Coconut Milk: What Do First And Second Pressings Mean?

Coconut milk is basically the liquid that's extracted from grated coconut flesh. It can only be pressed from mature coconuts – the brown ones – since younger green coconuts don’t contain enough fat in the flesh.

As an ingredient, coconuts are a rich source of healthy fats which can help increase stamina, boost immunity and promote heart health. There is also another product called coconut cream which has a higher proportion of coconut oil similar to the differences between dairy milk and dairy cream. 

But there’s also more than one type of coconut milk to choose from. The first press and the second press. The first press is made with little to no water for a rich flavourful liquid that is often also referred to as creamed coconut. The second press utilises the same coconut meat, plus hot water and is then pressed again for a more diluted version of coconut milk.

Most store-bought and pre-packaged coconut milk is first-press coconut milk and second-press is usually not sold commercially. Anything on the market called coconut cream is usually first press coconut milk with additional oil to make it richer and fattier. This can be useful in certain dishes or if you’re following a Keto diet.

Theoretically, you could water down coconut cream at home to convert it to coconut milk, and depending on how much you add you’d be left with the equivalent of either first or second-press coconut milk. 

If you want to try your hand at making coconut milk at home, just follow the recipe below.


  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 3-4 cups water 
  • Pinch salt


  • Add coconut, 3 cups water, and salt to a high-speed blender. Cover with a towel and a lid and blend for about 2 minutes or until the mixture seems well combined.
  • Add more water if too thick.
  • Pour the mixture over a large mixing bowl or pitcher covered with a muslin cloth or a very thin towel.
  • Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate
  • Enjoy cold or hot and shake before use, as it can separate in the refrigerator.