Putting heavy whipping cream in a cup of coffee is considered by some to be almost sacrilegious. There is a group of coffee purists who think that you should never add anything to black coffee. However, many coffee fans love adding items like powdered milk, artificial sweeteners, vanilla extract, and, of course, heavy cream, to coffee to help transform the taste.
Heavy cream helps cut the bitterness of regular coffee, and it can also give you a more decadent taste during your café experience.
Many people have attacked adding dairy products like heavy cream to coffee as not being proper coffee etiquette. There are claims out there that it is incredibly unhealthy and you should not use it. If you use heavy cream in moderation, many good things can come from adding it to your coffee.
Heavy cream in coffee enhances the flavors, textures, and is a unique taste experience. It is reminiscent of butter used in bulletproof coffee (or butter coffee, as it’s also known), but it lacks salt and increases the sweetness. The taste isn’t overpowering, but a little can go a long way in mellowing bitter flavors that you can find in some coffees.
When people like dairy in their coffee, nothing matches the taste of cream. When they try other cream replacements, like non-dairy coffee creamer, they add sugar to try and find the right coffee flavor. Sometimes just using cream allows you to use less and get a better taste.
Better for Lactose Intolerance Than Other Options
Heavy cream comes from skimming the fat off of milk. The process leaves most of the lactose content in milk behind. You get so little lactose in heavy cream that it usually isn’t enough to cause lactose intolerance problems in some people.
The lack of lactose means that you won’t find heavy cream as troubling for your digestion, even if you have a sensitivity.
Heavy cream is packed full of natural fats and can enhance the nutritional content of your coffee. It provides the body with butyric acid, a helpful fatty acid that lets you break down dietary fiber. Cutting fats from your diet too strictly can cause you problems.
If you don’t overdo fats, they can be healthy, and they can help you enjoy your coffee. Knowing that you are using your fats in your coffee, you may have to make other sacrifices throughout the day.
Down Sides to Heavy Cream in Coffee
Heavy cream in your coffee can be a great option, especially if you enjoy it. It’s not perfect, and there are some problems you can experience with it. If you drink a lot of cream in a day, you can add many things to your diet that may not be great.
Heavy cream is 30 to 36% dairy fats. If you are on a weight loss program or trying to cut down on your fat intake for health reasons, this can cause you problems. Heart disease has been associated with a high-fat diet so take that into consideration. It is much more noticeable the more coffee you drink in a day.
Some people will drink multiple cups of coffee, and they don’t always measure their cream perfectly. The extra fat can add up and cause you issues depending on what else you are eating that day.
If you love the taste of coffee and just need a slight edge off the bitterness, heavy cream may not be an excellent option for you. Heavy cream can mellow your coffee, but if you use too much, you can cover up a lot of the natural coffee taste.
Some people want to change the taste of coffee, but adding dairy to coffee is not for everyone. If you are worried about hiding too much of the taste, you may want to skip the heavy cream and go with something else, like cocoa powder.
It is easy to eat too many calories in a day, and heavy cream in a common coffee drink can quickly put you over your caloric requirements. Every ounce (or two tablespoons) of cream can add up to 101 calories to your coffee. For a single cup that’s not too bad, it amounts to about a cup of yogurt.
As you start getting to three or four cups of coffee per day, you can begin to approach the calories of a medium McDonalds fries. You have to keep track to avoid too many calories.
How to Add Heavy Cream to Your Coffee
A little heavy cream can go a long way. If you have never used it in your coffee before, start with a tablespoon, and see how that tastes. Remember, if the coffee you make is new to you, you may want to try its original flavor without any additions first. Good coffee may not need help when brewed properly with good coffee beans.
Some people love a lot of cream in their coffee, but most people will find as little as a single spoonful can enhance their drink and make their coffee sweeter.
Eyeballing how much cream you want to use is a popular method, but be careful with heavy cream. You can quickly overpower the coffee and feel like you’re just drinking a glass of very sweet and heavy milk-flavored coffee.
You can also add heavy cream and whipped heavy cream to many different coffee drinks to enhance the flavor. The soft peaks of whipped cream are very popular in many high-end coffee drinks served at fine coffee shops.
Alternatives to Heavy Cream
If you absolutely cannot drink your coffee black and you like the idea of heavy cream, but you are trying to lower your fat or caloric intake, there are a few other options that you can try. Some of them might work better for your specific needs.
Half and Half
Half and Half is made by mixing milk and cream. It has a lighter taste, but it is also not as sweet. It offers about a third of the fat of heavy cream, but it may not be as satisfying.
One of the nice things about milk is how available it is. When you use milk, you are getting only a tiny amount of fat, but you also lose a lot of the sweetness and extra flavor. The lower the percentage of milk, like in skim milk or fat-free milk, the weaker the taste. It also has the most lactose.
There are many non-dairy creamers available for coffee lovers. Coffee enthusiasts can pick from soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk creamer, and many other options. These are usually very low in calories, and they can be low in fat and sugar, depending on which one you choose.
Final Thoughts on Heavy Cream in Coffee
Heavy cream has gotten the unfair reputation of being a horrible addition to your coffee drinking experience. If you don’t overuse it, heavy whipping cream in coffee can help take the bitterness off your coffee and add some nice sweetness, extra taste, and creamy texture to the overall experience of coffee. It’s an indulgent treat coffee lovers rave about and it beats other sweeteners like chocolate syrup or high fructose corn syrup.
If you love heavy cream in your hot coffee, you can enjoy it without the added guilt. Go grab a cup of your type of coffee made via your favorite brewing method, and try this wonderful combination.