I've always wanted to compile this list of ways to flavor your coffee, since I'm a BIG flavored coffee lover.
My own cup of morning coffee is blended with something different most mornings, and I love it that way.
So, if you'd like to know how to flavor your cup of coffee, without breaking the bank, and with some of the items you probably have in your kitchen already, read on.
Table of Contents
Try adding sweet sauces or toppings to your coffee
This is probably the most obvious way to change up your coffee, and the best. When you do make coffee, you usually add milk and sugar, and that's it.
but what if you add a bit more ? Or swap the sugar for some sweet sauces, like the following.
1. Anything chocolate or cocoa
Everyone's going to love this one. I love this one. And I think you do too.
So let's just get to how to add cocoa and chocolate flavor to your cup of coffee. There's several ways, so hold onto your hat.
First, you can add actual cocoa powder to your cup of already brewed coffee. Adding cocoa powder to ground coffee will make the water get through much slower and might even ruin your coffee maker.
So, add 2-3 teaspoon of cocoa powder to the bottom of your coffee cup (about 8 oz in size) and drip a little coffee over the cocoa powder to make a thick paste.
Stir well, and add more and more coffee until the paste dissolves. This is so you get no lumps in your cocoa.
Second, you can use hot cocoa/hot chocolate powders, like Nesquik or some similar brand. Use it as you would regular cocoa powder, and make a thick paste, which you'll then thin out with coffee.
Third, you can get yourself some nice, rich chocolate sauce. You'll find those in many stores, and will sometimes be found as ice cream toppings.
Chocolate sauce can be simply stirred into the hot coffee, and it will melt easily.
And it's going to be even better than anything else because it contains that nice cocoa butter, not just the cocoa powder.
Fourth, you can add cocoa nibs in your ground coffee. These are the bits and pieces that are left behind when the cocoa beans are processed to separate cocoa powder from butter.
So, you can use the cocoa nibs along with your ground coffee, and you can even grind them up if they're too large for your coffee brewing method.
Though I recommend French press as a wonderful method to get the most flavor, and you need coarse ground coffee.
2. Pure extracts will make your coffee way too delicious
Another option, and the one I abuse the most, is to use extracts in your coffee.
You never need much, just a couple of drops, and they go a long way.
For example in the morning I switch between almond and vanilla extracts when using regular milk. When I use coconut milk in my coffee, I add a drop of rum extract. Not real rum, just the extract.
This is to mimic one of my favorite candies/desserts, the coconut-rum-chocolate balls.
Of course, there are some extract that aren't as great and you need to be careful which you buy. Like vanilla which is the natural flavor, and vanillin which is the synthetic version and it will taste different to real vanilla.
A quick rundown of extracts that could go well with coffee:
- vanilla for a light flavor
- rum and a tropical drink
- almond for a slightly bitter-sweet flavor
- hazelnut for Nutella-like coffee
- orange, if you're feeling Christmasy
There might be other extracts that I'm not aware of, but these are the ones I've noticed go well with coffee.
3. Caramel sauce will be always welcome in coffee
Another wonderful addition is caramel sauce. It's one of the most loved sauces, after chocolate sauce. No wonder, since it's such a great taste.
And if you want to be extra-flavorful, you could get salted caramel sauce and make your coffee even better.
If you do get caramel sauce, remember that the thicker sauce will be better in coffee than the syrup that is sometimes sold as flavoring.
4. Fruit sauces to give coffee a nice, summery vibe
And who here has never had an ice coffee, or a latte, or frappe, with some fruity sauce thrown in the mix ?
No one ?
Might be a European thing, then.
One my favorite fruit sauces is strawberry sauce, just glazed on the inside of a cold, iced frappe. It blends beautifully with the deep, dark coffee flavor and will even manage to lighten up the drink.
Do remember that this is strawberry, so it might become too much for some people.
Other options I've seen used with success are cherry sauces, forest fruit sauces (no seeds), and even a watermelon one. Yep.
Oh, and banana. Banoffee is a thing, after all. No sense in not mentioning one of the best combinations possible.
5. Flowery notes like lavender or rose to lift your coffee
It might not sound like the best combination, but hear me out.
Flowery notes can and do work with darker drinks like coffee, you just have to have the right coffee.
This means an Arabica bean, and a lightly roasted one at that.
This is because a light roast will not darken the overall tone of the coffee, and if you've got a nice Arabica with a fruity or flowery tone to begin with, then adding more flowers will only improve the flavor.
