(SPOT.ph) Truly good coffee hardly needs any embellishments. But there’s also more to enjoying a cup of joe than just having it plain and black in a mug. Coffee’s bitter profile works in a variety of applications, and it’s worth putting on your chef’s hat and experimenting with it in the kitchen. Here, we round up several ways to add a twist to your caffeine fix in the comfort of your own home.
The Dalgona Coffee Trend, Explained
Top 10 Iced Coffee for P150 and Under in Manila
Top 10 Brewed Coffee for P50 and Under in Manila (2018 Edition)
You can enjoy coffee in a not-so-usual way with these ideas:
Whip things up for dalgona coffee
This food hack du jour popularized in Korea gives you a picturesque reverse cappuccino of sorts—and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home. Simply mix equal parts of hot water, sugar, and instant coffee in a bowl and get whisking. A stand mixer or hand mixer is best for the job, but in a pinch, a whisk and some elbow grease will do. Whip the mixture until thick and frothy, then serve it over a glass of milk with ice if desired.
Make cold brew
Cold brew is a staple at specialty coffee shops around the Metro, but it’s actually incredibly easy to make at home. Simply combine coffee grounds with water and let the mixture steep from 12 to 24 hours, depending on how strong you want it. Strain the liquid, and you’ve got yourself a beverage with an especially smooth flavor, sans the usual acidity or bitterness that usually comes with plain iced coffee.
Add butter to your coffee
Adding butter to coffee rose to popularity as #keto came into the limelight. There’s the famed Bulletproof coffee, which calls for a specific kind of coffee bean, Brain Octane oil, and grass-fed butter or ghee—and then there’s butter coffee, a version made with coffee, unsalted butter, and coconut oil. To make this beverage, blitz the ingredients in a blender for 20 to 30 seconds until it gets foamy, then drink up. We can’t guarantee any health benefits (some will argue its high saturated fat content can do more harm than good), but we will say you get an ultra-rich, creamy mixture that’s oddly tasty in its own way.
Freeze coffee into cubes
This treat turns iced coffee on its head, employing frozen coffee cubes served with a jar of milk you’re meant to pour over the top—similar to UCC’s Kori Kohi. You can easily make it at home by freezing your favorite coffee in ice cube trays, then putting a few pieces in a glass and serving it with milk. Pour the milk over and watch the coffee cubes melt, infusing itself into the milk and forming a creamy coffee drink.
Add gelatin powder to make coffee jelly
Consisting of jellied cubes of coffee that are served with cream and/or milk, coffee jelly has been a Japanese favorite since the 1960s. It’s especially easy to make, essentially calling for mixing coffee with gelatin powder and letting it chill until set. Slice the jelly into cubes, then stir in a mix of cream and condensed milk, or simply top the cubes with whipped cream. In these hot summer days, it’s the perfect post-meal refreshment.
Quench your thirst with an espresso tonic
If you just can’t seem to perfect the deceptively simple Dalgona coffee but still want to upgrade your cup-of-joe experience, maybe it's time to give espresso tonic a try instead. Simply fill a glass with ice and tonic water, then stir in espresso (if you don’t have an espresso maker, you can make it with a French press) to get a cold, fizzy mix that soothes the senses. You can also replace the espresso with cold brew.
Take a cue from Singaporean cuisine and make coffee pork ribs
Coffee in a savory dish might sound weird at first, but don’t knock it till you try it. Coffee adds an unmistakable depth to this classic dish. This recipe calls for marinating pork in a mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, baking soda, an egg, and different flours, then frying and tossing the meat in a sweet-and-salty coffee sauce.
Mix coffee and tea to make yuanyang
People tend to classify themselves into coffee drinkers and tea drinkers, but for those of you in between, this drink—which is popular in Hong Kong—gives you the best of both worlds. There are a couple of versions online, but the procedure boils down to mixing coffee and milk tea (typically a 3:7-part ratio), then stirring in sugar to taste. You can enjoy it hot or iced.
Stir an egg into it
Egg coffee is a Vietnamese creation that dates back to the '40s, during which fresh milk was scarce. Also dubbed “egg cappuccino” and “liquid tiramisu,” this drink consists of brewed Vietnamese coffee (but you can substitute any coffee you have on hand) topped with a frothy mixture of egg yolks (make sure to use pasteurized eggs!) and sweetened condensed milk. As you might guess, it’s on the decadent side—it’s practically a dessert drink, but that’s precisely what makes it so addictive.
Squeeze some citrus into your beverage
Coffee and orange juice might seem like they belong to opposite sides of the spectrum, but the combo was once trendy in Phoenix, Arizona, and may in fact have roots in how espresso is commonly served in Italy—with lemon or orange peel on the side. To make the drink, just stir a shot of espresso into a glass of the juice. It might not be for everyone, but the pairing does have its own appeal, with the tartness and sweetness of the citrus balancing out the bitterness of the coffee.
Main image from Mayur on Unsplash and Pradeep Javedar on Unsplash.
this strange new world.