I’m a believer in fresh, unspoilt coffee… served the way nature intended it. If you’re wondering what that way is, it’s in a French press with nothing else. However, I know that some of you prefer a little more glamour, sweetness and decadence with your morning joe, so I thought I’d research ways in which it can be jazzed up in a rush.
What do I mean by “jazz”? Well, I mean the addition of various substances designed to completely change the flavour beyond all recognition. There are several ways you can transform your morning joe into something completely different just before you start your day, and here are eight of the most interesting.
1. Maple syrup
Sweetening coffee in any way is against everything I stand for. However, I understand that many people like a little sweetness in the morning, which is why I recommend adding maple syrup instead of sugar. One or two teaspoons in a 12oz cup should suffice, but you’ll need to stir like the wind to create a balanced flavour.
2. Add a little cocoa powder
You’ll need to be careful with this tip, as some cocoa powders can be extremely bitter. Play around with different quantities of milk, cocoa powder and sugar until you have a recipe that works for you.
Forget those horrible, sickly chai syrups you get in coffee shops, adding some real masala chai is a great way to spice up your morning coffee. You can make your own by adding ginger root, cardamom pods, star anise and cinnamon to a pan of water and bringing it to the boil. Add a few black tea leaves and a little milk, and perhaps a little maple syrup for added sweetness. Make the mixture in advance, and it should be good for three days.
4. Coconut oil
Whether you’re lactose intolerant or striving for a healthier lifestyle, switching to coconut milk could be a good move. Not only is it low in fat and calories, it adds a nuttiness to coffee that brings out a range of new flavours. Make sure you stir your coffee thoroughly before drinking it though, as you might just get a mouthful of oil .
I have to admit, this is the one additive I use in coffee – albeit occasionally. Some people add a cinnamon stick to their coffee as it brews, while others simply add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to their cup. I prefer to throw a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon in my grinder with my beans, as it creates a beautiful and natural blend of flavours.
If you’ve ever asked for hazelnut syrup in your coffee, you’ll know how well it can complement coffee and mocha. Instead of loading up on processed sugars and calories, throw some hazelnuts into your grinder with your coffee beans. The natural oils in the hazelnuts add both a wonderful smoothness and a rich flavour to the eventual brew.
This is a little decadent, and an occasional treat, but it’s a great way to start a dark, cold and miserable day. Sometimes referred to as “bulletproof coffee”, this combination of black coffee and butter delivers a powerful energy boost. If you ever have to leave in a rush, without your breakfast, this could be the combination for you.
Just a pinch of salt could enhance all of those wonderful coffee flavours you love so much. While some people use salt to counteract bitterness, even the nicest of coffees can benefit from a little sodium chloride.
Like I said, the best way to drink coffee is black, without any pollutants. But if you insist on vandalising the nectar of the gods, these eight additives might interest you.