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17 Ways To Infuse Milk For A Better Coffee

peanut butter, lemons and lavender with coffee and milk
peanut butter, lemons and lavender with coffee and milk - Static Media / Shutterstock

Coffee lattes are a popular drink beloved by many, but consider infusing your milk for an even tastier beverage. While lattes are usually made with espresso, you may use espresso, coffee, or instant coffee for these milk infusions. Whether you want a floral drink or a fruity one, a nutty one or a spicy one, there are so many varieties of milk for a better coffee. Infusing your milk is a prime option if you want to mix up the taste of your latte or if plain black coffee isn't quite your jam.

Infusions range from extremely simple additions to slightly more involved concoctions, but every single one of these ideas won't require too many steps. Most of these can be quickly made on a weekday before heading to work or dropping the kids off at school. You deserve to delight in a delicious drink. Hopefully, these ways to infuse milk will inspire you for your next mug of coffee.

Read more: 26 Coffee Hacks You Need To Know For A Better Cup

Add Cereal-Infused Milk

colored fruit cereal
colored fruit cereal - BlackDR/Shutterstock

Bring on the nostalgia with cereal-infused milk for your coffee. It's a fun way to transform your milk from bland to breakfast-inspired. The exciting part of this recipe is that you can use your favorite breakfast cereal, it doesn't have to be a specific one. Pick your cereal from Lucky Charms to Raisin Bran to Froot Loops. Cereal-infused milk flavors up your coffee while utilizing the cereal from your cabinet.

You can use dairy or an alternative milk for this simple infusion. Just add a scoop of your preferred cereal to a bowl of cold milk and let it infuse until the cereal gets soggy. Once thoroughly soggy, taste the milk to see if it's infused enough. If not, leave the cereal in for a while longer or add more cereal. Once it's ready, strain the milk into a pitcher or airtight container to store it.

Put Those Cinnamon Sticks To Work

cinnamon sticks on wooden background
cinnamon sticks on wooden background - Annmell_sun/Shutterstock

Cinnamon is a coffee essential. It's an accessible spice you can find in most grocery stores. Cinnamon sticks are a little less common but still available in many places. You'll find them at the grocery store or international stores. Infuse your milk with cinnamon sticks by placing one or two sticks into heated milk and allowing some time for the cinnamon to flavor the milk.

If you can't find cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon works perfectly well and will speed up the process. Once your cinnamon milk is infused and fragrant, take the sticks out and pour them into your coffee. You can put the cinnamon stick into your coffee for a garnish and a little extra cinnamon taste.

Give Your Milk Some Extra Protein

plant based pea protein powder
plant based pea protein powder - SrideeStudio/Shutterstock

Make a high-protein coffee by adding protein powder. While this combination is nothing new, the protein powder usually gets added to the coffee itself, not the milk. If you want to give your latte some extra protein, add a couple of scoops of protein powder to your milk as it heats up. Sometimes protein powder leaves a residue or doesn't quite mix in, so adding it to the hot milk lets it fully disintegrate.

Use unflavored or flavored protein powder, whichever you prefer. Keep things understated and low-profile with unflavored protein powder or swap cow's milk for coconut milk or almond milk for a nutty essence. But if you want to amplify the taste of your protein latte, there are many flavored protein powder options out there like vanilla, chocolate, cookies and cream, coconut caramel, confetti cake, banana nut, rocky road, and many more.

Make Lavender Milk

fresh lavender flowers
fresh lavender flowers - Iana Grebelnikova/Shutterstock

Infuse your milk with lavender. There are many types of lavender, so be sure to use culinary lavender. There are 47 types of lavender and a whopping 450 varieties. Some lavender types are very strong and therefore better suited for cosmetics, soaps, and air fresheners. For a culinary lavender try English lavender, which is milder and ideal for infusions. It can be fresh or dried, but just note that fresh is considerably more strong. You can use the stem as well as the flowers to provide that classic fragrant lavender smell and taste. You can make it as potent or light as you like. Add 1 sprig of lavender per cup of milk for a lighter taste or load up on the lavender for something more floral.

