The best way to drink coffee

I’m going to say it… I like coffee. I really do.
It’s amazing how easy it is to attach guilt to certain foods or drinks, but as with anything – it’s all about balance - moderation people!

I don’t drink tea – as in black tea, with milk, the very British type of tea – AT ALL. I... dare I say it, really enjoy green tea, and also love white tea and herbal tea - I drink a ton of the stuff. But coffee I limit. Mostly because if I have more than one a day it plays havoc with my blood sugar.
My favourite way to drink coffee is at a coffee shop, whiling away my time with a magazine/book/newspaper/croissant (oops) – particularly and especially in the sun, on holiday at a cute little café, just soaking up that laid back atmosphere.
But, failing that any coffee shop will do. Obviously I would prefer to go to a sweet little independent – they usually have more in the way of choice in milks and sweeteners and so on, as well as a nice little vibe – but on my route to work/lunchtimes I have to make do with one from a coffee shop chain. MY favourite is Costa in the UK, but this is a matter of taste and I know many people who prefer Starbucks.
Anyway, if you’re drinking coffee out there’s a lot of choice, and I recently decided to weigh up all of the options available on the high street. I always choose the smallest size – like I said, too much caffeine and I lose it! – so for comparison I’ve looked at the small options in both Costa and Starbucks:

Flat white
Skimmed milk 80 cals
Full fat 148 cals
Soya 103 cals
Full fat only 119 cals
Skimmed milk 63 cals
Full fat 106 cals
Soya 77 cals
Skimmed milk 55 cals
Full fat 92 cals
Soya 62 cals
Skimmed milk 70 cals
Full fat 128 cals
Soya 89 cals
Skimmed milk 67 cals
Full fat 113 cals
Soya 75 cals
Skimmed milk 13 cals
Full fat 19 cals
Soya 15 cals
Without milk 6 cals
Skimmed milk 45 cals
Full fat 82 cals
Soya 57 cals
Not on menu
3 cals
6 cals

I don’t count calories, but for those who do – and those who are just interested in that kind of thing – it’s interesting to see the comparison.
At home I always use almond milk because I try not to have too much dairy (and I love cheese so I choose my battles) but chain coffee shops in the UK don’t have very much in the way of choice, so I usually opt for soya milk. I also like some sweetness in my coffee so I carry stevia with me most of the time, but if I don’t have this I’d opt for half a brown sugar.
Brown sugar is less processed than white and therefore contains slightly more minerals and slightly fewer calories according to this source – and whilst the amount you will use is tiny and therefore the effects are miniscule I still feel better about using this IF I have to.
After weighing up my options lately I’ve switched from the overly milky latte and when I want a long drink go for a simple Americano, which means you can add your own milk to taste, or an espresso  macchiato which is a short drink and comes in one of those tiny espresso cups which makes you feel like a giant (just me?). It’s basically an espresso topped with a tiny shot of foamed milk to take some of the ‘harshness’ away and guaranteed to pep you up.
At home though I love a morning coffee at the weekend or an evening coffee after my dinner during the week. We use decent ground coffee (not instant) and a proper coffee machine like this one. I add a teaspoon of coconut palm sugar, a quarter/half a teaspoon of cinnamon, foam some almond milk and there you have it. Almost guilt free (because you should always limit your coffee intake) but feels like a treat – and it usually stops me wanting dessert in the evening.
Coconut sugar is not only highly sustainable, but also lower in fructose, contains more nutrients and has a lower glycaemic index than standard sugar – which means that you’ll have less of a sugar rush/crash. The cinnamon is an addition I made at the recommendation of one of my favourite bloggers at The Skinny Confidential as it not only adds a lovely warming spicy flavour but can also "help to control sharp rises and falls in blood sugar levels [and] theoretically reduce cravings". Lauryn talks about these benefits all the time and there are numerous sources that back this up.
Try it and let me know what you think – and any coffee recommendations you have for me.

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