Whether it's a matter of preference or a medical need, you may want to thicken your coffee. Here's how.
Sometimes I’m in the mood for a creamier coffee drink.
Let’s face it, there’s something about relaxing with a filling, soothing, and cozy warm beverage — especially on dreary winter days.
A thickened coffee can hit the spot, and be a pleasant change of pace, without straying too far from your comfort zone.
And most Americans prefer a creamier drink — thanks to dairy products, alternatives, or coffee creamer — over black coffee.
Here you will find our best tips and tricks for a thicker coffee without losing the flavor you love!
How Can You Make Thicker Coffee?
One great option to indulge in a thicker cup of coffee is to add fats, such as those found in bulletproof coffee.
Bulletproof coffee is more of a standalone meal than a drink and contains rich ingredients like butter and MCT oil.
These ingredients are blended and served warm for a filling, flavorful coffee.
This makes it similar to whipped coffee.
Whipped coffee is simple to make and the result is a rich, thick drink that’s unique and fun to serve as a treat to your partner or guests.
Whipped coffee is made of instant coffee, sugar, and water, which is served over iced or warm milk or water.
This rich, whipped topping looks like peanut butter and presents with a mousse-like texture.
Want to put milk in your coffee maker? It's generally a bad idea, but you'll get the best results with a French press.
Don't put regular milk, heavy cream, or alternatives like soy milk in your Keurig or drip coffee maker.
How to Make Whipped Coffee
To make whipped coffee, first decide how much you would like to make. If you’re serving coffee for two, or if you’re looking for a larger amount of topping, double or triple the quantity.
You will want to combine equal parts of instant coffee, sugar, and water — 1 tablespoon each for one serving.
When first combined, this will look like highly concentrated instant coffee.
Continue to whisk the mixture and take notice of the increasingly lighter color that is becoming creamy and frothy over time.
Whisk until you can create peaks that hold their shape.
Next, take your glass of iced water, hot water, or milk and spoon the froth mixture over the top.
Smooth with a spoon and then twist with a swirl in the center for a beautiful topping on your thick coffee.
This coffee looks best served in a clear mug if you have one, because the distinctive layering will add to the presentation.
Tips for the Perfect Whipped Coffee
Coffee lovers should follow these steps to make the best possible whipped coffee:
- Use hot water. While it will still whip up nicely with cool or room temperature water, hot water will work faster.
- Use an electronic mixer. This will yield a faster result and be less taxing on your arm. (You’ll thank us later!)
- Whisk in a bowl. Using too small of a container to whip your coffee will be difficult, as it is the introduction of air to the mixture that creates the fluffiness. Allow room for circulation to make this coffee a success.
- Mix your coffee before drinking. Stir your coffee before enjoying to get a perfect blend of flavors with every sip.
Try it as a topping for ice cream if you’re looking to try something new!
How Do You Fix Thin Coffee?
Another way to thicken your regular cup of coffee without making a whipped topping is to add Xanthan gum.
Xanthan gum is a commonly used ingredient in food that is used to make it thicker.
You will find Xanthan gum in Starbucks coffee for this exact reason.
A very small amount will go a long way when thickening your cup of coffee.
But consuming too much Xanthan gum too often can create digestive problems.
Whip your coffee and Xanthan gum together with a whisk or a blender or beater to create a thicker coffee that is simple to make and enjoyable.
Xanthan gum will not impact the flavor of your coffee, which makes it preferable over other commonly used thickeners like cornstarch or potato starch.
Cornstarch is still a viable thickening agent for coffee, so if Xanthan gum doesn’t meet your needs or isn’t available, it can be worth a try.
When combined with a sweetener and a milk or milk alternative, the flavor of the cornstarch will be muted.
If your coffee regularly comes out too thin straight from the source, you may need to change something in your preparation routine.
You can make a richer coffee by altering the product you use and the way you brew it.
Watery coffee isn’t fun for anyone!
If your coffee is turning out too light and thin and you find yourself wondering why your coffee is always watery, you can control the output by making a few simple changes.
When and how you use different grind sizes will be a major determining factor in how your coffee turns out.
Yes, grind size of your coffee beans influences the type of coffee you'll end up with, as does whether you turn to lighter roasts or dark roasts.
Coarse coffee grounds may produce a much weaker coffee if brewed under the wrong conditions.
Coffee that is prepared properly will have the correct amount of oils from the beans, which will lean toward a richer taste.
Strong coffee that tastes rich will give you the impression of a thicker drink.
