Ways to Add Extra Flavor to Your Coffee

A cup of coffee with coconut.

When coffee arrived in Yemen from Ethiopia, drinking coffee was a social activity, and many traditions and flavors developed around the brewing and serving ceremonies. Families would create different recipes and pass them down through generations.

Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel

A wheel can help the taster decide on their favorite recipe, triggering a lot of fun experimenting. Initially published in 1995, it was developed further in 2016 by a collaboration of industry professionals to help coffee tasters choose their perfect flavor. Producers use the wheel as a guideline, but the list is limitless.

A cup of coffee with cinnamon sticks and coffee beans.

  • Spices: Spices, including cardamon, are used in India and popular in tea, in a chai latte, so why not coffee? A sprinkle of cinnamon in a Mexican cappuccino. Spice things up with a dash of cayenne pepper in a Mexican mocha or a cold brew for a bit of a kick. Kenyan spiced coffee uses star anise. Cloves, nutmeg, and ginger are also frequently used. Experience the enriched, warming, intense flavors in a pumpkin spice latte.
  • Healthy Fats: To add creaminess to your coffee, add butter. Surprising? Ethiopians added ghee to coffee beans in the 9th century, and in Tibet, a cup of yak butter tea will energize you. Coconut oil and hazelnut oil will add creaminess and flavor for a bit of decadence.
  • A Sweet Tooth: Satisfy your sweet tooth with honey and maple syrup. Sweet condensed milk is used in Vietnamese coffee to smooth the intensity of their coffee, giving a dreamy, creamy, sugary luxury.
  • Surprising Flavors: A fitness fanatic might add a raw egg to their morning cuppa, kickstarting their day with a caffeine protein hit. Have you heard about the Arctic Fika, the Scandinavian social ritual of drinking coffee with added cheese, reindeer, or elk meat? It is considered a lifesaver during the harsh winters.

Coffee with ice-cream.

The List Goes On

  • Alcohol — try an Irish coffee or a dazzling flaming Spanish coffee
  • Chocolate — A Barbajada from Milan, where chocolate meets coffee
  • Citrus — A slice of lemon in Portugal or an Espresso Romano in Italy
  • Salt — Takes away the bitterness to make a smoother coffee
  • Ice-cream — Affogato al caffé, literally meaning ice-cream drowned in coffee.

Much much more, the list is endless.

These added extras bring added flavor, and most have health benefits, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, energy-boosting, and aid digestion. What do you have to lose? Experiment with your own Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel.

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