For the past three nights, you’ve stayed up ‘til the wee hours of the morning, rushing to finish assignments and studying for that dreaded midterm. Your schedule cuts you no slack as you run out the door to your 8 a.m. lecture. You look down. Your socks are mismatched and your left eyelid twitches from lack of sleep. It’s clear—you need a cup of coffee to help you get through the day.
Though you love your usual order, why not switch up your coffee routine with something a little bit more adventurous?
1. Cold Brew
Don’t be tricked by the name—cold brew coffee isn’t the same as iced coffee. Cold brew coffee is made by brewing coffee beans over cold water for up to 24 hours. The fact that cold brew coffee never comes into contact with heat makes the taste less acidic than iced coffee. Cold brew coffee also has more caffeine and doesn’t taste as “watered down” as iced coffee might.
2. Thai Iced Coffee
Also called “oliang” by the Thai Chinese, this drink is brewed from a blend of coffee beans, soybeans, sesame seeds, and corn. This unique concoction is served with a pitcher of condensed milk or evaporated milk and sugar. Though it’s not found at major coffee chains, keep an eye out for it at boba tea shops, which are more likely to serve this unique drink due to the eastern influence of the drinks they offer.
3. Flat White
Despite its recent popularity in America, the flat white originated in Australia and has long been a favorite. The flat white is made by adding microfoam steamed milk to a single shot of espresso and is known for its “velvety” consistency from the method of mixing the milk with the rest of the coffee. It ends up with a 2:1 milk to expresso ratio, making it a stronger drink than the popular latte but not as strong as the macchiato.
4. Carbonated Coffee
Yes, it’s a real thing—this new craze is fueled by companies adding nitrogen to coffee or pouring cold expresso over tonic water to give it a fizzy kick. Also served in cans by companies like Coffer and BibiCaffe, you can now crack open a bottle of carbonated coffee without leaving the comfort of your home.
Want to make your own? Simply pour a shot of cool expresso or a concentrated cold brew over sparkling water and ice. Flavor with a syrup sweetener to your liking.
5. Coconut milk in coffee
Starbucks recently added to its menu an option to add coconut milk as a substitute for dairy this past February. Coconut-based products have been soaring in popularity (think coconut oil and coconut water), and coconut milk is added to coffee due to its thick, creamy consistency. Research is still emerging regarding coconut milk and its health claims, so don’t overdo it; however, it adds a mild and slightly sweet flavor that really brings out the richness of coffee.
Esther Chen is a fourth year student studying clinical nutrition at the University of California, Davis. She hopes to complete a dietetic internship and become a registered dietitian.