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The Best Spices to Add to Your Morning Coffee

The Best Spices to Add to Your Morning Coffee

Words Erin Meister

A few simple sprinkles can boost the flavor of your coffee and tickle your nose with the most intoxicating aroma of alluring cardamom, soothing cocoa, and spicy cinnamon.

There’s no need to suffer the winter blahs when you can easily spice up your brews for oohs and ahhs. Here are three easy spiced coffee recipes to help you feel a little zestier on these long, cold, early-dark days.

chai spice

Masala Chai Spice Cold Brew

The warm and fragrant spices more closely associated with masala chai can transform your usual cold brew into an aromatic treat with a complex but soothing blend of herbal star anise and cardamom, sweet cinnamon and sugar, and snappy pepper and ginger. The long steep means you don’t want to use ground spices; they will extract much too quickly and turn bitter and acrid. Also be sure not to steep this cold brew for longer than 12 hours, for the same reason.

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz coarsely ground coffee
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon black or pink peppercorns
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods, gently cracked (press down on them with the broad side of a chef’s knife)
  • 4 whole star anise pods
  • 3 small slices of fresh ginger (peeled), or use 3 pieces crystallized ginger and reduce sugar by ¼ tablespoon
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 40 oz room-temperature water

In a medium bowl, quickly combine and evenly mix the coffee grounds with all of the other dry ingredients, and place the mixture in the Brewing Container of your OXO Cold-Brew Coffee Maker. Place the Rainmaker on top, and pour your 40 ounces of water over the Rainmaker, slowly making circular passes in order to evenly saturate the grounds and spices. Once the water has been added, remove the Rainmaker and gently stir the grounds. Allow to steep for 12 hours, then dispense the liquid and discard the grounds and spices. Pour 2 ounces of the chai-spiced coffee over ice, and add 4 ounces of water and 2 ounces of cold milk or cream, adjusting to taste. Tip: Before you get started, learn how to use our Cold-Brew Coffee Maker.

Coconut-Cardamom Coffee

Creamy coconut and floral-earthy cardamom make for an exotic-tasting combination but are a cinch to whip up together. Simply heat 2 cups of whole coconut milk and 15 gently crushed cardamom pods in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat until steam rises from the liquid, stirring once or twice as it heats. Cover the pan and let the spices steep for 30-40 minutes. Strain the milk to remove the pods, and reheat the milk slightly if desired for serving; it can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

coffee spice

Spicy-Hot Mocha

Chocolate and coffee with a piquant kick is the secret behind this Mexican-inspired winter-morning sipper: Classic semisweet cocoa and familiar baking spices get a little extra jolt from either cayenne or chipotle chili powder—or, if you’re feeling like you need even more of a boost, both! Top this drink with frothed milk or a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa and cinnamon, and you’ll definitely feel fired up and ready for the day.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups (32 ounces) hot, freshly brewed coffee, prepared using the method of your choice
  • 6 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of cayenne or chipotle chili powder (adjust to taste)

Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and mix well to incorporate. Either stir the combination into a pot of fresh coffee, or divide the mixture evenly among 8-ounce mugs and pour hot coffee on top to mix; stir until the spices are completely incorporated. Top with frothed milk or whipped cream. Store unused spice mixture for up to a week in an airtight container.

Now that you’re ready to add flavor to your coffee, check out how to store and keep your spices fresh and how to make pumpkin spice latte.

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By Erin Meister

Erin Meister is a freelance writer for OXO. She is a specialty-coffee professional with 15-plus years as a barista, café manager, wholesale account representative, speaker, and educator; she currently sells green coffee for the Minneapolis-based importing company Café Imports. You can also hear her on weekly episodes of "Opposites Extract: A Debate Podcast about Coffee," available on iTunes.

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