I tend to be a coffee “purist”, and have a strong dislike for flavored coffees. However, I know a lot of the coffee drinkers who read this blog may love the taste of flavored coffees but want to avoid the questionable ingredients in many flavored coffee creamers.
Just reading the labels on those things makes me sick!
Partially hydrogenated oils (loaded with trans fats) almost always top the list.
Besides, it’s easy and cheaper to flavor your own coffee using healthier, natural ingredients. Here are a few ideas.
Flavor Your Coffee Naturally
Vanilla beans will add a lovely aroma to your coffee. Try adding a small drop of pure organic vanilla extract to your cup of coffee. And using cream mixed infused with a natural vanilla pod is also nice. Buy whole vanilla pods at the health food store where you get bulk herbs, and steep them in cream overnight.
A simple way to do this is to dip a few whole cinnamon sticks into a large pot of coffee and leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Or, grind a cinnamon stick into your whole beans. The downside to this method is that your coffee grinder will have the flavor of cinnamon until you clean it well, maybe even after. And of course, it’s easy enough to simply shake ground cinnamon into your own cup.
A friend of mine from the Dominican Republic likes freshly ground nutmeg in her coffee. It imparts a lovely flavor. Use one of those tiny nutmeg graters, and just grind a little into your cup.
Ever notice those little shaker bottles at Starbucks? They have vanilla powder, ground cinnamon, chocolate powder and ground nutmeg in them. Especially nice on top of freshly steamed/frothy milk.
Dried orange peel
Place the dried orange peel in a pot of water and boil for a few minutes. Then sieve the water into your coffee pot and use this orange water to make the coffee. Also nice in hot tea.
Making your own cafe mocha is easy enough. Simply make a simple chocolate syrup by mixing cocoa powder, a little water, and a little sweetener of choice. Cook this on the stove for a bit, then use to taste in strongly brewed coffee. Top with hot milk and you have a mocha without the hefty price tag.