Can You Brew Coffee With Milk Instead of Water?

I have been drinking coffee since my childhood. In rare cases, even as a baby, you might have consumed coffee instead of milk. Even though I’m addicted to this caffeinated beverage, I change certain elements here and there to bring a new taste.

Sometimes I prefer pure black coffee. On other days, I run far away from the extreme bitterness. It all depends on my mood and my desire to try out new flavors. There must have been a time in your life where your cabinet was filled with different coffees because you couldn’t decide on just one.

However, one thing that stays constant is milk, unless you only prefer black coffee. Whether dairy or non-dairy, this ingredient brings an incredible amount of sweetness and smoothness to your cup of joe. You can further enhance the taste by adding cocoa powder, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. But all of these are the traditional methods.

There are various ways to add milk and other such products to coffee. But indeed, you’d have tried all of them and ended up with similar tastes every time. What if I tell you there’s a unique way to improve your coffee experience? 

All the epicures out there who are not afraid to sample new things can try brewing their coffee with milk. This will require extra caution but produce a rich and flavorful coffee. Read on to find out how!

How to Brew Coffee With Milk

Many people prefer adding milk afterward, but that’s because they never thought of trying to brew their coffee with milk. This is a combo that very few people enjoy but deserves an attempt. However, when planning on brewing coffee with milk instead of water, there are a few things that you must keep in mind.

Heat the Milk

The typical temperature that extracts the maximum flavor of coffee is 190-205 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be possible when brewing coffee with water. But when milk comes into the equation, many problems arise that need to be carefully dealt with. 

Milk can easily burn and curdle at such a high temperature as it contains fats and sugar components. Then, your approach to heating the milk should be to increase the temperature slowly and steadily with continuous stirring. 

One way of doing it is to heat the milk in the microwave and remove it after 30-40 seconds. Stir the liquid to prevent curdling, then put it back in. Repeat it several times until you reach the desired temperature.

Another possible way is to use a saucepan. Heat the milk on low with constant stirring. This will not destroy the milk’s contents and provide a creamy and smooth cup of coffee every time.

Brewing With Milk

You might be thinking now that you’re over with heating the milk, the most challenging part is over. In fact, has yet to come. Where milk requires a lower temperature compared to water to heat up, it loses the heat rapidly. This property makes it hard for you to brew.

The best way to brew coffee is to use a french press. The standard brewing time, that is, when using water, is about 4 minutes. Milk, on the other hand, steeps slower and cools down very fast. So to overcome this problem, you are advised to use more coffee grounds and decrease the time for steeping. After that, just pour your coffee into your favorite mug and enjoy the unique variation.

Cold Brew

Cold-brew is the best coffee you can make when replacing water with milk. The extraction, however, will require more time due to additional components in milk that water naturally lacks. You should make specific changes in the recipe, add a little more coffee, and allow it to steep for longer. Also remember to leave it in the fridge and never at room temperature.

Best Brewing Method

Drip Machine

This option is a big no unless, of course, you want to destroy your machine to get a new one intentionally. The reason is that the water tank of the drip machine is designed specifically for water only. When you add milk, it will instantly get heated up and end up burning. And your machine will become useless in no time.


Where this brewing method can do the job just fine, it is not the most efficient one. The result also depends on all the units. For example, it will get clogged from the milk’s contents in a flash if you use a paper filter. A reusable mesh filter would perform better in such a case. However, you’ll most likely end up deciding to never brew with milk again during its cleaning process.

French Press

The easiest way to brew coffee with milk is by using a french-press. Most machines not only need a thorough clean-up but can get clogged up by calcium deposits. Even after so much effort and risk, chances are your coffee will not be adequately filtered. Hence the most efficient method is to use a french press. Even though you’ll need to clean this too, your drink will have a rich and smooth taste as per your expectations. 


You don’t need to be an expert or a barista to brew your coffee with milk. What you do need, however, is to be careful during the process. Follow all the steps mentioned above to prevent the milk from burning or breaking down your machine. And you’ll be able to drink a cup of coffee that’s incredibly creamy and not a hint of the bitter taste.