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Cold brew is great by itself without any add ins except maybe ice. However, if you want to spice up your cold brew a little for a different experience, you’ve got options. Here are 12 options to make your cold brew more exciting.
Here are the 12 best things to mix with coldbrew coffee;
- Nut milks
- Condensed milk
- Condensed milk + Chocolate syrup
For more information, keep reading down below.
One of the more common flavors to add to cold brew is orange. Cold brew has a light, airy taste but the caffeine content is actually very high. If you’ve never tried it, you might not think that cold brew and orange is a great combo.
A bit of freshly squeezed orange juice really takes your cold brew to the next level. The taste profile of orange juice really compliments the taste of cold brew. It’s super easy to try. Just add a dash of orange juice and see for yourself.
You can use orange juice from a bottle or box but make sure it’s 100% orange juice without any added sugar. Orange juice is sweet enough by itself and it’s actually better if you don’t make your cold brew too sweet.
If you like something with a nice presentation, finish the look with a slice of orange and a sprig of mint on top. This will make it look like something you get in a coffee shop where you have to pay $10 for a cup.
2. Nut milks
Of course adding milk or cream to your coffee is very common and not really a surprising taste. So whether you’re looking to replace your normal dairy in your daily coffee or trying to create something special, nut milks are a good option to look at.
Nut milk producers try to replicate dairy products as closely as possible in many situations. However, most of them don’t taste that closely to the real thing. Some are closer than others but for me the real thing is still the best.
That doesn’t have to be a negative though. Why not take advantage of the different tastes in nut milks to create a different drink. There are tons of different choices so go wild.
For cold brew and other coffees, macadamia milk seems to be a very good fit. And while it’s technically not a nut milk, oat milk works well too.
Orange and ice create a refreshing mix of tastes for a hot day. Looking for something that’s a bit more warming? Vanilla is a great option for you.
Vanilla is easy to get and to mix with cold brew. There is no need to get real vanilla beans. Just get a vanilla extract or even syrup with vanilla extract added.
Vanilla extract will have a stronger vanilla taste without the extra sugar but is still easy to mix with cold brew. Vanilla syrup is even easier to mix but has added sugar as well. If you want the extra sugar is up to you.
Cinnamon is a good combination especially combined with vanilla. Vanilla and cinnamon are a common combination but its fine to use them by themselves as well.
The problem with cinnamon is that it doesn’t dissolve in liquid very well. Especially in cold liquids. So we have to find a different way to infuse the cinnamon into the cold brew.
- If you want your whole batch to have a hint of cinnamon, just put a cinnamon stick in the container you use to brew the coffee in the first place. However, if you want to play around with different tastes, that might be too much.
- For cold brew you can also mix cinnamon powder with the coffee grounds for brewing. Then filter well after brewing. Don’t do this in a coffee machine. The fine powder will likely clog the machines.
- Another way is to store your beans with cinnamon sticks. Coffee beans absorb smells and cinnamon sticks are pretty smelly. However, you’ll have to use quite a few sticks and keep them with the beans/pre ground coffee for a while. The problem there is that you might start aging your coffee.
- Finally, if you use cream in your coffee, you can mix cinnamon powder with this. The powder won’t dissolve but it will be suspended in the heavy cream. If you then mix the cream with the coffee, the powder won’t flow to the top.
Coconut and coffee is a combination that’s underutilized in my opinion. There are tons of ways you can use different coconut products in coffee.
Cold brew is no different. The different brewing method allows for integrating coconut in a few ways. Here are just some suggestions;
- Blend cold brew with coconut cream and ice for a smoothie like consistency.
- Use coconut water to brew the coffee in. Or mix fresh water and coconut water.
- Mix coconut shavings in the coffee grounds.
All those different things will result in different levels of coconut in your coffee and different tastes. This will give a nice tropical taste to your coffee and is something different than you’re used to. If you’re using the coconut water, make sure it’s fresh. In some locations in the world you don’t really have access to fresh coconuts and the coconut water isn’t good.
If that’s the case where you live, it’s better to get your coconut water from a box. Just get the normal one without any added sugar or other juices.
Coconut cream from a can works great for the first option but you don’t have to use too much. It’s very dense and has a lot of calories. Blending it with ice lightens it up and creates a nice texture.
Need a fancier alternative to a jagerbomb? Cold brew mixed with alcohol probably does the trick. Irish coffee has been a thing for a long time so why not do the same with cold brew?
