The new year has brought some brutal weather to all kinds of areas and we’re all feeling the winter blues set in, as well as sinus pain, headaches, and the hopes that we don’t catch a cold. If you own an espresso machine, you have an advantage over everyone else because you have the power to make hot drinks that boost your energy, mood, and (with the right additions) maybe even your immune system. Explore the ways that home remedies for sinus issues, headaches, and getting over a cold can be incorporated into the drinks you make using your machine in your own kitchen every day.
The Obvious Solution
When the cold weather really begins to bite, you know that the obvious solution is to seek warmth. Holding a hot cup of coffee or tea in your hands is one way to achieve this, as is the warm steam that comes up from the mug, the aroma that comforts, and the feeling you get when you sip your brew. This is, of course, the simplest way to beat the cold when it comes to using your espresso machine to help but it’s actually just the beginning of the ways your beautiful machine can give you respite from the winter blues.
Spice it Up to Relieve Sinus Pressure
Even if you don’t catch a cold, the freezing weather is likely to dry out your sinuses and cause your nose to run. No matter what we do to combat these issues, they seem to always come back to get us. There a few spices you can add to your coffee grounds before adding them to the brew basket of your espresso machine that, along with the hot beverage produced, can help relieve sinus pressure. These ideas are taken from home remedies that others have tried and may offer a good alternative or supplement to other ways of dealing.
Cinnamon, ginger root, turmeric, mint leaves, cayenne pepper, and curry are all spices that have been used to help relieve sinus pressure. If you don’t want to grind up the spices yourself, you can use the ready made powdered versions but the organic whole herbs are likely to be the most effective. Some of the spices might be an acquired taste but once you find something that works, you’ll be able to combine your love of espresso with a boost for your day to keep your nose from running and your head from aching.
Skip the Sugar
One of the things that many people don’t realize is that refined sugar can be quite taxing on your immune system. Instead of adding the sugar or any other artificial sweetener to your espresso, try an alternative sweetener. Dark chocolate that is 70% cocoa or more, cinnamon, nutmeg, or sea salt will cut the bitterness of bold coffee without compromising your ability to fight off all the germs and sickness flying around at this time of year.
Caffeinate Your Headaches
There are many over the counter medications for headaches that include caffeine as a major ingredient for a reason. A cup of espresso when you feel a headache coming on can be just what you need to stop it from ruining your day. A touch of mint leaf or some cinnamon can serve as an extra boost that makes you feel energized and pain free throughout the day. Since these spices may also relieve sinus pressure, an espresso drink made with them can work for you in more ways than one.
Brew a Tea Latte
Your espresso machine probably includes a hot water spigot that is perfect for quick hot water that you can use to brew tea. There are all kinds of herbal tea out there to help you fight a cold, relieve sinus pressure, or get rid of a headache, or you can use herbs to create your own. The steamer wand attachment on your espresso machine allows you to brew your tea and then add steamed milk for a tea latte that not only assists in healing but also comforts. Try using raw honey, almond milk, coconut milk, or fresh squeezed lemon in your tea for an added boost.
Tools For Healing
If your plan is to make up your own herbal blends, there are a few tools you may want to employ to keep things simple. First, a mortar and pestle is excellent for crushing up herbs that go directly into a strainer for brewing tea. Next, a burr grinder will make adding herbs and spices to coffee grounds an easy task. You can put the additions in with the whole coffee beans to grind everything into uniform particles that pack into your espresso machine’s brew basket as tightly as they should. Next, a good blender will make all kinds of drinks that you may not have even thought about yet but will inevitably want to try once you get going experimenting with different recipes.
Lastly, a few good travel mugs are invaluable when you are on the go but want your own homemade brews available wherever you are. If you plan to bring more than one beverage with you to work or a long day of any kind, invest in a large thermos. There are varieties available that plug in to heat up the brew when you’re ready to drink it so your beverage is always hot without having to deal with searching for a microwave.
If You Can’t Beat the Cold, Join It!
This might sound insane, but a good shot from your espresso machine poured over ice or mixed with ice can be a good way to beat the cold. Many establishments overdo the heat to try and keep their customers comfortable and we can all be guilty of the same in our homes. Going from the heated areas to the cold outside can be the worst way to overtax your immune system and make it work extra hard to keep you fighting whatever is out there to catch. A cup of iced coffee may not seem comforting but it can work wonders when you’re inside, you need a boost, and the cold has you wishing for summer sun. Either way, when it comes to beating the winter blues, your espresso machine has all the answers you need!
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