I have a confession to make. I used to have a REALLY bad Dunkin Donuts coffee habit. This was just in the last couple years. Even with a very clean diet overall, those sugary sweet coffees were an indulgence that I knew was terrible for me, but I kept drinking as a treat because I didn’t know how to make coffee I liked very much at home.
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What’s The Big Deal?
First off are the beans themselves… conventional coffee is one of the highest contaminated crops in the world, being treated with a myriad of pesticides. It even ranks on the Dirty Dozen list.
Now after the coffee comes the flavoring. The list of chemicals in a Dunkin or similar drive-thru coffee are terrible, but coffee flavorings you may grab at the grocery store to take home are almost as bad.
Per their website, Coffee Mate’s Hazelnut Flavor Coffee Creamer *literally* contains no hazelnuts. No, as you can see from the ingredient list below, that flavor comes from an unidentified cocktail of “natural and artificial flavors.” (Learn how these nasty chemical flavorings actually affect the brain and making one addicted to these products here.)
Water, Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, and Less than 2% of Sodium Caseinate (a Milk Derivative)**, Dipotassium Phosphate, Disodium Phosphate,Â Mono- and Diglycerides,Â Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Color Added, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Carrageenan.
What I am Drinking Instead
So how am I getting around this? Drinking organic coffee that I brew at home with my super basic Mr. Coffee maker, found here on Amazon.
Organic coffee ensures that chemicals literally illegal in the US aren’t used in my favorite imported blends.
And to flavor it, I am using good old maple syrup and topping it off with organic half and half.
Here is a caution too on maple syrup… the only ingredient should be, “Maple syrup.” This is not what you find in Aunt Jemima type “pancake topping.” Also beware of companies that market something called “table syrup” in jugs similar to what you find real maple syrup in, but when you read the ingredients they’re pretty much high fructose corn syrup and nasty flavorings. (They taste about as appealing as that sentence sounds, so if you haven’t tried real maple syrup, you are in for a real treat!)
How to Make it
Brew 2 tablespoons of organic coffee per cup of water.
Add 1 tablespoon of real maple syrup to the bottom of your coffee mug.
Pour the coffee over the maple syrup and stir.
Top off with organic half and half. (I am known to use straight heavy cream sometimes too. Remember, our bodies need fat. Fat doesn’t make me fat, sugar and junk does!)
Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that tastes delicious, but actually compliments the coffee and allows the beans’ natural flavor to shine, as opposed to a chemical-laden flavoring that masks the coffee’s natural taste in the first place and just screams “Hazelnut!” or whatever it is.
And if you’re drinking a good quality, organic coffee, you’ll find you probably don’t miss all those fake flavors in the first place, because the coffee itself is so delicious.
If you’re still wanting a flavored coffee, might I suggest adding a dollop of my 1-minute blender whipped cream? Use organic almond flavoring or real vanilla in it, and you are in for a treat.
Give It Time
If you are like I was and have been drinking a bunch of artificially flavored coffees for a while, it will probably take a little time for your taste buds and brain to get used to not having those addicting flavorings in your coffee.
After a while, though, I bet you will find the taste of a real-food coffee so much more appealing, and a true delight to drink.