I don’t know about you, but coffee shops being closed for the last couple of months hasn’t lessened my craving for caffeine in the slightest. Stopping my daily coffee consumption, therefore, wasn’t an option even though my coffee-making skills are far below the barista level. I started drinking cold brew with half a cup of almond milk every morning as soon as I got home, but that got boring fast. So I started researching different ways to make my morning coffee more flavorful and exciting. Here are five delicious and healthy ways to do just that! Most of these are for iced coffee, but a few can work for hot drinks, too.
A coffee “kreation”
Kreation is a juice bar with locations around Los Angeles, and calling their beverages overpriced would be an understatement. Thankfully, they list their ingredients. Recreating their $12 vanilla latte is incredibly simple, delicious and much more cost-effective than buying it. Start by pouring cold brew and almond milk (or really, whatever milk you want) into a cup; you can choose the ratio of one to the other based on how strong you like your coffee. Add in some vanilla extract and sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon on top. The final ingredient: coconut sugar! I know this is kind of a weird ingredient that not everyone has, so if you don’t have it, normal brown sugar should do the trick.
Try a non-dairy milk or creamer!
I was vegan for over three years and, while I was suspicious of nut milks at first, they’re all I drink now (even though I’m no longer vegan). From classics like soy and almond milk to newer options like oat, cashew and hazelnut milk, the choices are almost endless. So if you’re getting bored of your daily splash of milk or creamer in your coffee, consider getting something like this barista almond milk blend (it’s used in almost every coffee shop) or one of these non-dairy creamers next time you need to stock up!
Missing Starbucks frappuccinos? Well, it turns out there’s an easy (and much healthier) way to recreate a similar drink at home. Simply take your normal morning coffee and put it in a blender with a frozen banana (and some ice cubes if you want it a little thicker); the banana will sweeten the drink and make it into a delicious creamy mixture. Feel free to add other ingredients like cacao powder, chocolate chips or vanilla extract to flavor your blended coffee and make it even more like a frappuccino!
Cold brew ice cubes
Here’s the thing with most iced coffees: unless you manage to drink it in under five minutes, the ice starts to melt and unpleasantly waters down your drink. Until last summer, I didn’t think there was a solution to this conundrum. Then I saw cold brew ice cubes on my friend Zelle’s Instagram (one of her photos is featured above). Whether you use an ice tray or a Ziploc bag (or even an egg carton) to freeze your coffee, this is a perfect way to make your coffee last longer and stay delightfully cold the whole time you drink it.
Make your own flavoring/syrup
Flavoring syrups at coffee shops are usually full of artificial ingredients that can taste good but 1) aren’t always the healthiest and 2) are essentially impossible to recreate at home. That being said, making your own flavoring syrup to add to your daily coffee is remarkably easy. No matter if you like vanilla lattes, mochas, caramel macchiatos, or really any other flavored coffee drink, there are so many recipes out there that allow you to recreate your coffee shop order, no matter how complicated, at home.
With summer just around the corner, iced coffee is, at least for me, a key way to stay both cool and energized when too-hot weather saps my motivation to even stand up. And now it can taste better than it ever has with these strategies to change up your daily recipe!