Who of you still remembers the time when you ordered a cappuccino and got a cup with cream topping and cinnamon and chocolate powder? (By the way, that’s what’s still being served in the small-town bakeries in the North German Plain).
This crazy-sweet calorie bomb really had nothing to do with cappuccino – but whoever likes it… Which brings us to the undisputed number 1 of all coffee additives.
Whether as milk foam, latte art, plant milk, condensed milk, cold milk: It is still the unbeaten favorite of all coffee refiners. By the way, this is also true for our taste (although: condensed milk, well, rather not). Milk does not only complement coffee flavors quite elegantly. It also seems to significantly improve the health-promoting aspects of coffee due to its antioxidants (applies only to cow’s milk), as described in a study by the University of Copenhagen.* Well then….
Currently, lemon coffee is very hyped – which, as we all know, is a good remedy for headaches, but for sure not everyone’s cup of tea (or rather coffee). Honestly, it is not for us: We like to drink a glass of lemon water with (!) our espresso or coffee. That works too (vitamin C boosts the metabolism) and tastes much better. By the way, coffee and health is a pretty interesting topic – We’ve compiled the most important facts for you here: „How healthy is coffee?“
Some people find coffee too bitter. And that’s why they sprinkle salt in their coffee. Hm. It works, salt influences the taste perception, as shown in an experiment from the mid-1980s:
In 1986 biochemist Gregory Mooser from the University of Southern California published a study proving that sodium chloride affects our tongue’s taste receptors: According to the experiment, bitter flavors are perceived less intensely through salt.** But…
Coffee is not bitter – if it has been produced and prepared properly. Of course, it contains bitter substances, which are absolutely necessary to create a harmonic balance with the sweet and sour components of the coffee, to make it taste good. In our blog post “Coffee is too bitter for me” we explain how that works and how you can influence this harmonic interplay of grinding degree, water temperature, and so on. This much we can tell you: You really don’t have to be a barista to do it.
Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, chili – with such “exotic” spices you can easily refine your coffee – especially if it is a mocha. Cardamom, for example, is said to be good for stomach ailments because the Indian spice has an antispasmodic effect. We enjoy it very much because it gives the coffee a “cooling” note in the summer. And this is how it’s done: Either finely grind the spices (cardamom, clove, chili) and add 1 pinch (!) to the coffee powder, then brew it. Some people also put a cinnamon stick or vanilla bean into the coffee grounds for a few days. This would be more of a second choice for us, as we always grind the coffee fresh. If we want cinnamon, vanilla, or cocoa we add it to the ground coffee before brewing it (see above). But what we do not do, never ever: Dump syrup into the freshly brewed coffee. Sorry. No. No matter if it’s bought or homemade – we don’t put it in there. It’s too strong for us. Too sweet. Too… everything. Our coffee is simply too precious for that.
With rum, with orange liqueur, vodka, whiskey, … you name it. There are lots of recipes for coffee with alcohol – just think of Irish Coffee, Café Caribbean and so on. Of course, it’s not something you just drink during the day. But an Espresso Martini, for example, is really delicious (especially since it doesn’t contain milk or cream). For us, the absolute favorite this summer. Never heard of it? Then check out the delicious recipe here: “Espresso Martini – the ultimate cocktail, not only for coffee fans.”
But if we are being completely honest – despite all these pretty and very tasty toppings and additives – we are still coffee purists. Just let these refined flavors (there are more than 800) melt in your mouth in an unadulterated way. It’s like a whole universe of nuances opens up.
How about you? Are you also more o f a purist? Or how do you “pimp” your favorite coffee? Tell us about it in the comments – maybe you’ve discovered something we don’t know yet.
*StudyPhenolic Acid–Amino Acid Adducts Exert Distinct Immunomodulatory Effects in Macrophages Compared to Parent Phenolic Acids, erschienen am 30. Januar 2023 im Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.