Buttermilk in Coffee: Is it Worth It?

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Milk has always been the staple add-on for coffee. It softens the strong and bitter flavor of coffee and makes the beverage creamier. However, people crave variety. They use all sorts of milk for their cups of joe, including buttermilk. should you put buttermilk in coffee?

You can put buttermilk in coffee, but you shouldn’t. Although buttermilk can be healthy for you, its sour, buttery taste ruins the flavor of a cup of coffee with its sour, buttery taste.

Let’s look at all the ways buttermilk impacts your coffee. If you’re still thinking of trying it, we’ll even you a few buttermilk coffee recipes along the way.

What Is Buttermilk?

A pitcher of buttermilk, which some people add to coffee

Buttermilk is the by-product of churning butter made from fermented cream. Its overall flavor and texture also depend on the kind of butter and the process it undergoes. Buttermilk can be pure, cultured, or acidified.

This kind of milk is commonly used in baking soda bread and cakes. Its acid creates a reaction that helps the dough rise. Buttermilk is also mixed in salad dressings and desserts.

Why Coffee With Buttermilk Is a Big No-No

Aside from pastries, desserts, and sauces, buttermilk is also used as a coffee additive. There are a few reasons why we don’t recommend this coffee additive.

Your coffee will taste sour

Buttermilk doesn’t sweeten your coffee. Unlike regular milk, it is actually sour, almost like yogurt, because the bacteria present in it produce lactic acid and diacetyl that give it a tangy flavor. It will gradually become spoiled until it tastes off.

Your coffee will have curds

Some coffee addicts love it when their coffee is thick and syrupy, and buttermilk can give your beverage that inconsistent thick texture. It has more lactic acid than plain milk, causing the protein casein to become solid. 

The milk starts to clabber and form clumps in your coffee. Buttermilk curds are not totally bad for your health, but they won’t feel the best on your tongue during coffee time.

Benefits of Adding Buttermilk to Coffee

It’s good for digestion

According to Healthline, your gut may easily digest buttermilk. Its bacteria transform lactose into lactic acid. That also means good news for the lactose-intolerant since the lactose content is significantly lower than plain milk.

It’s a healthy milk alternative

Buttermilk is a healthy dairy product. It has 0.9 grams of fat, 4.8 grams of sugar, and 40 calories for every 100-gram serving. It’s also loaded with calcium and protein needed for bone and muscle formation and strength. 

It has a long shelf life 

Its acidity prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. This is the reason why an opened buttermilk can last for up to two weeks once refrigerated and three months when frozen. Once it’s expired, you should not add it to your coffee anymore.

How to Make Coffee Beverages with Buttermilk

Buttermilk is an interesting ingredient to tweak your coffee. Here are some types of coffee drinks with buttermilk that you can brew at home:

Iced buttermilk coffee

To make this simple iced coffee, you need to fill 1/2 of the glass ice before pouring your brewed, French press, or drip coffee. Add a hint of buttermilk to make your iced beverage creamy. It will taste sour, so prepare to use sweeteners in your coffee.

Iced buttermilk latte

For an 8 oz iced latte, you need ice cubes, 1 part espresso, and 3 parts chilled buttermilk. Stir them well before serving. Don’t forget to add some sweetener or syrup to reduce the milk’s tangy taste.

Buttermilk cold brew

You can also make some cold brew in a French press. After 24 hours of brewing time, filter the ground coffee and dilute 1 part cold brew concentrate and a dash of buttermilk. I suggest enhancing its flavor by adding sugar or vanilla syrup. 

If buttermilk isn’t available in the fridge, you can always slice butter and use it to make bulletproof coffee.

Other Milk Substitutes for Your Coffee

Buttermilk is a healthy option but may not be the best milk for your coffee. If you are still on the fence, you can also go for these non-dairy milks.

Oat milk

This plant-based milk is produced after soaking, blending, and straining oats. Its texture is smooth, which makes it the best non-dairy milk for frothing. Not only that, but oat milk is perfect for vegans who want their milk to be almost sweet as dairy milk.

Rice milk

Another plant-based option for you is rice milk. It has a mild taste and doesn’t overlap the coffee flavor. But rice milk is so watery that it’s not ideal for making frothed milk. 

Potato milk 

Surprisingly, potato milk exists. It also has a mildly sweet flavor with a bit of a potatoey smell and flavor. It’s not as foamy as dairy milk, but it’s a great milk substitute free from various allergens.

Walnut milk

If you want non-dairy milk that’s sweet, creamy, and nutty, walnut milk is something you should try. It’s a low-calorie beverage enriched with many nutritional benefits. However, walnut milk has a lot of fatty acids, which isn’t the best alternative to aid weight loss.

Almond milk

This nut milk is great for iced coffee—it’s sweet, nutty, and slightly bitter. Although this low-protein milk is a bit watery, you can still foam almond milk for your cappuccino. Do not pour cold milk into hot or acidic coffee because curds may form.

Soy milk

Unlike almond milk, this bean milk is prized for its rich protein content. It’s not as creamy as cow’s milk, but its low fat content is enough to create some froth for your coffee. Soy milk is mildly sweet but has a beany aftertaste. Once exposed to air, its shelf life is ten days at maximum, which is shorter than most non-dairy beverages.

Coconut milk

Of all the plant-based milks mentioned, coconut milk is the creamiest of them all. It’s healthy, and its fat content is enough to create foam. Coconut milk is also naturally sweet, so make sure not to add much sugar to your coffee with it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can vegans drink buttermilk?

Buttermilk is the liquid from churned butter, which is a dairy product. Therefore it isn’t the ideal milk for vegans.

Is buttermilk keto-friendly?

The answer depends on the amount consumed. A glass of buttermilk has 12 grams of carbohydrates, which isn’t acceptable for a ketogenic diet. But if it’s just a tablespoon or two, it may be keto-friendly.

Can you use powdered buttermilk for coffee?

Powdered buttermilk is dried and pulverized buttermilk. You usually use a food dehydrator to create this powder from scratch. It is a good baking ingredient but not suitable for your coffee.

The Final Verdict

Drinking coffee should be a pleasure, and having buttermilk in coffee can mess up that moment. This milk is also not in the same ballpark as other milks; it’s unpleasantly sour and too thick for your coffee. 

But if you can’t resist having a splash of milk on your coffee, you can always choose other healthy milk substitutes that are better than buttermilk. You should also try some creamy coffee drinks like breve coffee and latte macchiato to satisfy your coffee-with-milk cravings.

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