Combining coffee with other ingredients – What is suitable?

Coffee can be flavored with a variety of ingredients, from spices and nuts to extracts and artificial flavorings. Below we will introduce three types of coffee aromas.

Sweet ingredients in combination with coffee

Sugar and coffee

Sugar is the most commonly used sweetener. It is used when you want to reduce the coffee’s natural bitterness. White sugar is the most common. Its color is due to the processing and it is available in different degrees of fineness.

Another type of sugar is brown sugar, which gets its color from the addition of molasses during processing, which tends to make it more viscous.

However, consuming too much sugar is unhealthy as it can lead to heart and kidney problems and increases the risk of obesity. It is therefore recommended to consume no more than 25g per day, with many of our already processed foods containing hidden sugars as flavor enhancers. It is therefore advisable to study the declaration on the respective packaging.

Honey and coffee

Honey is a healthy substitute for sugar. Honey is a natural sweetener with lots of energy.

Unlike sugar and zero-calorie sweeteners, honey can provide small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Chocolate and coffee

Chocolate is an ideal accompaniment to coffee. One of the most popular espresso-based drinks is therefore the mocha, which is made with espresso, 120ml of steamed or frothed milk and chocolate syrup or cocoa powder.

You can add chunks of chocolate or even the powdered chocolate of your choice to your hot coffee.

You can also do it the other way around. Place the chocolate in the cup, pour the hot coffee over it and stir until smooth.

Melted chocolate and coffee

Adding a piece of freshly melted chocolate to your coffee enhances the flavor and creates a drink that contrasts with mocha.

Coffee usually goes well with rich, dark chocolate, ie with a cocoa content of at least 70%.

Cinnamon and coffee

Cinnamon smells and tastes good. It is also a good addition to hot drinks such as coffee and cocoa. Adding cinnamon to your coffee is a good idea for the taste and smell alone. However, it also has health benefits, mostly related to increasing the potency of the coffee itself.

Ice cream and coffee

A scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso on top is called an affogato.

You can also try the recipe the other way around: add the ice to a ready-made infusion. The thick, creamy texture of the ice ball adds the sweetness your cup of coffee needs.

Coca Cola and coffee

There is no exact ratio for this combination. You can mix in as much Coca-Cola as you like. However, it is recommended to use a dark coffee roast so that the coffee flavor is not easily lost in the lemonade.

You can use the mixture for both hot and cold coffee and you can add milk to the drink if you wish.

Spicy ingredients in combination with coffee

Salt and coffee

While salt isn’t the most popular ingredient in coffee, it adds another dimension to the flavor.

It has been scientifically proven that adding salt to coffee improves flavor and benefits health. The main reasons are:

  • Salt reduces bitterness.
  • Salt creates a balanced taste.
  • Salt can be an alternative to sugar and sweeteners.

Add a pinch or two of salt to the coffee beans before brewing if you don’t want to put the salt directly into the coffee. The quantity is also a matter of taste, but one should not overdo it.

Ingredients for dairy products in connection with coffee

Milk and coffee

Milk is an ingredient that changes both the texture of coffee and its taste. In fact, there are a multitude of recipes that emerge from this mixture.

Milk turns dark coffee, which is often very bitter, into a soft, creamy drink.

Condensed milk and coffee

Condensed milk is an ideal complement to coffee. Not only does it soften the bitter and sometimes sour taste of the morning brew, but it also adds a subtle hint of sweetness.

Because of its simplicity, it is one of the best sweeteners for coffee. It is used in beverages such as iced coffee with condensed milk, tres leches latte, and Vietnamese iced coffee. An advantage of condensed milk is that once you open the package you can store it in the fridge for later use in making coffee or other recipes.

Cheese and coffee

Cheese in coffee has its origins in the Scandinavian region. Kaffeost is a Swedish word that literally means coffee and cheese. This drink was created to bring out the rich flavors of the coffee and combine them with the creamy texture of the cheese.

When added to the hot coffee, it melts a little, bringing out its unique flavor and changing the texture of the brew.

Butter and coffee

It might sound crazy to add butter to coffee, but this combination works really well.

