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First things first, I am a proud coffee addict, and I will happily rant to anyone that is willing to hear me talk about my favorite coffee additives. I always feel like every year around this time I really make a point to change up my coffee in whatever ways I can since I am not forcing myself to drink iced coffee while it is about ten degrees and snowing. Side-note: A lot of these additions can be used in either hot or iced coffee, but some are put in at different times or different ways, which I will explain throughout each option!

Brown Sugar as a Fun Alternative:

I have been putting sugar in my coffee since the dawn of time, and no one bothered to tell me that brown sugar is so much better for my classic-loving self. I will say that there is a large difference between the two in how they affect the overall taste of your coffee. The brown sugar gives it more of a molasses taste, almost like gingerbread in a way. I personally really love it, however, if you are the person reaching for sugar cookies rather than gingerbread throughout the holiday season, maybe this is not the move for you!

Honey (and lots of it):

Okay, I am controversial and really love sugary coffee, so I always add more sugar than I should. Since honey is a natural sugar, that honestly brings me some sort of strange comfort. If you can get your hands on raw honey, I cannot recommend anything more! I recently went to a wedding where they gave raw honey out as the wedding gift, and I cannot express how much joy I received from getting this little jar of honey (and the little honey stir stick because we are not rookies). This is also a great option if you like just a bit of sugar because you do not have to add it to the hot coffee if you do not want that extra sweetness. I tend to do both, however, I also think a great method is to add your honey around the inside of your cup/jar, add some ice and pour in the coffee. And then you have iced honey coffee (or add cold brew if that is your thing! Both work).

Add Maple Syrup:

Okay, this one is kind of cheating since it is basically the same as the honey method, so I will not go too much into it. I will add though that maple sugar is a thing, and if you are looking for a way to not be sticky but still get a fun sweetness, this is your option!

Dairy-free milk (because of my wimpy stomach):

Yeah, so after 21 years my stomach decided to give up on dairy, which has been a super fun addition to a pandemic. Honestly though, I am a really big fan of a lot of dairy alternatives (especially since my stomach is not killing me anymore). My personal favorite is vanilla Silk, however, there are a ton of other dairy alternatives that I can sing praises about for days. Oatmilk is another favorite, especially their vanilla and extra creamy variations. I personally do not love a lot of non-dairy creamers because they tend to water my iced coffee down. Nevertheless, if you are willing to go through the trial and error of your favorites, despite the long process, I do really think it is worth it. I could rant for days about the wonders of Silk, especially their almond milk creamer, but that is not everyone’s cup of tea. Or should I say, not everyone’s cup of coffee? (sorry) Coconut milk is another alternative that I cannot recommend more highly! It is perfectly creamy and adds a great kick of flavor for coconut lovers like myself.

Flavor Extracts (a great sugar-free option):

My grandfather is diabetic, so I have found myself constantly finding sugar-free options these days. The most common ones are vanilla, coconut, orange, strawberry, rose (my personal favorite) and tons of others that are basically nutritionless. I love all the strange coffee flavors, so I think this is such a fun alternative that can vary so much to be flexible for anyone. So whether you are all for classic vanilla or rose and strawberry coffee, this is a great way to spice up your morning coffee.

Cinnamon (helps with blood sugar control + flavor):

Another heart-healthy option coming in! Now before you mention that this is not a new coffee additive, it is all about how you use it! More often than not, a lot of coffee-drinkers often associate cinnamon with warm coffee, but what about adding just a pinch to iced coffee? That’s not too original either, but now you can at least know that it is a great addition if you are looking to control your blood sugar and improve cholesterol levels despite a growing coffee addiction.

Melted chocolate/dark chocolate (obviously):

Let the divide begin! I actually really do not like mochas. I think they taste like chalk and am always disappointed in myself for thinking my taste will magically change overnight. Having said that, mixing in a bit of warm chocolate to my coffee just always seems to make my morning just a bit worth waking up early. You do not have to add a lot either. Too much will just make it taste too heavy and it will not be good. Also, make sure you add this when your coffee is still hot. This is probably very obvious to 9/10 people, but I used to be number 10. Also, I am not the biggest fan of dark chocolate, but my sister loves it and I think it would be good if dark chocolate is your favorite.

There are obviously thousands of other options that I cannot give enough credit to! These past few months I have had a ton of fun experimenting with different coffee variations, and as cheesy as it sounds, it really does add an extra bit of fun to my morning routine. And if you hate what you experiment with you can always stick to your classics!

Kristin Berchak is a senior Digital Media Production major. She works as a showrunner for an entertainment show for TV2, The Blurb, loves running, writing, reading, baking, creating and just staying busy! She loves movies and television (and far too many baking shows!) She is very excited to work as an editorial member for HerCampus at Kent State University!
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