Meet Banana Milk Coffee
Trend-spotters are going ape over a coffee drink coming straight outta Brooklyn. It's called banana milk coffee, and you can get it at the stylish, Japanese-inspired J+B Café. According to Eater, Fumio Tashiro over at J+B's whips this up by blending a very ripe banana with a cup of milk and a touch of simple syrup, which he then pours over cold brew coffee. Picture a caffeinated beverage that lands somewhere between an iced latté and a thin milkshake.
Intrigued? I was. But lacking a magic portal to whisk me to New York, I opted to DIY. And let me tell you, it's worth the few minutes of effort: The flavor is rich and milky, and not at all overly banana-ish. In fact, the banana milk rounds off the acidic edges of the cold brew coffee. Read on to find out how to make banana milk coffee for yourself.
I even tried it in hot coffee. Keep going to find out how it worked out for me.
How to Make Banana Milk
The process of making banana milk sounded pretty straightforward, so I gave it a whirl using a very ripe banana I'd held aside just for this experiment. I'm talking about a banana speckled all over with spots of deep dark brown; one that fills your kitchen with the fragrance of sweet banana bread. A banana that after another couple of days would go from use me to lose me.
In an ordinary blender, I combined the banana with a cup of 2% milk (that's what I had in the fridge) and a tablespoon of simple syrup for a quick 60-second ride. What came out was a rich, thick, ivory-colored concoction with minute flecks of brown from the ripe banana seeds. Honestly, it looked like melted vanilla bean ice cream. It tasted of banana, of course, but mellower from the milk and sweeter from the syrup. In future, I'm thinking the simple syrup could be optional, depending on how ripe your banana is.
To make vegan banana milk, you can use soy, coconut, or any kind of nut milk such as almond or cashew. (And now I'm wondering what a little cinnamon or even turmeric would taste like in the mix. Hmmm.)
The Cold Brew
J+B makes their own Japanese-style cold brew coffee, but I used a bottle of Stumptown Cold Brew (shout out to Portland!) that I poured into a tall glass filled to the top with ice cubes. I used only about 4 ounces of coffee since I wanted to leave enough room for the milk, but you can play with the amounts to suit your taste.
The only thing left was to pour the banana milk over the iced coffee. So I did. And I drank it. And it was...creamy and delicious! I don't usually order cold brew because it's just too strong for my taste buds, but adding the banana milk made this totally work for me. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
And speaking of heartbeats, bananas deliver a mighty dose of heart-healthy potassium, vitamins, and fiber. So you're actually doing yourself a big, healthy favor when you put banana milk in your coffee. And now that you know how to make it, give it a try and let me know how you like it by leaving a comment on the recipe.
Editor's Note: I had a little banana milk left over so I poured it into a cup of hot coffee this morning, and it smelled and tasted like warm banana bread. People, you must try this. I insist.
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- Get all the recipes for coffee drinks; you may never sleep again.
- Here are more recipe ideas for using up super-ripe bananas in banana bread, banana pancakes, banana smoothies, and more.