Of course, this is a drink that would go best without any milk, though I've seem others adding just a dash of 2%.
One option is to add lavender flowers, since these are so well perfumed, and well loved by pretty much anyone who is into flavors and fragrances.
Another option, if you like your coffee a bit muskier, is to add rose petals or buds to the brewing coffee, and get a nice rose flavor. Of course, them smell will be very strong, but that's roses for you.
If you'd like, you can even try jasmine flowers, as those are use in making jasmine tea and give a great deep flavor.
Change what you sweeten your coffee with
You might know this, or you might not. But white sugar is the plainest taste you can get in your coffee. In that. it's just sweet, without adding anything else.
This is because the molasses was completely extracted out of it. otherwise it would be brown sugar. So let's talk sweeteners a bit.
1. Brown sugar for a light caramel tone
Switching your white sugar with brown will add more of a caramel tone to your coffee. And once you drink a cup of coffee with white sugar and one with brown, you'll notice the difference.
I switched to brown sugar after my first internship. The company kitchen had everything on stock, and that's where I first saw brown sugar, and actually tried it.
After my first cup of brown sugar coffee, I went out and brought myself a bag. And it's been the only sugar we use in the house, since 2016.
The darker you get your sugar, the more moisture it will have. It will look like its clumping together, but it's actually the molasses that's binding all the crystals.
In this case, darker is better, and more flavorful.
2. Molasses will make your coffee taste even richer
If you really want to go all the way, get a bottle of molasses and you'll be in for a whole, new world. Molasses itself isn't necessarily sweet, but it adds a new dimension to your coffee.
It'll be slightly bitter is you use too much, so I suggest you use it in conjunction with the brown sugar.
Your coffee will get very dark, so be warned.
3. Maple syrup will add a nutty flavor
And maple syrup. Really, I don't think there's enough of this stuff going around.
True, adding it in coffee will mute its flavor a bit, so I recommend your use maple syrup for low sugar coffee.
You'll get just enough sweetness to not complain, and the wonderful nutty flavor of maple syrup to remind you of pancakes.
This stuff does run out quickly when you add it in coffee, so if you end up liking it make sure to stock up.
(If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.)
Adding powdered spices will warm up your coffee even more
Yet another option - there's even more to come, hold on - is to add some sort of spice to your coffee.
Of course, this can be done alongside everything I've discussed so far.
1. A pinch of chili will brighten your coffee in the winter
If you like chili chocolate, you might like chili coffee.
Of course, go easy with this seasoning as it will knock your socks off if you add too much.
But it's a nice pepper-up that's going to get you on your feet real fast in the winter mornings.
Add just a hint of salt - it helps in milk coffee, don't make that face - and you're going to get a very interesting coffee. Yes, sugar is included here, don't worry.
2. A bit of cinnamon to bring autumn into your coffee
When you add cinnamon to coffee, you're going to have to get creative. I've explained it here.
The best method would be to use coarse ground cinnamon, and brew your coffee with a French press, to get all the flavor into your drink.
Of course, if you're using whipped cream as a topping, you can dust a little cinnamon as well.
Don't worry if your cinnamon doesn't dissolve in your coffee. It can't, since it's the bark of a tree, so there's no way it's going to disappear.
But you can infuse it into your drink.
3. Nutmeg is a nice seasonal addition
And nutmeg ! Freshly ground or grated nutmeg, for the best flavor ever.
As with cinnamon, nutmeg won't dissolve into your drink but it will sink to the bottom of the drink if it's good.
Or, if you're rather use a simpler version, you can use nutmeg essential oil. As a matter of fact, you can get cinnamon essential oil as well, and use a hint of that in your drink.
4. Pumpkin spice mix. You know you want to.
Nothing screams autumn like pumpkin spice lattes. Basic or not, I don't care, it's a favorite for many and it was bound to end up on this list.
The best part is, you can make your own pumpkin spice mix at home, since that's where it all started.
You'll need cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. The exact measurements are up to you, since it depends on which you like the most.
I'd advise you t go easy on the cloves.
Or, you could just buy pre-made pumpkin spice mix and have things easier.
'Tis the season to drink coffee !
Since we're getting seasonal, and have already passed autumn with the flavorings here, let's get to winter.
For most people one smell or taste will instantly remind them of Christmas.
