Did you know that in the United States alone, a whopping 8 percent of the 18 billion dollar coffee industry comes from specialty coffee sales? What’s more according to E-Imports, this figure of specialty coffee sales increases by 20% each year.
This means two perks for coffee lovers:
- Investing in the coffee industry is lucrative business; and
- Learning to make your fancy cup of coffee will save you big bucks!
Since it is National Coffee Day, we have decided to help you out on at least one of the two perks above. We have curated five simple yet super smart hacks that will help you recreate fancy specialty coffee every single time.
Observe Optimal Times for Coffee Breaks
Are you trying to curb your caffeine appetite for health reasons or simply to save coffee money? Better be mindful of the best times throughout the day to have coffee.
The human body has a hormone called cortisol which is in-charge of making you feel awake and alert. In other words, cortisol is your natural and biological caffeine fix.
Cortisol peaks, for most people, around 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM, 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM, and 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM. Beyond these hours your body’s cortisol level dwindles down. This gives you somewhere between 10:00 AM to 11:59 AM and 01:30 PM to 05:30 PM as your optimal times for coffee breaks.
Now that you know when it is best to have your cup of joe, let's move on to the "how's" of enjoying coffee!
Forge the Fancy Foamy Froth
Frappe or no frappe, that fancy froth makes any cup a celebration. Many times, a dollop of cream is used instead of this froth. The problem is, it does not quite make the cut especially when you are trying to keep tabs of the calories.
What you can do is forge the forth using milk.
Fill half of a mason jar with your milk of choice. Cover the mason jar & secure the lid tightly. Shake it for about a minute or until it doubles in volume (due to the bubbles). Remove the lid and pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. That’s it - your very own fancy foam for cappuccinos, frappes, and whatnot.
Make Homemade Coffee Syrup
There is no such thing as too much coffee syrup, is there? While you can always request the barista who gracefully swirls that bottle of syrup on your coffee to add a little more, there is no erasing the fact that this adds more sugar to your drink. What to do?
Be your own graceful barista & this time make your coffee syrup. This way you can take control of what goes into your coffee syrup. You can also experiment with blend and syrup combinations.
Jessica shares her favorite coffee syrup recipes on her blog “How Sweet Eats.” You may want to check the recipes out.
Take note that while she uses regular sugar, you can go the healthier route by choosing coconut sugar. You can also use demerara sugar in place of brown sugar and turbinado sugar for white sugar.
Demerara has a toffee flavor. Coconut sugar and turbinado share a pleasantly smooth caramel flavor. Replacing the usual white and brown sugar in your coffee syrup with these three goes beyond health benefits. Because of their natural flavors, they make better coffee syrup ingredients.
One of the worst dilemmas of coffee drinkers is the inevitable sugar intake that comes with every cup. The solution? Ditch sugar altogether ala drip coffee or Americano. If Cafe Americano or drip coffee are blends you are yet to love, there are sugar alternatives you can choose.
Use stevia in place of sugar. Stevia powder is easy to find in your local grocery stores and food markets. You can even use Stevia leaves. Steep about five stevia leaves in hot water for 5 minutes. The water should start to sweeten. Remove the stevia leaves and add coffee.
Cinnamon is another replacement for sugar. Aside from being a fantastic sweetener, it also gives your coffee a smooth texture like your creamer does. So with cinnamon, you can ditch sugar & creamer altogether.
In case you want to give drip coffee and Americano a shot, you can train your taste buds to get acquainted with its taste by adding salt to your blend. Salt neutralizes the bitter taste of coffee. You don’t need more than pinch for every cup. You can even add a dash of salt before brewing your beans.
Coffee Ice Cubes
Coffee ice cubes have been around for quite some time now. Instead of the plain ordinary ice, use the same blend of coffee to make ice cubes. This prevents the iced coffee from getting watered down.
Did you know that you can take your coffee iced cubes a notch higher? Try ombre coffee ice cubes. Here’s a simple how-to:
- Fill half the ice cube molds up to the middle with your choice of coffee blend. Pop it in the freezer for an hour or until frozen enough to hold the second layer.
- Fill the remaining half with creamer. Pop in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle the ice cubes with your Espresso powder or any other powder of your choice.
Pratico Kitchen’s Superb Cube Silicone Ice Cube Tray with EZ-Release & No-Spill Steel Reinforced Rim - 1.4 Inch Cubes will be a fantastic help for this one.
The No-Spill Steel reinforced rim helps your ice cubes hold form while the EZ-release keeps the coffee ice cube’s ombre effect intact for added eye-candy points.
Ready to celebrate National Coffee Day? These hacks should get you started! Good luck!