If you’ve officially hit pumpkin-spice overload, you’re not alone… and maybe banana milk coffee can help. Don’t get me wrong, I support pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin muffins and pumpkin tea. But really, when you can get pumpkin spice potato chips and pumpkin spice whey protein and pumpkin gum, maybe it’s time to pump the brakes.
There’s also the pesky fact that a tall serving of my beloved PSL packs 39 grams of sugar, and even for a cheat meal, that’s like… whoa.
Long story short, I love pumpkin, but I just need a little space right now.
What Is Banana Milk Coffee?
Banana-milk coffee, a creamy concoction is being hyped as this fall’s antidote to pumpkin madness. Created by a barista at Brooklyn’s J+B Design & Cafe, it’s based on a super-simple recipe: Blend one ripe banana with a cup of almond milk or coconut milk, then pour over cold-brewed coffee.
Aside from the obvious benefit of this being something, anything, other than pumpkin spice, it also features the antioxidant effects of black coffee and adds a dose of potassium. And unlike other trendy beverages, there was no obvious downside here. I tried bulletproof coffee, but couldn’t deal with the buttery oil slick that formed on the surface — and then all my hopes of it being a miracle beverage were dashed, anyway. I love matcha drinks, but a tall green tea latte at Starbucks has more sugar than a Snickers bar. And golden milk was yummy, but turmeric stains everything.
After all, how can you go wrong with coffee, milk, and bananas? It was promising. And sounded delicious. (Full disclosure: The original version also contains simple syrup. But honestly, it’s sweet enough without it!)
What Does Banana Milk Coffee Taste Like?
I’m not above dragging other people into my culinary experiments, so I invited three of my neighbors over to try it. “I’m making coffee with bananas in it,” I explained. “It’s a thing now.”
As far as the recipe goes, banana-milk coffee is basically impossible to screw up. If you’ve never cold-brewed your own coffee, it’s one of those “wait, that actually works?!” moments of kitchen discovery. (The full step-by-step is below, but in a nutshell, you just let the grounds steep in a pitcher of cold water overnight, then strain them out.)
For the banana milk, I skipped the simple syrup and opted for unsweetened almond milk because I wanted to see if the banana could pull its own weight, sweetness-wise. After all, everything tastes good if you dump enough sugar in it. The goal here was to see if blended banana could stand in for the heaping scoop of sugar I sometimes (read: usually) add.
The blender gave the banana milk a foamy consistency — sort of like a milk frother — and I poured a scant cup of the mixture over a cup of coffee.
First impression: It looked delicious, and like a Serious Coffeehouse Drink. More importantly, it actually tasted good — sweet, creamy, and surprisingly not very banana-y. Four out of four neighbors agree! It probably won’t become an everyday drink (case in point, I’m sipping a standard hot coffee right now), only because of the slight extra handiwork required — like remembering to start the cold-brew process a day in advance — though using cold brew coffee concentrate could also work in a pinch.
But I could totally see this becoming a weekly treat, and it’s definitely a worthy replacement for the sugar bomb of my fave seasonal latte. Follow the recipe below to make it yourself.
Banana Milk Coffee
- 1 Tbsp . ground coffee
- 1 ripe banana , medium
- 1 cup almond milk , cashew milk, or coconut milk
Stir coffee grinds into a pitcher of cold water using your usual ratio — typically a tablespoon of grounds for every cup of water, but feel free to adjust if you like it stronger.
Let the mixture steep for around 18 hours.
Line a small strainer or colander with a paper coffee filter.
Pour the mixture through the filter. Voilà — cold-brewed coffee! (Serve over ice if preferred.)
Blend banana and milk in blender until creamy.
Pour banana milk mixture over cold coffee, to taste.