Coffee And Orange Juice: What It’s Like & How To Make It

coffee and orange juice with rosemary

My first thought when I saw this drink on Instagram was:

Coffee and orange juice?! 

Hard pass.

And I’m sure I’m not the only one.

It doesn’t exactly sound like the tastiest flavor combination.

But I don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong.

And in this case, I definitely was.

Turns out, it’s absolutely delightful.

So today, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about this different coffee drink, and show you how to make it just like they do on your Insta feed.

Let’s get started!

What’s The Deal With Coffee And Orange Juice?

coffee and orange juice with a slice of orange on top

This breakfast drink combo is the refreshing morning caffeine kick you didn’t know you needed.

The OJ express, sunrise, good morning, Vietnam – call it what you will. 

It’s one of the most surprising coffee drinks you’ll ever try.

Nobody expects it to be good. And that makes it all the more amusing to watch the mix of disbelief and delight on first time samplers’ faces when they take the first sip.

Even if you don’t end up being a huge fan, it definitely won’t be what you expected before you tasted it.

It’s complex and the flavors work together way better than they should in theory. And it’s incredibly refreshing, too.

That could be why its rise in popularity in the US happened in Phoenix, Arizona – where it’s scorching hot pretty much all year round. 

It’s since spread to coffee shops all over the country, and its fan base is growing rapidly.

How To Make Coffee And Orange Juice

coffee and orange juice garnished with a slice

So how do you recreate this Arizona coffee shop favorite in your own kitchen?

I’m going to take you through everything you need to know about making this refreshing layered citrusy iced coffee delight.

Let’s start by talking a little bit about what goes into it.

The Ingredients

To make coffee and orange juice, you only need 2 ingredients.

I think you can guess what they are.

The Coffee

You can either use espresso coffee, cold brew coffee concentrate, or another brewing method that makes a strong, intense brew similar to espresso.

In this case, both the AeroPress and moka pot work wonderfully.

If you’re using espresso, a double shot in a 4 oz glass of OJ is the standard dose for this drink.

But if you’re using cold brew concentrate or another kind of brewed coffee, you’ll want to use roughly the same amount of coffee and OJ.

The Orange Juice

As far as the OJ goes, you’ve got 2 options:

You can use the store bought stuff, or you can use fresh orange juice.

I personally think it’s way better to use real fresh squeezed orange juice.

But, if you can’t be bothered with it, the stuff from a carton works well too.

The Method

Good news:

Making this drink literally couldn’t be easier.

All you have to do is follow these easy steps:

  1. Take a glass and fill it about ⅔ of the way with ice
  2. Pour the orange juice into the glass
  3. Pour the coffee over the orange juice
  4. Garnish with a slice of orange (optional)

The aim is for the coffee to sit on top of the juice, so you get that beautiful layering.

If you’re using espresso coffee, you can just gently pour the double shot straight over the OJ.

But if you’re using another type of coffee like cold brew, moka pot or AeroPress coffee, then you should use a spoon. 

Here’s how:

Before you add your coffee, hold a tablespoon over the top of the glass. Pour the coffee slowly over the spoon, so it hits the spoon before flowing down into the glass.

That way, it’ll sit on top and you’ll get that stunning gradient effect – just like the instagram worthy ones you get in a coffee shop.

coffee and oj sunrise recipe

Recipe Variations

Now, there are actually quite a few ways you can tweak this recipe.

Here are a few you can try out if you feel like experimenting.

Coffee And OJ + Tonic

One thing you can do is top it with a little bit of tonic or soda water. This adds some fizzy bubbles to your drink, which actually works really well. 

Think espresso tonic, with a massive burst of citrus.

Coffee And OJ + Cacao Powder

Another thing you can add is cacao. Once you’ve brewed your coffee, mix a tablespoon of cacao powder with a couple of tablespoons of coffee, then mix it with the rest of the coffee. 

Follow the rest of the method as usual.

Coffee And OJ + Milk

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend adding milk to your coffee and OJ.

But I can get behind a little bit of cold foam on top.

You can make it by frothing some dairy milk or plant milk. If you’re going for plant based – almond, soy and oat milk all froth really well.

Coffee And Other Fruit Juices

And finally, you can mix your coffee with other kinds of fruit juice instead of OJ.

My favorite would definitely have to be pineapple. A splash of coconut milk is also a welcome addition to this combo. Think pina colada meets latte.

Cherry and blueberry juice can also work really well.

And finally, try adding coffee to a glass of lemonade with ice. It’s surprisingly good – you might even like it better than coffee and orange juice.

coffee and oj in a glass

Coffee And Orange Juice Sunrise

This refreshing drink is a local favorite in Phoenix – and now you can enjoy it at home!
Prep Time 4 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 6 mins
Course Drinks
Servings 1

Equipment

  • Espresso machine

Ingredients
  

  • 2 oz espresso coffee freshly brewed
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • 1 slice of orange (optional)
  • 1 sprig of rosemary (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Fill a glass of the way with ice
  • Pour the orange juice into the glass
  • Gently pour the espresso over the orange juice
  • Garnish with a slice of orange and a sprig of rosemary (optional)

FAQ

I’ve noticed that people seem to have a lot of concerns when it comes to this drink.

So I’d like to address some of those concerns in this section by answering some of the most common questions that have popped up.

Hopefully, this will ease your mind and encourage you to give this tasty drink a shot.

Will drinking coffee and orange juice upset your stomach?

One thing a lot of people are worried about when it comes to coffee and OJ is the effect it’ll have on their stomach.

The reason why this is something that concerns people is that both coffee and orange juice are  acidic. So, it kind of makes sense that mixing them together could give you an upset stomach.

But here’s the thing –

A lot of people all over the world start each day off with a breakfast that’s accompanied by a cup  of coffee, and a glass of orange juice.

And this is pretty much the same thing.

Don’t get me wrong. If you have a sensitive stomach, you could experience an upset tummy from drinking coffee and OJ. 

But, if your stomach can handle them separately during the same meal – chances are, you’ll be fine drinking them mixed, too.

Will drinking coffee and orange juice damage your teeth?

Another thing people are apparently pretty concerned about when it comes to coffee and OJ is how it affects your teeth.

Again, it’s the same situation as it was for an upset stomach. Drinking them together is no worse for your teeth than drinking them separately. 

They are both slightly acidic, which can soften the enamel on your teeth. But this is only temporary, and after half an hour it’ll harden up again.

If you brush your teeth within half an hour of drinking anything acidic, you can damage your teeth over time. 

But, if you don’t brush your teeth within the first half hour, the acid doesn’t do any damage.

So, bottom line:

As long as you don’t brush your teeth straight after you drink it, coffee and OJ won’t harm your pearly white choppers.

What’s Next?

A lot of people screw their noses up at this seemingly unlikely combination.

But if you give it a chance, I think you’ll find that the flavor is a lot better than you expected.

Hey, who knows? 

It might even become your new favorite iced coffee drink.

For another (not so experimental) kind of iced coffee, check out our iced mocha recipe with homemade chocolate syrup.