Cold brewed coffee served with vanilla ice cream

How to Sweeten Cold Brew Coffee? (5 Simple Ways)

Audrey Harrison
Home brewer

Well, cold-brewed coffee is less bitter than hot-brewed brewed but if you still find cold brew bitter, you can take bitterness out of it.

From considering a few points while cold brewing coffee to adding a few things, you can make your cold brew less bitter.

In this article, I will share with you the best ways to make your bland, bitter cold brews sweet.

You can simply follow these ways at home and save your brews from getting bitter.

So let's head forward.

What is cold brew?

Cold brew is a coffee-based drink made by steeping coarsely ground coffee in cold water for around 12-24 hours.

The slow process aids in cutting down the bitterness and reduces the acidic nature of the cold brew.

It helps to add that sweet and refreshing touch to your coffee. If you are someone who enjoys milder coffee, then you must give these ways a try.

Is Cold Brew coffee sweet?

Well! It depends on different factors.

Like the type of coffee beans you choose, the brewing method preferred, and the overall duration of the brewing process.

In contrast to hot-brewed coffee, cold brew is less acidic and somewhat sweet. Most coffee lovers like to add sweeteners or creamers to it to make it sweeter.

Importance of balancing bitterness and sweetness in cold brewed coffee

Most people prefer cold brew for its smooth and less acidic taste as compared to hot brewed coffee.

However, if not maintained well, it might get very bitter, overpowering its natural sweetness.

The key to achieving balance here is simple. Maintain a proper coffee-to-water ratio and brewing time.

With the right ratio of coffee grounds to water, the cold brew extract will not get overly concentrated.

Similarly, with the controlled brewing time you can prevent over-extraction, which can also lead to a bitter taste.

Not just this, selecting the right coffee beans matters too. You can opt for beans with flavor notes like chocolate, caramel, or fruity essence to enhance the natural sweetness of the cold brew.

Moreover, experimenting with different brewing techniques, such as immersion or slow drip, can help you discover how you can maintain the desired balance between bitterness and sweetness.

The best part about striking the perfect balance between bitterness and sweetness in cold brew coffee is the end result. It is satisfying and enjoyable, highlighting the best qualities of the beans while minimizing any undesirable flavors.

How to sweeten cold brewed coffee?

1) Use a simple syrup

You can begin by preparing a simple syrup.

To make it, take a saucepan and mix sugar and water equal in amount. After that, heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and let it cool.

Once done, add some simple syrup to your cold brew and mix it well for consistent sweetness.

2) Try some flavored syrups

You can experiment with a variety of flavored syrups available in the market. Vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, or chocolate anything that you like.

These syrups will not only make your cold brew sweet but will also complement it with some delicious flavors, enhancing your overall coffee experience.

3) Add honey or agave nectar

Honey or agave nectar is one of the best natural things that you can add to make cold brew sweeter.

It will add a unique sweetness and subtle flavors to your coffee that makes it mouthwatering with different flavors.

4) Pour some condensed milk

For a creamy and rich twist, add some condensed milk to your cold brew.

The thick consistency and sweetness of condensed milk will uplift your brew and add a velvety mouthfeel that will make it hard to resist for any coffee lover.

5) Use coconut milk for sweetness

As a substitute for milk, you can also add some coconut milk. It works best by providing the right sweetness and creaminess to your cold brew.

The natural sweetness of coconut milk amazingly blends with the smoothness of cold brew, resulting in a refreshing and tropical flavor.

Wrapping up

Here, I have got you covered with the right and effective ways to sweeten your cold brew coffee.

Cold brew in comparison to hot brew has a smoother, less acidic taste. However, finding the perfect balance between bitterness and sweetness in your cold brew can help you enhance your coffee-drinking experience.

Remember achieving the perfect balance yields a truly satisfying cup, highlighting the bean's unique qualities.

That's all for this blog. I hope now you know how to maintain the balance in your cold brew or what alternatives you can try to enhance its taste.

Try different methods and sweeteners to find what works best for you.

Which one do you think from above matches your taste preferences? Share it with us in the comments below.


1) Are you supposed to put cream and sugar in a cold brew?

Yes, you can add cream or sugar to your cold brew. It's pretty common to enhance its flavor and sweetness to match your personal preferences.

2) Does cold brew go bad in the fridge?

Cold brew can stay fresh for up to two weeks in the fridge if stored well in a sealed container, but its taste might degrade over time.

3) Can you add honey to cold brew?

Yes, you can easily add honey to your cold brew for natural sweetness providing a unique taste and subtle flavor to your coffee.


Audrey Harrison

Team TAB
View Profileright-arrow

I am a coffee aficionado based in Seattle. I have devoted my passion and expertise to perfecting the art of home coffee brewing. I became known for my exquisite pour-over and espresso creations. I source coffee beans from local roasters and explores ...