I don’t know about you, but I love flavored coffee.
A smooth French vanilla caresses my palate when I’m feeling down. A sweet hazelnut perks up my mouth. A decadent chocolate raspberry treats my taste buds to a luxurious coffee pick-me-up.
And as a proud New Englander and a lover of crisp autumn breezes, when September comes, I guzzle pumpkin spice coffee like lemonade in the summer.
Yes, flavored coffee is a wonderful treat. Not just for me, but for legions of other coffee fans.
Now, here’s a really awesome idea. Did you know that you could make your own flavored coffee at home?
It’s easier than you think. It’s fun, convenient, and inexpensive. In fact, you might already have lots of flavorful ingredients right in your kitchen!
And if you’re a loyal home barista, making your own flavored coffee can take your coffee-making skills to a whole new level.
Why Make Your Own Flavored Coffee?
First, most commercially sold flavored coffees are made with nasty chemicals. These flavors could be added by using natural ingredients, but chemicals are cheaper. Plus, it can be a sneaky way of covering up the bad taste of poor-quality beans that some companies use to save even more money.
One such example of a common chemical in flavored coffee is propylene glycol, which roasters add to coffee beans to saturate them with flavor.
But propylene glycol also happens to be the main component in making antifreeze. So if you put it in your car, why would you put it in your body?
Propylene glycol is also used to make the liquid in electronic cigarettes and is a common ingredient in certain medications. Doesn’t sound too appetizing, does it?
By making your own flavored coffee, you can add natural ingredients for a chemical-free version of your favorite drink. What’s more, you can use high-quality beans for the best aromas and tones possible.
Second, it’s economical. We all need to watch our pennies, and buying coffee gets pretty expensive, even if it’s just one cup every day.
A 2014 article by Bargain Babe reported that making one cup of coffee at home every day using the French press method added up to a cost $102.20 a year. Buying one cup every day, on the other hand, came out to a yearly cost of $876 dollars. With those figures, making coffee at home saved a whopping $773.80 per year.
By making your own flavored coffee, you can get a delicious beverage for only a fraction of the cost of store-bought coffee or coffee purchased at a big-name chain.
Furthermore, flavored coffee can be easily tailored to manual coffee brewing methods such as French press and pour over. By experimenting with homemade flavors, you can drop the drip and kick your coffee craft up another notch.
But the best reason of all to try homemade flavored coffee? Well… it’s fun! When it comes to awesome flavors, the possibilities to play around with are endless.
Even better, you can make your own versions of flavors that aren’t always available on the market. Can’t wait for autumn to enjoy pumpkin spice coffee? Crave a cup of gingerbread coffee after the holidays? By making flavored coffee yourself, you can indulge in your favorite seasonal flavors all year long.
Four Fantastic Ways to Make Your Own Flavored Coffee
Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pumpkin spice—there are limitless choices for using spices in flavored coffee. For even more variety, you can add cocoa powder or even dried fruits and nuts to your coffee.
Spices can be added to coffee by mixing them with coffee grounds or as you grind them yourself. You can also add your spices to stored coffee so that they absorb the odors and flavors. No matter which method you choose, spices are convenient, healthy ingredients for homemade flavored coffee.
You can choose either pure or imitation extracts, but pure ones provide a more intense flavor. When you use extracts to make flavored coffee, a good rule of thumb is to add them drop by drop, since a little bit goes a long way.
One ingredient I particularly like is Sweetleaf’s liquid stevia sweetener. It comes in a range of flavors that are perfect for coffee, such as vanilla and chocolate raspberry. Plus, it contains no sugar, calories, or artificial sweeteners, so it’s a fine option for coffee lovers who value fitness and health.
Things to Consider
Everybody has different tastes. So when you start experimenting with homemade flavored coffee, play around to see what works for you. Try different flavor combinations and keep tweaking them until you get the taste you’re looking for.
Another idea: Homemade flavored coffees make terrific gifts! You can even make special seasonal flavors for certain holidays, like chocolate flavors for Valentine’s Day or gingerbread spice for Christmas.
Put your flavored coffee in a special container decorated with a pretty ribbon and a sprig of plants or flowers depending on the time of year, and you’ve got a wonderful, thoughtful present sure to delight family and friends.
And just imagine how impressed they’ll be when they find out you made it yourself!
Ready to give making your own flavored coffee a whirl? Check out the links below for some great recipe ideas. Then put your individual spin on them and be your own barista!
What is your favorite way to spice up your coffee? Leave us a note!
Heather McNamara is a freelance writer who creates smart copy for smart readers. For her, the history and culture of coffee are a source of fascination, and consuming it (in considerable quantities) is a significant part of her creative process. When she’s not working, she enjoys reading, handicrafts, learning languages, and teasing her rescue dog for not having thumbs.