For many of us, our morning caffeine fix is the most important drink of the day and the one we look forward to most. If you like to start your day with a hot cup of coffee, you might already see it as a tried-and-tested ritual, something that doesn’t need changing – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun experimenting.
There are so many fun and delicious ways you can give your morning coffee routine a boost, from adding spices and syrups to changing the temperature. And who knows, you might find you discover a new favourite way to drink this invigorating brew.
So, to get you inspired, here are 10 ways to upgrade your morning coffee routine.
1. Choose a better bean
When it comes to the type of coffee you’re drinking, it’s easy to stick with a habit and pick up the same coffee you’ve drunk for years – but there are so many excellent coffees to explore. Decent coffee doesn’t have to cost a lot, either, especially if you’re willing to give smaller brands a go.
Whole beans are generally the freshest, although pre-ground coffee tends to be more convenient – though this does depend on the type of coffee machine you have and how quickly it can grind beans. If you don’t have a coffee machine, you can use either a stovetop Moka pot or a French press (also known as a cafetière), to make fresh coffee. Have a read of this article from Home Grounds to compare their benefits.
Moka pots and French presses are affordable too, unlike some fancy coffee machines. If you drink instant coffee, it’s worth checking out alternatives, as the flavour and quality of freshly ground beans can’t be beaten! However, if you like instant coffee for convenience, why not experiment with other brands? For ideas on some of the best instant coffee to buy, check out this guide by Olive Magazine.
2. Change the temperature
While many of us look forward to a steaming cup of coffee in the morning – particularly at this time of year – you might want to keep an open mind when it comes to changing up the temperature. Cold brew coffee, or even iced coffee, isn’t just for summer, and swapping between hot and cold coffee throughout the week can stop your morning coffee routine from getting stale.
So, why not have a go at making cold-brew coffee? Cold brew coffee is easy to make; simply pour cold water over ground coffee, and leave it to brew overnight. The next day, stir and sieve the coffee to separate the grounds and liquid, and enjoy. Cold-brewing results in concentrated coffee that’s smoother and less acidic. Follow this guide by BBC Good Food to make your own cold brew.
Alternatively, why not make some iced coffee? The great thing about iced coffee is that you can make a big batch to keep in the fridge and enjoy a glass whenever you get a craving, iced coffee lasts in the fridge for at least three days. To make your own iced coffee, check out this guide by Olive Magazine.A
3. Add flavoured syrups
If you typically add sugar to your coffee, why not mix things up and experiment with flavoured coffee syrups? Not only are these easy ways to add a dash of sweetness, but they also can add all kinds of delicious flavours to your coffee – and, when measured and used properly, can complement many of the complex flavours found in coffee beans like vanilla, nuts, toasted coconut, and fruit.
Plus, it’s an easy way to recreate your favourite coffee shop drinks. Pumpkin spice and cinnamon syrups are perfect for making cosy, autumn-inspired coffees, while vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut go well with iced coffees and cold brews. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, why not try flavours like French toast, marshmallow, raspberry, or mint?
4. Mix up your milk
If you like to add milk to your coffee, you’re certainly not alone. Adding milk to coffee is a great way to bring the strength down and reduce the bitterness, and it can also actually enhance the flavour of some coffees. Plus, because you’re adding fat and protein, the texture and body of the coffee will change, too, becoming slightly thicker and more velvety.
If you’ve always used cow’s milk in your coffee, why not experiment with non-dairy milk? Back in 2020, one in three Brits reported drinking plant-based milk instead of cow’s milk, and four years later, this figure is believed to be much higher. Switching to any plant-based milk has significant environmental benefits compared to dairy, and they’re usually lower in fat and don’t contain any cholesterol.
Due to their creaminess, oat milk, soya milk, and almond milk are the most popular milk for adding to coffee, but if you’d like to find out more about which plant-based milk goes best in your cuppa, have a read of this guide by Rave Coffee – or for some wider information on different types of milk, we have our own guide here. And, if you’re already a plant milk convert, why not branch out? Rice, coconut, cashew, hemp, and pea milk are all delicious!
5. Froth your milk
Whatever type of milk you like in your coffee, you can transform your morning cuppa by giving it a good froth. If you like a nice foamy cappuccino when you’re in a coffee shop, it’s easier than you think to recreate that at home: simply buy a handheld milk frother!
These affordable gadgets make the milk extra foamy and creamy, and because they heat it, your coffee stays hot for longer too.
