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I'd like to add coffee to my hot cocoa recipe, but I'm not interested in using instant coffee. What do you all think is the best method- maybe I should heat my grounds & milk together and let it steep? Has anyone ever tried this?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

When my husband and I were trying to make good coffee ice cream, we did just that -- steeping the coffee beans in milk. It worked quite well.

If you have a French Press, you can use that with coarsely ground coffee beans. Heat the milk to a simmer or even a very low boil, and then use it in place of water in the French Press. This was how we got the best results for our ice cream.

You can also get good results from whole beans. Heat the whole beans in milk in a pot, and then let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Strain out the beans, and you'll have strongly coffee-flavored milk.

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The purists argue that the milk fats and proteins will not allow the extraction of all the flavor from the coffee beans. – BaffledCook Dec 4 '10 at 15:38
This was my initial guess- I'll be experimenting today and let you know how it works! – Mrs. Garden Dec 4 '10 at 15:49
@GUIJunkie -- I didn't notice any missing flavors. Perhaps it was a tiny bit less bitter, but otherwise it just tasted like milky coffee. (But then again, I'm definitely not a coffee purist.) – Martha F. Dec 5 '10 at 4:37
Me neither, I wouldn't have noticed. – BaffledCook Dec 5 '10 at 23:18

Making [good] coffee is a science. For your purpose, you should make an Espresso like strength coffee.

Follow these guidelines for your best result, and don't seep the grounded beans in milk.

  • Buy a 'natural' roast Arabica beans.
  • Use fresh beans.
  • Grind on demand, just on time.
  • Grind 7-8gr / 0.25-0.28 oz of coffee per cup
  • Tamp the coffee grind gently but firmly into the filter.
  • Pour hot but not boiling water over the grind (92-96°C / 197.6-204.8 F)

This will give you a strong coffee that you can mix with your cocoa.

References: Coffee Research and Kaffee

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If you don't want to water it down, there is only one option: Instant coffee. – BaffledCook Dec 2 '10 at 21:44
Although a strong cup of coffee won't water it down at all. – BaffledCook Dec 3 '10 at 7:52

You could just make really strong coffee and add it to the rest of your mixture. A little water probably won't ruin it. Something like adding just enough water to cover your coffee grounds should make it strong enough.

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Sure, I could... but I want to keep all of the rich creaminess of the hot cocoa. I don't want to water it down at all. – Mrs. Garden Dec 2 '10 at 21:31
Just use a heavier cream instead of milk and use a shot of esspresso. The denser cream and water of the espresso will balance out nicely. – Bruce Alderson Dec 2 '10 at 22:27

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