Butter can be mixed with coffee without the oils separating and rising to the top of the cup because it is a water-in-oil emulsion. When you make butter coffee, you get a drink that tastes almost like a latte.

Butter coffee is a high-calorie, high-fat drink that contains no carbohydrates, unless it’s sweetened, of course. For this reason, it is commonly consumed as a breakfast beverage by people following a low-carb, high-fat diet, also known as a ketogenic or keto diet.

However, be careful not to overdo it. Half a teaspoon should be enough to add a new and unique flavor to your drink.

Unique and curious ingredients combined with coffee

Cardamom and coffee

Cardamom coffee has been used for centuries as a morning and afternoon drink in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, where cardamom is grown.

It can be a good idea to buy ground cardamom to add to coffee. This spice tastes similar to chai (a tea blend containing spices and aromatic herbs) and is very strong. So, a pinch can be enough.

If you grind your coffee at home, you can add it to the beans before grinding or add it directly to the brew.

Ginger and coffee

A slice or two of fresh ginger can complement a cup of instant coffee very well.

If you have ground ginger, a teaspoon is enough for your brew. Aside from the unique taste of coffee with ginger, this combination is also known to be a rich source of antioxidants.

Lemons or limes and coffee

This coffee is way more delicious than it sounds. Both coffee and lemons are known for their high levels of antioxidants. If you want to combine both, you should add the juice of one lemon to 240 ml of coffee.

The addition of lemon to coffee may be a trend, but it’s far from new. Mazagran is a drink that originated in Algeria about two centuries ago and is still popular in Portugal. It is a cold drink and can be made from hot espresso, with ice or straight from cold black coffee. Then add 100 ml of lemon juice, mix and sweeten to taste. It is optional to add the lemon zest so that it floats in the infusion at the moment of serving.

Incidentally, espresso with a dash of lemon juice is considered a headache killer.

Coconut milk and coffee

Coconut milk can be a great addition to your cup of coffee, whether you’re avoiding dairy or just want a change.

As sweet as it is rich, this plant-based milk alternative is a low-calorie option to enhance the flavor of your coffee.

Nutmeg and coffee

Nutmeg is a clear choice for coffee lovers, with earthy notes and hints of sweetness. It also has an aroma that goes very well with coffee.

It is a very versatile ingredient and, despite its strong flavor, combines very well with the flavors of medium and dark roast coffee.

Pineapple juice and coffee

A tablespoon of pineapple juice can be enough to change the flavor of your coffee, but that’s a matter of taste and you can add up to a full cup of juice to a cup of coffee.

This combination is intended to give the coffee a Caribbean note.

For example, one of the preparations that contain pineapple and coffee is the coffee colada. This cocktail consists of a cup of espresso, 60ml pineapple juice, 30ml white rum and 50ml coconut cream. All ingredients are mixed in a cocktail shaker and can be served with a piece of pineapple.

Egg yolk and coffee

Don’t judge it until you’ve tried it. Mix a few egg yolks into your coffee to make it creamy and velvety. Plus, you get all the benefits of the yolk in your drink.

A popular combination is this in Hanoi, Vietnam, where it is known as Ca Phe Trung is known. The story told locally is that the recipe was discovered in 1946 when a hotel waiter ran out of milk for his coffee and improvised a condensed milk and egg yolk mixture as a substitute.

Egg benefits include minerals such as calcium, sodium, iron, vitamins B, B12, D and K, thereby contributing to cell growth and the elimination of toxins.

There can only be a risk of disease if the egg is contaminated with salmonella bacteria. However, according to the American Egg Board, the heat from the coffee heats the egg just enough to kill the bacteria. Another option is to wash the egg thoroughly just before using it and heat the yolk in a water bath for a few minutes, being careful not to boil it.

Real food extracts

These extracts, commonly referred to as essences, are derived from foods such as fruits and plants. They are highly concentrated and have an intense taste. This is achieved through the use of solvents such as ethanol, oil or water and is available in powder or liquid form.

It is recommended to add a small amount to the coffee. There are quite a number of extracts on the market, all of which have the same aroma function when added to coffee. Here is a list of the most popular extracts.

