10 Unexpected Things You Should Be Adding to Your Coffee

Tired of the same old coffee-and-cream combo? Get creative with these unexpected add-ins.

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We all know the deal with coffee; an espresso shot, some cream and maybe even a dash of sugar. It’s plain. It’s simple. It works. But wait a minute, what if you’re bored of the same humdrum drink? Here’s how you can take it to a whole new realm with some unexpected (yet tasty!) things to add to your cup of coffee.

Have a scoop of instant coffee leftover? Make one of these buzz-worthy desserts.

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margouillat photo/Shutterstock


Dipping a pad of butter in your drink may sound like a recipe for disaster, however, this combination of bitter and creamy works surprisingly well. Check out why we’re hooked on bulletproof coffee. Though, be sure not to overdo it when it comes to the butter. About half of a teaspoon of the stuff should be enough to give your drink an interesting new flavor.

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Salt pouring down into blue cup


Ever tried salted dark chocolate? If you’re a fan of that, you’re sure to love some lightly salted coffee. While it may not be the most popular addition to your breakfast tipple, salt adds a whole new dimension to the taste. If you’re squeamish about stirring it in, add a sprinkle or two to your coffee grinds before brewing.

Did you know you can clean with salt, too?

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Homemade vanilla, caramel ice cream in vintage bowl Organic product on a grey stone background; Shutterstock ID 413974858; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home

Ice Cream

An affogato is a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso poured over top. The standard variety takes about two minutes to prepare and even less time to guzzle down. For a weekday take on this Italian classic, why not add a little ice cream to your Americano or filter coffee? The rich, creaminess of the scoop will add all the sweetness you could possibly need. (Plus, it’ll cool down a piping hot cup so you can drink it right away.)

Try our decked out version here.

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Jar of honey with honeycomb and dipper on wooden background
Guzel Studio/Shutterstock


Looking for a healthy alternative to sugar or sweetener? You might just have found it. Honey is packed full of natural sweetness and energy. Spanish lattes often consist of honey, milk and a shot (or two!) of espresso.

Try it for yourself with our recipe for honey coffee.

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raw and crushed cardamom/cardamom/spice


Investing in some delectable ground cardamom might not be such a bad idea. The taste of this spice is quite similar to chai and is seriously intense! (Hint: You may only need to use a little of this stuff!) Add some spice to your next latte by sprinkling just a pinch of cardamom on top. This caffeinated treat may just surprise you.

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Jar with vanilla extract and sticks on wooden board
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Vanilla extract

There’s nothing quite like drinking a tasty vanilla latte, right? If you tend to use vanilla syrup to give your coffee a hit of flavor, it’s time to change your ways. Instead, go right to the source. Treat yourself to some rich vanilla extract now and then. Adding this to your coffee will take it to a whole new level (and you may never want to go back!).

Try other coffeehouse drink copycats with these recipes.

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freshly squeezed lemon juice in small bowl; Shutterstock ID 211542739
Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

Lemon or lime

Fresh citrusy flavors and the intense taste of coffee may not sound like a match made in heaven but stick with us here. This tried-and-tested coffee is far more appetizing than you may first imagine. It’s so very good. Add a little juice and even a little peel to your next drink for a completely new and refreshing experience.

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Coconut milk
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Coconut milk

Whether you’re avoiding dairy or just fancy a change, coconut milk may be a tasty little addition to your morning cup. As sweet as it is rich, this plant-based milk alternative is a low-calorie way of giving your cup of java a touch more flavor.

You can try other alternative milks, too. See our favorites here.

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Melted chocolate

Melted chocolate

You may have had mochas in the past, but you won’t have experienced anything like this. Adding a slab of freshly melted chocolate to your coffee is the perfect way to enhance the flavor and create a truly glorious drink. Typically, coffee tends to work best alongside a rich, dark chocolate (aim for 70% cocoa or more!), but feel free to experiment and work out what suits your tastes.

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Whole nutmeg


Packed with earthy flavors and a hint of sweetness, nutmeg is an obvious choice for coffee lovers. Popping some nutmeg into your drink makes for a real delight. Add a single pod or two for the right amount of intriguing flavor. (Oh, and this one smells absolutely wonderful!)

Charlotte Grainger
Charlotte Grainger is a creative feature writer, with a flair for food, health and lifestyle pieces. Her work has been seen in a number of national publications including Beyond Words Magazine, Reader's Digest and Psychologies. When she’s not typing away, you can find her trying out new recipes or binging Netflix shows— sometimes simultaneously.