Coffee: a college student’s favorite beverage (besides alcohol of course). Most of us have more caffeine running through our veins than blood, and wouldn’t be able to function properly without our daily cup of coffee in the morning. For those of you who need coffee for survival, this article provides 15 glorious hacks that will make your coffee experiences all the better.
1. How to make homemade flavored syrup
At most coffee shops, adding only a couple pumps of flavored syrup can cost up to 75¢. Like most college students, I’m way too broke to afford that luxury. But instead of slowly killing myself by drinking black coffee, these recipes allow you to make your own flavored syrup at home with sugar and a few other accessible ingredients.
Not only will these syrups taste better and fresher than any of the bottled kinds you find at coffee shops like Starbucks, but a home-brewed cup of coffee will be so much more satisfying when you add your very own hand-crafted syrup to it.
2. How to make cold brew coffee
Cold brew coffee is all the rage nowadays, because of its stronger and richer taste and higher caffeine content. You can make it at home using these simple instructions that don’t even require a fancy French Press.
3. How to reheat coffee
Is it just me or does coffee definitely lose heat faster than water? One minute you’re sipping on a steaming cup of joe and the next your coffee is as cold as ice water. Not to worry though, coffee can easily be reheated to your liking.
Simply pour your cold coffee into any pot you have in your kitchen and heat on the stove over low temperature. Exercise patience, because the only thing worse than cold coffee is burnt coffee.
4. How to make your own latte
Lattes: another good but ridiculously expensive caffeine fix for coffee addicts. Luckily, you can actually make a latte at home without a milk steamer or other fancy equipment. Use this simple trick to froth your milk that requires only a mason jar and microwave. Add in some prepared instant espresso and voila, you’re basically a pro barista.
5. How to sweeten your coffee without sugar or artificial sweeteners
There are actually other ways to sweeten your coffee aside from sugar – fake or real. Cinnamon can be added to your coffee for sweeter taste and flavor and zero calories. You can also use honey or agave which are both all natural sweeteners, making them better than sugar. Almond and cashew milks are good add-ins for their nutty flavors and additional protein content.
If you like coffee drinks like mochas, you can add a dash of unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolatey taste, minus all the added sugar.
6. How to keep homemade iced coffee cold and not watery
The worst thing about iced coffee is having all the ice melt, turning it into water-flavored coffee and seriously reducing your caffeine buzz. Not cool. Luckily, all you have to do freeze leftover brewed coffee in ice cube trays, making coffee ice cubes that can easily be added to your iced coffee. This way even when these melt you’ll still have cold coffee, along with an extra caffeine boost.
7. How to make your coffee less bitter
There’s a little known secret to making bitter coffee less bitter and it’s something that almost everyone already has on hand in their house. That ingredient is salt. Simply adding a pinch of salt to bitter coffee is enough to counteract any bitterness because of the sodium, according to science.
8. How to find the best coffee shops while traveling
Even while traveling coffee is essential to a caffeine addict’s being. Trying to find the best coffee shop on the road? There’s an app for that! Actually, there’s several. For all the hipsters out there, there’s CoffeGuru, an app that locates nearby indie coffeehouses; then there’s Beanhunter, which is basically the Yelp for coffee drinkers; and finally if you’re addicted to Starbucks, the Starbucks app pinpoints the closest store to your current location. #Praise.
9. How to get even more energy from coffee
If you didn’t think it was possible to get even more caffeine out of your daily cup of joe, be prepared to have your life changed. Inspired by Tibetan tea and a favorite among those on Paleo diets, putting a pad of butter in your coffee will give you an added boost of energy, and give your coffee a creamier and silkier texture.
10. How to turn your coffee into dessert
If you want dessert and coffee, all you have to do is blend your coffee with some ice cream to make a chocolate-y milkshake. You’ll still get your caffeine fix, plus a sweet and satisfying dessert to accompany it.
11. How to reuse coffee grounds
There are tons of ways to reuse coffee grounds, so don’t throw them away. Toss some in your garden as a natural fertilizer and pest repellent. Get crafty and make them into a delicious smelling coffee candle that’s almost as satisfying as a freshly brewed cup of joe. Or, pamper yourself with this exfoliating coffee scrub and hair mask.
12. How to get the most out of your coffee
If you’re drinking coffee right when you wake up in the morning, you might be doing it wrong. According to science, the best times to drink coffee are 9:30 to 11:30 am and 1:30 to 5 pm. During other times of the day, our bodies are being naturally caffeinated by the hormone cortisol, making coffee unnecessary.
13. How to add flavor to your coffee before you brew it
Most people add flavor to their coffee after they brew it, but it’s actually better to add any flavorings in while you’re grinding the beans. If you grind your own coffee beans, try adding in cinnamon, lemon zest, or chocolate to the beans, in order to really enhance these flavor notes. This way, you won’t have to add in any extras once you brew it.
14. How to cook with coffee
There are a lot of recipes you can prepare using leftover brewed coffee, including both sweet and savory dishes. Use your leftover coffee in this braised cherry chicken to impress friends and family, or to show a date you know what you’re doing in the kitchen. For dessert, make these cupcakes, inspired by your favorite Starbucks drinks.
15. How to boost the effects of coffee
There’s a surprising trick to boosting the caffeine buzz in your coffee even after its effects have diminished on you, and that trick is grapefruit. By eating some grapefruit along with your morning coffee the caffeine from it stays in your bloodstream longer. Prepare to double your caffeine high and stay energized through a full day of classes.