Coffee has been a popular beverage for centuries. Since its discovery, it has helped people stay alert and focused. While some enjoy its bitterness, others are always interested in new flavors and substances to enhance the coffee-drinking experience. Take a trip to your favorite coffee shop to get an idea of all the options available: milk, syrup, and more.
Some might think there are no options left to sample, but there is always room for experimenting with the classic brew. One such option that has popped up more often lately is kefir. Kefir has been a popular health beverage for years now and is readily available more than ever. As its popularity has grown, many have considered its potential as a coffee additive. But what is it?
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage. Despite its reputation as an up-and-coming health drink, it has been around for thousands of years. Those in the know have enjoyed kefir as a beverage for just as long. Its name is a spin on an old Turkish word “kief” which translates to “good feeling.” Since it is fermented, kefir contains a lot of good bacteria that help keep the gut healthy. The U.S. Dairy industry believes that this bacteria can even help improve lactose digestion. Its potential to replace the cream in coffee with kefir, especially for folks with lactose intolerance, sounds alluring.
Kefir has a smoothie-like consistency with a tart flavor. Its texture is similar to yogurt but thinner and easier to drink. With some patience, you could pour kefir into your morning coffee. It has potential as a substitute for milk or cream. Not everyone drinks milk from cows, however. Even for those who do, it never hurts to have options, and kefir provides plenty.
Although traditionally made from cow’s milk, there are plenty of other varieties. The fermentation process works with goat, sheep, and buffalo milk. But what if you are vegan or want to avoid dairy altogether? According to the Probiotics Council, there is a dairy-free version of the drink called water kefir. Similar to kombucha, water kefir is made by adding a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts to sugar water and letting it ferment.
Whether you want to buy your kefir pre-made at the grocery store or make it yourself at home, you can alter it to suit most dietary preferences. Once you have your kefir in hand, why not try adding it to your coffee? For those who prefer to let others do the experimenting for them, however, others have fortunately published the results for us to read.
One coffee drinker, Seth, shared his experience on nutritionally.org: “I slowly poured the kefir in and watched it curdle in the bottom of my cup. Not to be deterred, I tried it. In short, it was super gross.” Seth believes the problem had to do with the different temperatures of the two beverages. While coffee is often served piping hot, dairy-based kefir is chilled. Combining the two resulted in an unfortunately undrinkable concoction, according to Seth.
If you are determined to add kefir to your hot coffee, Seth suggests using warmed kefir to avoid curdling. Although this method might result in a more drinkable mixture, you may diminish the probiotic benefits of kefir in the resulting brew. Another option is to add kefir to your iced coffee. This method may create a drink with a more pleasant look and a better taste. Finally, Seth suggests using water kefir as an option.
Stacy from myloveforkefir.com cautions against using any dairy-based kefir as an additive to coffee. According to Stacy, the point of drinking kefir is the beneficial probiotic effect. Adding dairy kefir to coffee eliminates the benefit. Stacy recommends using water-based kefir if you want to experiment with a coffee and kefir beverage.
The experimenters agree that water-based kefir achieves the best results. If you are anxious to try this at home, the internet can deliver plenty of recipes. A simple recipe found on culturedfoodlife.com walks you through the process using only five ingredients. Although it can take a few days to ferment, the resulting concoction may soothe your craving for a healthy and motivational beverage.