How to Make Cold Brew Coffee Sweeter: 10 Ways!

By Evelina •  Updated: 07/14/22 •  12 min read

So you finally learned how to make cold brew coffee at home, but you find it a little too bitter for your taste. You tried all the common ways to make it sweeter like adding milk or sugar, but it’s still not quite right.

Don’t worry though! We actually tried and tested 10 different ways to make cold brew coffee sweeter, and we’re happy to share our findings with you. So, today, let’s explore how to make cold brew sweeter!

Why Should You Cold Brew Your Coffee?

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee Sweeter

First and foremost, the most popular question we get from our readers is, “Why should I cold brew my coffee?”

And the answer is simple. Cold brewing helps to draw out all the natural flavors of your coffee beans without making it bitter. This is because the brewing process happens at a lower temperature and for a longer period of time than hot brewing methods.

As a result, you’ll end up with a cup of coffee that is less acidic and has a smoother taste. It’s also important to note that cold brew coffee has a higher caffeine content than regular coffee, so it’s perfect for those who need an extra morning pick-me-up.

How Cold Brew is Made

Now that we know why cold brew is so popular, let’s explore how this coffee drink is made!

The most important part of making cold brew coffee is, of course, the coffee beans. You’ll want to start with a high-quality coffee bean that has a strong flavor profile. We recommend using a light or medium roast bean for the best results.

Next, you’ll need to grind your beans with a burr grinder into a medium-fine grind. If you grind your beans too fine, it will make your coffee overly strong and bitter.

Once your beans are ground, it’s time to add them to a large pitcher or mason jar. We recommend using a ratio between 1:15 to 1:17 coffee to water, depending on how strong you like your coffee.

After adding the desired amount of water, give the mixture a good stir and let it sit for 12-24 hours. The longer you let it steep, the stronger your coffee will be.

Once the cold brew is done steeping, it’s time to strain it. We recommend using a coffee filter or cheesecloth to do this. Simply pour your cold brew coffee mixture over the strainer and into another pitcher or directly into your cup.

And that’s it! You’ve now made a delicious cup of cold brew coffee.

TIP: If you find your cold brew coffee too strong, you can always add more water or milk to dilute it. One way to do it is to add a few ice cubes and let it sit for a few minutes before drinking.

How to Sweeten Cold Brew Coffee

Now let’s get to the good stuff! So you are sitting home with your cold brew looking at you, daring you to make it sweet. You want to, but you are unsure of how to do it without making it too sweet or ruining the whole cup.

But don’t worry, we are here to help. Below are 10 unique ways you can sweeten your cold brew and make it just the way you like it.

1. Make A Simple Syrup.

Yes, you can buy syrup from your local grocery or coffee shop, but it is much cheaper and tastier to make your own. All you need is water and sugar.

To make a simple syrup, combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and then let it cool completely.

You can also add in some flavoring like vanilla extract, cocoa powder, or even fruit. Just be sure to let the syrup cool completely before adding it to your cold brew!

Imagine having a little bottle of this in your fridge at all times, ready to sweeten up your cold brew anytime you want!

2. Top it With Heavy Whipping Cream.

Heavy cream is a perfect choice for coffee. It is thick and creamy, and it will add a delicious richness to your cold brew. It is made up of mostly milk fat, so it will also help to cut down on the coffee’s acidity.

Just be careful not to add too much, or you will end up with a cup of cold brew that is too sweet. Start with a small amount and add more to taste.

You can make your own heavy cream if you want to avoid the store-bought stuff. Just combine 1 cup of milk with 1/3 cup of melted butter and whisk until combined.

You can use Greek yogurt as a healthier alternative to heavy cream. Just be sure to add it slowly and always taste before adding more.

3. Use Maple Syrup.

The great thing about maple syrup is that it is already sweet, so you won’t need to add much to sweeten your cold brew. It also has a lovely flavor that will complement the coffee perfectly.

Maple syrup can be a bit pricey, but it is definitely worth it. Just be sure to get the real stuff and not the maple-flavored syrup that is full of sugar and other additives.

To add it correctly, pour it into the cup at the same time as the cold brew. This way, it will mix in better and not sit at the bottom or the top of the cup.

4. Use Chocolate Milk.

Chocolate Milk

This may sound like a failed experiment some kids did in their kitchen, but trust me, it actually tastes really good! The chocolate will add a delicious sweetness to the coffee, and the milk will make it nice and creamy.

Coffee already has a more chocolatey flavor than most people realize, so this is a great way to enhance that flavor. The best chocolate milk I recommend is the Promised Land Midnight Chocolate Whole Milk which you can find at most stores.

I would avoid making my own chocolate milk ( or even using sweetened condensed milk ) for this because it is very easy to make it too sweet. If you want to make your own, just be sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder, or else it will be too sweet.

5. Roasted Almond Milk.

If you don’t like chocolate milk, or simply want to try something different, roasted almond milk is a great choice. It is sweet and nutty, and it goes really well with coffee. The sugar-free option of almond milk is not as tasty as the original but it will still do the trick.

Almond milk is also super low in calories, making it a great choice for those who are watching their weight. Keep in mind, though, that almond milk is not as rich in calcium as cow’s milk, but it is still a good source.

There are many brands of almond milk on the market, but I recommend

Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Roasted Almond Milk. It is a bit more expensive than some other brands, but it is worth it.

