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I've tasted my local coffee shop's specialty coffee in which they substitute homemade almond milk for regular milk, and it tastes creamy and smooth. No bitterness.

When I try to recreate this with Starbucks coffee beans ground and put into a moka maker, and then adding sugar and microwaved Silk almond milk (bought from the store, and frothed a bit with a milk frother), it tastes slightly tangy and kinda bitter. The taste is kinda strange. I don't taste it from the coffee or the almond milk alone, but when combined, it forms.

Does anyone have any ideas what could be happening and what I could do to remedy it?
I would like to avoid too much sugar.

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Are you using the vanilla, unsweetened, original, etc. Silk (I tend to prefer Almond Dream)? –  colejkeene Jan 24 '13 at 21:15
I've tried both the original and the vanilla. They both produce the same bitterness. –  O_O Jan 28 '13 at 7:54

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't have a confident answer as to why it's happening. My wife uses Almond Milk and drinks it with her coffee. She's never noticed any bitterness. My first suggestion would be the coffee itself, rather than the almond milk. The way you make coffee (in a moka pot) will produce different results than at Starbucks or any other coffee shop themselves. That said, if I understand you correctly the local coffee shop you're drinking at isn't Starbucks. Personally I find many of their beans to be bitter... Despite you not being able being able to identify the bitterness in the coffee when drank black, I'd suggest that those beans are your problem. Perhaps the Almond milk is highlighting out some unpleasant flavours in those beans.

Things to try (Starting with what I'd guess as being the most likely to solve this...):

  • Buy beans from your local coffee shop, preferably the same ones they serve. Ideally this coffee shop can tell you when the beans were roasted, and preferably this date is recent-ish. But, if not, that's fine, Just try a different bean first.
  • Add a bit of salt. See this related question
  • Change the way you make coffee (drip, moka, etc...) for a day and see if the harsh tones are still present when you add your Almond Milk
  • Do you use your moka pot regularly, if you hadn't used it in a while, perhaps there are some harsh flavours that have gone stale? (Kinda stretching here).
  • Try a different Almond Milk?
  • The last thing I would do is add sugar... That usually doesn't cover up the bitterness.
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Have a fancy coffee maker at home...The brand of coffee makes a big difference, if I get at bitter cup a little honey removes the bitter bite. Should work with almond milk instead of regular as well, just make sure your almond milk is not pre sweetened.

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