Getting tired of your plain ole regular cup of coffee that you make at home every morning? Whether you use a traditional coffee pot, single-serve pods, a french press or a pour-over, we all need that morning pick-me-up! Coffee ruts happen to the best of us (especially when you’re like me and you drink it black!) and no one wants to get bored with a morning necessity. Don’t head to a coffee shop to throw money away, try switching your brew up by adding these spices to your at home coffee!
Cinnamon is a classic, all-around great spice. It not only will add some warmth and depth of flavor to your coffee, but it is also full of antioxidants so it will make your coffee healthier! Cinnamon also is said to help with concentration, the scent helps your brain process information faster! I love how cinnamon adds a little kick of flavor and makes the coffee taste like a fancy blend or drink. This all depends on your taste preference but there are two ways to add cinnamon to your brew. Add a stick to the pot while the coffee brews or you can shake some into your cup. Makes for a cozy morning cup!
2. Orange Peel
Give your morning a shot of fresh and bright flavors with the addition of orange peel. Adding citrus to coffee is common in Hispanic coffee drinks so you can feel like you are on a vacation south of the border by adding it to your coffee. Orange peels have the concentrated flavor of orange and will give your coffee a sweet and citrusy flavor that will refresh you as you get caffeinated. This flavor has two ways to get into your coffee. You can either zest the orange peel into the grounds before brewing or you can twist the peel to express the orange flavor into your coffee.
3. Apple Pie or Pumpkin Pie Blends
Whether it is summer, spring, winter or fall, (now I have Carole King stuck in my head) pie always is a good idea! Give your coffee a dessert flavor by adding apple pie or pumpkin pie spice blends to your brew! I love using apple pie spice in the spring and summer since I always bake a lot of apple pies at that time. And of course, you can’t go wrong with pumpkin pie spice in the fall in winter! Both of these blends feature several different spices so it will give your coffee a lot of depth and flavor. Since there are so many spices, remember to only use a little shake of the blend and taste before adding more!
4. Vanilla Extract
If you like specialty coffee drinks, or sugary creamer, try adding some vanilla extract to your coffee! It will make your homemade brew seem like a creamy and sweet drink without the added calories. I love this one because not only does it make my coffee seem like a treat, it smells like a fresh baked good as well! Remember that with extracts, a little goes a long way! Make sure to use a drop of real vanilla extract (no imitation flavoring) or a fresh vanilla bean ground into the coffee for the best flavor.
Ginger is a wonderfully spicy and refreshing addition to a cup of coffee. Ginger is known for its health benefits and is commonly added to coffee in Middle Eastern countries Yemen. When added to your coffee, it will have you feeling like you’re enjoying a gingerbread cookie next to a Christmas tree! Just like with the other choice, there are two ways to get the flavor into your coffee. You can use fresh ginger either sliced or shredded, then added into the grounds before brewing or a shake or two of ground ginger powder into your cup.
6. Cocoa Powder
Everyone loves chocolate, so what else would make a perfect pairing for your morning coffee? No matter if you like sweetened, unsweetened, karob, or dutch processed, adding some chocolate flavors to your coffee is a great way to spice your morning cup up! Give your coffee a mocha-vibe by adding a tablespoon or two of sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder. For full decadence, add a little of your favorite milk and you will have a creamy at-home mocha!
Traditionally used in the Middle East, cardamom will give you an exotic morning cup of coffee. Cardamom gives off a warm and spicy flavor similar to ginger. It’s citrusy, minty, spicy and herbal so the fragrance is incredible when paired with coffee. If you are really wanting to spice up the flavor of your coffee, this is the perfect spice to do it! Add a pinch or two of the spice grounded or you can add whole cardamon seeds to your beans before brewing.
The great thing about adding peppermint to your coffee is that it brings a little holiday cheer to your coffee no matter what time of year it is! I love the fresh flavor and how it interacts with a plain cup of coffee to make it just a little bit more fun! Peppermint is also said to help with concentration and feeling awake to it is a perfect additive to your coffee. The key to using peppermint in your coffee is to use a high-quality extract. Use very sparingly since extracts are very concentrated. One drop is enough for a subtle flavor in a pot of coffee. If you want to mix and match flavors, add a little cocoa powder too!
Stop into any local hipster-type coffee shop and guaranteed, there will be a lavender coffee or latte on the menu. It’s for good reason too. The lightly floral flavor of the plant will give your coffee a springtime boost. Grind some dry buds into your coffee grounds before brewing your coffee. Be careful that you don’t add too much of the flower or the flavor can get odd and soapy. Less is more for a yummy and fresh coffee!
Emily Bell is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a degree in Journalism with a Public Relations concentration. She currently lives with her husband and dog on the coast in Florida.