Coffee and yogurt — two of my favorite foods! Coffee yogurt and coffee frozen yogurt are among my favorite treats, but I’d never tried making coffee yogurt from scratch. When I went looking for a recipe, the only ones I could find called for using instant coffee or espresso powder. Since I don’t drink instant, I decided to try something a little different. I’ve used this method to infuse coffee flavor into milk for cappuccino custard and cappuccino ice cream. I wasn’t sure if it would work to make yogurt, since I wasn’t sure how the cultures would react to the presence of coffee in the milk mix. It turned out beautiful!
Tips for Making This Coffee Yogurt Recipe
If you’re trying this at home, here are a few things to note.
First, check this post for tips on cooking with coffee. The infusion method I use for this recipe is ideal for any milk-based dish, or really, any dish that calls for liquid ingredients.
Incubation is essential to getting a creamy, rich, thick coffee yogurt. Over the years, I’ve improvised lots of different methods for incubating yogurt. I do own a yogurt maker:
It makes it easy to maintain a constant temperature and includes seven glass yogurt cups. Why seven? I’ve never figured that out. Since this coffee yogurt recipe makes 8 half-cup servings, you’ll either have to top each cup off a little or just drink up that last half cup.
That said, most of the time, I’m making more than one batch of coffee yogurt at a time. These days, my favorite method is baby-food jars on the stove top. Turn on your oven to the lowest setting. Ladle the yogurt into clean, sterilized baby food jars. Put a sterilized cover on each jar. Arrange the jars on top of your stove. Cover all the jars with a clean towel and leave them alone for 6 to 8 hours. Turn off the oven and let the jars cool to room temperature before refrigerating them.
For Greek Style Coffee Yogurt
Since I first tried this recipe, I’ve grown very fond of the creamy, thick texture of Greek style yogurt. If you’re also a fan of Greek style yogurt, don’t ladle the coffee yogurt into cups. Instead, incubate it in a big bowl until it has thickened. Then follow these instructions for making Greek yogurt at MakeGreekYogurt.com. In a nutshell, stretch a clean cloth – I use a plain white do-rag like this one:
but cloth cut from a clean white T-shirt, flour cloth, tea towel or cheesecloth will do just fine – stretch that cloth across the top of a clean, large bowl and secure it with a couple of rubber bands. Pour the yogurt onto the cloth and put it in your refrigerator to drain for a couple of hours. That’s it!
Coffee Yogurt Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 8 hours
Number of servings: 8
Per Serving 96 calories
Fat 5 g
Carbs 10 g
Protein 4 g
Smooth, tangy and creamy, coffee yogurt that's just sweet enough is a great fit for adult taste buds.
- 1 quart milk any type
- 1/2 cup ground coffee espresso grind
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt unsweetened
- Measure 1/2 cup coffee ground for espresso. Do not pack. A coarser grind will result in less sediment, but less flavor.
- Measure 1 quart (4 cups) of fresh milk. You can use 1%/skim milk, fat-free milk, 2% milk or whole milk. The more fat content in your milk, the thicker and creamer your yogurt will turn out.
- Combine the milk and coffee in a heavy, non-reactive saucepan over low heat. You'll have to stir the coffee in well -- it WILL resist you!
- Add 2 tablespoons of sugar -- or sugar to taste. Stir to dissolve sugar in coffee milk as it heats.Heat the coffee and milk gradually, stirring occasionally. The smell is amazing at this point -- and so are the colors as the coffee slowly flavors the milk.
- Heat the milk and coffee mixture to 110 F (about 43 C). I'm lucky enough to have a set of pans with temperature gauges in the lids, but you can use a candy or meat thermometer. If you don't have either, watch for a thin film to form on top of the milk.
- Line a mesh strainer or colander with a double thickness of cheesecloth or a fine weave cloth. If you have a coffee sock, by all means, use that! Believe it or not, I use a 99 cent nylon do-rag from the corner store, washed well.
- Strain the coffee through the cloth into a bowl. Discard the grounds or add them to your compost.
- Measure 1/2 cup plain yogurt and add it to the warmed milk. Make sure that the yogurt you choose has live yogurt cultures in it. They'll serve as the "starter" for this batch. If you make coffee yogurt again, you can use a 1/2 cup from this batch to start it.
- Whisk the yogurt into the coffee milk until it is completely blended into the mixture.
- From here on out, it's all about keeping your yogurt babies toasty warm without letting them get too hot. You can accomplish this many different ways. One popular way is to pour the yogurt into small cups or dishes, cover them individually and place them into a baking pan. Slide the whole baking pan into the oven, turn on the light and just leave them to sit under the warm light without turning on the oven.
- You can, if you prefer, wrap the pan in a thick towel to preserve the heat and place it next to a radiator or heater. If you have a warming tray, place it on top of the warming tray.
- My preferred method is to put about 2 inches of warm water into an electric skillet, arrange the cups in the water bath and turn the skillet to "warm".It's a lot easier to fill the cups after you put them in the pan. Cover each cup with plastic wrap or cover the whole bunch of them with a sheet of waxed paper.Cover the skillet (or close the oven door) and wait patiently. Check occasionally to make sure that heat is being maintained but not getting too hot. It will take six to eight hours of heat for the yogurt cultures to thicken your milk into yogurt. When they've thickened, place them in the refrigerator to chill and enjoy!