You may have considered coconut milk if you’re looking for a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk for your morning coffee. But is coconut milk good in coffee?
Ultimately it’s down to personal opinion, however, many people regularly enjoy a splash of coconut milk in their coffee and I’d highly recommend you give it a try!
In this article, I’ll talk you through how coconut milk tastes when added to a cup of coffee, as well as how much milk you should add, the best types of coconut milk to pair with coffee, and even some of my favorite coconut milk coffee recipes for you to enjoy!
Taste of coconut milk in coffee
So, how does coconut milk change the taste of your regular cup of joe?
Generally, people say that coconut milk in coffee adds a refreshing and slightly sweet taste. It tends to add a creamy effect to a cup of coffee and blends as easily as cow’s milk.
Coconut milk can be purchased in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties, which can slightly alter the taste if you have a preference when it comes to the sweetness of your coffee.
It also creams well when heated up, so it can be added to black coffee as well as making an excellent coconut latte.
How much coconut milk to add to coffee
It completely depends on how much milk you enjoy in your coffee in general when determining how much milk you should add to a cup of coffee.
You can be guided by the usual amount of cow’s milk you add to your hot drinks, and add more or less depending on how much you like the taste!
Comparing coconut milk with cow’s milk
Comparing coconut milk and cow milk nutritionally is really hard because of all the variations. The lightest coconut milks have fewer calories than skim milk and the heaviest coconut milks have more calories than whole milk.
You can compare dozens of animal and plant-based milks in our guide. And we have some information on the different coconut milk varieties you can use for coffee below.
But here are some key differences.
- Cow milk is naturally high in calcium. Coconut milk isn’t, but it tends to be fortified with calcium. Both cow milk and coconut milk tend to be fortified with vitamin D.
- Both coconut milk and cow’s milk are gluten-free, however, only coconut milk is suitable for those following a vegan or keto diet.
- Cow milk naturally contains lactose, so coconut milk (and other plant-based milks) is a good option for those who are lactose intolerant.
Types of coconut milk for coffee
There are a few types of coconut milk that you can add to your coffee, each with different benefits or tastes.
Coconut milk can be purchased in a can or a carton, however, their nutritional makeup can differ quite significantly.
We’ve included below a nutritional table comparing canned coconut milk and carton coconut milk. It’s clear from this data that canned coconut milk is significantly higher in calories, fat and saturated fat, plus it tends to include more carbohydrates than unsweetened carton coconut milk.
|Per one-cup serving||Canned coconut milk||Carton coconut milk (unsweetened)|
|Total Fat||36 g||4 g|
|Saturated Fat||30 g||3.5 g|
|Carbohydrates||3 g||2 g|
|Protein||0 g||0 g|
|Keto friendly?||Yes||Yes, when unsweetened|
|Allergens?||Tree nuts||Tree nuts|
You’ll find some information below that should help you to decide which type of coconut milk may be best for you. This includes both sweetened and unsweetened carton coconut milk, as well as canned coconut milk and cream of coconut. As we’ve explained above, the nutrition content can vary widely, so check nutrition labels!
Coconut milk in a carton
- Sweetened coconut milk – this is a great option if you enjoy a sweeter taste to your coffee, and it tends to be more regularly used when purchasing a coconut latte from a coffee shop. Sweetened coconut milk is typically purchased in a carton.
- Unsweetened coconut milk – if you’re looking to reduce your sugar intake, unsweetened coconut milk may be the best choice for you. It also ensures that your coconut milk is suitable for diets that restrict added sugar/sweeteners such as the paleo diet.
Coconut milk in a can
- Canned coconut milk – I love using canned coconut milk if I want a particularly creamy, frothy coffee. Canned coconut milk works really well as a creamer in a morning coffee and can add a richer taste to your morning drink. It is typically much higher in calories and fat than carton coconut milk.
- Coconut cream or cream of coconut – They sound like synonyms – and they can each be used to make a refreshing pina colada – but coconut cream and cream of coconut are quite different. Coconut cream is unsweetened and made by skimming the top layer off of coconut milk; Cream of coconut is sweetened and may include coconut cream (or coconut milk) and coconut milk powder. Regardless, both can be used to make a luxurious, creamy coconut coffee. A warning, though, that both are high in fat and calories.
Best coconut milk coffee recipes
Coconut milk can be used to make some beautiful coffee recipes. Once you’ve tried coconut milk in your cup of coffee, you may find that you’re a coconut milk convert and never go back to adding regular dairy milk!
Here are some of our favorite recipes that you can try out if you’re thinking of substituting coconut milk for cow’s milk:
Take a look at the below frequently asked questions for some more insight into adding coconut milk to coffee!
It depends on your individual taste buds as to whether you think coconut milk makes coffee taste different, but generally, people think it adds a natural sweetness to coffee and creates a delicious combination. It has a fairly light taste and won’t add a heaviness to your coffee.
Adding cold coconut milk to coffee may result in a curdling effect. To combat this, always heat up your coconut milk slightly before adding it to your morning drink to prevent it from curdling.
Coconut milk can be considered a healthier alternative to cow’s milk in coffee for the following reasons:
– Contains more healthy fats than cow’s milk
– Has better effects on the immune system
– Anti-inflammatory benefits
– Anti-fungal/anti-microbial which is beneficial for the gut
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that coconut milk is higher in fat and calories than cow’s milk, and so therefore should be consumed in moderation if being used as a healthier alternative.
It’s down to personal opinion, but from my point of view coconut and coffee go very well together! Coconut milk has a very creamy texture which makes it highly effective in blending well with coffee, plus it adds a lovely sweet taste to my morning brew.
Here are some more reasons why people prefer coconut milk in their coffee!
You can add coconut milk to hot coffee, however, I recommend heating up the coconut milk before adding it to hot coffee. This will reduce the chances of the coconut milk curdling in coffee, which can happen if cold coconut milk is added to hot coffee.