Your grandfather always took his coffee black and never added creamer–he drank it straight from the pot to the cup to his lips. Yuck! How can anyone enjoy that?
Actually, it’s easier than you think. Coffee, like many things, is an acquired taste and it takes time to develop a taste for it; many people want to drink coffee but just can’t stand the taste. The same can be said for switching from creamed coffee to black coffee.
In today’s socially and medically conscious world, there are many reasons to consider drinking your coffee black. As the awareness of lactose intolerance spreads, many people may not realize it’s their coffee creamer giving them an upset stomach every day, and other people may want to nix the milk for ethical reasons if they are trying to go vegan.
Whatever your motivation is, let’s examine some tricks to getting used to drinking your coffee the old-school way–black, but maybe with a bit of spice. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to make coffee taste good without creamer!
Back Away Slowly, Don’t Run
Much like any smoker can tell you, quitting cold turkey can be absolutely brutal. It’s better to work your way down, slowly! One of the easiest ways to do this is to gradually reduce the amount of cream and or sugar you are using each morning–it may be convenient to use measuring cups and spoons for this.
You don’t even need to reduce the amount every day–you could do it slowly over weeks. Every few days, try reducing the amount of cream or sugar you are putting in your coffee until you become used to the new flavor.
Eventually, you’ll come to enjoy the flavor with less sweetener and might even begin to crave it that way. You may wonder why you needed cream or sugar in the first place!
Consider Spicing Up Your Life
The term “black coffee” is a flexible one–your coffee doesn’t need to contain zero additions to be “black coffee.”
Consider adding some spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to your morning cup; for something more exotic, you could try clove or ginger. But start slowly–these spices can be powerful, so add only a tiny pinch until you know what’s right for your personal taste.
Try Mild Brews and Build Up
Anyone who’s been to the coffee section at the supermarket lately knows there are tons of coffee varieties on the shelf, and most have a label that shows how strong or mild the coffee is. Start on the low end of the spectrum with a mild brew that isn’t so intense and work your way up. Alternatively, you can find some coffees that come pre-flavored to help take the edge off of what would otherwise be a strong or acrid brew. The more mild brews are typically a good place to start if you are looking for the coffee drink with the least caffeine.
Drinking your coffee black doesn’t have to be a miserable experience–starting slowly with mild brews or gradually adding spices can help to make drinking your coffee without milk just as enjoyable as when you used to drink it full of cream and sugar!