Can You Use Heavy Whipping Cream In Coffee?

While black coffee remains the favorite for a lot of coffee lovers, it’s hard to deny that ingredients such as milk bring a unique flavor and mouthfeel to a cup of coffee. 

Especially considering that the combination of milk and coffee makes up for a considerable portion of the Italian coffee culture with drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos that we all enjoy, the place of milk in the world of coffee is pretty much cemented.

Another dairy product that is quite similar to milk is heavy whipping cream. In fact, heavy whipping cream is made from the fat-heavy part of milk, which is why it wouldn’t be wrong to say that heavy cream is essentially milk. Knowing that adding heavy cream to almost anything makes it have an incredible mouthfeel, you are probably about to ask the question we are all thinking about right now.

So, can you use heavy whipping cream in your coffee, or not?

The answer is yes. You can use heavy whipping cream in your coffee to give it the creamy mouthfeel you’ve been dreaming about all this time, even without whipping it if you want it to blend with your coffee as milk does.

Having Coffee with Cream Instead of Milk

While adding a layer of whipped cream on top of your coffee drink is common practice for certain drinks, completely replacing milk with heavy cream is a different beast.

As the consistency of heavy cream is thicker when compared to milk, adding too much of it can cause your drink to be quite hard to drink. For this reason, you should aim to add a smaller amount of heavy cream instead of using the same ratio you would for milk.

Aside from the difference in consistency, coffee that is prepared with heavy cream instead of milk will be quite higher in fat content, which means more calories. We recommend drinking coffee with heavy cream as a treat rather than making it a regular thing, as mixing cream with your coffee every day can prove to be quite unhealthy.

To reduce the amount of heavy cream you use with your coffee, you can dilute the cream with a small amount of milk and steam it to increase its volume. This way, you will be able to thin the consistency of the cream and also consume less heavy cream overall.

Another way of incorporating heavy cream into your cup of coffee is to add a small amount of it alongside milk. Since you aren’t completely replacing milk with heavy cream, in this case, you will be able to thicken the consistency of your drink without consuming too much cream.

What Does Heavy Whipping Cream Taste Like in Coffee?

In terms of taste, you won’t notice a big difference between milk and heavy cream as the real difference maker between the two is mouthfeel due to how thicker heavy cream is. 

While we often associate heavy cream with sweetness, heavy cream itself is actually not sweet at all. The sweetness comes from added sugar that blends into the heavy cream, making us think that cream is a sweet thing at times. If you ever tried eating heavy cream by itself, you have probably learned this lesson and won’t ever forget it.

As heavy cream has a flavor that is considered to be quite neutral, the natural flavor of your coffee will be preserved for the most part when you add heavy cream to it. That being said, just like adding water or milk to your cup of coffee, adding heavy cream will also cut the acidity of your coffee down a bit and make it less bitter.

What is Coffee with Heavy Cream Called?

As having coffee with heavy cream isn’t all that common, there isn’t a special name for it. 

While there are drinks that include whipped cream on top as default, such as espresso con panna, which is prepared by adding whipped cream on top of an espresso shot, there is no specific drink where mixing heavy cream with coffee is part of the original recipe.

For this reason, those who are looking to order coffee with heavy cream in it should mention it specifically after telling the barista the drink they want. For instance, you can tell the barista that you want an Americano with 1/4 heavy cream in it, which will prompt the barista to replace a quarter of the water with heavy cream instead.

Does Heavy Cream Curdle In Coffee?

Over time, the lactose in dairy products starts fermenting and eventually turns into lactic acid. When the lactic acid concentration of heavy cream is too high, curdling starts taking place.

So, what role does coffee play in this process?

First of all, coffee is an acidic substance, meaning that when it’s combined with heavy cream, the acid content of the heavy cream rises. While this shouldn’t be a problem if your heavy cream is fresh, using heavy cream that is close to expiring can easily curdle due to already containing a significant amount of lactic acid.

Alongside this, high temperatures are known to play a role in accelerating the curdling process, and as you know, coffee is a hot beverage.

Bottom line, heavy cream can indeed curdle in coffee if it’s close to going bad or already went bad. Using fresh heavy cream will ensure that you won’t have to worry about your heavy cream curdling in your coffee.

Conclusion

While it is out of the ordinary, adding heavy cream to your coffee is definitely possible, and just as expected, the addition of cream gives coffee that thick and creamy mouthfeel we all love.

That being said, it does come with a decent amount of extra calories and fat, so ensure that you save this delicious combination for special occasions only.

Have a great day, and enjoy your coffee!