Coconut milk latte? Many of you may say, "No way, José!" While this coffee might seem counterintuitive, vegan java lovers will tell you it's a delightful coffee recipe!
Coconut milk latte? Many of you may say, “No way, José!” While this coffee might seem counterintuitive, vegan java lovers will tell you it’s a delightful coffee recipe!
Coconut milk lattes offer delicious alternatives to traditional dairy-based coffee recipes. Besides the chocolatey and nutty espresso base, these coffee drinks bring a touch of the tropical. The refreshing taste and creamy mouthfeel scream sweet coconut goodness.
So, let’s go ahead and explore how to make this velvety coffee recipe. By the end of this post, I’m sure I’ll have you craving one!
Overview: Coconut Milk Latte Benefits
Besides being delicious, a coconut milk latte has various benefits you won’t get with other latte recipes.
The number one benefit of using coconut milk in your coffee is that it’s 100% dairy-free. For lactose-intolerant coffee lovers, those allergic to milk products or strict vegans, this latte recipe brings you in from the cold. It allows you to enjoy plant-based lattes in all their creamy glory.
Coconut milk for coffee is also perfect for those on a strict diet. Paleo, keto, gluten-free and dairy-free lifestyles all permit followers to have a coconut milk latte or two daily. This plant-based milk won’t break the rules and keeps you on track to achieve your health and weight goals.
I must mention the keto diet here. Full-fat coconut milk is integral to its success, but as with all things, moderation is key. Importantly, always use unsweetened coconut milk to make all your coffee drinks on a keto diet. Sugar is a mortal enemy; a complete no-no on this diet.
While unsweetened coconut milk keeps your carb count low, it won’t kick you out of ketosis. And as with bulletproof coffee or MCT oil/coconut oil coffee, full-fat coconut milk ups your fat intake. It gives you up to four grams of fat per cup, which is highly recommended if you’re on keto.
What’s the Best Coconut Milk for Coffee?
Undoubtedly, carton or canned coconut milk may offer many potential benefits. However, this milk might not be good for everyone. The high saturated fat content of full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream may affect cholesterol levels. This could cause heart disease.
Additionally, many commercial coconut milks contain highly processed sugars. What’s worse, they have other nasties, too, such as stabilizers, gums and preservatives. These ingredients may not only cause weight gain but are a definite no-no for people with diabetes.
So, what do you do if you are searching for a clean brand for your coconut milk latte recipe? Make your own milk at home? Unfortunately, this may not be convenient for everyone.
If you must buy commercial coconut milk for coffee, choose the unsweetened, organic variety. These brands use only three ingredients: organic coconut meat, coconut cream and water/coconut water.
In many ways, you’re better off buying unsweetened carton or canned milk. Then, sweeten it with a little maple syrup, honey or sugar. Add almond, coconut or vanilla extract to your coconut milk mixture for a flavor switch-up.
So which brand of milk should you choose? If buying carton or canned coconut milk online, choose a BPA-free brand. Natural Value and Trader Joe's are my favorites as they contain only three ingredients.
Alternatively, why not pop into your local natural foods store? You’re sure to find a suitable brand of coconut milk for coffee there. And you get to pick up the can or carton and look at the ingredients yourself!
Can You Make Coconut Milk Froth?
This is a question my customers often asked me in my barista days! My general answer is yes, you can make coconut milk froth but it requires some milk steaming skills.
Because coconut milk is higher in fat than, say, almond milk or soy milk, it’s the perfect substitute for dairy milk. It froths easily, making for a delicious cappuccino. However, remember that the texture and flavor will differ greatly from regular milk foam.
A hand-held milk frother, immersion blender or steam wand is a must for the perfect frothy latte consistency. If you don’t have any of these, pour your coconut milk mixture into a Mason jar, cover it with the lid and shake vigorously. You may not get the perfect froth, but you’ll get something close.
As a former professional barista, I’d recommend using coconut milk and not coconut cream for your latte unless you’re making an iced coconut milk latte or coconut cold brew coffee.
While the texture of coconut cream may be too thick for a hot latte, it does the opposite for a cold drink. A scoop of coconut cream in strong-brewed hot coffee poured over an iced coconut milk mixture is heavenly on a hot summer day!
Remember, nothing’s set in stone. After all, it’s your coconut latte, and you should make it your way. Experiment with different coconut milk brands to find the best one for your coconut latte recipes.
Coconut Milk Latte Recipe
So now we get to it! Here’s a great recipe for a hot coconut milk latte. This recipe is versatile so feel free to adjust the sweetness and flavoring to your liking.
Single shot of espresso or strong-brewed coffee
1 cup (250 milliliters) unsweetened coconut milk (preferably organic)
1-2 teaspoons sweetener (maple syrup, honey, sugar or coconut sugar)
1/2 teaspoon flavoring (vanilla extract, coconut extract, almond extract) – optional
Ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon or shredded toasted coconut – optional garnish
If using a hot coffee other than espresso, measure your desired amount and set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat your coconut milk over medium-low heat until it’s warm but not boiling. This should take 2 to 3 minutes at most.
