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How to ‘Spice’ up Your Morning Coffee This Holiday Season

To all the avid coffee drinkers: How do you like your coffee in the morning? I’m sure most students can answer this question without hesitation this time of the year. Although I’m not the biggest coffee fanatic, I’ll admit I’ve stocked up on instant coffee mix to get me through the late-night grinds and keep me awake during the day this exam season. The regular coffee, creamer and honey combo is a classic, but if you’re looking to change it up and have a taste of festivity, then keep reading to learn how you can spice up your morning coffee with these five delicious recipes.

Almond milk chai latte

This isn’t coffee, but it surely does contain some caffeine. This is perfect for all the chai lovers out there or anyone who enjoys warm and flavourful spices.

Ingredients:

  • Black tea bag
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground cardamom
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Ground cloves (substitute: Allspice)
  • Ground star anise (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Steep the tea bag in hot water for 5 minutes.
  2. In a blender, combine all the ingredients, including the steeped tea together until blended and foam is visible. If you don’t have a blender, you can also use a whisk.
  3. Add additional spices or sweeteners as desired. Serve hot or cold.
Butterscotch coffee

A few more ingredients than your regular coffee, but it will definitely get you into a cozy mood. You can also make a big batch of the creamer, and store it in the fridge for future cravings.

Ingredients:

  • Coffee of your choice (instant, brewed, cold drip, etc.)
  • Half and half cream
  • Brown sugar
  • Salted butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt 

Instructions:

  1. Warm half and half cream in a saucepan over low heat. Combine butter, brown sugar and salt. Stir constantly until the colour becomes a light caramel.
  2. Remove from stove top and add vanilla extract.
  3. Serve with hot or cold coffee.
Cardamom latte

An alternative to the chai latte if you found that too complicated. This easy recipe is the perfect warm beverage to start your day with.

Ingredients:

  • Coffee of your choice
  • Milk of your choice
  • Honey
  • Ground cardamom
  • Pinch of cinnamon (for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mug.If you’re feeling fancy, you can also froth and heat up the milk.
  2. Sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon and enjoy!
Apple cider latte

Despite the name, there’s actually no apple cider in this recipe (sorry to those who were looking forward to it). But if you do happen to have apple cider, you can totally swap out the apple sauce and allspice.

Ingredients:

  • Coffee of your choice
  • Almond or coconut milk
  • Applesauce (substitute: apple juice with no added sugar)
  • Honey
  • Allspice
  • Vanilla extract
  • Coconut oil (substitute: unsalted butter)

Instructions:

  1. In a blender, combine everything except for coconut oil.
  2. Add coconut oil while blending.
  3. Serve warm or over ice.
Chocolate Affogato

This is literally a dessert if you ask me! The ingredients are so simple and I always like to have it during my study breaks.

Ingredients:

  • Hot coffee of your choice
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Chocolate syrup

Instructions:

  1. Scoop ice cream into a glass and pour coffee over it.
  2. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and enjoy.

You don’t need a fancy espresso machine to make these drinks. I made sure to pick recipes that only required a few extra ingredients so that everyone could be their own barista. Don’t let exam season stop you from getting into the holiday spirit. Make sure to save these recipes for later so you can surprise your sleepy roommates with some warm and delicious holiday drinks!

Catherine Yu

McMaster '23

Catherine is a second-year McMaster student majoring in Kinesiology, and hopes to minor in Economics. Outside of school, she loves to sing, dance, and go on hikes with friends and family! You will often catch her at the candy aisle in the grocery store.
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