Coffee is a godsend for many of us, and even better, it’s a superfood too.
The key to waking up in the morning, coffee has been linked to reduced risks of heart attack, dementia, and other life-altering conditions.
Any ol’ cup of Joe can deliver those benefits. But the way you prepare your coffee can make the difference between a so-so brew and a rich, aroma-filled one that sets the tone for your entire day.
Try these tips to make your coffee a little healthier, and a little tastier:
Use the right beans
There’s tons of coffee types out there, so a few simple guidelines can help you find the one that really excites your taste buds. It really comes down to where the beans are grown, and how they’re processed.
“As a general rule, lower elevation coffees will showcase nuttier, earthier flavors, whereas higher elevation coffees will showcase more acidity and fruitiness,” explains Josey Markiewicz, national manager of training and quality assurance for La Colombe Coffee Roasters.
“Natural processed coffees will be fruitier than washed process coffees. The darker the roast the smokier the flavor.”
Remember these rules the next time you’re shopping for a refill of coffee beans!
Grind your own
Grinding coffee while you’re groggy in the morning is a hassle, but the payoff is worth it.
“A whole coffee bean retains its volatile oils, which are exposed once the bean is ground,” says Markiewicz. “It’s these oils that are responsible for the coffee’s fragrance and much of its flavor, so grinding beans fresh assures these oils don’t have a chance to go rancid.”
You can save time by pre-grinding your beans, but you won’t get the full taste or health benefits compared to freshly ground coffee, explains Markiewicz.
“If you pre-grind, you can really only make a specific amount of coffee in a certain amount of time,” he says. “Anything out of that brew range will either be over- or under-extracted and therefore not optimal.
Add flavor enhancers
Creamer packets add nothing more than empty calories and unneeded sugar. For a rich, deep coffee taste, try quality flavor enhancers instead.
Ghee, which is a pure butter fat with whey and protein solids removed, adds an inimitable richness. Grass-fed whole milk or half and half are solid options filled with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. If you want to stay away from dairy, swirl a half-teaspoon of cinnamon into your coffee to help lower blood sugar levels, or even a bit of cocoa powder.
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