Ways to Reinvent Your Cup of Coffee

By Ann Hills / a few months ago

There is nothing quite as eye-opening as the scent of fresh coffee brewing first thing in the morning. The daily ritual is not only a great way to start the day but has numerous health benefits as well. And the taste. Like onions, it is an acquired one. Not a flavor your palette rejoices in partaking? That is alright. Coffee is not for everyone, but it can and should be. As an avid coffee drinker, the delightful beverage fills my cup far too often throughout the day. Not the wisest choice for an insomniac after five in the evening, but I can't help myself.

How is this possible you might wonder? Well, it all comes down to the brew. And yes, the right cup is an exact science. From the bean selection to the first sip is a process. A bit much, right? Not if you're looking to receive the antioxidants that promote healthy lifestyle choices in your daily grind.

If you think that even one cup of coffee is bitter to swallow, it is likely mind blowing that someone could drink over seven cups in one day to help prevent type 2 diabetes. The thing is, it's not the caffeine that does it so, don't get hyped that you could get the same benefits from a can of Coke. Coffee is a natural diuretic, which means it makes you need to frequent the low more often. More urine output equals less water retention. If you're seeking advice on how to like coffee, even if it's just two eight-ounce cups a day to help prevent Alzheimer's or liver cancer, there is hope.

Guilty as Charged

Technology has made life simple and the lazy even lazier. This applies to coffee drinkers as well. The invention of k-cup or pods, in my opinion, has degraded the coffee industry. I will admit I own one of those convenient Keurig brewers. I am human, after all. I'm always on the go so; the pop-push-grab-go is one I've come to appreciate. One of the downsides is the satisfying aroma is less so. Another drawback is a plastic taste many k-cups add to the flavor.

How to avoid this is simple. Choose a brew method that doesn't require pre portioned plastic containers. Honestly, spending the money to get a quality brewer is worth it even for a beginner. However, a French Press can be purchased for less than 10 dollars, doesn't break the bank, and is a personal favorite.

Coffee Beans Cafe Roasted

Coffee Beans Cafe Roasted

Now for the Bean

As we all know, beans contain magic. This is true even for coffee. I lean more towards the organic, roasted bean. Still a relatively small company, Death Wish Coffee Company is my go-to brand of coffee. It is a bold bean, though. Warning label included for prosperity due to the high caffeine content. It is a strong coffee with a very robust taste, and it's packed with a jolt. Better yet, it meets the standards to number five on 'Best Organic Coffee Brands for High-End, High-Quality Brews.'

However, Death Wish is not sold in stores and doesn't come cheap. For a Coffee Newbie, a bean with less oomph is probably a better choice. Another selection that makes the above list criteria is Smart Ass, a recommended flavor from the Kicking Horse Coffee Company. Smart Ass is said to hold chocolate notes to the medium roast pairing and goes great with your chosen treat. Ah, the guilty pleasures. A flavorful cup of Java with a Cheese Danish or Chocolate Croissant.

Here's a little trick to enhance your palate and subdue the coffee taste.

  • Dust your whole beans with a dash of cinnamon before grinding.
  • Grind the amount you need because grinding too much leads to waste since it will lose flavor quickly.
  • Make a pot and refrigerate the rest in a Mason Jar immediately. Chilled coffee will give you a great cold beverage option later in the day. Cold or hot get the same antioxidant results.

If the bean and cinnamon don't help the simplest solution is a sweetener. Keep in mind a six-ounce cup of Joe, black (Not to be confused with the movie character,) is just 7-calories. Anything added increases the caloric intake, but sweetens the taste and makes it more tolerable for beginners. The basic sweeteners:

  • White, Granulated sugar: one-teaspoon=16 calories
  • Brown Sugar: one-teaspoon=17 calories
  • Agave Syrup: one-teaspoon=20 calories
  • Maple Syrup: one-teaspoon=52 calories
  • Splenda: one-teaspoon=1.66 calories
  • Honey: one-teaspoon=64 calories

If the drink is still too bitter, try diluting. Again we return to the issue of calories. Anything but water, which is an option, will increase calories. A common misconception with calories is if it contains zero calories I can have as much or little as I want. That is a myth I learned from Weight Watchers.

Truth be told, when you add creamer, milk, sugar, syrups, or anything else you might end up turning your health benefiting cup into a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Even though it is oh-so-good to indulge, on occasion use the additives sparingly and try to avoid for a continued period. The choices for diluting plus changing the taste of your Java:

  • Whole Milk: one-tablespoon=9 calories
  • 2% Milk: one-tablespoon=7.5 calories
  • Open Nature, Sweet Cream: one-tablespoon=35 calories
  • Heavy Cream: one-tablespoon=52 calories
  • Coffee-Mate: Non-Dairy Creamer, one-tablespoon=35 calories
  • Half and Half: one-tablespoon=20 calories (Darigold)

Why start drinking coffee now if you've survived thus far without it? For the same reason, you eat a banana or broccoli. Coffee has health benefits. The consumption of two-cups per day has been linked in studies to reduce the chance of some strokes, liver cancer, and other diseases our simple constitutions might face-off in our short lifetime. If you're looking for the alertness caffeine provides, coffee will deliver. Like any compound, though, the charge will wane.

Decaf will provide the antioxidants and deliver the benefits without the caffeine content. Coffee, in and of itself, can provide benefits to your health. When drink responsibly and with minimal additives. Once you've perfected your cup, it is possible you will love it as much as me. Don't believe me? Try for yourself even if you have to run to Starbucks and purchase a five-plus-dollar Caramel Macchiato to join the coffee crusade. You won't regret a single cup.

About the author

Ann Hills

My name is Ann Hills and I am a food blogger and a yoga teacher. When I was a child, I often got around my mother and watched her cooking in our kitchen. My mom always says to me that: “Kitchen is the heart of any home”. I strongly believe in her saying that’s reason why I prefer spending my money to make my home better than other stuff.

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