10 Ways to Give Your Coffee a Shot of Flavor

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Lunov Mykola)

There are plenty of sugars and sweeteners, and creamy dairy and non-dairy products to enhance our coffee. But those are far from the only way to boost the flavor of our morning brew. Whether black coffee is your beverage of choice or you prefer yours lighter or sweeter, there’s a way to up the flavor of coffee that’s just right for you.

1. Coconut Oil

That coconut oil in your pantry is good for more than just cooking. Blend a spoonful into your morning brew for a richer and more flavorful taste (and, of course, a hint of coconut). Just make sure you whip it up so it’s fully emulsified.

2. Condensed Milk

Condensed milk is the pantry ingredient with the power to turn your coffee into a totally luxurious treat. Inspired by Thai and Vietnamese coffee, a dollop of condensed milk will lighten your coffee and give it a sweet touch.

3. Chocolate

Chocolate lovers, rejoice — this is how to turn your coffee into a sweet treat. Add a few pieces of chopped chocolate (dark or milk) into a hot cup of coffee. Give it a minute to settle and melt, and then stir to combine. Instant mocha!

4. Cocoa Powder

If you’re not quite ready for the sweetness of a chocolate bar first thing in the morning, but aren’t one to turn your nose up at chocolatey flavor, reach for a spoonful unsweetened cocoa powder. Try sprinkling it over your grounds in a Chemex or French press before brewing.

5. Butter

You may also know this flavorful tactic as bulletproof coffee. For a velvety-smooth drink with extra-rich flavor, drop a pat of butter into your hot cup of coffee and blend it until it’s creamy and frothy.

6. Spices

Look to the spice cabinet for your coffee upgrade. Add ground spices like cinnamon, cardamom, or pumpkin pie spice, or even whole spices like cinnamon stick, star anise, or cloves to coffee grounds before brewing. The flavor from the spices will slowly get infused into the coffee for a soft, delicate flavor.

7. Flavored Extracts

This is one way I love to give flavored extracts, like vanilla, almond, and peppermint, new life outside of baking. A little goes a long way, so just add a small splash to your cup of coffee.

8. Sliced Ginger

Punch up your morning coffee with a spicy bite from a slice or two of fresh ginger. You can do this two different ways: Add it to the grounds before brewing, or add the slices to your freshly brewed cup and let the ginger steep for a few minutes before sipping.

9. Orange Zest

This is just one more reason to hang on to your orange zest and clementine peels. If citrus is your thing, try adding a strip of orange zest to the grounds before brewing your coffee.

10. Peppercorns

Give coffee a spicy kick by adding a few grinds of peppercorns (any color will work) to the grounds before brewing. A little can go a long way, so experiment to see what the right amount is for you.

Do you add any special touches to your coffee?