Wednesday, 09 May 2012
I came across a post on the Smithsonian blog and was absolutely shocked by what I read. People are putting things other than cream and sugar in their coffee! Apparently this is not a new thing, so it seems that I have been living under a rock because I had never heard of it until reading this post.
I usually take my coffee black, with maybe a touch of whole milk or half and half when I am in the mood for something lighter. Sometimes I dust cinnamon on top of a hot brew, or maybe even some vanilla powder that Starbucks keeps out, but a piece of cheese? What?! No thanks!
In her post Amanda Benson talks about how according to food writers’ unusual things in coffee are a tradition. For instance, the Finnish pour hot coffee over pieces of soft cheese. Here are some other additions to coffee:
REINDEER BONE: Norwegians grind it along with the coffee beans to make it less bitter. The bone has calcium which counteracts acid.
SALT: Sprinkling some in brewed coffee makes burnt beans taste less bitter. Now, Taiwanese salted coffee makes more sense than just mixing it in with a cup of hot coffee. This beverage mixes salt with sweet whipped topping and garnishes a cup of iced coffee.
ICE CREAM: Europeans, particularly Germans, dump a scoop on top of coffee. Sounds like dessert, not a breakfast beverage.
EGGS: Adding crushed egg shells to coffee grinds, like the reindeer bone idea. The Scandinavian tradition is to add a whole egg or egg white and egg shells to coffee grinds before brewing. Now this one is the strangest to me.
I suppose I can agree and say that you cannot argue with tradition, but this tradition is too insane for my taste. I would never try anything other than what I am already putting in my coffee. Some of the additives make scientific sense; sure, certain things may make the coffee less bitter, but if you don’t like coffee without these things, what is the point in drinking it? I never understood people who dump 10 sugar packets in their coffee—to me that is no longer coffee, its sugar syrup. Also, if the coffee beans are burnt or bitter to begin with, why not just make coffee from better beans? Am I being logical here or not?
Have you heard of this tradition? Would you ever put any of these things in your morning mug of coffee?