Making winter coffee taste great is easy and fun. Gather your favorite ingredients together and add them to your brew.
We all know the feeling.
Rubbing your hands together, wrapping your arms around yourself, and stomping your feet. The tip of your nose is icy cold and you can see your breath.
There is no better time than winter to enjoy the warmth and comfort of cuddling up with warm socks, a blanket, and something warm to drink. Cats, books, and a crackling fire are optional add-ons.
So now you may be asking – what is winter coffee all about?
Coffee is our go-to all year round. But coffee in winter is special. When winter sets in and starts getting chilly, there are a few ways we can spice up our favorite drink.
Let’s have a look at some ideas of how to kick your coffee up a notch (or two) and warm you up from the inside out!
Creating winter spiced coffee is very easy. Simply mix your chosen spices with the ground coffee in the coffee maker.
Alternatively, place a stick of cinnamon into the filter basket of your favorite percolator, drip machine, or Moka pot, for example.
Other equally delicious options could be:
Another option is to place whole spices into the bag of coffee beans. This ensures a slow and gentle infusion of flavors.
The longer you leave the spices, the more intense the final flavor.
You could use:
We can also infuse hot milk with spices.
This is probably the easiest method to control the strength of the aromatic punch of the spice in our cup. Because the milk is extra, we can play around with the richness of flavor and the creamy texture by adding more or less of our infused milk.
You can easily infuse milk.
Another delicious option, with renowned anti-inflammatory properties, is “Golden Milk”. Golden Milk is an elixir believed to aid in:
It is packed with antioxidants and is said to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It originated in India, but in recent years it has become popular worldwide.
It does vary in terms of ingredients and the preparation method. It is usually made by heating coconut oil and blooming warming spices such as cinnamon, ginger, anise or cardamom, and turmeric.
Turmeric gives the resulting golden milk its signature color.
Later, honey is added to create a paste. Finally, add milk to taste and heat over a low flame.
Golden milk lattes are the perfect combination of exotic spices, warmth, and creamy comfort.
Vanilla is a classic that we all know and love. Combined with coffee, it adds a smooth sweetness and depth of flavor, combined with its rich scent.
Is there anything more comforting than rich, creamy cocoa? The perfect balance of sweet, bitter, and delicate floral flavors. A slight acidity may be noticeable and is reminiscent of dried fruit.
Cinnamon is a little spicy, woody and sweet – in fact, its name is said to come from the ancient Greek word for “sweet wood”.
It is both calming and warming, aids in digestion, and helps to balance blood sugar levels too. Cinnamon is deliciously fragrant and a firm favorite used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Aromatic nutmeg adds a nutty flavor while being sweet, warm, and spicy. It is quite intense, and a little goes a long way.
Star anise is beautiful and adds a festive touch when added whole to a cup of coffee. It has a unique sweetness and tastes similar to licorice.
Similar to cinnamon and nutmeg, cloves are strongly aromatic and are easily recognizable. They are powerfully fragrant, refreshingly sweet, and spicy.
In large doses, cloves can be bitterly astringent. This is due to the component eugenol.
Cloves are an essential oil with both antiseptic and anesthetic properties.
Cardamom in coffee is a Turkish tradition that adds an exotic twist. it brings the bustling bazaars of the Ottoman Empire to mind.
Its warm flavor is reminiscent of a blend of cinnamon and cloves but distinctly more herbal and citrusy. Cardamom combines perfectly with several flavors – such as coffee, chocolate, or orange.
Ginger can work exceptionally well as a winter-warmer and has numerous properties. We can use ginger both fresh or dried but need to be careful with the amount used.
Ginger is strong and spicy and can deal quite a punch!
All of the spices discussed are tried and tested favorites to add to our coffee. However, they also can be blended together in a variety of ways to create deliciously unique results.
Combinations such as nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon, are classic at Christmas time. The aroma is reminiscent of mince pies and carol singing.
A sprinkling of orange zest really boosts these flavors.
Cinnamon and vanilla give our cup of coffee a flavor of a freshly baked cookie – sweet and warm from the oven.
We can make our own spice blends or use commercial mixes such as pumpkin spice! Pumpkin spice is a combination of several spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
It is a firm favorite to add to lattes.
There is a myriad of winter coffee recipes to choose from. You can experiment with winter lattes, making a spicy winter cappuccino, or adding extra impact to your winter espresso drinks.
Everyone has their own favorite spices and/or alcoholic tipple
Use these in your coffee brew to make delicious warm coffee drinks all winter long.
We can spice up our black coffee by infusing the flavors while brewing the coffee. Alternatively, add flavored sugars.
Cinnamon sugar is quick and easy to mix together and have on hand.
Stir into coffee or hot chocolate, sprinkle liberally over warm and buttery pancakes or add crunch to cinnamon rolls.
Sugar is a great carrier for flavor.
Adding citrus zest to sugar adds a perfect contrast to the sweetness. Lavender flowers are an unusual but delicious option to add delicate floral notes to our cup.
