The Exotic Bean

Five Unbelievable Additives You Can Put in Coffee

You Won’t Believe What People Put in Their Coffee

image of butter in coffee

Are you sick and tired of the same old cup of coffee? Maybe you’ve already tried cream and sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and nutmeg and they just aren’t giving your morning (or afternoon) brew the kick in the pants that you were hoping for. Well, lucky for you, people have been looking for things to enhance the flavor, body, or color of coffee for quite some time, and with varying degrees of success.

Beyond the thousand flavors of not so healthy sugar syrups they stock at the local drive-through espresso stand, there are a few stand-out oddities in the coffee enhancing world that you may want to try. Here are five such additives that you may not believe people add to their cup of coffee, that is — until you try them for yourself.

1 – Egg

This one purportedly comes from the Scandinavian of the frozen north and involves stirring a raw egg into your grounds prior to brewing your coffee. It doesn’t so much change the flavor as it refines the coffee itself, producing a clearer, lighter-bodied brew. This isn’t terribly surprising if you know anything about brewing beer or making wine.

In order to clarify a liquid that is cloudy, a little bit of a fining agent is mixed in and then filtered out. Traditional fining agents for beer and wine include egg whites, bulls blood, and clay.

2 – Butter

This one hit the Internet by storm last year along with many health claims regarding combining the essential fatty acids (EFAs) in butter (especially expensive, unpasteurized, grass-fed butter) with the naturally high antioxidant content of coffee. Most of the health claims have since been debunked. However, the resulting brew that comes from mixing butter into hot coffee has an interesting silkiness and flavor to it that cannot be denied.

3 – Beer

The practice of adding liquor or liqueurs to coffee enjoys a rich tradition. But have you ever considered adding beer to your coffee? For an after dinner treat, mix a few ounces of your favorite stout, porter, doppelbock, or another full body non-bitter dark ale with an equal portion of coffee. In the morning, it’s better to use something lighter like a domestic lager.

Note: heavily hopped beers have a tendency to increase the bitter flavor profile of coffee, producing something that most people find barely drinkable.

4 – Pine Nuts

In southern Colorado and throughout New Mexico, they have been grinding their coffee beans together with pine nuts for quite some time. The resulting brew seems sweetened and flavored with a variety of spices when it actually is not. You can make this concoction yourself, or order in pre-mixed and ground coffee from the source over the web.

image of chicory and coffee

5 – Chicory

Lastly, chicory root has been mixed with coffee in Louisiana for centuries. Chicory has a similar flavor to coffee and has been a main ingredient in instant decaf coffee for decades. The resulting brew from a mix of ground chicory and ground coffee is both earthier and more herbaceous in flavor than coffee is on its own.

Coffee Is Also Quite Good on Its Own

After working through all of these potential enhancements for coffee, you may find that you like the flavor of coffee just fine by itself. Or, you never know, you may find a concoction that changes your life. Happy experimenting!