You may also use a microwave oven to heat your coconut milk. Microwave for 15 seconds at a time until the milk is warm to the touch and you notice some steam coming off it.
Next, froth the milk for your coconut milk latte until it becomes foamy and velvety.
If you don’t have a steam wand, froth your coconut milk with a hand-held milk frother or standalone frother. Alternatively, use your preferred DIYU method.
Combine your hot coffee and coconut milk mixture. First, pour your hot espresso or strong-brewed coffee into your favorite cup.
Next, mix in a sweetener of your choice.
This would be the perfect time to flavor your coffee, too. Use anything you like. Ground cinnamon, vanilla extract and almond extract are my favorites.
Next, slowly pour the frothed-up milk onto your coffee base, using the back of a spoon to hold the foam back. Once you pour enough warm milk into the cup, place as much foam as you’d like onto your drink.
Garnish with some more ground cinnamon or nutmeg, chocolate shavings or shredded toasted coconut if you really want to go to town!
Stir, drink and enjoy.
Pro Tip: If you find the texture of coconut milk for coffee too thick, combine coconut and almond milk for a lighter consistency. Cashew, macadamia, oat and soy milk are good alternatives.
Wait, What About Summer? The Perfect Iced Coconut Milk Coffee Recipe
A hot coconut latte may not be your drink of choice in the hot summer months. The good news is you can make a delicious iced coffee to quench your thirst.
This makes sense if you think about it. Countless people in the tropics drink coconut water almost daily to keep cool. So, an ice-cold, creamy coconut milk latte (or coconut water iced coffee) makes perfect sense.
Here’s one of my go-to cool, delicious and refreshing recipes for an iced coconut milk coffee:
2 shots of freshly-brewed espresso or strong-brewed coffee
1 cup unsweetened iced coconut milk or cold coconut milk
1-2 teaspoons of sweetener (again, maple syrup or coconut/brown sugar are my favorites)
1/2 teaspoon of flavoring
Coconut water or plain cold water (if making black iced coconut coffee)
Coconut cream, whipped (for topping) – optional
Ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, chocolate shavings or toasted coconut (for garnish) – optional
Espresso machine or other coffee maker
Tall glass, coffee cup or mason jar (for serving)
Long spoon (for stirring)
Pull a double espresso or brew some strong coffee using a coffee maker of your choice.
Allow the hot coffee to cool to room temperature. Cool your coffee in the fridge, or if you’re in a hurry, use some cold brew coffee.
Chill your coconut milk if it isn’t already cold. You can place it in the fridge or add ice cubes to make a chilled coconut milk mixture.
Next, combine the sweetener and flavoring for your coconut milk latte. I prefer coconut/brown sugar or maple syrup as sweeteners in my recipes. Many recipes also use vanilla extract, almond extract, coconut extract or ground cinnamon for added flavor.
Now assemble your iced coconut latte. Fill a tall glass or cup with plain ice or flavored iced cubes and pour your coffee base over the top.
Slowly mix in your sweetened and flavored coconut milk mixture. Stir gently to combine the flavors. Remember to use plain cold water or chilled coconut water if making an iced black coffee.
If you feel like it, top your coconut latte with some whipped coconut milk for that extra-creamy mouthfeel. Garnish with ground cinnamon or nutmeg. You could also use toasted coconut or chocolate shavings.
Give your latte a final stir and enjoy!
Pro Tip: Add coconut milk or maple syrup ice cubes to your coconut milk mixture for that extra hit of flavor.
Final Thoughts: Coconut Milk for Coffee Is the New Black!
Now that you know how to make a creamy coconut milk latte, I hope you’ll try this recipe yourself.
Making your own coconut milk coffee allows you to get creative and to expand your coffee palate. Making your own coconut latte also allows you to try different espresso blends, sugars and flavorings to find your perfect latte recipe.
So, the next time you yearn for a non-dairy coffee, brew a shot of espresso, reach out for the coconut milk and have yourself a good time. The simple indulgence that is the coconut latte will transform your daily coffee routine into pure, velvety bliss.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this coconut latte recipe and can now make your very own at home. Are there any other coconut milk coffee recipes you’ve tried? Let me know in the comments section!
Coconut Milk Coffee FAQ
Coconut milk is a dairy-free milk that goes well with coffee. Its creamy, thick texture and slightly sweet taste enhance the taste of espresso-based and other coffee beverages.
Yes! Coconut milk tastes delicious in iced coffee recipes. It’s refreshing, creamy and sweet. Most importantly, coconut milk coffee is dairy-free making it keto, paleo and vegan-friendly.
No. Coffee with coconut milk will not break a fast if you use unsweetened coconut milk.
Starbucks uses single-origin Sumatra coconut milk. It is an all-natural coconut milk with a base of coconut cream and water only. This milk may have some additives and preservatives to make it shelf-stable.