How you are preparing your morning coffee will determine what size of the coffee grounds you should probably use.
Here are the different grind sizes and what brewing method works best to give you a thicker, richer coffee:
- Fine: Fine and extra fine ground beans are best for Aeropress coffee makers, espresso machines, or a Moka pot. These finer grind methods take only seconds, so the coffee must be broken down to a fine texture and easily extracted.
- Medium: Medium is a good starting point for beginners. Pour-over coffee, regular drip machines, and siphon coffee makers work best with these grounds to help minimize water overflow. This is a slower brewing method, as it takes longer to extract flavor from a thicker ground.
- Coarse: Cold brew coffee and French press should use a coarser grind. When utilizing these brewing methods, the grounds are immersed in water. A thicker grind size will slow the extraction and prevent over-extraction that could occur with a finer texture.
Coffee that is already brewed and still feels too thin can be thickened by adding whole milk or cream.
Full fat milk or cream has a rich consistency and will make your coffee more robust and velvety.
Just the simple addition of dairy can save the day when it comes to a coffee that needs a boost in flavor or thickness.
This is the most common approach to thickening coffee.
For those with lactose intolerance or a vegan preference, almond milk can be added to coffee either as-is or as a frothy blend.
This is a healthy addition to coffee and is low in calories, if that’s of concern.
If you want a sweet coffee that is thickened, try adding condensed milk.
Tip for a smoother coffee: keep your coffee pot clean to ensure that there is no debris from grounds or other materials blocking the flow of your water or coffee.
Other Tips and Tricks for Making Coffee Thicker
If none of the above tips sound perfect for you or your situation, here are some other ingredients you can add to thicken your cup of joe in a fun and distinct way!
PB lovers, rejoice!
Adding a spoonful of melted peanut butter to your coffee and stirring thoroughly will add a delicious, thick flavor as well as some oils and fats that will compliment your brew.
You can play around with varieties of peanut butter flavors, sweetened and unsweetened, and try various amounts to find the exact flavor and thickness you’re aiming for.
As an added bonus, the protein in peanut butter can help you feel full longer, making this a great way to jumpstart your morning routine or wake you up during that mid-afternoon lull.
Peanut butter not sweetened with honey is vegan, so this is an excellent option for people trying to avoid thickening agents that include dairy.
As noted above, honey is not vegan, but it is another way for people who avoid or do not prefer dairy to sweeten and thicken their coffee.
Honey can maintain its nutritional value in cooled or iced coffee, so if you’re wanting to approach it from a health angle, don’t add your honey when the coffee is scalding hot.
Honey comes in a variety of notes that will play along with various coffees.
Maple syrup is a healthier option for sweetening your coffee than table sugar.
It contains antioxidants and minerals, making it a sound choice, despite the fact that the two behave similarly in the body.
In short, it’s a good option that is slightly healthier for you, but we won’t call it outright healthy (sorry!).
Also, real maple syrup is best.
Yeah, you probably weren’t expecting this one.
Cream cheese can be used as an additive to coffee that is surprisingly delicious.
Milk products cut the bitterness of coffee, so cream cheese does soften the flavors of your existing blend while adding a refreshing and nutty flavor that’s rich.
Cream cheese will melt best in hot coffee, but is equally delicious in cold. It’s worth a try if you are open to a new experience!
How to Thicken Coffee for Medical Needs
You may be looking to increase the viscosity of coffee for medical reasons. Individuals with dysphagia or other swallowing disorders can still enjoy coffee when it is combined with a thickening agent.
This is also a safer option for elderly people who may have issues aspirating liquids due to aging or who have medical conditions that cause trouble swallowing, such as a stroke or Parkinson’s disease.
Pre-made thickened coffee comes in a variety of thicknesses and is available both online and at retail stores and pharmacies.
It is available in decaf and regular form, and is an easy option for people with limited mobility or their caregivers as it requires limited to no preparation.
Beverage thickeners that can be added to any drink also exist, and are great options for people who would like more control over the variety or flavor of their coffee, or the preparation method.
These thickeners are good in both hot and cold beverages, work quickly, and are easy to use without altering the flavor.
Individuals who are thickening their beverages due to medical concerns are always advised to check with their doctor regarding the appropriate thickness and whether or not this is medically advisable in their situation.
Whether you made your coffee too watery, wish to experiment with additives, or are looking to see how preparing it in a new way yields a better result, thickening your coffee can make for a happier, brighter experience!
Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.How To Guides, Coffee, French Press, Drinks