Can You Use Evaporated Milk In Coffee?

evaporated milk in coffee

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Evaporated milk in coffee, yea or nay? If you’ve landed on this page, I bet you’re pondering whether condensed milk and coffee are okay to mix together. There are plenty of things you can add to coffee, but is evaporated milk or condensed milk possible?

When it comes to coffee, everyone has their personal preferences. Some prefer their coffee black, while others enjoy a sweet and creamy coffee.

Coffee creamer tops the list of preferred extras, but when your favorite tub of powdered creamer is empty, what are your options? How about evaporated milk?

If you have some unanswered questions, here’s everything you need to know about this unique coffee combination.

After you’ve tried it, you might ditch the creamer for good!

What Is Evaporated Milk?

Walk into any grocery store, and you’ll find evaporated milk. It’s been around for what seems like forever, and it’s a popular ingredient used to prepare popular holiday sweets, pastries, and even ice cream.

But if you’re not much of a baker, you probably have no idea what this canned milk is or even what it looks like, so here’s the lowdown.

is evaporated milk good in coffee

Known in some countries as “unsweetened condensed milk,” evaporated milk is, just as the name suggests, a milk concentrate produced through evaporation.

The process uses heat to remove up to 60% of the liquid in regular cow’s milk which leaves a thick and creamy milky substance. It’s possible to reintroduce equal parts of water to turn evaporated milk back to normal milk by essentially reversing the process.

Unlike regular milk, which has a relatively short shelf life, evaporated milk can stay in your cupboard for months or even years, depending upon the sugar and fat content.

Compared to regular milk, you will find that evaporated milk has a much thicker density due to containing less water.

The naturally sweet, creamy milky flavor is much stronger and more concentrated, and ounce-for-ounce has a higher fat and sugar content than regular milk.

? Fun Fact: An unsweetened, canned evaporated milk is fresh milk with 60% of its water removed by evaporation. It contains 7.9% milk fat. It takes about 2.1 pounds of whole milk to make 1 pound of evaporated milk.

Can You Put Evaporated Milk In Coffee?

Okay, so now you know a little more about evaporated milk, can you add it to your coffee? After all, that’s what you really want to know.

Yes, you can add evaporated milk to your coffee, and it’s actually pretty normal in most parts of Asia – and it tastes delicious.

If you typically add a spoon or two of powdered creamer to your coffee, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised once you try the evaporated milk and coffee combo.

If sweet and caramel flavors with your coffee are something you enjoy, well you’re in for a treat.

This combination is nothing new, and it’s been a popular style of coffee in parts of southeast Asia.

Ever heard of Vietnamese coffee? Evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and even coconut milk are found in almost every corner coffee shop in Vietnam, and it’s the base of most Thai iced coffee recipes.

Evaporated Milk vs. Condensed Milk With Coffee

Evaporated and condensed milk are almost identical in appearance, but when it comes to taste, they are entirely different, and it all comes down to sugar content.

Evaporated Milk vs. Condensed Milk

The process of producing evaporated milk and condensed milk is the same, and the water content is removed with heat. However, that’s where the similarities end.

Evaporated milk has no added sugar, and the sweetness comes from the natural sugars found in the milk, which are exaggerated due to being concentrated.

Condensed milk is typically overly sweet due to additional sugar being added. It’s so sweet that adding it to your coffee might make your cup of Joe unpalatable.

The product is often used in sweet dessert dishes such as key lime pie and caramel candies, to name a few.

Not so much in coffee, unless it’s a sweet Asian iced coffee or cold brew.

Evaporated Milk As Coffee Creamer

As convenient as it is, powdered coffee creamer is laced with artificial preservatives, loaded with sugars, colorings, and a whole range of other substitutes.

Non-dairy coffee creamer is essentially synthetic milk.

One of the main reasons why people use creamer in their coffee is convenience, shelf life, and flavor.