Honey is also a fantastic way to ramp up the complexity of the taste profile. Different kinds of honey have their own particular flavors.
These depend on the time of the year and flowers harvested by the bees.
Other delicious liquid sweeteners include maple syrup or agave syrup. These are vegan friendly too.
We can also make a simple sugar syrup infusion. Simply boil together equal parts of sugar and water and add our spices.
This creates a strongly flavored sweetener that we can store and have on hand.
Combinations could include:
Spiced lattes are the epitome of creamy comfort.
Coffee made with a high percentage of milk or cream is that much richer and offers a well-rounded flavor. It is topped off with a more luscious mouthfeel.
Try out a selection of winter latte flavors by adding or combining sweet and savory spices. You will be surprised how many variations there are.
Adding a dram of your alcoholic beverages to your cup of coffee boosts the warming sensations of the drink.
Irish coffee with whiskey is a classic. However, there are countless options to suit every palate!
Here are some options to create exotic coffee drinks you and your friends will love.
Rum is a Caribbean classic.
Rum is distilled from the molasses syrup extracted during the sugar production process. It is sweet, with caramel tones.
Schnapps is a sweet and typically fruity flavored liqueur. It originated in Germany and the surrounding areas.
Common flavors include:
apple, peach, berry, melon, and lemon, as well as mint and toffee.
Whiskey was born in Ireland, with the grain distillation techniques quickly spreading to Scotland. Whiskey has sweet (almost vanilla-like) smoky flavors.
Included are hints of the wood used to make the casks that the whiskey is aged in. The toasting process of the malt is also mirrored in the final product.
Kahlua is a coffee liqueur. It is made from Mexican coffee beans harvested in the southwestern region of the country and rum.
The sweetness balances out the bitterness of the coffee. It is creamy, full-bodied, and rich.
Classic Bailey’s is usually enjoyed cold, served neat over ice, or, for an extra indulgent treat, ice-cream. It has a signature velvety texture and creamy sweetness.
This comes from the perfect blend of Irish whiskey, full cream, pure cacao, and vanilla.
Baileys is an exceptional addition to coffee and can be added to espresso, a latte, or even an iced coffee. Let’s not forget about adding a splash of Bailey’s to hot chocolate, too!
Frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur, with its uniquely shaped bottle, originates in Northern Italy. The nutty tones pair exceptionally well with both coffee and chocolate.
It is not a cream-based liqueur. This means it can be enjoyed in both black coffee or lattes.
Amaretto also has its origins in Northern Italy. Its name comes from the diminutive of the Italian word for “bitter”.
The liqueur is made from apricot stones and almonds. These give the drink the distinctive flavor profile of sweet/bitter.
It is famous for its use in Tiramisu, although it also pairs well with fresher, citrus flavors – such as lemon!
The Belgian chocolatier Joseph Drapp started the company in 1926. Since then, Godiva has been one of the best-known names in the industry.
Godiva Chocolate Liqueur is rich in flavor, smooth, and decadent. The ultimate in chocolate indulgence.
It comes in three versatile flavor variations: chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate.
Grand Marnier is an orange liqueur. A blend of cognac and bitter oranges favored for use in desserts or cocktails.
It is also commonly enjoyed as a digestif.
While the combination of coffee and orange may be an unexpected match, the two flavors pair particularly well. Especially when using a darker roast of coffee.
Just because it is winter does not necessarily mean that iced coffee options are off the table!
In our warm and cozy homes, we can indulge in cold options too. Cold-brewed coffee and iced coffee are just as doable.
They can be spruced up with all the flavorings, spices, and creams that can be added to a hot cup of coffee. Cold coffees are particularly enjoyable served with ice cream, as they will not cause it to melt!
Experiment with different ice cream flavors. Choose from classic flavors such as vanilla or chocolate to rum and raisin, almond, or even coconut.
You can also play around with your favorite toppings:
With such a wide array of flavor options, you can play around all winter long. Experiment to find your favorite combination.
No matter your preference, the cold weather ushers in an excellent opportunity to make delicious winter coffee drinks to enjoy.
Not necessarily. If drinking outdoors, instead of your hot drink getting cold very quickly make yourself a cold coffee brew. A cold brew or iced coffee can be just as delicious and have as many "mixers" added as hot coffee.
There are 2 types of cold coffee drinks. These are known as iced coffee or cold brew. Iced coffee is black coffee poured over ice and flavored with milk or sweeteners. Cold brew is coffee filtered slowly over 12 hours or more and served at room temperature or cold.
There are many spices that, once added, will make your coffee very special to drink. Some spices that complement coffee are nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves to name a few.
The list of alcohol that can be added to coffee is endless. These include both spirits and liqueurs. Spirits will include whiskey, brandy, and rum and liqueurs will include Kahlua, Baileys, Amaretto, and many more.
You can mix almost anything into coffee. Spices, spirits, liqueur, flavored syrups, infused milk, infused sugars, cocoa and chocolate, ice cream and marshmallows are all on the list.