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Add a Spicy Kick to Your Coffee; Here's How!

If you're finding your coffee a little flat, spice things up a little with ingredients from your spice cabinet. Here's what you need to know.

coffee and spice

If you've wanted to spice up your coffee without adding calorie-laden syrups, sweeteners, and flavored creamers, we've got an idea for you.


Yes, actual spices from your spice cabinet are an ideal way to add flavor to your coffee without derailing your diet. Some of the spices you use might even add to the health benefits of your coffee. Read along for ideas of spices to add to your favorite hot beverage along with the best way to add those spicy flavors.

What Spices To Add

When deciding what to add to your coffee, go with your taste buds. You can certainly add the classics, think baking spices, to add flavor to your coffee. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, allspice, star anise, and ginger are all great choices to enhance your coffee experience. You can even branch out to other spice choices like mixed spices--Mixed Spice, apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice, and specialty spice blends like Kafe Hawajj (made specifically for coffee!) You can even make your own mocha by adding cacao nibs to your coffee for a rich chocolate flavor. If you don't have cacao nibs, add a sprinkle of cocoa powder to your coffee grounds before brewing.

If you want to be super adventurous, consider adding chili or cayenne pepper to your coffee grounds basket. A little goes a long way, so make sure you don't overdo it. Make your own twist on Mexican cocoa by adding coffee along with your pepper. For a citrusy coffee, add some lemon or lime peel to your coffee grounds. This is especially tasty when making your cold brew. If you're a fan of Chai spiced tea, you can add the same spices to your coffee for a delicious cup.

How to Add Spices

There are a couple of ways to add spice to your coffee. Unlike syrups and flavored creamers, you will add spices to your coffee in the brewing stage. The easiest way to add spice to your coffee is to sprinkle ground spices right onto your coffee grounds. For a fresher experience, add whole spices to your grinder with your whole beans and grind them all together. Using whole spices means more aromatics when grinding. Be advised, if you use the whole spice/grinding method, be prepared to either clean your grinder extremely well afterward, use a separate grinder for grinding your coffee with spices, or deal with the potential to have a little of the spice in future pots of coffee.

How Much Spice to Add

When adding spice to your coffee grounds, just like just about everything else we've mentioned, you can measure with your heart. But a good starting place is with one-half teaspoon of ground spice per six cups of coffee. If adding whole spices to your grinder, you will have to work with trial and error. Because dried spice is more intense than fresh, you should add as much whole spice as would equate to around one teaspoon. As with any flavorings, adjust as you like to suit your tastes.

Other Flavoring Options

You can use just about any spice or herb to add flavor to your coffee. It all depends on what you like. Vanilla flavor can be added by including a piece of a vanilla bean in your brew basket or a couple of drops of vanilla extract in your grounds. Add a lovely floral flavor to your coffee by sprinkling some lavender flowers on your coffee grounds before brewing, or adding some to your whole beans before grinding. To add a refreshing twist to your brewed coffee, add a few drops of peppermint oil to your coffee grounds, or try grinding up some peppermint or spearmint leaves along with your whole beans.

Brewing Method

Regardless of which brewing method you choose, you can still add extra flavor to your coffee using spices, herbs, and other methods. You can add spices to your coffee grounds in your drip coffee maker, your pour-over coffee funnel, your French press, your cold brew, and any other coffee brewing method you might use.

A Little Tip

When making your spiced coffee, cut down on the bitterness factor by adding a pinch of salt to the grind basket. That's right! If you like your coffee to be a tad bitter (you know who you are), you can leave this step out. But, if you want your coffee to have a clean flavor without the bitterness masking the flavors, just add a pinch of salt and brew up your pot of coffee.

What flavors will you be adding to your coffees? Share with us on Facebook or in the comments!

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