Sweetening cold drinks particularly cold brew coffee can be quite tricky.
This is simply because sugar, the most commonly used beverage sweetener, doesn't fully dissolve in fluids with cooler temperature.
Although cold brew coffee is naturally sweet, some coffee lovers prefer their cold cups with extra sweetness.
This article will show you 3 amazing ways to sweeten cold brew coffee at home!
Is Cold Brew Sweeter Than Hot Brewed Coffee?
The obvious difference is that cold brew coffee is made from coffee grains steeped with cool or room temperature water instead of hot water.
Because of this cold brewing process, more caffeine is extracted from the grains but with less bitterness and acidity.
As a result, the cold base brew is naturally slightly sweeter and fuller in taste than hot brewed coffee. Depending on the beans and your tolerance for sweetness, your cold brew may be sweet enough already, no sugar added.
Want to learn how to make cold brew coffee at home?
More importantly, the steeping process in cold brew which takes around 12-24 hours yields a smoother texture. All in all, cold brew tastes better than hot brew to most coffee enthusiasts for these reasons.
But, some of you folks, like me, want to satisfy your sweet tooth with just a bit more flavor and sugar.
Sweetening your cold brew is all about what's complimentary to the already prominent flavors extracted from your beans in that long steeping process.
How To Make Your Own Coffee Syrup (Liquid Sugar)?
Sugar doesn't easily dissolve in cold water.
But that doesn't mean that you can't use this common and popular sweetener anymore.
What you really need for cold brewed coffee is liquid sugar, which is commonly coined as coffee syrup or simple syrup. With liquid sugar, you can make your cold brew so much sweeter with just a teaspoon or two that blends effortlessly into your cool coffee.
A good simple syrup is key to compliment the flavors of cold brew.
Here's how to sweeten cold brew with homemade simple syrup...
How to Make Homemade Simple Syrup for Cold Brew Coffee:
- Mix 1 part water and 2 parts sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat
- Stir the mixture for about 10 minutes or until sugar has been completely dissolved. Sugar should be about 85% of the entire solution
- After heating, add in a tablespoon of lemon juice. This additional ingredient helps in preventing your coffee syrup from solidifying under room temperature
- Store your simple syrup in a mason jar or other airtight container
- Shelf-life of your simple syrup is about one to two months
Watch this video to learn more about sweet, sweet cold brew at home:
Nitro Cold Brew Coffee
Utilizing N2 or nitrogen is another fun way of sweetening cold brew, but without the actual sugar.
If you paid close attention in your high school chemistry class, you'll recall that Nitrogen gas has a naturally sweet taste.
When you infuse nitrogen gas with cold brew, you get the popular nitro cold brew coffee, a sweeter, even smoother version of your favorite cold coffee drink.
To sweeten cold brew with nitrogen at home you need a whipped cream dispenser and a cartridge of nitrogen.
Apart from the added natural sweetness, nitro coffee is fun to watch with its reverse cascading effect.
What Are Other Ways To Sweeten Your Cold Brew?
Apart from simple syrup and nitrogen, there are other ways to effectively sweeten your cold brew, but my favorite is adding in some common spices or extracts!
You can add cinnamon or unsweetened cocoa powder directly unto your coffee grounds before brewing.
On the other hand, a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder is needed for each cup of ground coffee.
Then top your chocolate or cinnamon cold brew with a dash of nutmeg. My favorite low-cal, sweetened coffee!
Another way to ramp up the sugary twist of your cold brew is by adding a few drops of either almond, hazelnut, or vanilla extracts.
You can directly add these additional ingredients directly on your cold brew serve since they are already in liquid form.
Lastly, coconut cream or milk can add some extra sweetness as well as creaminess into your cold coffee serve.
Some would say that cold brew is already as good as it gets since serving cold brew fresh is already sweeter, less acidic, and less bitter compared to a cup of hot brewed coffee.
But adding in simple syrup, nitrogen, spices or extracts can upgrade your cold brew and help satisfy your sugar cravings.