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5 Ways to Make Flavored Coffee at Home (Without Flavored Syrups)

How to flavor coffee

If you're looking for some ways to flavor your coffee without using artificial or sugar-filled syrups, there are more options available to you than you might expect—and many of them are already in your kitchen


#1 Add Spices to your Coffee Grounds before Brewing

One easy way to add some warm and inviting flavor to your coffee is to add spices to the coffee grounds before brewing. You can use spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, star anise—even cayenne pepper. But… probably not all of them at once.

Be sure to err on the side of moderation—if you accidentally add too much of a spice to the grounds, you might end up brewing a cup of coffee that is more or less undrinkable. But if you're adventurous, and willing to take extremely minor risks, adding natural spices to your coffee is an easy, straightforward way to enjoy flavored coffee at home.


#2 Add Extracts to Brewed Coffee

Adding an extract (i.e. vanilla) is another easy way to add some flavor to your coffee without using syrups. Vanilla, almond, and mint are all great options. Simply add a few drops of the extract of your choice to your coffee after brewing. As with the spices, make sure you don't go overboard, or you'll end up with a cup of coffee that's way too sweet and... extract-y.

Ahh, the old, reliable vanilla extract—just make sure it’s not too old. A lot of us (who aren’t bakers) only use a drop of vanilla extract once every 3 years, and have actually had the same little brown bottle in our cupboard since the Carter administration. Weird but true. Little known fact: Vanilla extract does indeed expire—especially the kind that’s made with real vanilla. Make sure yours is good before you go adding it to your coffee!


#3 Add a Splash of Fruit Juice (No, Really, I’m Serious)

If you're tired of the same old coffee flavors, why not mix things up by adding a little fruit juice? That's right, instead of using those pesky flavored syrups, just add a splash of orange juice, pomegranate juice, or cranberry juice to your cup. (It never hurts to add a little chocolate flavor when you're doing this, either)

You'll be amazed at the difference it makes. And who doesn't love getting 1/35th of their daily recommended intake of fruit in their coffee? (Or whatever a splash of juice equals) Next time you're in the mood for something different, ditch the syrup and reach for a carton of fresh OJ instead.


#4 Add Fruit Zest

Is your coffee not "zesty" enough? Why not add a little fruit zest? Just a small amount of citrus zest can add a distinct, refreshing flavor to your morning brew, brighting up the flavor and giving a refreshing "zing." Experiment with different combinations until you find the perfect mix for your taste buds.

Just remember, a little zest and zing goes a long way. So start out with just a small amount and adjust as needed.


#5 Add Cocoa Powder

Coffee and chocolate are a classic flavor combination. However, chocolate syrups can be overly sweet and can contain unhealthy ingredients. A different way to add some flavor to coffee is to use cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is made from ground-up cocoa beans, and gives coffee a rich chocolate flavor. It also contains healthful antioxidants, making it an even healthier choice than more sugary chocolate syrups.

Cocoa powder can be added to coffee in a number of ways: For the quickest, easiest fix, simply sprinkle some cocoa powder into your coffee cup before adding the hot coffee. For a more intense flavor, mix the cocoa powder with a little bit of hot water to make a paste, then add the mixture to your coffee. (Of course, you can also stir in some milk or cream to make a delicious mocha. Whatever method you choose, using cocoa powder is an easy and relatively healthy way to enjoy some chocolate flavor to your coffee.


If you’re looking for a way to jazz up your joe without sacrificing your health—or if you just want to save a lot of money compared to getting your flavored coffee fix at Starbucks—give these methods of making flavored coffee without syrup a try.

With just a few simple ingredients you probably already have at home, you can create delicious and relatively healthy flavored coffee that’s perfect for any time of day. Which one will be your flavorite?

Oops, typo—I meant to say favorite.


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