“It’s Hump Day!” How much do every single one of us like to throw this little catchphrase around the office midweek? Wednesday isn’t just halfway through your five-of seven-day employment commitment, it’s a gauntlet of challenge upon challenge, and sometimes you just can’t handle it without a pick-me-up. Enter these amazing morning coffee add-ins to immediately make your life more delicious.
Besides the endless MikeMikeMike -ing that you’ll have to endure on Wednesday, there are also 10 a.m. mandatory staff meetings, entire projects that need to be wrapped in, like, the next two days, and the usual ladies’ night happy hour that you are socially obliged to make an appearance at in, oh, T-minus seven hours. With the pressure of all this and more, you deserve a serious pre-work boost to set the pace for this hectic day.
Enter caffeine, and, my personal favorite form of it, coffee! Delicious, rich, dark, smooth, bold, blonde and filled to the brim with half-and-half, or black, no matter how you take your Joe, there’s no denying sometimes it’s exactly what we need to keep us from falling behind on the midweek curve.
But sometimes the same old flavor profile doesn't give you what you're looking for. This is when it's time to get creative.
Here are six different ways to mix up your boring coffee routine that will still give you the drive of 10 thousand Mark Zuckerbergs, and the mental stamina of Limitless Bradley Cooper, all while keeping your taste buds guessing.
1. Kosher Sea Salt
You read that right: sea salt. Alton Brown calls it Man Coffee, which might make you cringe, but many practitioners of the salt-add method believe that a pinch of the kosher stuff counteracts the bitterness found in less than amazing cups of java. The jury is out in the objectivity department as far as whether it makes any chemical difference, but it's worth a shot, especially if you crave that mineral. Alton Brown makes his in a French press and it only takes four minutes.
2. Coconut Milk with Vanilla Extract
Want a creamy, dairy-free a.m. indulgence? Look no further than the full-bodied richness brought by coconut milk and the aromatic joy that only vanilla extract can lend to your brew. As an avid coconut freak, I'll take a tinge of that flavor in anything, but if you're not such a fan of beverages that smell like Hawaiian Tropic, then adding an extract is a great way to enhance the flavor's complexity while cutting down on the coconut.
3. Agave Nectar
Let's get real — agave nectar is sugar. As such, it is not healthier than other types of sugar, so this recommendation is strictly flavor based and has nothing to do with nutrition. That said, to me, agave has an interesting butterscotch aroma and taste to it, which, I'll be honest, is pretty intriguing. That plus sweetness is just the kind of change-up I want when everyone around me is circling back and quoting an insurance-hawking camel.
4. Butter. Butter. Butter.
Again, I am not supporting any health claims when I say that adding Kerrygold to my coffee sounds like the type of morning ritual that I could get into. My recommendation comes more from deductive reasoning than a health perspective: I like coffee —> I like butter —> butter is like cream —> I would put cream in my coffee —> I want something insanely indulgent on a Wednesday morning when I can't believe I'm still an adult in charge of my own life —> nothing is more indulgent than butter —> I will put Kerrygold in my coffee. See? Logic.
5. Booze. Do not judge.
Do not — I repeat — do not try this before work. Drinking on the job is not responsible, but nothing says you can't enhance one cup of Joe with one shot of Baileys if you have nothing to do for the next few hours. Just saying. Creamy and chocolatey, it might be a nice little reward for that six-miler you just pulled, or your new deadlift PR, or for making it halfway through the week without perpetrating any felonies against your fellow man. Hey, I'm not going to tell you how to live your life. Get creative with your coffeemaker in dangerous ways if you like. Live a little.
6. Ice Cream, Any Flavor
Saving arguably the most indulgent add-in for last, nothing says "You can do Wednesday, girl" like a caffeinated ice cream float at 7:30 in the morning. Pick your favorite flavor, or whatever you have in the depths of your freezer, and plop a dollop of said creamy goodness into your cup. And, yes, I'm using my Kerrygold logic on this one. It's essentially cream and sugar in one scoop, it's a great way to slowly enjoy that pint of Ben & Jerry's, and who says you can't have ice cream for breakfast? You're a grownup. You do what you want.
No matter what you put in that cup of caffeinated hopes and dreams, just remember, two more days until the weekend... and then you can drink anything you want.
Images: Getty Images (2); Giphy