But evaporated milk offers almost the same properties as “real milk.” So ditching your lab-made non-dairy creamer in favor of evaporated milk might be a more sensible option.

Remember, evaporated milk started life as regular cow’s milk; it just had the water removed.

Still not convinced to make the swap?

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients of Carnation evaporated milk and powdered Coffee-Mate.

Evaporated Milk Ingredients (Carnation brand):

  • Concentrated Milk.
  • Disodium Phosphate. (Helps to control acidity levels and moisture and aids in thickening. Basically, a preservative).
  • Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C).
  • Carrageenan. (A natural preservative derived from red seaweed).
  • Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3).

Powdered Creamer Ingredients (Coffee-Mate brand):

  • Corn Syrup Solids. (Powdered sugar made from the starch of corn).
  • Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Palm Kernel/Coconut/Soybean).
  • Less than 2% of Sodium Caseinate. (Also called casein. It’s a milk protein).
  • Mono- and Diglycerides. (An emulsifier. It makes the powder thicker when you add water).
  • Dipotassium Phosphate. (A thickening and preservative agent).
  • Sodium Aluminosilicate. (Aids in keeping the powder dry).
  • Natural and Artificial Flavor. (Not sure?).
  • Annatto Color. (Natural orangey-red coloring agent sourced from the Achiote Tree).

A quick glance shows that the powder coffee creamer is loaded with preservatives and emulsifiers and contains no natural milk, apart from 2% of Sodium Caseinate.

If you only use creamer due to the longer shelf life, sweetness, and convenience, it might be a good idea to switch to evaporated milk instead. Just open a can and store the leftovers in the fridge.

how to use condensed milk in coffee

How To Use Evaporated Milk In Coffee?

Have you decided to make the switch, or do you just want to try this coffee combo? There is nothing complicated about using evaporated milk in coffee, and It’s just as easy as using regular milk; however, it does have a thicker consistency.

  1. Brew your coffee as you usually would.
  2. Shake the can of evaporated milk, then open it.
  3. Pour hot coffee into a mug.
  4. Slowly add some evaporated milk and stir. Three tablespoons of evaporated milk for 240 ml of coffee is a good place to start.
  5. You can keep the rest of the evaporated milk in an air-tight container and place it in the fridge.

That’s all there is to it.


If you came looking for answers to whether you can put evaporated milk in coffee, the answer is a resounding yes.

And if you regularly use powdered non-dairy coffee creamer, you might want to ditch it in favor of condensed or evaporated milk. With all those additives and preservatives in coffee creamers, I wouldn’t blame you.

Evaporated milk is a great product to have on hand, especially with its long shelf life. If you ever run out of regular milk, you’ll always have a back available.

Just remember that it’s thicker and richer in taste than regular milk or coffee creamer, so it will have a different texture and flavor when added to coffee.


? Why Does Evaporated Milk Curdle In Coffee?

Evaporated milk can curdle if your coffee is too hot or too acidic. Let your coffee cool for a minute or two before adding your evaporated or condensed milk.

Also, try to add a small amount each time, stir and repeat until you have the desired amount of milk added to your coffee.

By doing this, you lessen the chances of the evaporated milk curdling. You can also try avoiding acidic coffees.

? Can You Froth Evaporated Milk For Coffee?

Yes, you can froth evaporated milk, but there is a trick to frothing it.

To froth evaporated or condensed milk, you need to mix it with water and regular milk (one scoop of evaporated milk to two scoops of milk and water).

Then you can use a regular milk frother to create the amount of foam and the density you need.

? What’s Healthier Milk Or Evaporated Milk?

Evaporated milk is essentially whole milk with less than half its original water content, so it’s basically concentrated milk.

However, due to being concentrated, evaporated milk will typically contain higher amounts of nutrients and more calories. Added sugar and other ingredients the manufacturer may have added also have to be considered.

But for the most part, evaporated milk is the healthier choice. And just like fresh milk, It offers the nutrients needed for healthy bones, such as calcium, protein, and vitamins A and D.

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