Most types of liquor that doesn’t taste too sweet will work. Some liquors that work well with cold brew;
- Triple sec
Those are some of the best although there are plenty of other things that will work. Some combinations work better with hot weather while other combinations are better for cold weather. Even though you can make a combo that’s good for cold weather, you can always add ice.
Of course you can also take this a step further and instead of putting a shot of liquor in your coffee, you can put a shot of cold brew in your cocktail.
Usually cold brew doesn’t need any sweeteners since the taste is already smooth and lacks the bitterness other coffees usually have. However, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can add extra sugar of course. But instead of normal sugar, why not use honey? Honey not only adds sweetness but also that nice honey taste.
Raspberries are a surprising one for me. You usually don’t go for fruits when mixing with coffee but raspberries are actually quite complimentary to the taste of cold brew. The smooth taste of cold brew means you can pair it up with pretty fruity flavors and raspberry is one of the better pairings.
You can either use fresh raspberries or jam. With fresh ones you can control the sugar content yourself. While sugar isn’t really necessary in cold brew, raspberries can be quite sour and if that’s the case, some sugar or sweetener can offset this.
Using raspberry jam is the easiest. Just add a teaspoon to your cup and stir.
9. Condensed milk
If you’re familiar with Vietnamese iced coffee, you’ll know that it is often served with a good amount of condensed milk. This creates a kind of coffee milkshake. It’s very tasty and a great drink for a hot day.
You can do the same thing with cold brew. Add some ice and condensed milk and you’ve got a coffee drink that has almost everything. It’s refreshing, sweet and has caffeine. If you feel like it, you can even add a shot of your favorite liquor.
With cold brew the end result won’t be as thick and viscous as with Vietnamese coffee but it’ll be delicious.
10. Condensed milk + Chocolate syrup
In the mood for something indulgent? Add chocolate syrup and condensed milk for something delicious. Ok fine, it’s not actually coffee anymore but more like a dessert.
First mix the cold brew with condensed milk. Then, you can choose to just put ice cubes in the glass or blend everything with the ice for a different experience. After that, add some whipped cream on top and drizzle the chocolate syrup on top. It’s best to drink this one with a straw.
Healthy? No, not at all, but absolutely delicious.
Yes, cold brew and tonic. It’s a combo that has become pretty popular. Tonic has quinine in it which tangy taste really compliments the acidic taste of coffee.
Besides tonic, you can make it even more interesting by adding some other very interesting ingredients that you wouldn’t usually expect in coffee. Basically, everything that mixes with tonic, you can also add to this creation. (Hmm, Cold brew, gin and tonic anyone?)
Popular additions are dark fruit like cherries and berries or herbs like rosemary. Also, the lemongrass from number 2 fits in here again.
Lastly, a bit of a strange one but I think it works although I certainly wouldn’t drink it every day. Coffee and banana isn’t a very strange combo but cold brew and banana is something I haven’t seen before.
The easiest is if you’ve got banana extract. A little less than a teaspoon in a glass of cold brew will be enough. Of course feel free to adjust to personal taste.
If you want to use real banana, it’s not a good idea to put that in your coffee. That won’t drink very well. In that case it’s better to go the other way around. Put cold brew in a banana smoothie.
These are just 11 of the common/better tastes you can put in cold brew. Some of these tastes can be combined together as well for a different taste once again.
Many of the tastes above are well known to go together so feel free to get creative and experiment for yourself. You might stumble onto something great although you are also likely to find some things that shouldn’t be replicated.
Cold brew is much more suitable for mixing with other things than normal coffee. Since the taste is smoother and not as strong to start with, it’s plays nice with other tastes better. At the same time, you have to be a bit careful with going overboard on the add-ins.
Since cold brew doesn’t have the hard hitting taste of other coffees like espresso, it’s easy to overpower it. If you don’t actually like the taste of coffee and just want to get your caffeine inside, sure. But if you’re trying to create a balanced drink that enhances the smooth taste of cold brew coffee, take it easy.
Favorite cold brew tools
With these items, you will brew better cold brew
- Fresh coffee: Any coffee you brew will be better when brewed with fresh coffee. Try this cold brew blend from Bizzy (Amazon), you’ll like it!
- Grinder: Fresh beans have to be ground. A hand grinder like the Hario Slim (Amazon) is affordable yet effective hand grinder that will improve your cold brew.
- Scale: The amount of grounds you use makes a big impact on what your cold brew tastes like. A simple set of scales will makes your brews more consistent. I’ve been using this one (Amazon) for over a year wit h great success. Not the most aesthetic but effective.
- Cold brew container: Make brewing cold brew easier and less messy with this cold brew bottle (Amazon) with built in filter.