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Coffee Tips

Why Does Bailey Curdle in Coffee?

There are always a myriad of questions about coffee on the internet. This is because there are a lot of facts surrounding this caffeine that is rocking people’s world.

This wondrous bean leaves people with a sense of research that cannot be easily brushed away. Ranging from the processing, what type is best to take, how to take it, and things to pair it with, there are several questions about coffee.

One of these things is the milk or cream mixed with it. Baileys is one of the popular drinks coffee lovers like to mix with coffee. However, baileys can curdle when added to a coffee.

This article would elaborate on why these baileys curdle in coffee, the effect and how to prevent it from even happening at all.

bailey's cream and coffee beans



Bailey’s Curdling in Coffee

You can put coffee in Bailey or vice versa. Coffee and Baileys are a good combo, a popular drink that tastes delicious, especially during holidays. This coffee is a variant served with Irish cream on top.

When explicitly served with the brand Baileys, it is also known as Bailey’s coffee or Sultan special coffee. Just like most other creams paired with coffee, baileys can curdle in coffee too.


Why Does My Cream Curdle in My Coffee?

Cream liqueurs curdle because of their high dairy content. Dairy products such as milk or cream curdle in the presence of acid.

Coffee is an acidic drink, and any cream that has acid in an adequate amount will curdle in it. Baileys or any other type of cream used to mix coffee will curdle, depending on the type of coffee and how much you use.

When pH levels drop in milk, it turns acidic and milk protein (casein and others) molecules attract one another to form curdles or lumps. These lumps then float on the surface of the solution.

However, the susceptibility to curdling is further increased as the heat of the mixture is raised. Milk can curdle when it is added to coffee that is too hot.

Also,  as cream ages, the lactic acid content in it increases.  If your cream is a little south of fresh, the probability of curdling is greater. The milk may not be spoiled enough to cause an off odour or flavour, but just enough acid and heat (in addition to its own) can cause curdling because lumps are formed faster at warmer temperatures.


Is It Bad to Drink Curdled Baileys in Coffee?

If the baileys are perfectly fresh and it curdles in your coffee, there’s no harm in drinking it. More often than not, it is the acidity or temperature of your coffee at work.

If Baileys is curdled, it weirdly does not always mean it has become bad or unsafe to drink.

Once Baileys has gone past its best-before date, you can still drink it as it should remain good for a few weeks or maybe even months. On the other hand, if it is not only expired but also curdled, the taste and texture become unappealing. Consuming such a drink is bad for you.

If you drink it while it is in this state, you will probably get sick, get a stomach ache, or have other digestive problems. However, it will only be short-term and may not be life-threatening, much like if you drink gone-off milk or have curled cream.

How to stop baileys from curdling in coffee

There are some tricks to keep your baileys from curdling when added to coffee.


Check the Acidity Level of the Coffee

When baileys are your cream choice, and you do not like cream curdling in coffee, you should check if your choice of coffee is one with high acidity.

Most coffee brands do not taste bitter, but they contain high levels of phosphoric acids.

Best mixers for bailey liqueurs include low-acid coffee, hot chocolate, and other cream liqueurs.

Increase the pH

Another trick to prevent baileys from curdling in coffee is to increase the pH with little baking soda before adding the Baileys.

Theoretically, this should lessen the likelihood of Baileys coagulating, while having no effect on the coffee flavour.

However, if you add too much baking soda, your drink will become soapy which is not the best way to take your daily dose of caffeine.

How to know if Baileys has gone bad or curdled


When your baileys smell a bit like custard or just smell sour, that’s your cue.


When your baileys become thick, lumpy or congealed, and not creamy and smooth, its span has lapsed.


You sure know the colour of your baileys. If it has gone bad or is starting to, then there will gradually be a separation between the cream and the whisky. This will transform the colour of the milk into black.

If it is dark you are only a little while away from coagulation.


If your Baileys pass all these tests, then put it to taste. Your taste buds will be able to tell you a lot about your food and drink. You know what it is supposed to taste like and if it doesn’t taste as such, then it’s probably on its way out.


Best Coffees That Go Well with Baileys

  • Dark roast coffee
  • Medium roast coffee
  • Aeropress
  • Decaf


Baileys Coffee Recipe


  • Hot coffee
  • Baileys Irish cream
  • Sweetened whipped cream


  • Brew your cup of coffee in your favourite method.
  • Add your homemade cream that is already whipped to soft peaks.
  • Pour your coffee into a glass or coffee mug, leaving an inch at the top for your cream.
  • Stir in your baileys Irish cream.
  • Using the back of a spoon, gently float the whipped cream on top
  • Enjoy your mug of  creamy caffeine greatness


FAQs on Why Baileys Curdle in Coffee


Does Baileys Curdle in Hot Chocolate?

You should note that if you’re putting Baileys into a mixer with other drinks, it should be fine and fresh.

Due to how easily Baileys can curdle with many popular mixers, it is most often combined with coffee or hot chocolate mixture. These are not acidic enough to make it curdle. It tastes delicious.

Can You Drink Curdled Baileys?

Curdled baileys may be a result of what was mixed with it. In this case, it is safe to drink.

Also, once baileys have gone past its best-before date, you can still drink it as it should remain good for a few weeks or even months. However, you should be careful when your baileys are expired and curdled.

What Drinks Make Baileys Curdle?

Baileys can be mixed with all manner of beverages to make a simple creamy drink. The only rule is to avoid citrus or anything with a lot of citric acids that can make it curdle. That means avoid juices, soda or any drink that contains such.

Why Does My Irish Coffee Curdle?

As cream ages, lactic acid builds up in it. The acidity in your coffee is enough to push the cream to curdle when it’s not at its prime. Also, when your coffee temperature is on the high side, adding cream to it will make it curdle.

How to Keep Cream from Curdling in Alcohol

To avoid curdling in your cocktails, try to use heavy cream or crème Fraiche in the cocktails that require both dairy and citrus. These products contain such little casein that the introduction of acid wouldn’t be able to result in any significant curdling when used.


Final words

Bailey’s coffee is a must-try beverage for coffee enthusiasts due to its distinct flavour. Bailey’s curdling in coffee can be due to different reasons. You should be sure of which one it is before drinking to avoid side effects.