Boil your milk and lavender concoction for several minutes. You'll know it's done when the lavender becomes soft and the milk becomes fragrant. When you're ready to add milk to your coffee just take out the lavender or strain it. Top your lavender latte with a couple of lavender flowers and sip away. For a calming nighttime beverage, make this with decaffeinated coffee instead.

Prepare With Lemon, Lemon Zest, Or Lemon Peels

lemon zest on wooden board
lemon zest on wooden board - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Don't scoff at the idea of lemon and coffee. This combination made the rounds on TikTok and as it turns out, it makes a good cup of Joe. The key to adding lemon, lemon zest, or lemon peels is to not add too much. You want it to enhance the coffee, not overpower it into an acidic nightmare. When making lemon coffee, there is something you should consider.

This drink tastes best with cow milk, soy, or oat milk since they're on the creamier side and don't alter the taste of the coffee. Something like coconut milk will contribute too much flavor unless that's what you're going for. Heat your milk and add your lemon juice, zest, or peels. Choose which part to use based on what you have at home since they provide similar taste regardless. The juice will offer a more powerful taste whereas fresh zest or peels might be lighter. You can add a sprinkle of sugar or sweetener like honey or agave to the mix as well. Once infused, pour your lemony milk into your coffee. You could make a cold brew version and pour your milk and coffee onto ice.

Sip A S'mores Latte With Graham Cracker Milk

graham crackers on a plate
graham crackers on a plate - Duaneellison/Getty Images

For the s'mores supporters of the world, now you can drink your s'mores by making graham cracker milk. The process is pretty easy and similar to making cereal milk. Add your milk into a pot along with some graham crackers. You can use any type of milk or plant-based milk for this. Let the graham crackers get fully soggy to the point of disintegration. Once fully infused you can strain it. Graham crackers provide a subtle but familiar taste.

For some extra flavor, you could also use flavored graham crackers like cinnamon or chocolate. Enjoy a campfire s'mores latte by adding your graham cracker milk to your coffee, add a pump of chocolate syrup, and mix everything together. Add a bit of whipped cream, a couple of marshmallows, and some graham cracker crumbles for a delightful treat any time of the day.

Lean Toward Floral With Rose Petals

culinary rose petals in a bowl
culinary rose petals in a bowl - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Rose petals are an absolute delight for your next latte. Make sure to use culinary-grade rose petals. Those super red roses with no scent that you get at the grocery store are not the same. You can find rose petals in Middle Eastern stores or international stores. In a pinch, you could certainly use rosewater.

To infuse your rose milk, gather your rose petals and allow them to steep in the milk on the stove. You can leave them as is, or you can pulverize them or blend them in a food processor to have a fine powder. Allow some time to infuse on the stove until the milk becomes aromatic and perfumed with rose. Strain your mixture, or if you use whole petals, you can keep one or two in your latte. We like to add cardamom to the mix, but you could use cinnamon or clove too. If you want to be adventurous and sip something other than a standard latte, try rose cardamom almond milk with your coffee.

Try Mint Milk With Peppermint Or Chocolate Mint

green peppermint plant
green peppermint plant - NataliaZa/Shutterstock

Peppermint mochas don't have to solely be a winter-time delicacy. Make your own peppermint mocha all year long with fresh peppermint or chocolate mint leaves. Many brands come up with their versions of peppermint mochas, but you can make the drink at home with a few simple ingredients: coffee, milk, mint leaves, chocolate, or chocolate syrup.

Create mint-infused milk by placing fresh leaves and stems into your milk. The stems hold a lot of flavor so you don't want to toss them. The mint milk can be on the subtle side so steep for longer or add more leaves if you want it to be more potent. If you prefer just a hint of mint, you can keep that in mind as well. Once fully infused, strain and then pour your mint milk into your coffee. Add a squirt of chocolate syrup and stir thoroughly. You've now made your very own peppermint mocha.

