Don’t even talk to me until I’ve had my morning cup of coffee! Yes, this is an overused joke for mugs and coffee shop chalkboards and “Live Laugh Love”-style wall hangings, but it’s also a phrase that is very true for specifically me. I can go through a pot of coffee a day without a second thought—it’s the only way I feel normal. And even though I love the jolt of the caffeine and the taste of a straight cup of joe, it can still get monotonous.
Sure, there are endless flavored syrups and creams, but I love coffee because I love coffee—I still want to taste my beloved bean juice above all else. So how do I mix it up without losing the essence of what I love most first thing in the morning?
The secret is adding a little special something directly into the grounds before brewing. This way the flavors are not only subtly integrated into your coffee, but provide a pleasant aroma throughout your kitchen.
I discovered this tactic when my roommate first moved in. One morning I woke up to the warm and comforting smell of cinnamon in the air—the cup of coffee I then poured was similarly cozy, with just a hint of that sweet and woody taste in the mix. From there the possibilities seemed endless.
Warning: While it might seem tempting to use something other than water to brew your coffee for a little extra experimentation, DO NOT DO THIS. Something like, say, just as an example off the top of my head, not something from real experience at all, apple cider will clog up the tubes transmitting the water and render your machine useless. Just stick to adding flavor to the grounds, not the liquid.
Add in some nutmeg for an even more subtle overall warmth. Sprinkle in some sugar for just a dash of sweetness. You can even mix in ingredients like orange peels to add brightness and fruitiness to perk you up in the mornings. Your routine cup of coffee doesn’t have to be quite so routine anymore.