I drink copious amounts of coffee and tea every day. They can get a little boring. I spice 'em up by occasionally adding some flavor. "With what?, you ask?" Let me explain...
Penzeys. They sell both in retail stores and online. They stock amazingly fresh, potent spices from around the world and sell them at low prices.
There are two different types of cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon comes from Southeast Asia (China and Vietnam) and has the sweetness most of us are familiar with. The other type of cinnamon comes from Ceylon and is much less sweet with a complex citrus flavor. My cinnamon sticks come from Sumatra in Indonesia. They grow wild on the government-protected slopes of Mount Kerinci.
You just pop a cinnamon stick into your cup while the coffee or tea is brewing, leave it in for as long as you want, and you can re-use it 8-10 times before it loses potency.
Other easy ways to add flavor to your drink are using honey or maple syrup instead of sugar. Yes, maple syrup! It's tasty. I never heard of anyone doing this but I tried it and it works nicely.
If you want your drink to have an exotic flavor, crush up and add cardamom seeds. They're fragrant and often used in tea from places like India. They aren't hard to find and are inexpensive. The flavor they contribute is unusual and pleasant.
Dark Muscovado. It's a type of brown sugar that has a deep wonderful taste, similar to molasses. While normally used in baking or manufacturing rum, the sugar can be added to coffee or tea. It gives a lovely molasses/gingerbread taste with equivalent sweetness of normal sugar.
The Dark Muscovado I bought isn't expensive and comes from Mauritius, a small island off the coast of Africa. It has character and deep flavor. Give it a try!
Do you add anything to your drinks? What?
I'm going to have to try that Dark Muscovado- that sounds amazing. When it comes to my coffee and tea I'm usually just a cream and sugar kinda gal, but someone did tell me I should try it with cinnamon! We're lucky enough to have a Penzey's right up the street (actually a block away from the restaurant you and I met up at). :-DReplyDelete
Go visit Penzey's -- just seeing what they offer inspires us to try interesting new spices.Delete
I drink a cup of tea every morning. (: I do love a good chai mix- I boil the water with the spices in and use it to brew the black tea, then add heavy cream and sugar. Don't know how people can use nonfat milk, having used cream now. Tastes like water, ick.ReplyDelete
I also enjoy Earl Grey with a spot of local honey in it, and tisanes such as chamomile with ginger, mallow, and apple. I love brewing mulling spices in apple cider this time of year, as well.
Have you tried Vietnamese coffee? It has chicory in it.
Mmm... I love chai tea. And cream. Nonfat milk is an abomination of nature. Earl Grey is great, too; the bergamot flavor is tasty. I've never had Vietnamese coffee but, back in the Eighties, drank chicory as a coffee-substitute.Delete
"Nonfat milk is an abomination of nature." HAHAHA! I laughed aloud. It's so true.Delete
I have some of this Muscovdo brown sugar that I want to use in some chocolate chip cookies. I've heard it's the best for baking.ReplyDelete
I stopped drinking tea a few years ago and now like a true old lady I drink only hot water. It saves my teeth. Sad I know. LOL
What good ideas! I've never even heard of Muscovdo, must try it. Love the cinnamon stick idea, cinnamon is supposed to be really good for you as well.ReplyDelete
One different thing I have done is add lavender to my tea, and sometimes my coffee. I buy culinary lavender buds and put them in a tea ball and then add it to my coffee or tea while its brewing. I only leave it in a minute or two, as it can be really strong :)
You reminded me of the "A Beautiful Mess" where they made lavender ice cream.Delete
I have just started to use cinnamon myself and love it. I have never heard of muscovdo but will keep my eyes peeled for it out our local deli.ReplyDelete
Great idea with the cinnamon sticks - I think that's about the only flavor I'd want to add to coffee. I need to get some muscovado sugar to bake a fruit cake for my husband's birthday - traditional British fruitcake. A pinch in my coffee might be good, too!ReplyDelete
I put maple syrup on vanilla ice cream, and it's also delicious in yogurt.
I never knew that about cinnamon. I just thought cinnamon was cinnamon. But I suppose like with all things grown, subtle differences arise, reflecting their origin soils.ReplyDelete
I've been drinking tea like it's my job lately. I've found some great blends just by mainstream companies in the grocery store. But you take it to a whole other foodie level ;-)
And now I want to bake some gingerbread...!
I am trying not to drink coffee anymore because it is awful for my skin, but when I used to drink copious amounts of it, I used to use a cinnamon stick as a "stirrer" and just leave it there for a bit too!ReplyDelete
Those sound delicious, but I always have my coffee plain and black. I love my coffee raw. I can have a sip of spiced coffee every now and then, but my daily morning and afternoon coffees are always the same :)ReplyDelete
I've seen recipes that require muscovado sugar and it looks so exotic! I'm not a sweet-tooth so I would probably go for the cinnamon. I drink tea like it's my last day on earth and coffee occasionally. Funnily, I only drink tea at home and I always drink coffee only when I'm out. xoxoReplyDelete
I always use brown sugar, it has a treacle flavour and scent and is so much nicer than white. I like cinnamon in hot chocolate but my favourite for tea is cardamom, I pop a pod in and stirReplyDelete
I have never tried cinnamon in my coffee but I'm hearing more and more about how good it is, so I think I need to try it!ReplyDelete
Although i have tried cinammon with coffee, it's never been the stick one just powderered.... i add honey to some of my drinks.ReplyDelete
Mmm, I love tea and coffee. I'm pretty simple, preferring sugar (and occasionally cream). I like my tea and coffee to be as high quality as I can afford though, savoring the natural flavor.ReplyDelete
My absolute favorite is steeping peppermint leaves. I like getting them loose from Adagio when I can splurge, but "Pure Peppermint" from the grocery is an acceptable replacement. It's flavorful and lightly sweet without needing any sugar at all. Plus it helps ease tummy troubles and acid levels.
Im a bit boring, I like my tea just as it is thank you!! I only drink Latte's and I don't like to mess with them either!ReplyDelete