One significant change to coffee that has been made on a worldwide scale is milk. In recent years, people have begun experimenting with alternative milk to add to coffee to change the taste or improve their health.

However, your local coffee shop doesn’t provide buttermilk in coffee; why is this?

The combination of buttermilk in coffee isn’t worth it, at least not from a flavor standpoint. Buttermilk doesn’t suit the flavor of coffee well. The combination of the two usually becomes very sour and grainy, resulting in a taste like unpleasant Greek or natural yogurt.

Continue reading this piece for an in-depth view of the combination of buttermilk and coffee.

I’ll explore the upsides to combining the two and alternatives that you can use in place of milk in coffee. I’ll even look at other ways to incorporate buttermilk into your diet.

Is buttermilk good in coffee?

Buttermilk in coffee sounds like a delicious combination at first. You expect a creamy, slightly sweet coffee with a rich flavor profile.

However, when you try it for the first time, the combination doesn’t taste as you imagined. Why does buttermilk in coffee taste the way it does?

Buttermilk in coffee doesn’t work because the tannins in the coffee don’t mix with the buttermilk. The result of this is curdling. When you drink this mixture, it has a grainy texture and a sour taste that most people don’t enjoy.

Mixing buttermilk with coffee. After one minute, you can see the coffee is curdling.
Buttermilk in coffee after one minute

If you ever put lemon juice or vinegar into a glass of milk as a child to see what happens, you are well aware of the weird lumps that form in dairy when it curdles.

The same effect occurs when combining buttermilk with coffee. The resulting texture is unpleasant to most who try it.

Is buttermilk in coffee healthy?

Buttermilk in coffee is unlikely to tickle your taste buds. However, many people are searching for a replacement for milk in their coffee for health reasons and not for flavor preferences.

This leads many people to ask, is using buttermilk in coffee a healthy alternative to milk?

Buttermilk in coffee is healthy when included as part of a balanced diet.  Buttermilk is low in calories and fat while being an excellent source of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. As a result, drinking buttermilk in coffee could reduce your calorie intake without sacrificing essential nutrients.

Buttermilk in a small glass.

Buttermilk also contains healthy bacteria that aid digestion. Similar to natural or Greek yogurt, the contents of buttermilk can help with digestion.

While buttermilk is a healthy alternative to milk in coffee, it’s not healthy to consume excessive amounts of buttermilk coffee.

Coffee contains caffeine, which can pose serious health risks when consumed excessively for a prolonged period.

So, as long as you drink buttermilk in coffee in moderation, it’s a safe addition to your diet.

What should I use instead of buttermilk in coffee?

Most people turn to buttermilk in coffee as a way of adding a buttery flavor to their coffee.

However, as I’ve already discussed, adding buttermilk to coffee doesn’t work. So, what can you use instead to give your coffee the rich flavor you desire?

You should use butter instead of buttermilk in coffee. Butter mixes well with the coffee, and it also doesn’t curdle. As a result, you can add a creamy and rich, even slightly sweet flavor to your coffee by swapping out buttermilk for butter.

The best kinds of milk to use in coffee

Buttermilk in coffee isn’t worth it. It’ll spoil your drink and may even put you off coffee for a little while.

So what are you supposed to use instead of buttermilk? Which milks are best for combining with coffee, and how can we use them to improve the beverage’s flavor without spoiling the texture?

Here are some of the best kinds of milk to use in coffee:

  • Oat milk
  • Almond milk
  • Whole milk
  • Condensed milk

See below for a brief description of why these kinds of milk are best and what sets them apart.

Oat milk

Oat milk has a distinct and creamy texture. It is also usually sweetened, adding an extra layer to your coffee.

Oatly oat milk.

On top of this, it is vegan-friendly and a healthy source of nutrients like fiber which helps digestion, and calcium which promotes healthy bones and teeth.

Added to your coffee, oat milk is best enjoyed in the morning.

Almond milk

Almond milk is one of the most popular additions to coffee shops and for a good reason.

Alpro almond milk.