Combine With Earl Grey Tea

dry black tea earl grey
dry black tea earl grey - Kateryna Bibro/Getty Images

The London Fog — a drink made from tea, steamed milk, and vanilla popular in the Pacific Northwest — shows how delightful milk and tea are together. To make a London Fog Earl Grey latte, you usually boil the water, steep your tea, heat your milk, and then add them together. But you can create a coffee London Fog for a little extra kick. This is perfect if you need a caffeine boost, but you can always find decaffeinated Earl Grey or decaf coffee if you want to lower your caffeine intake.

Heat your milk on the stove and add one or two teabags of Earl Grey to the milk, depending on how much you're making. Allow 5 to 10 minutes to fully infuse and release the flavors of black tea and citrusy bergamot. Once the milk becomes infused, pour it into your coffee. Regular milk, oat, almond, or coconut milk are nice to use thanks to the creaminess. An Earl Grey coffee will hit all the right spots of your taste buds.

Whip Up A Gingerbread Latte Year-Round

gingerbread cookies in wooden bowl
gingerbread cookies in wooden bowl - Bogdan Sonjachnyj/Shutterstock

Why wait until winter to make a gingerbread latte? You can whip it up at home with some pretty simple ingredients. You will need ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla extract, milk, coffee, or espresso. Gather your spices and ingredients, dump them into the milk, and let it infuse as it heats up. Be sure to stir it well because sometimes the spices like to gather on the side of the pot. If they do, scrape them off and keep mixing.

A gingerbread latte is the perfect beverage to have as you snuggle up with a blanket on a cold afternoon, but you could easily make an iced version for a hot summer day. For extra gingerbread flavor, you could freeze your gingerbread milk into ice cubes. Place a few in your glass and then pour your cold brew coffee over it. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Have a gingerbread cookie or a ginger snap cookie as you sip away.

Go Nuts With Peanut Butter

 pot of peanut butter
pot of peanut butter - Ollo/Getty Images

Peanut butter beverages can range from peanut butter whiskey to peanut butter smoothies, so go nuts with a peanut butter coffee. The peanut butter provides fat and protein for your morning ritual in a similar fashion as adding butter to your coffee to make a bulletproof coffee. It's a creamy and decadent way to start your day. It's more filling than your standard cup of coffee so you'll have a boost from the caffeine and calories.

Heat your milk in a pot and let the peanut butter disintegrate. You'll be left with peanut butter globs if you use cold milk. You could also add cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup to your peanut butter milk mixture for extra oomph. When you want an iced peanut butter latte instead, rim your glass with peanut butter, then pour the peanut butter milk onto ice along with your coffee. Top with a little whipped cream, some crushed peanuts, and a drizzle of peanut butter for good measure.

Upgrade Your Coffee With Blueberries

fresh blueberries with leaves
fresh blueberries with leaves - Love_life/Getty Images

From blueberry lemonade to blueberry vodka, there are many innovative drinks you can infuse with fresh blueberries. Try making blueberry milk for an incredibly vibrant bluish-purple milk addition to your morning coffee. It's quite easy to make. You just need to add your milk of choice to a pot and pour in your blueberries. Blueberries can lean toward the tangy side, so you can add a dash of maple syrup or vanilla to complement the flavors.

Allow enough time for the blueberries to get hot and burst open to release their juices. However, you could speed up the process by mashing them yourself and then straining them. Use frozen blueberries if you don't have fresh blueberries. A blueberry latte is a fun, refreshing, and fruity drink to sip on. Make an iced version by pouring your coffee and blueberry milk over ice. Top with a couple of blueberries and perhaps a sprig of mint.

Create A Boozy Milk Punch Coffee

boozy brandy milk punch
boozy brandy milk punch - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Coffee cocktails are delectable and satisfying. There are so many coffee-based cocktails out there, from White Russians to espresso martinis to mudslides. Make a hot milk punch by infusing your milk with liquor such as rum, bourbon, or brandy. You can use milk or a non-dairy alternative, but for an especially creamy hot milk punch stick with half and half. Heat your half and half and brown sugar until the sugar dissolves, then pour in your liquor.