To add it simply fill your cup or mug with cold brew coffee and finish it off with almond milk!

6. Add Vanilla Syrup.

Vanilla Syrup

Vanilla is a staple flavor when it comes to iced coffee, so it makes sense that it would be great in the cold brew as well. It is sweet and fragrant, and it will enhance the flavor of the coffee perfectly.

Making vanilla syrup is very easy. You simply need to combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan, and then add vanilla extract (or a vanilla bean) to taste. Once the syrup is made, you can add it to your cold brew coffee to sweeten it up.

You can also add the syrup inside the jar before you start brewing the coffee so that it can infuse the drink with flavor as it brews. There is actually the vanilla sweet cream cold brew recipe from Starbucks which you can follow if you want to make a vanilla cold brew at home.

7. Add Cold Foam to the Top.

Cold foam is made by blending cold milk in a blender until it’s nice and foamy. Top your cold brew with cold foam for a bit of sweetness and creaminess.

Cold foam is mostly used in iced coffees, but it can also be used to top off cold brew. So, when it comes to making your cold brew sweet, adding cold foam is a great way to do it.

You can also add syrup to the cold foam to make it even sweeter.

8. Honey.

Honey is not only a great way to sweeten cold brew, but it is also very healthy for you. It has antioxidants, and it can help boost your immune system.

Honey is also very easy to find, and it is not as expensive as some of the other options on this list. By adding honey to your cold brew, you will not only sweeten it up but also make it more nutritious.

To add honey, simply take a tablespoon of honey and add it to your cold brew. If you want, you can also add some lemon juice to balance out the sweetness.

9. Ice Cream.

This is a bit higher in calories, but you can still get away with it every once in a while. Adding a scoop of ice cream to your cold brew will make it just like a milkshake, and it will taste delicious.

The ice cream will also make the coffee colder and more refreshing, which is perfect for those hot summer days. You can even take it on the beach with you.

To make this, start by pouring cold brew coffee into your cup and then add the scoop of ice cream. I recommend using vanilla ice cream, but you can use any flavor you want.

Take a straw and mix it all up, and then enjoy!

10. Add Some Cinnamon.

Last but not least, the old standby: cinnamon. Cinnamon goes great with coffee, and it will also help to sweeten the drink up.

All you need to do is add a dash or two to your cold brew before you drink it. You can also add some to the ground coffee before brewing if you want the flavor to be a bit more pronounced.

Keep in mind though that for the coffee grounds to absorb the cinnamon flavor, you’ll need to let them sit for a while (at least a few hours) before brewing.

How to Make Sweetened Cold Brew Coffee (Recipe)

Since we went through every single way you can sweeten your cold brew, it would be unfair not to give you a recipe to follow, right?

Here is a simple recipe for sweetened cold brew coffee that you can make anywhere.


How to Make It:

1. Add the ground coffee beans to the jar.

2. Fill the jar with cold water, making sure to leave about an inch of space at the top.

3. Stir the coffee and water together, then put the lid on the jar and let it sit overnight (or for at least 12 hours).

4. In the morning (or after 12 hours), strain the coffee using a coffee filter.

5. Pour the coffee into a cup, then add cold milk and ice cubes to taste.

6. Sweeten the coffee with honey, sugar, or any of the other methods listed above!

How to Add Sugar to Cold Brew

There are two ways you can add sugar to your cold brew. The first way is to start by mixing together equal parts of sugar and water to create a simple sugary syrup as we showed you above.

Then, add the desired amount of syrup to your cold brew and stir until combined. If you want a sweeter drink, add more syrup. If you want a less sweet drink, add less syrup.

The second way is to simply add sugar directly to your cold brew coffee. This method is quicker and easier, but it can be difficult to get the sugar to dissolve properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee Sweeter - FAQ

How to Make Pumpkin Cold Brew Sweeter?

The pumpkin cold brew is a new recipe from Starbucks. If you want to make it sweeter, we recommend adding honey, cinnamon, or nutmeg. Since it’s made with vanilla syrup and milk, there is no need to add any artificial sweeteners.

Can I Add Sweetener to Cold Brew?

Yes, you can add sweetener to cold brew. In fact, many people prefer to add sweetener to their cold brew because it helps to balance out the bitterness of the coffee. If you’re adding sweetener to your cold brew, make sure to add it after the coffee has been brewed.

This will help to prevent the sweetener from dissolving and getting stuck in the filter. You can also try stirring the coffee before you drink it to help distribute the sweetness evenly.

How to Make Sweet Cream Cold Brew at Home?

To make sweet cream cold brew you need first to make the cream. You can do this by mixing together equal parts heavy whipping cream and milk. Then, add in some sugar and vanilla extract to taste. Once the cream is made, simply combine it with cold brew coffee concentrate and enjoy!

How to Sweeten Nitro Cold Brew?

Nitro cold brew is the same as cold brew but with nitrogen gas added to it. This gives it a foamy, creamy texture that is similar to milk stout beer. To sweeten nitro cold brew, simply add in some simple syrup or honey before serving.

Final Thoughts

Sweetening cold brew coffee is easy to do and there are many different ways to do it. The best way to sweeten cold brew will depend on your personal preference. So, experiment with different methods and find the one that you like the best!

If you want to learn more about cold brew coffee or how to make it, check out our other articles. We have everything you need to know about cold brew, from how to make it at home to the best coffee beans for cold brewing!

Happy Brewing!


Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.

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