This alternative to dairy milk is slightly sweet and rich in flavor. This complements the bitterness in the coffee and offers a nutty aftertone.

It is also a dairy-free product for people with dietary restrictions.

Whole milk

Some things are classic for a reason, and whole milk in coffee is a good example of this. It’s smooth, creamy, and delightful when splashed into a coffee.

You can warm the milk before adding it to your drink or even use it to make a latte. It’s hard to go wrong when combining whole milk with coffee.

Condensed milk

Condensed milk in coffee is the norm in countries like Vietnam. Condensed milk is very sweet, and when added to an iced coffee, it results in a flavor similar to coffee ice cream.

While this option is definitely not the healthiest, it’s a delicious and refreshing treat, ideal for hot summer days.

Sweetened condensed milk.

The kinds of milk listed above are far from your only options. In modern times, people use a wide range of nuts, grains, and dairy milk in coffee.

These types of milk and milk alternatives are amongst the most popular and flavorful when combined with coffee.

Can you put buttermilk in tea?

At this point, you’re well aware that adding buttermilk to coffee isn’t a wise culinary decision. However, what about tea?

Is it worth combining buttermilk with tea, or is this another hot drink that doesn’t suit the texture or taste of buttermilk?

You can put buttermilk in tea; however, it likely won’t taste very nice. Similar to coffee, tea contains tannins that interact with the buttermilk and cause it to go lumpy. As a result, buttermilk in tea tastes sour and has an odd, grainy consistency.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s best not to add buttermilk to any hot drinks. It doesn’t work, and it changes the consistency of the buttermilk.

If you wish to enjoy buttermilk, drink it on its own or find a cold drink to add it to.

What can you use buttermilk for?

You can use buttermilk for baking and cooking. Buttermilk is excellent for making fried chicken with extra crunchy skin. Buttermilk is also included in a variety of baked goods to enhance the flavor and add a rich, creamy texture.

Southern fried chicken is typically made by coating chicken in spiced buttermilk before adding flour or breadcrumbs and frying.

Buttermilk is also used to make buttermilk coffee cake, in addition to various breads and doughs.

Buttermilk is a low-fat option to include in baking. On top of this, buttermilk has a slightly bitter tang that offers an added subtle flavor to baked goods.

Buttermilk can be used in place or in addition to milk or water in baking recipes.

Can you drink buttermilk?

You can drink buttermilk. It has a slightly sour taste with a thick consistency and is similar to natural yogurt in flavor. Drinking buttermilk is also very healthy and an excellent way of replenishing lost nutrients when you’re dehydrated or recovering from a workout.

The nutritional benefits of buttermilk

A glass of buttermilk is a fantastic way to start the day. Buttermilk can aid your digestive system while providing your entire body with essential nutrients and minerals.

Buttermilk is also low in calories and doesn’t contain extreme amounts of fat or carbs.

Buttermilk is a valuable addition to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. Buttermilk is low in calories, but it also helps you feel full.

As a result, you can enjoy a rich drink in the morning to prevent snacking without exceeding a healthy calorie intake.

The best way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you burn; buttermilk is an excellent aid in this.

Experiment with recipes including buttermilk

However, buttermilk is an acquired taste that many people don’t enjoy. If you wish to drink more buttermilk but struggle with the taste, try mixing it into a fruit smoothie.

Sweet fruits like apples and bananas are ideal for buttermilk smoothies.

More coffee add-ins to try

Ready to upgrade your daily coffee?

Here are some coffee add-ins to try today:

And for even more options, check out the coffee add-ins hub here!

Final thoughts

You can put buttermilk in your coffee if you wish, but it’s not worth it. Buttermilk offers additional nutrients and fewer calories than regular milk.

However, buttermilk will curdle and turn sour when added to hot coffee. Tea and other hot drinks will have the same effect on buttermilk also.

If you’re searching for an alternative to adding cow’s milk to your coffee, try almond or oat milk.

You might also consider butter or even condensed milk. Different kinds of milk have their benefits and drawbacks, so experiment to find which best suits your needs and wants.

Coffee recipes to try

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