I wrote about some studies on coffee’s emerging health benefits here. Coffee tastes great all on its own to me, but I like to make some additions to my java quite often adding even more health benefits wherever I can. It’s a cinch and here is how I do it.
And, for the tea drinkers out there (which I am as well), you can add these, too! (And, there are loads of health benefits to tea. Here are some specifics on those special leaves, too.)
EXTRAS TO ADD TO YOUR COFFEE OR TEA FOR GREAT TASTE AND HEALTH
Come along and jazz up your cup of tea or coffee with some of these additions. Sometimes, I add spices to my coffee which jam in a lot of healthy goodness in them. You certainly don’t have to consume a whole lot to extract their flavor and their good-for-you health benefits. (If you are interested, click here listing those health benefits.)
Here are a few things in your spice cabinet . . . and elsewhere you may want to try adding to your coffee or tea to change it up a bit and give you the benefits of some healthy antioxidants and phytonutrients:
1. You can add a few cardamom seeds three ways:
- Use whole seeds and throw them in to the ground coffee beans or to the tea leaves in the strainer before adding the hot water.
- Grind a small handful when grinding your coffee.
- Sprinkle ground cardamom loosely after it has been brewed.
2. Chinese five spice offers a distinct flavor combination of several spices. I have to be in the mood for it, but I like it for a change. Chinese five spice is a mixture of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper and fennel seeds typically. It makes for a unique cup!
3. You can brew your coffee or tea with a cinnamon stick like they do in Mexico or add ground cinnamon to the tea leaves in a tea strainer or ground coffee beans in the filter. Make sure it Ceylon cinnamon as it has the health benefits listed here.4. Nutmeg adds a warming kick. I shave the whole nutmeg with a microplane into the grounds or use it loosely as well.
5. I don’t do this often but you can add a few pieces of organic citrus peel to your grounds or tea leaves for a refreshing twist. Here are some other neat things to do with citrus peel, too. This is a really nice addition when making iced tea, as well!
6. Extracts can give a fun, fat-free flavoring to anything. A drop or two to the grounds or loose tea is nice. Maple, vanilla extracts are two I tried but there are loads more to drop in.
AND A FEW TIPS . . .
Here are a few suggestions when adding spices and extras to your tea and coffee:
1. I brew my coffee using the pour-over method so I just add my extras to the filter with the ground coffee and the clean-up is a snap. You could do that with any filtering method as well. A french press should work fine as well adding whatever you wish to the bottom of the pot with your grounds. If making loose tea, add the spices to the tea strainer method you use as well. You can also add bagged tea to a strainer and add your spices. That works!
2. If you are using tea, I would suggest loose black tea as it would blend well with these spices, but let me know if you try something different in the comments. I would like to learn all about that.
3. Go easy with adding these at first to make sure you like the flavoring. You can always add more next time. I don’t really measure but depending on the spice, start with 1/4 teaspoon to the tea leaves or a bit more to coffee grounds and go from there.
4. I would not combine too many things at once as the taste could get muddled or a little overwhelming, but if you do and you like the result, please share! (Or even if you don’t like it, share anyway!)
SHOP COFFEE AND TEA PREP
Here are some helpful tools to make your best cup of tea or coffee in style:
- Here are even more healthy additions from your fridge to pile on.
- A great afternoon drink to sip and watch your energy soar is right here.