When his inner barista emerges, he enhances his cup with everything from maple syrup to eggnog to Ovaltine to peppermint ice cream.
He's rarely disappointed with his creations, but it turns out it's equally easy to add intrigue to your coffee without sweeteners, creamers, or syrups.
Sign up for the Cook's Insider newsletter
The latest recipes, tips, and tricks, plus behind-the-scenes stories from the Cook's Illustrated team.
To make coffee feel different and special, my colleague Eric Haessler has found you can simply add spices and other flavorings to the drip basket.
Drawing inspiration from flavored coffees from Mexico, the Middle East, and New Orleans, he came up with 3 flavorings our whole team loved.
How to Add Flavorings to Drip Coffee
The Complete Guide to Healthy DrinksMore than 160 recipes for expense-saving, sugar-sparing, all-natural beverages
How to Store Coffee
We have found that fresh, room-temperature beans make coffee with slightly more flavor than frozen beans.
That's because the oils on chilled beans congeal and don't release their flavor as readily. However, exposure to oxygen eventually causes coffee beans to lose much of their flavor. Storing beans in the freezer will slow down this process. After a month, we found that frozen beans made better-tasting coffee than beans stored on the counter.
Therefore, if you buy freshly roasted beans every week or two, keep them on the counter in an airtight container away from direct sunlight. If you buy beans less often, store them in the freezer.