For me it's orange jelly candies, coated in dark chocolate. It was part of an assortment of Christmas candies we got every year, and those were my favorites.
Which is why my Christmas is always orange and dark chocolate. I still get them each year. But there are other flavors as well.
1. Just a hint of peppermint oil
For example peppermint. It's the main ingredient in those ridiculous but delicious candy canes, and it's something that's stuck with many folks as a winter holiday scent.
Odd though, I'm not sure who made peppermint popular in winter but I'm glad they did.
Usually, you'd find peppermint in those candies I mentioned, or in some chocolate, like thin mints.
What about your coffee ? I've had coffee with a drop of peppermint, and it's a very interesting combination. If you don't like thin mints you won't like this one either.
I do though, but only as a seasonal treat.
If you do decide to add peppermint oil, please add less than a drop. Just touch the teaspoon to the essential oil, and it's enough.
Peppermint essential oil is strong, almost too strong.
If you use this i combination with some chocolate sauce, it's going to end up as the most amazing mocha ever.
2. Any cream liquor - like whiskey cream, brandy cream, etc.
You might like cream liquor, or you might not. Again, this isn't for everyone.
But it's something that crops up in the winter more often, so I'm including this here.
And also because I need an excuse to include whiskey cream.
Any cream will do, as long as you like it. You can even add coffee cream to your coffee, and have a little Pimp My Ride (Coffee ?) moment.
The possibilities are endless, and this means you can pervert an Irish coffee any way you want. Just swap the pure whiskey with the cream liquor, like for example strawberry cream.
Do go easy on them.
3. Eggnog. It's always going to be great in coffee.
Ah, eggnog. Again, it might not be for everyone, but it's one of the key elements of Christmas.
Traditional, you could say. Even if you don't like it, your grandma would find your lack of eggnog disturbing.
So, make your grandma happy and put a little in your coffee.
While it might be too sweet sometimes, the coffee will take the edge off and mellow it out.
As always, homemade is going to be best. So remember this when December rolls around.
Try switching up your milk to get a whole new drink
Alright, we've talked about all the flavors you can add to your coffee. But if you add milk to your coffee (I do), then changing even that is going to give you a whole new drink.
1. Coconut milk for a tropical vibe
This is my go-to plant milk, and it's great when combined with rum extract. I've found almond extract works well too.
The point is that coconut milk is going to have some fat content in it. I recommend you leave the fat in, which is just coconut butter, because it's going to add a lot of flavor that isn't present in the milk itself.
It's most probably going to be solid, especially if you keep it in the fridge.
I usually add 2 heaping teaspoons of coconut milk to my coffee, and top off with whole milk.
It gives the whole a combination between tropical, and home.
My other would make some pasties very similar to coconut-rum balls when I was little, and the taste has stuck with me ever since.
2. Almond milk for a nutty, flavorful coffee
Almond milk, if you like almond, is going to give your coffee a very different taste. But it's going to be a welcome difference, and you'll be glad you tried this one.
I recommend you get sweetened almond milk, even if you're aiming for low sugar coffee. The unsweetened variety is a bit harsh.
This is going to go well with many of the powdered spices I mentioned before, like cinnamon or pumpkin spice.
3. Rice milk for a warm, slightly salty taste
If you're like to avoid almonds, then rice milk will be a good option.
It's not as flavorful, and might feel a little powdery on the tongue. But it's a great milk to have around the house, and one that I've noticed goes very well with coffee.
It's got a 'warm' flavor, I don't know how to explain it better. It doesn't taste like steamed rice, no worries.
And it's a bit salty, just a little bit, which again goes great with coffee.
4. Cashew milk for a thicker coffee
Cashew milk is a little on the thicker side, compared to pretty much any other plant milk out there.
So if you like cashews, and are looking for a light coffee creamer, then cashew milk might be what you're looking for.
It's definitely going to make your coffee taste and feel better, a bit thicker, and it goes well with pretty much anything you add to it. Maybe not peppermint, though.
Whichever of these flavors you use, I hope you like it.
Trying out new things with your coffee is exciting, since you're always going to get some new combinations you never thought were possible. Or that you'd ever like.
It's how I learned I'm okay with coconut butter in my coffee, actually.
Now, you can just keep things simple and add a bit of cinnamon or pumpkin spice and be done with it. But I recommend you try the rest of the flavors as well, since I'm sure you'll love them.
If you want to know more about coffee or tea, feel free to check the related articles below. Who knows what else you might find ?