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Jun 22, 2006 12:55 PM

Desperately seeking whitener – coffee with yogurt

  • r

So, once again I forgot to buy milk.

Not yet jolted into the world of the living with my morning caffeine, I stare groggily and resentfully at the non-dairy creamer (n-dc) that I save for such lapses in sanity. I hate that background taste of cardboard and the faintly musty aroma that makes me think of milk left out until it turns to dust.

Then it occurs to me that yogurt is nothing but milk … originally.

And there IS coffee-flavored yogurt, right?

While it wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad. In the past I’ve tried and rejected

- real powdered milk – doesn’t blend well and has an off taste worse than n-dc
- milk in juice boxes – looks fine, has an off-taste
- frozen milk – yeah, just doesn’t taste right

Don’t know if I’d do this again, but there wasn’t any after taste and no yogurt tang. It just didn’t give the full milky satisfaction or color.

I used Brown Cow cream on top yogurt. First I tried a cup with just the creamy top. It was a little too fatty. Not the same taste as cream in milk. The bottom part, without the fat worked better.

At first yogurt is like milk with cream on top, there are the little creamy lumps. Visually not appealing … like a cow barfed in your cup … especially hard to take early in the day. But then the little … pieces … dissolve and all is well. It still doesn’t have the satisfaction of milk, there’s a little less heft to it, but better than real milk in powdered, boxed or frozen form.

Don’t use too much. Otherwise the coffee is like Orbitz, that discontinued soft drink with the little colored balls suspended in it. Hitting solid pieces of yogurt in the coffee is, well, creepy.

I wouldn’t try this with a yogurt in gelatin form like Dannon. Maybe a shot of honey in the coffee with yogurt would make it closer to n-dc with its sweeteners to make it palatable.

So, there you are. The yogurt doesn’t curdle and isn’t tangy in coffee.

Many years ago I was able to drop the sugar from coffee and don’t even like it sweetened anymore. However, I still need the milk.

Anyone have any other ideas for a substitute when there’s no milk in the house?

The only other dairy thing in the fridge was cottage cheese and I KNEW that wouldn’t work. IIRC, my drivers license won't let me behind the wheel without caffeine.

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  1. I always have several cans of evaporated milk on hand for those "Dambit! I don't have any half-and-half in the fridge!" morning moments.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Linda W.

      If you heat up the evaporated milk and add it to a nice strong espresso, it reminds me of the taste of cafe au lait in France.
      I also use the soymilk I put on my cereal in a pinch, and of course ice cream, as others have mentioned.

      1. re: Chowpatty

        The winner for me was the evaporated milk. It doesn't have the funky taste or aroma of non dairy creamer, boxed milk, etc.

        You are SO right about heating it up. It really did make the coffee taste like cafe au lait.

        I also tried the condensed milk which was excellent too. It has a lot more calories, but I found that a heaping teaspoon of it gave the coffee a nice flavor without being overly sweet. And it led to the discovery of other uses for sweetened condensed milk.

        My home-made 'afogato' ... coffee with a spoonfull of ice cream on top was the all time pleasure winner. Thanks again, Pat. I only tried vanilla so far, but am looking forward to experimenting with the other flavors mentioned here ... pistachio, chocolate, coffee, fudge ripple and cinamon gelato ... that sounds sooo good.

        My two favorite food groups combined in one ... caffeine and ice cream .. I guess I could experiment with adding a third like liquor.

        It really is a statisfying little dessert without scarfing down too much ice cream in one sitting.

        I wonder why coffee shops don't put whipped cream on top of coffee like hot chocolate. It seems every other form of milk is used ... foam, steamed, cream, milk, hot, cold ... why not whipped? I wonder if creme fraiche or marscapone would be any good in coffee.

        However, given all the calories, I'll be sticking to the emergency cans of evaporated milk. After my next shopping trip I'm tossing the non dairy creamer.

        The only problem with evaporated milk is that it has stabilizers and preservatives in it though only two for the can of Carnation I bought. That's a lot better than the scary chemical list on non dairy creamers.

        With condensed milk there is only milk and sugar, not preservatives. It seems that the sugar inhibits bacterial growth and is the whole reason behind condensed milk. Here's the whole history with a link to the difference between condensed and evaporated milk.

    2. Thanks. That's brilliant. After all, I like thai and vietnamese coffee that has all that condensed milk in it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        Well, condensed milk is way different than evaporated, at least the way I know it. Not sure if Thai/Viet coffee drinkers have a different type of condensed milk they use than I'm thinking of - the very sweet "sweetened condensed milk."

        1. re: Linda W.

          That's right. I always get the two confused. I'll buy a can of each and give them a try the next time I'm milk-deprived.

          1. re: rworange

            buy a small can! sweetened condensed milk is our emergency option, and we always have a few cans around for that purpose. i find that the first day's coffee is delicious and reminiscent of strong vietnamese coffee, but as we continue to use it the richness and fattiness and sweetness starts to overwhelm.

            cinnamon gelato is really good in coffee. in fact, i think i'll have some now.

            thanks for reporting on your yogurt experience. i wouldn't have thought to do that! i've had a similar experience with creme fraiche as you describe with the cream on top

      2. Chocolate ice cream, vanilla ice cream, coffee ice cream, fudge ripple. The possibilites are practically endless. I do it all the time, even when there's half and half in my fridge!

        7 Replies
        1. re: Pat Hammond

          Very cool, Pat. heh.

          I was contemplating flavored yogurt, however ice cream sounds wonderful. Definately will try that out soon whether or not I'm out of milk.

          1. re: rworange

            It gives new meaning to a cup of coffee. You'll see! Just plop a tablespoon of ice cream in, and sip as it melts.

            1. re: Pat Hammond

              The most surprisingly good is pistachio ice cream with dark strong coffee. Nice smooth flavor like vanilla, with a few nuts to chew on!

          2. re: Pat Hammond

            I drink my coffee black, but your post may have converted me!!

            1. re: macca

              It often serves as dessert for me!

              1. re: Pat Hammond

                It is the little ideas like these that make me love this site. Love to hear about good restaurants and great recipes, but these little hints really make my day. Thanks!!

            2. re: Pat Hammond

              Yup, this is the right answer :-) I too have a container of coffee mate in the cupboard for when I'm out of milk for my coffee. Much better than the coffee mate is a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

            3. I hate it when that happens, but now that I have a dog (and live in NY), the solution is always nearby since I have to walk the dog BEFORE coffee and can always stop into the Korean market (half and half handily located in fridge just inside door so can leave dog outside with my still holding the leash). But I love the idea of trying yogurt in a pinch.

              1. excellent. btw i love vanilla ice cream in coffee. it's curious because i use skimmed milk normally to save on the calories of half and half but somehow the calories in vanilla ice cream are worth it.