit that are better than other artificial sweeteners such as splenda.
However, unless you have a dietary restriction, you’re better off just adding a small amount of one of the other sweeteners above!
How do I sweeten iced coffee or hot coffee?
All of the above methods can be used to sweeten any kind of coffee! If you’re using a granulated sweetener such as brown sugar or table sugar, just make sure to dissolve it in a bit of hot water before adding it to your iced coffee.
What is my personal favorite way to sweeten cold brew?
My personal go-to favorite way to sweeten cold brew is by creating a cold brew smoothie. Not only does it taste delicious, but it’s also super creamy.
To make the smoothie I just blend together 1 cup cold brew, ½ cup non-dairy milk, 1 banana, and a few tablespoons of non-dairy yogurt. Let me know if you give it a try! You can even sneak in some frozen cauliflower or spinach as a way to add some hidden vegetables to your morning coffee.
And with that, those are my favorite tips on how to sweeten cold brew coffee. If you have any additional ideas, let me know down below!