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How to Sweeten Cold Brew Coffee

So you’ve made a delicious batch of cold brew coffee, but you want to learn how to sweeten it. There are many different ways to sweeten your cold brew, and some are simple, while others are a bit more involved.

If you’re really into your coffee and you don’t mind spending a little time fiddling around with some of these methods, keep reading!

How to Make Simple Syrup or Liquid Sugar for Cold Coffee

When you make cold brew coffee, it’s not a sin to want to make it taste better. But, how? For example, by making simple syrup or liquid sugar, which is an easy but awesome method. It’s important to understand that you can’t mix sugar or artificial sweeteners with cold brew because they won’t dissolve.

If you’re not a fan of the strong and sometimes powerful taste of the cold brew, you can add liquid sugar to any cold brewing method to make it taste better.

The only thing that makes standard sugar dissolve in coffee is the heat. Once you take away the heat, the sugar will float around and stay separate from the cold brew. As a result, you need to make liquid sugar by melting the sugar first and adding it to the coffee later. For example:

You can keep your liquid sugar in the fridge for up to a month and use it for a variety of other things such as cocktails and unique dishes.

Not only will you have your cold-brew sweetener for later, but you could also use it for other stuff. To learn how to use cold brew in various drink options, see our list of recipes.

how to make simple syrup to sweeten you cold brew

Here’s how you can make simple syrup or liquid sugar:

  1. Mix equal parts of sugar and water
  2. Stir them thoroughly in a pot over medium-low heat until dissolved
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool at room temperature
  4. Once cooled, add to your cold brew and enjoy

Get The Ratio Right

What if you’re not making your cold brew the right way, and that’s what is causing it to have a bad taste? Many people have never found the ideal ratio, so they end up with a too strong or mild coffee. The typical brewing ratio is between 1:3 and 1:5 (coffee to water), so double-check that you’re using the right strategy. Also, steep time is essential, so make sure you connect all the dots for the most tasteful experience.

When making cold brew, we recommend using brewers like the Toddy. If you don’t have one yet, there’s an alternative. Did you know you could make cold brew in a mason jar? Watch our video from below.

Other Ways to Sweeten Your Cold Brew

Learning how to sweeten your cold brew coffee doesn’t stop with regular sugar or simple syrup; there are so many other ways to make your coffee taste better and health benefits to enjoy.

Coconut Water

As a substitute for filtered water, you can use coconut water and add it to your cold drip concentrate. Mix your concentrate with the coconut water and pour it over ice. You have the choice between unsweetened and sweetened coconut water, so choose the right one based on your preferences.

Sweetened Condensed Milk and Whipping Cream

If you’re a fan of the fancy cold brew coffee drinks that everyone loves, you could whip yourself up a delicious frothy cold brew using condensed milk and whipping cream. These two together will thicken up the coffee while making it much sweeter to drink.

Ensure you understand how long it lasts because cold brew is only drinkable for ten days after brewing. Only do this in small batches because cold brew doesn’t last long after brewing, so you don’t want to end up with more than you can drink.

Almond Milk

There are many benefits to almond milk, and it’s an excellent addition for a light and subtle sweetener to your cold brew (1). We recommend this method if you’re someone who does enjoy the robust taste of a cold brew but looks towards something a little more light. The almond milk won’t take too much away from the coffee taste, but it’ll make it easier to drink.

Final Thoughts

It’s no taboo that some people feel the need to sweeten their cold brew coffee. We showed you some ways to do it. It’s up to you to find the method that suits you best.

Happy cold-brewing!


How long should you steep cold brew depends on how much time you have. It’s generally recommended that you have a steep time of 18 hours and no more than 24. If you’re in a hurry, you can get away with steeping for as little as 8-10 hours if you have a drip brewer.

To reduce the caffeine in cold brew, you’ll want to reduce the ratio of coffee grounds to water during the steeping process. Cold-brew caffeine science is quite simple. The more water you add, the less caffeinated will it be.

No, cold brew is not the same as iced coffee. It is a different process than iced coffee. Iced coffee is a double batch of regular brew coffee poured over ice. So it is just a regular coffee diluted with ice. Cold brew process is much longer and it requires you to steep the batch overnight, and is made with cold or room temperature water.

  1. Mandl, E. (2017, December 24). 9 Science-Based Health Benefits of Almond Milk. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/almond-milk-health-benefits
Jovana D
I come from a country where people drink domestic coffee (what the rest of the world knows as Turkish coffee) and where Nescafe designates all instant coffees ever made. So, imagine my first encounter with, say, Hario V60...Yes, it was love at first sight.  Today I’m a moderate coffee connoisseur and a huge coffee lover. My favorite brewing methods are the V60 and traditional espresso-making. Yet, despite my country’s long tradition of Turkish-coffee-adoring, I somehow cannot stand it. That’s just too dark, even for me.

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