5 Ways to give your coffee experience a twist

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Coffee Mug and Beans

Many of us rely on coffee to start and get through the day, and it’s quite sad that many coffee drinkers find the experience as mundane as their daily grind—pun intended.  If you’re ready to truly enjoy coffee, here are five ways to overhaul your java.

Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar has started to dominate conversations about alternative sweeteners, and for good reason. Compared to regular sugar, coconut sugar has a significantly lower glycemic index making them perfect for diabetics and anyone who wants to prevent the onset of Type II diabetes. Unlike synthetic sugar substitutes like saccharin and aspartame, coconut sugar is all-natural and has what most would probably consider a superior flavor. Compared to other natural sweeteners such as stevia and honey, coconut sugar has a wider range and quantity of beneficial minerals in every gram. And perhaps more interestingly for coffee drinkers, it has a distinct flavor that really blends well with coffee. If you dislike how artificial sweeteners taste or simply want a healthy way to sweeten your coffee without depriving yourself, give coconut sugar a try.

Grain and Nut Milks

If you tried using a milk substitute before and found yourself disappointed, don’t dismiss plant milks just yet. Grain and nut milks have experienced a recent boom in popularity in recent years. Back then, most plant-derived milks lacked the body, texture, flavor, creaminess of dairy. This isn’t the case today. Many grain and nut milks taste fantastic with coffee, even when compared to regular dairy. Try these cold-milled nut milks from Elmhurst and you’ll  taste –and feel—the difference.

Unsweetened Cocoa or Baking Chocolate

If you belong to the minority of coffee drinkers that put instant cocoa in their morning cup of Joe, you definitely owe it to yourself to try adding a small amount of unsweetened cocoa or baking chocolate. The difference is incomparable, and you’ll find you can get something very close if not better to what some fancy coffee shops have to offer. The key is to add the chocolate to your coffee while it’s still steaming hot, but not quite boiling. This is easy to do in a microwave. You can also add sugar to taste. Alternately, you can heat dairy or nut milk in the microwave, add the chocolate to the heated milk, and then add the mixture to your coffee.

Ice Cream

Many restaurants struggle with the question of whether affogato is a beverage or a dessert. Still, it’s a coffee treat that you can enjoy without going to a nearby coffee shop. Just get a couple of scoops of your favorite ice cream or gelato, then pour your coffee over it, and enjoy.  You can go extra-authentic and use only gelato, a shot of espresso, and a shot of amaretto. However, there is so much more you can do with that basic template. You can maple syrup, bourbon, or rum, for instance. If you’re adding liquor, though, you probably best enjoy this sinful treat outside of the workplace.

Liquor

Speaking of liquor, liquor and coffee are about as natural a pairing as it gets. The sourness and sweetness of many liquors readily mate with the flavor profiles of most coffees, adding a new level of indulgence to the coffee experience.  In the U.S., the enduring popularity of Irish coffee is a testament to just how beloved this combination is.

Liquor in your coffee is just the thing for a cold day and is an especially relaxing way to unwind after a hard day’s work. You can make these with virtually any liquor, but popular pairings include Irish whiskey, rum, brandy, and bourbon. Clear liquors such as gin, vodka, and schnapps are less popular but no less flavorful additions to your cup of java.  One particularly underrated addition is chocolate liqueur.

Considering these many ways to enjoy a humble cup of coffee, it’s easy to see why many people believe the popular but untrue factoid that coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world (fact: it’s part of the top 10 most consumed beverages in the world). But whatever you believe, it can’t be denied that drinking coffee is an experience in and of itself.