Hot milk punch usually calls for a nutmeg or cinnamon garnish, but you can add those into the milk to infuse for additional aroma and taste. Let everything combine and then pour it into a coffee mug to savor. This is a fantastic choice if you're seeking a brunch cocktail other than a mimosa or Bloody Mary. It helps that this is hot, so it makes for an even better brunch cocktail choice on colder days.

Warm Up With Chai

Masala chai tea
Masala chai tea - Yumehana/Getty Images

For a coffee erupting with flavor, infuse your milk with chai. Before we dive in, there are a couple of fun facts you need to know about chai. It originated thousands of years ago in what is now modern India and usually includes a blend of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, and black pepper. While you can use nut milk or non-dairy milk, it's traditionally made with cow's milk. Gather your spices and place them into your heated milk to infuse. You may use ground spices but whole spices are better.

You might have heard of a dirty chai latte, which is chai with espresso. You can use coffee or espresso to make this. Pour your infused spice milk into your coffee. Some chai recipes will call for black tea and some don't. This is up to your caffeine preferences. Many coffee shops selling chai use a concentrate instead of brewing it fresh. When you make this at home, you might fall in love with the levels of spice in comparison to the ready-made ones.

Spice It Up With Cayenne Pepper

cayenne pepper in bowl
cayenne pepper in bowl - Sgaphoto/Getty Images

Change your morning coffee by adding a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to your milk. It's got some bite to it, but it's not overly spicy. The milk helps cut down on the heat, so you can feel free to add more or less based on your personal preferences. Double-check that it's indeed cayenne pepper and not chili powder since chili powder is more savory with potential ingredients like ancho chiles, chipotle chiles, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, or paprika.

Make it a Mexican-inspired mocha by also including a handful of chocolate chips, a couple of squares of chocolate, or chocolate syrup into your milk and cayenne blend. Allow everything to infuse for a spicy mocha. The hint of spice from the cayenne and the acidity of the coffee work well with the sweetness of the chocolate. You could include a splash of tequila or smokey mezcal for an afternoon cocktail.

Elevate Your Latte With Saffron

saffron in a wooden spoon
saffron in a wooden spoon - Stockstudiox/Getty Images

Enhance your coffee latte with a sprinkle of saffron. Although saffron is the world's most expensive spice, you don't have to use a lot of it in your milk infusion. You only need whole milk or your preferred milk, 2 - 4 threads of saffron, and coffee or espresso. Pour your milk into a pot and drop in a couple of threads of saffron. Allow several minutes for it to infuse. Saffron itself is slightly earthy and complex in taste, but a saffron latte is more subtle with the addition of the milk.

You could add a teaspoon of brown sugar or a dash of vanilla to the mixture. Once the saffron milk is fully infused, pluck out the saffron threads and make your latte as usual. If you want to go the extra mile, grind your saffron for the infusion instead. There are also some health benefits of saffron such as the presence of crocin and crocetin, which are antioxidants that may help improve inflammation and protect the brain cells against progressive damage.

Bring Out The Earthiness With Rosemary

fresh rosemary herb
fresh rosemary herb - Hulya Poyraz/Shutterstock

The needle-like leaves and potent but familiar fragrance of rosemary might not be the first herb that comes to mind to elevate your regular cup of coffee, but you should give it a shot. If you're adventurous in your food and beverage choices, the rosemary can give a subtle earthiness that pairs well with the coffee. Infuse a sprig of fresh rosemary with your milk. You can use dried rosemary but it might take a little longer to infuse and rehydrate. Get a bit of sugar into the mix by rubbing sugar onto the leaves before dropping them into the milk.

Allow a few minutes for the leaves to get tender; You can taste the milk to see if it's infused and ready to drink. You'll be able to smell the rosemary as the oils are released into the milk. Take out the sprig of rosemary or dried rosemary and add the infused milk to your coffee. There are lattes made with lavender, turmeric, rose, and jasmine, so perhaps rosemary lattes will be the next big thing at your local coffee shop.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.