  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • Lemon extract
  • Coconut extract
  • Banana extract
  • Cinnamon extract
  • Orange extract

Liqueurs and coffee

If you like coffee and alcohol, why not combine both in one drink? Below we show you different alcoholic beverages that you can add to your coffee.

Amaretto and coffee

This is an Italian almond liqueur that is both sweet and bitter. It complements the coffee well without spoiling the taste of the brew.

Amaretto gives the coffee a nutty flavor followed by a slight spiciness. It tastes best in hot coffee. However, it can also be mixed with cold brew coffee to add a sweet flavor to bitter cocktails.

Since the taste of amaretto is delicate, it is best paired with mild coffee.

Cream liqueurs and coffee

Cream liqueurs, whether Baileys or another brand, have a dual function in coffee. First, they offer a subtle dose of alcohol while replacing cream or milk.

Cream liqueurs go very well with lattes and iced coffees, adding a sweet touch to the usual brew. To prepare it, simply add a shot to your coffee.

Rum and coffee

Rum is one of the most adaptable liquors. The natural sweetness of rum pairs perfectly with dark coffee roasts. Also, the darker the rum, the better.

An example of this is Caribbean coffee. This coffee drink is made with dark rum and topped with whipped cream.

Hazelnut liqueurs and coffee

Hazelnut liqueurs are an excellent addition to any type of coffee. Brands like Frangelico, which are nuttier than amaretto, feature natural notes of cocoa, coffee, and vanilla.

For a deliciously nutty one Irish coffee can be poured into a cup or combined with a cream liqueur.

Vodka and coffee

The combination of vodka and coffee results in a more sophisticated drink than the cream liqueur variants and is sometimes referred to as “Russian coffee”. Served in a glass, it is made from hot coffee to which ice, a tablespoon of vodka, cream and sugar are added to taste.

If you cannot tolerate this pure beverage in your coffee, you can opt for vodka-based beverages, e.g. B. for cocktails.

Chocolate liqueurs and coffee

As with mocha, chocolate liqueurs go perfectly with coffee. The dark creme de cacao gives them an extra sweetness that complements the coffee beans.

Kahlúa and coffee

A rum-based Mexican coffee liqueur. It is used in the following coffee preparations:

  • Black Russian espresso
  • White Russian espresso
  • Martini
  • Pumpkin Spice Martini
  • Dalgona coffee

Bourbon and coffee

A blend of bourbon and coffee is known as Kentucky Coffee. It is a delicious and at the same time warming drink. This strong drink is recommended with a dark roast.

To do this, add some bourbon to your coffee and pour whipped cream over it.

Brandy and coffee

Another good accompaniment to coffee is brandy. Brandy has a pleasant aftertaste and often a spicy aroma that pairs well with the flavor profile of coffee.

The drink is made from espresso and is called carajillo in Spain, although the type of liquor used varies from region to region. Adding cream to the brandy creates a combination known as “French coffee” or Cafe Royale.

How do I flavor my coffee beans at home?

To flavor your own coffee beans, you need a grinder and an airtight container.

The method involves storing roasted coffee beans in an airtight container with the flavor of your choice.

The container should be made of glass or stainless steel and be large enough to hold the amount of roast coffee you need. Avoid using plastic containers as they can absorb the flavor. Remember that the container must be clean and dry.

Add the roasted coffee beans, but leave a few inches of space to facilitate blending with the flavor you want to create.

You can use oils or extracts to flavor the beans. Depending on what you choose, add a few drops to the coffee beans. 5 to 6 drops are added to a pound of coffee.

Then mix the beans well with a spoon so that the flavor is evenly distributed. Store covered in a cool, dry place. The longer the beans are stored, the more intense the flavor becomes.

To prepare the flavored coffee, take the required amount for grinding and let the remaining beans in the container further concentrate the flavor.


We hope this journey through flavors inspires you to supplement your coffee consumption. There are many delicious options for all tastes; there is sure to be something for you too. Or the other way around? There are many flavors to discover in the world of coffee, and if you keep your mind and taste open to new combinations, you will discover unique flavors.