How to make your coffee more special?

Having a cup (or mug) of coffee in the morning is part of the daily routine for most of us, but after a while, it can turn into something like a "reflex" instead of being an opportunity to delight our day before going to work. Depending on how much time you can afford to make your morning coffee more special, you can either just put a few spices in it, or go on and make a really wondrous beverage. Below we show some tips you can use when "upgrading" the first coffee of the day...!

Coffee with sweets

Just a few more ingredients can make the coffee more interesting (Photo: / grafmex)

1. Coconut sauce

The combination of Café au lait (espresso with hot milk) and coconut provides a harmonious and tender beverage, which is equally perfect when consumed hot or as iced coffee. One of the best ways to add the coconut flavor into your coffee is to make a quick, sugary sauce, and just pour some of it into your mug.

For this, you will need 4-5 tablespoons of shredded and dried coconut, sugar (2 tablespoons is usually fine, but you can alter the amount of sugar depending on how sweet you'd like the sauce to be), and 3-4 tablespoons of water. Put the ingredients into a small saucepan, and bring them to boil while constantly stirring the mixture. Once the coconut becomes softer, you can filter the sugary sauce, and pour some of it into the coffee. (You can also use the shredded coconut, adding it to the oat porridge, for example, is a great idea.)

If you don't have time for this, you can use good quality coconut milk instead, but it's important to check the ingredients when buying the product - some of these milks contain carob, which has a characteristic flavor not everyone likes.

2. "Real" whipped cream

Simple as it is, "original" whipped cream is one of the best decisions when decorating your coffee, and it also tastes quite well. Compared to most plant-based products, real whipped cream has a naturally sweet taste and an inimitable, thick, full and creamy texture.

3. Chocolate

Chocolate and coffee go well together, but simply adding some chocolate to your coffee may not be the best idea, because most of the times it won't fully dissolve. Try using chocolate sauces instead, some of which are especially designed for this kind of use. If - for some reason - you decide to use chocolate chunks, make sure to cut them into really small pieces, or - even better - shred them.

4. Cinnamon

Consuming cinnamon regularly in small amounts is thought to have some health benefits, because it has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, and according to a 2017 study by the American Heart Association, it can reduce some of the risks of a diet rich in fats. While it should be consumed with moderation, adding a little into your coffee sometimes could be a great idea. Try using only 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon for a mug of coffee - if you add more, you may find the tiny cinnamon pieces (which won't fully dissolve into the drink) annoying.

5. Vanilla ice cream

Vanilla ice cream is a popular choice to make desserts even more appealing and delicate, but letting a few spoonfuls of it melt into your coffee will also make wonders. You can also try other kind of ice creams, but preferably avoid those that have bits of "non-dissolving" bits (such as hazelnut or fruit pieces) in them. Another thing to keep in mind is that ice cream is also sweet, so when adding it to your coffee, you should alter the amount of sugar. (In fact, you may not even need any sugar...)

6. Latte art

We already picked some of the best examples of latte art, and if you have a little time in the morning, you can also try to create some of the basic patterns. All you will need is good quality espresso, milk foam, and a bit of practice, and you'll have a beautiful cup of coffee to cheer you up each day!

7. Lavender coffee

While not everyone likes flowers in their coffee, others just adore the freshness they can add to the beverage. Lavender is no doubt one of the most popular edible flowers, and it can go well with coffee. To make lavender flavored milk, you will need a cup of milk and a teaspoon of dried lavender flowers. Add them into a small saucepan, then warm it over low heat until it becomes very warm, but still not hot or boiling. Let the flowers soak for 6-8 minutes, then filter the milk and add it to a good quality espresso.

8. Irish coffee

This classic cocktail consists of sweetened coffee, whipped cream and Irish whiskey, and is really one of the most popular coffee-based cocktails. You will need 180 ml of coffee (still hot), 2 teaspoons of sugar (you can use white, brown, or a mixture of brown and white sugar), 44 ml of Irish whiskey and some freshly whipped cream. To prepare this iconic cocktail, first pour the coffee into your mug, leaving empty space at the top 1/4 part. Then add the sugar, the whiskey, and gently pour the whipped cream on top of the coffee.

Anita Diós

July 2018