Winter has officially arrived! With the cold weather kicking in, and us spending a little too much time at home, we all need a little treat.
Your coffee is a perfect place to start, why not add in some winter ingredients that can spice up your beverage. Whether you want a creamy texture or a buzz of strong flavours, make the season even better by adding some magic and topping your mug with plenty of sprinkles and lashings of whipped cream.
To share the best winter additions, coffee expert Lewis Spencer of Coffee-Direct.co.uk, reveals the 10 must try ingredients for the ultimate winter warmers.
This sweet, sharp spice can increase the sweetness of your coffee without adding a lot of sugar to your diet. You can add a dash of cinnamon to your coffee grounds before you brew to infuse the flavour directly into your pot, stir in a teaspoon of the spice or add a cinnamon stick to your mug.
2) Whipped cream
Nothing says Christmas more than whipped cream on top of a hot beverage! Whipped cream in your coffee is the same as adding ice cream, it’s simply cream that has been aerated. If you add it to your hot coffee it will slowly become liquid again, you can either stir it in completely, so it doesn’t clump up or spoon your whipped cream over the hot coffee and add a dashing of cocoa on the top.
When the temperature outside has dropped, there is nothing better than a peppermint coffee. When paired, coffee and peppermint bring out the flavours in each other, the quickest way is to stir 2-3 tablespoons of peppermint extract into your coffee. For an extra special finish, garnish with sprinklings of candy cane.
Coffee with brandy is labelled as an after-dinner drink and used as a digestif. It makes the perfect Christmas evening treat. Add in 2 tablespoons of brandy to your coffee, for a Coffee Royale cocktail stir in sugar and top with heavy cream.
5) Gingerbread syrup
Gingerbread syrup is flavoured with warm spice and is perfect for drizzling in your coffee to create a cosy feeling. You can either add some on top or cover the bottom of your mug before adding in your coffee. No extra sugar is needed as the syrup is a perfect balance of ginger, cinnamon and biscuit.
6) All Spice
Mixing in a variety of spices at once will create a melody of different flavours. This is also the special ingredient for the well-known pumpkin spice latte. Simply mix ½ teaspoon of allspice, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon of ground ginger to recreate the classic pumpkin spice mix.
Sprinkle some nutmeg onto your coffee beans before roasting them to create a unique Christmas flavour. The pieces will stick onto the coffee beans creating a flavoured coffee. For the best results, sprinkle nutmeg and brew ⅔ of light roast and ⅓ of dark roast, this will create a medium blend of coffee with dark notes and sweet tastes from the spice.
8) Orange Zest
To create orange zest, push the orange down the grater and be sure to turn as you go, try to avoid the white part of the peel as this has less flavour. You can either add it to your brewed coffee and allow the nutrients to settle before you consume or place the orange zest in the filter so the brewed coffee passes over the zest to capture the flavour.
Like caramel, butterscotch is a cooked sugar. The sweetness of butterscotch paired with coffee creates a sweet sensation. You can either make your own sauce with brown sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract or buy butterscotch syrup. Add the butterscotch to your coffee mug and top with hot coffee.
Topping your coffee with marshmallows is a fun alternative to cream and sugar. Simply top your hot coffee with small or big marshmallows and watch them melt into your mug. For a sweeter experience, place some in the bottom before your pour and stir thoroughly.