Ideal for giving your cup the coffee shop treatment at home.

Are you missing your favourite high street cup of Joe? Do you feel yourself getting bored with the same old cafetiere crafted cup, each and every morning? If you’re looking for excitement, you’ve come to the right place…  

Most coffee lovers add a splash of milk or an extra spoonful of sugar to improve their morning coffee, and that’s about as adventurous as things get. But have you ever considered which other ingredients you could be adding to enhance the flavour and texture of your coffee? We spoke to coffee expert James Carter from Coffee Direct to bring you these; our 10 unusual ingredients to add to your morning coffee, IDEAL for giving your cup the Coffee Shop treatment at home.

EGG WHITES

Egg whites in coffee might sound bizarre, but this is a tried and tested method that can be traced back to the Nordic countries of Scandinavia. Raw egg, mixed with coffee grounds before brewing, can clarify and filter the coffee resulting in a much ‘purer’ taste. As well as this, it will give you a beautiful amber colour, a dose of fat free protein and no sediment in your morning coffee. Don’t knock it till you try it!

Alternatively, in Vietnam’s capital city Hanoi, you can try the famous ‘egg coffee’ (ca phe trung), which involves a strong cup of the good stuff enriched with egg yolks. Just delicious. If a flight to The Land Of The Blue Dragon is a push too far for a unique cup of coffee, why not simply make it at home?

CONDENSED MILK

Condensed milk is a much thicker, heavier and sweeter version of milk which comes in a tin can. In countries like Vietnam (yep, these guys sure do know their coffee) adding a tablespoon of condensed milk to your coffee is popular for a sweet and creamy makeover. Simply use condensed milk as a substitute for sugar; when paired with the dark, rich, chocolatey notes of native Vietnamese coffee, it creates an unctuous, totally addictive cup.

IDEAL Tip: Here at IDEAL we can’t resist a Vietnamese iced coffee (cà phê nâu đá) as a treat. Buy some Vietnamese coffee (we like Trung Nguyen’s Sang Tao 2) and if you don’t have a traditional Vietnamese drip filter, simply brew up a pot with a regular percolator and allow it to chill in the fridge. Once cool, add a spoonful of condensed milk to a glass, followed by three ice cubes and then the coffee. Stir and enjoy.

BUTTER

Also known as ‘bulletproof coffee’, adding butter to your coffee has roots in the traditional Tibetan Yak Butter tea but is now heralded by fitness junkies as a paleo-friendly start to the day. This powerhouse beverage plays a key role in intermittent fasting and ketogenic diets. Adding a teaspoon of butter can keep fast food cravings at bay and keep you satisfied throughout the day; interesting stuff.

MATCHA POWDER 

Say goodbye to coffee crashes with Matcha powder. Matcha is finely ground powder of processed green tea leaves, traditionally consumed in East Asia. It contains an amino acid called L-Theanine, which helps your body process the caffeine in coffee, providing you with both a less jittery experience and a more sustained alertness afterwards. As well as tasting delicious in your coffee, a spoonful of matcha powder can better mental focus and boost your immune system. 

OATMEAL

Adding oatmeal to your coffee is a staple with backpackers who want to cut back on doing the dishes when on the go. The idea is for the heat of the coffee to cook the raw oatmeal, creating an all-in-one breakfast to start the day. To add even more flavours to the mix, some backpackers add cinnamon or extra sugar to their morning ‘brew-fast’. 

We have to be honest; all we can think of when we hear about this particular breakfast is Mr. Bean trying to make coffee in his mouth. We’ll stick to washing dishes! 

COCONUT OIL

Coconut oil is known for its numerous health and skin benefits – but in coffee? Since coconut oil is a three-chain fatty acid, the liver processes it into energy instead of its being stored as fat. So if you are trying to reduce weight, adding a spoonful of coconut oil in your morning coffee can help boost your metabolism and make you feel more energised.

DARK CHOCOLATE 

Whilst this may not be the healthiest option, adding a chunk of dark chocolate into your coffee can help unleash the full potential of both flavours in one delicious drink. Typically, coffee tends to work best alongside dark chocolate that has more than 80% cocoa in it. However, we recommend you keep experimenting until you find the perfect combination that suits your tastes. 

ALCOHOL

For obvious reasons, moderation and timing are key with this next ingredient. Whilst alcohol may not be wise to add in your morning cuppa, it is a popular addition in countries such as Russia and Ireland. In Russia, some people add a shot of vodka to give them an extra pick-me-up, whilst in Ireland, they may add Jameson and whipped cream for a classic cup of Irish coffee. Save this one for Christmas day, perhaps? 

COCA-COLA 

Talk about a caffeine overload! Some people like to mix Coca-Cola with their coffee for that perfect sweet to bitter ratio, the bitterness coming from the black coffee and the sweetness from Coca-Cola’s natural caramel flavours. 

Start out with a medium roast coffee in order to make sure the flavour is not too diluted. This mix can be with both hot and cold coffee! Sounds good to us.

SALT

You probably don’t associate your regular table salt with your morning coffee. Truth is, neither do we. But some people actually add salt to coffee to mask the bitter flavour and neutralise the smell. Why would you want to do that, we ask?

The simple truth is that bitter coffee is either of a poor quality or has been badly roasted or brewed. Adding salt to mask the sub-standard flavour is only masking the flavour, not improving it, so we would suggest investing in better, richer coffee instead, rather than adding unecessary salt into your diet.