How to Brew Coffee With Milk The Right Way (Helpful Guide)

Last Updated on January 31, 2022 by John Moretti

There is a fine line between brewing coffee with milk and disaster. So I’m glad that you’re reading this. This entire article is dedicated to helping you strike a balance between milk and coffee, and learn how to brew coffee with milk the right way.

Stick around and you’ll find that’s quite an amusing (and aromatic) process.

Brewing Coffee With Milk

The Best Brewing Method For Coffee With Milk

The common methods of brewing coffee are

But which one works best while brewing coffee with milk?

I insist that the French Press is the best way to brew coffee with milk.

Here are the reasons:

  1. Firstly, you need to do this manually, which eliminates the drip machine. Your coffee-making machine was built to handle water and not milk. Pouring milk in the drip machine is a surefire way of destroying it.
  2. Secondly, the milk has to be heated at a specific temperature (160 ℉). This temperature is lower than the coffee brewing temperature. When you brew coffee, the ideal temperature is between 195 ℉ and 205 ℉. This rules out the Stove-Top Espresso Maker.

That leaves us with two manual methods: the Pour Over and French Press.

  1. The Pour Over method works, but it gets messy. Paper filters get clogged easily, and you’ll regret using a reusable mesh once you have to clean it. So, no Pour Over method.
  2. So, what’s left is the French Press.

The 4 Steps to Brew Coffee with Milk

Now we get to show you the steps involved in the brewing process. This is how it goes:

1. Heat the Milk

cream in pan

The first step requires your constant attention. Your aim should be to heat the milk at 160 ℉. Anything higher will burn and curdle the milk.

Two ways to ensure that you heat the milk at the required temperature is by using either a microwave or saucepan.

  1. When using a saucepan, you must heat the milk over medium heat with frequent stirring. A high flame will lead to the milk curdling quickly.
  2. If you’re using a microwave, pour the milk into a cup and place it inside the microwave. Set the timer to 50-60 seconds. This should allow the milk to reach the required 160 ℉.

Use a thermometer to check the temperature for 20 seconds or so to make sure.

2. Add the Coffee

French press

You want to add medium ground coffee for this brew. Usually, a French Press includes coarser grinds, but that doesn’t go well with milk. Also, you should take care of the beans you use. A darker roast is better suited rather than a lighter roast.

Dark roasted coffee has a stronger taste and will mix well with milk. The ideal coffee to milk ratio is 1:15 (30g of coffee and 450ml of milk)

So add the dark roasted medium ground coffee in French Press. Now you’re ready to add the milk.

3. Pour in the Milk

Brewing Coffee With Milk

Add the heated milk to soak the coffee. Once all the milk is in, lightly stir the mix. Your stirring will ensure that the coffee grounds are thoroughly saturated. Leave for 4 minutes.

4. Take the Plunge(er)

You’re finally ready to pull the trigger. Press the plunger down gently. The plunger shouldn’t go down so easily, nor should you be facing a lot of resistance. If you feel mild resistance, that means the coffee was ground properly.

Remove the grounds from the final brew. Pour it into your favorite mug and enjoy!

The 2 Other Ways to Brew Coffee With Milk

There are a couple of other ways to combine milk and coffee. One of them is brewing your coffee with cold milk. The other way is by using instant coffee.

1. Brewing Coffee with Cold Milk

mason jar

This is an easier and less taxing method. Using cold milk instead of heated milk will give you a drink that’s just as good. Moreover, you need pretty much the same equipment.

Here’s a breakdown of this particular brew:

  • Grind the Beans

Your aim should be to have a slightly finer ground. This will enhance the flavor of your drink. Maintain the same 1:15 ratio (30g of coffee and 450ml of milk) for the cold coffee brew. Also, avoid light roasted coffee

For a stronger taste, go for those dark roasted beans. Once that’s complete, deposit the freshly ground coffee into a mason jar.

  • Add the Milk

Pour the cold (or room temperature) milk into the mason jar where the finely ground coffee lay in wait. Gently stir to mix well. Shake the jar if needed to ensure that coffee and milk have mixed well.

  • Refrigerate the Brew

Once the coffee and milk have sufficiently mixed, leave the brew in your fridge. You should allow it to sit for at least 8 hours. Leaving it outside will turn the milk sour, so better avoid it.

  • After 8 Hours

Once the 8 hours are done, take it out of the fridge and pour the contents of the jar into a French Press. Press down the plunger to extract the goodness of coffee. Pour the drink into your cup and enjoy.

2. Brewing with Instant Coffee

Brewing Coffee With Milk

The fastest way to brew coffee with milk is by using an instant coffee mix. It doesn’t involve any hassle mentioned earlier, nor do you need all the equipment.

To begin with, warm the milk. Next, pour the warm milk into a cup and add the instant coffee mix. Ensure that the instant coffee completely dissolves as you stir the milk. And there you have it, an instant coffee brew with milk.

How Does Coffee Brewed with Milk Taste?

It tastes refreshingly good! Of course, it tastes “milkier” than a coffee brewed with hot water. But let that not discourage you from trying this out. 

One would expect a coffee brewed with milk to hardly have any flavor other than the milk, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised (provided you use dark roasted beans).

The same goes with a cold brew. The taste is still concentrated with coffee but dominated by milk. It’s more like a latte sans the foam.

Is There An Alternative to Whole Milk?

cream alternatives

Yes, there are alternatives for you to choose from. You can replace whole milk with soy milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, oat milk, or coconut milk. Any of these will work with the methods we’ve prescribed above. 

Just make sure that any of the alternative milk you choose doesn’t react poorly to coffee.


Coffee and milk are not like water and oil. Meaning, coffee and milk mix quite well. All you need to be is meticulous and alert while brewing the coffee. That’s just central to coffee making. Probably that applies to any aspect of life.

Choosing the right brewing method, taking correct measurements, and heating the milk at the right temperature – follow these, and voila! You have your coffee brewed with milk.