6. Spice it up
If you like the idea of adding flavours to your coffee but don’t want to use sweetened syrups, why not enhance your coffee by adding some spices? Adding some spice isn’t just an easy way to boost the flavour, but it also adds a lovely warming, comforting element, and has big health benefits too, as spices are packed with phytochemicals and nutrients. Remember less is more – you only need a pinch!
The best spices to sprinkle into your coffee – and those with the biggest benefits – include cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, and ginger. The warm flavours of these spices pair well with coffee and add depth to the taste of your drink without adding any sugar. Alternatively, if you’re not a fan of bitter coffee, try adding a pinch of salt, as this counteracts the bitter taste!
7. Add chocolate
Chocolate and coffee are best friends, so if you want to add either a touch of sweetness to your morning coffee, or a creamy depth of flavour – or both – you can’t go wrong with adding some chocolate. The creamy, velvety quality of chocolate beautifully offsets the rich, bold, naturally bitter taste of coffee without overpowering it, and there are many ways you can add it to your cup.
If you have a favourite chocolate, why not break off a square, put it in your mug, and pour your hot coffee over it, stirring it until it melts? Or, try sprinkling cacao nibs into your coffee for an intense earthy quality. You can also add some unsweetened cocoa powder to your drink, allowing you to benefit from chocolate’s rich flavour and antioxidant properties without adding any sugar.
8. Add citrus
Unlike chocolate, adding citrus to your coffee might not sound like the most obvious way to enhance the flavour – but you’d be surprised! While citrus fruit is acidic, it also helps neutralise bitter and acidic cups of coffee, and it can add brightness and crispness to your morning cup.
Rather than adding a squeeze of citrus juice, you’re better off using the peels or rinds; simply pop them into your cup and allow them to steep for a minute before removing. Generally speaking, citrus goes best with lighter and medium-roast coffees, and it works especially well in cold brewed coffees or iced coffees. Why not experiment with orange peel, lemon juice or zest, or grapefruit rind?
9. Try mushroom coffee
If you’ve never heard of mushroom coffee, it might sound rather alarming – but put thoughts of coffee with floating shiitakes on top out of your mind! Mushroom coffee is a blend of coffee beans and ground mushrooms which, when combined, produce a dark yet delicate, smooth and nutty coffee. Medicinal mushrooms like chaga and reishi are usually used rather than culinary mushrooms.
While mushroom coffee is a current trend, it’s no fad. Due to their powerful health benefits, like reduced anxiety and boosted immunity, medicinal mushrooms have been consumed in Asia for millennia, and many people insist the flavour isn’t very different from regular coffee.
If you’re unsure, why not try mixing it with normal coffee first? You’ll still reap the health benefits – and may develop a taste!
10. Drink your coffee mindfully
And finally, whether you’re interested in trying any of the suggestions above or you’re confident that you’re already drinking the best coffee you can, there’s another way you can upgrade your morning coffee routine. Taking time to savour your coffee, be present, and begin your day in a focused, unrushed manner, can go a long way in making sure your day is calm, productive, and stress-free.
Small things can make all the difference. Try using a cup you really love – and if you don’t have one, treat yourself to a new one! It’s a small but significant signal telling you that you’re worth the effort. Then, when you drink your coffee, try to find a peaceful space to enjoy it. You can sit in the garden, curl up on the sofa, or even bring your coffee back to bed to savour it under the covers.
Wherever you choose to drink your coffee, try to do it mindfully; hold your cup in both hands, feel the heat against your palms, inhale that invigorating scent, and take some breaths before sipping. Try to take this time to reflect on the day ahead – or the day just gone – and think about how you feel in the moment. You can even start pairing your morning coffee routine with some daily journaling!
If you feel that your day doesn’t really begin until you’ve had your morning cup of coffee, you’re certainly not alone. Not only is a good cup of coffee delicious, energising, and uplifting, but, when drunk in moderation, can provide powerful health benefits.
Rather than downing your morning coffee as quickly as possible because you’re in a rush, or because you want a caffeine hit, you’ll get much more out of it if you pour some love into it. Setting aside some time to enjoy your morning coffee – even if it’s just five minutes – won’t only help you slow down, but it’ll give your wellbeing levels a boost too.
Regardless of how much you like your current cup of coffee, you might want to try a few of the tips in this article. From experimenting with different beans, milk, and temperatures, and playing around with flavour by adding spice, syrups, citrus, and even salt, you might discover your new favourite beverage. And if nothing else, at least you won’t get stuck in a coffee rut…
What’s your favourite way to enjoy a morning coffee? Will you be trying any of the tips listed here? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.