Coffee is an expansive drink that comes in so many different varieties and methods of brewing.
Your average cup of black coffee has a watery consistency, much like tea. Whilst an espresso coffee has a very thick, honey-like consistency that can be made creamy with milk for a latte or cappuccino-style drink.
Have you ever wanted a thicker cup of regular coffee though, one where you can really appreciate the difference? With a consistency more like an espresso, but with less of the punch, like drip coffee?
Are you concerned that the elements you have to add may be too sweet, like brown sugar, or too full of calories, like heavy cream?
Well, there are a few ways for coffee lovers to get that extra thickness, and we’ve got all the steps here.
How To Make Coffee Thicker
There are two main ways to get the thickest, mouthiest cup of coffee available, and we’ll review them both in this article.
We’ll then explore fun coffee-style drinks that you may want to explore for a thicker coffee experience.
And lastly, we’ll review all the extra ingredients and additives that can be used to thicken coffee along with the pros and cons of each.
There are so many methods available for brewing coffee, but some will produce a much thicker, full-bodied experience compared to others.
A classic drip pot is on the weaker side of brewing methods, extracting the least amount of full-body flavor, while an espresso has the smallest ratio of water to grinds, making it the thickest and richest form of extraction.
To find a nice sweet spot of full-bodied thickness that still sips like a drip brew, we suggest brewing with a French Press, AeroPress, or Moka Pot.
All of these methods are immersion-style, where your grinds sit in the water for minutes at a time, extracting all the oils and flavor possible. This makes for a richer, fuller, thicker, and mouthier cup of coffee.
Although the brewing method you choose will most impact the thickness of your coffee, the actual ground coffee beans you use can help increase the thickness of your coffee.
From the way they are grown, processed, and roasted, coffee beans undergo several changes before they are ready to be brewed, and some of those processes will impact the end product’s flavor and thickness.
Coffee grown at higher altitudes requires longer growing periods before harvesting, allowing the cherries to be more complex in flavor profile, which will make your coffee drinks thicker and richer.
Beans grown in volcanic soil also make great, thick coffee as they have very rich-tasting notes.
Choosing a dark roast coffee bean is the best bet for getting a thicker coffee. Dark roasts have the oils pulled out to the surface of the bean during the roasting process, which allows the oils to thicken your coffee.
We have some of the best dark roast recommendations to get you started on finding the perfect roast for you.
Recipes for Thick Coffee Drinks
There are plenty of coffee drink recipes that create a creamy, thick, syrupy coffee drink. Some use espresso, some use instant coffee, and others use alternative brewing methods.
Each is a delicious coffee drink that might soon be your favorite:
Vietnamese Coffee – a deliciously rich, creamy, and thick coffee drink that is prepared in the traditional Vietnamese way. It uses sweetened condensed milk that adds to the thick, smooth texture of this drink.
Dalgona Coffee – a deliciously sweet and overly caffeinated coffee drink that burst into popularity at the start of the pandemic, Dalgona Coffee uses instant coffee, sugar, and milk to create a drinkable whipped cream-like coffee drink that is so thick and delicious, it has us all addicted.
There are a variety of fun and interesting things you can add to your coffee that may seem weird at first, but can actually be quite tasty, and will definitely thicken up your coffee.
You can try things like peanut butter, cream cheese, maple syrup, or even evaporated milk for a little twist to your regular cup of coffee.
Additives for Thickness
If your brewing method and grind selection aren’t quite making the cut for your ideal cup of thick coffee, you can always look into alternatives for thickening your coffee.
Xanthan gum is a common food additive for making things thicker and is used by Starbucks in some of its specialty drinks. You need only add a few drops to make your coffee slightly thicker, and you won’t even taste it.
Other creative thickening alternatives that will definitely impact the taste of your coffee include cornstarch or instant pudding, needing only a few teaspoons of each.
Is There a Lot of Caffeine in Thick Coffee?
There is an average amount of caffeine in thick coffee compared to standard brew-level coffee.
Caffeine levels are determined by a number of factors – the type of coffee being used, grind size, roast type, amount of grinds being used compared to water, etc.
All these variables can be different when preparing your coffee thick, resulting in average levels of caffeine.
What To Add to Coffee To Make It Thick?
To make coffee thick, you can add thickening additives like xanthan gum or corn starch.
For non-additive methods, you can get thick coffee by brewing with an immersion brewer and using dark roast coffee.
We give the how-to for all thick coffee methods in this article.
How Does Starbucks Make Its Coffee Thick?
The popular coffee shop chain Starbucks uses xanthan gum, an additive used to help thicken food, in some of their drinks.
It helps thicken a water-like drink to more of a latte-like density with just a few drops.
Will Whipped Cream in Coffee Make It Thicker?
Whipped cream is made with heavy whipping cream which is high in fat.
Adding either whipped cream or heavy whipping cream to your coffee will thicken up your coffee slightly with the increase in fats and oils, but not to the extent that other methods may.
We give the full how-to for all coffee thickening options in this article.