Sugar and syrups are a pretty standard way to add flavor to your coffee, but if you’re looking to add flavor and complexity without upping the sweetness, take a gander at your spice rack.
One of my least favorite habits is my tendency to buy a bottle of spices, use them once, and then let them sit on a shelf until they lose their flavor, potency, and dignity. Luckily, one of my favorite habits can help with this problem, as those “extra” spices are just begging to be brewed with coffee.
The process is super easy and requires no extra work on your part. (Which is great, because no one wants extra work in the morning.) Instead of grinding the spices and sprinkling them over your cup of caffeine, just grind them along with the beans and brew as usual. To find out which spices, seasonings, and flowers (yes, flowers!) would be good candidates, I raided my own semi-neglected spice rack and experimented.
Cleaning out the grinder only works for blade grinders. And blade grinders are not what you want to use for your coffee. Two reasons: inconsistent grind and oil extraction. Both are extremely important to a good cup of coffee.
The more you get into coffee, the more it becomes a pain in the ass. The more you can taste it, the more you can taste what’s wrong with it. What used to be fantastic… is now inferior and rancid. Nothing is ever good enough. And there’s always a merchant to peddle you a solution.
So you need a steady supplier of the good stuff. Vacuum containers that attempt to stop time but eventually fail. Special upon special grinder that’s somehow never good enough. Oodles of machinery, always more expensive than the next, never as good as some Italian industrial apparatus but you keep trying.
This is not good enough so you start roasting your own beans, which is another arms race against dissatisfaction. Or looking for coffee that came out of the ass of a wildcat because it’s the most precious. On & on & on…