The Wholesome Handbook

I love my coffee black. I love it with cream, I love it Vietnamese style, I love it hot and cold, spiced and milky. I may be a one-cup-a-day kind of gal, but that one cup is my most sacred morning ritual. There’s nothing more intoxicating than the earthy smell of freshly roasted beans, pulsed in a burr grinder seconds before brewing. One of my favourite days from my honeymoon in Bali involved a trip to a local roaster and a thick, sweet cup of kopi luwak, the beans harvested from the droppings of wild civets.

There’s a pretty pervasive narrative out there that extols those of us who take our coffee black. But sometimes you just don’t have the best craft beans on hand, or you’re feeling something creamy and sweet, or you just want a change. There’s no shame in experimenting with your morning brew, and your status as a Cool Person doesn’t hinge on how you take your coffee. Of course, I would never disrespect a truly amazing cup of coffee by drowning it in sugar and cream – but we live in the real world, where sometimes we buy and drink the crappy stuff. Besides, its fun to experiment. I highly encourage play in all areas of life, especially in the kitchen. Here are some of my favourite ways to kick up an otherwise mediocre brew!


As unusual as it sounds, a tablespoon of butter in coffee makes for a nourishing and delicious potion that will keep you going all day. Make sure to use unsalted, grass-fed butter to reap all the benefits of your daily dose of vitamin k and those healthy omega-3 fatty acids!

Lavender + Condensed Milk
Sweet, floral, and completely unique, this magical concoction will make you feel like Queen Titania herself. Add a pinch of lavender to your coffee grounds before brewing, and stir in a tablespoon of condensed milk once your cup is brewed.

Salt + Maple Syrup
A conservative pinch of salt in any pot of coffee will do wonders to counteract bitterness. Pair it with a spoonful of grade B maple syrup (more flavourful than grade A) for a woodsy, robust treat.

Cardamom + Rosewater
A traditional Middle Eastern brew, coffee with cardamom is smoky, smooth, and rich. Add a cracked cardamom pod to your coffee grounds before brewing, and a tablespoon of rosewater to finish off this luxurious cup.