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As great as plain black coffee is, sometimes our taste buds need a break from the norm; admit it, having the same thing day in and day out tends to get boring. An excellent way to spice up your favorite coffee beverage is by adding some extra flavor. Forget about those store brought sweeteners and creamers that are often packed full of garbage. What I’m talking about are natural flavorings.
Some of these flavored coffee combinations are strange, and others not so obvious, but trust me, they will bring life back into your boring cup of Joe, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of them before.
Below I have experimented with various ways to add extra flavor to your coffee, and I think these 12 are the best so far that will tickle ya taste buds and leave you coming back for more!
I have no doubt that after going through this list, you will be heading home in a flash to give at least one or two of these coffee combinations a try.
Adding cinnamon to coffee isn’t anything new, but it’s one that’s stood the test of time and is a favorite with many coffee drinkers. But before you read on, I have a twist on the already popular combination.
Instead of sprinkling cinnamon on top of your coffee or even stirring it into your brew, you’ll want to infuse the cinnamon with your coffee beans if you want to give your coffee a real cinnamon kick.
It’s not as hard as it sounds. Simply grind whole sticks of cinnamon along with your whole coffee beans. If you don’t grind your beans fresh before each brew (why not?), you can instead sprinkle some cinnamon into your pre-ground coffee before you add water.
Adding the cinnamon to the start of the coffee brewing process will allow for a fully blended coffee that actually tastes like cinnamon and does not just smell like it.
2. Cocoa Nibs
Cocoa Nibs.. say what? Isn’t that just chocolate? Not really. Cocoa Nibs are what chocolate is before it’s processed into the shaped bars we all know and love. These chunks are more black in color than brown and are 100% cocoa beans. The texture is also different, and the taste is far nuttier and slightly chewier plus, they deliver a dark rich taste.
It’s this flavor profile that makes Cocoa Nibs the perfect addition to your coffee. Trust me, they taste great! Add about ½ a teaspoon of Cocoa Nibs to every two cups of coffee that goes into your coffee grinder, grind together, and brew your coffee as normal.
If you love dark chocolate and black coffee, this flavored coffee is going to bring you to your knees! YUM!
If you love adding flavored creamers and sugar to your coffee but aren’t happy about the added calories you’re loading into your cup, try some vanilla.
The best way to take advantage of this natural coffee flavoring is to add a vanilla bean to your whole coffee beans just before you grind. If you can’t get your hands on fresh vanilla, you can use a few drops of extract directly into your cup of coffee or into your portafilter on your espresso machine before you pull a shot. Remember, though, a little goes a long way; any more than two drops, and you’ll be pouring your brew down the drain.
I’m not a fan of this coffee flavor, but for those of you that enjoy ginger tea, this coffee combination might be a winner!
Ginger can be overpowering if used in large quantities, so I recommend that you only add a few small slices to your grounds before you brew. The hot water will pass over the ginger and will infuse with your coffee. If you don’t have fresh ginger, you can supplement by using one or two tablespoons of ginger powder instead, but fresh is definitely better!
Cardamom is relatively unheard of in the west but is hugely popular in the Middle East. The taste of cardamom is very similar to ginger and comes packed with numerous health benefits. Fiber and other essential minerals are just some of the hidden gems of cardamom as well as aiding in circulation, it goes great with coffee.
Either add whole cardamom seeds to your whole coffee beans before you grind or sprinkle a couple of pinches of pre-ground cardamom seeds on your freshly brewed cup of coffee.
6. Star Anise
This coffee flavor isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it will definitely get you a few strange looks. Star Anise is known for its strong licorice taste with sweet, floral notes. For those of you that enjoy licorice, it makes a great coffee infusion when paired with dark-roasted coffee.
Add your Star Anise to your whole coffee beans before grinding and brew as you normally would. However, if overused, it can be very overpowering. I recommend using no more than 3/4 of a clove; any more and you’ll be pouring your freshly brewed coffee into the sink.
If you want to bring out the earthiness in your morning coffee brew, I recommend trying a bit of Nutmeg. The added sweetness and earthy taste are truly unique and are a sure way to tickle ya taste buds.
The amount of Nutmeg to add to your cup of coffee is down to personal taste; however, I find that one shard is perfect for a typical cup. With that said, experiment until you find the best infusion for your liking.
I only thought that lavender was something found in body soaps; that was before I tried lavender ice cream as a child, yum!
Lavender is the perfect companion for many things, and coffee is no exception; I have found that it marriages best with fruitier roasted coffees. You can either add a few sprinkles of lavender with your ground coffee and infuse when you pour your hot water or add a few tiny drops of lavender oil to your brewed coffee. Either way, this combination tastes great, especially on a lazy spring afternoon.
If you smoke cigarettes or have done in the past, this Clover-flavored coffee is going to be a winner! Many popular cigarette brands add clove into their tobacco mix to give an added sweetness.
When it comes to cloves and coffee, use them sparingly because these spices can be very overpowering. Either grind with your whole coffee beans before you brew or add a couple of cloves to your pre-ground coffee and infuse when boiling water is poured over your grounds. If the taste is too strong, experiment until you find the best ratio for your taste buds.
10. Peppermint Oil
Nothing screams ‘tis the season more than a steamy cup of peppermint coffee. To successfully infuse your brewed coffee with this delicious holiday flavor, it’s best to use pure peppermint oil, which works really well with chocolatey dark-roasted coffee beans.
To try this flavored coffee, add a couple of drops to your coffee during the brewing process. However, use sparingly because peppermint oil in its concentrated form can quickly become overpowering, no matter how rich your coffee beans are.
11. A Raw Egg
It might seem crazy, but adding a raw egg to your coffee tastes great! Hot coffee mixed with a raw egg delivers a one-of-a-kind flavor – trust me, you have to try it at least once, It might not be a taste that everyone enjoys for everyone, but to be honest, it’s not as disgusting as you might expect.
The addition of a raw egg gives the coffee a dense and slightly creamy body without masking the natural coffee flavors and aromas.
If you haven’t heard about Bulletproof Coffee (1), you must have been living in a cave. Many coffee lovers and health buffs have come accustomed to this coffee butter combination which has gained popularity in recent years.
This strange combination can be traced back to southeast Asia, where strange coffee infusions are commonplace. Even though it’s hard to imagine butter which is normally only used in cooking, going so well with coffee, if done right, it really is a marriage made in heaven (I said if done right!).
Just adding a teaspoon of organic butter to a sweet roast coffee will give your coffee a smooth, rich texture with a buttery depth that is truly unique.