Spiced Coffee

This morning I was up texting with my son around 4:30 am as he finished packing the last of his things to relocate and move today.  He is moving to one of our old 'stomping grounds' in Northern Minnesota, where we lived when he was young.

Just for kicks, I looked up the current temperature.  -20.
That is 20 degrees below zero.
Actual temperature.
The wind is blowing so the temperature with the wind chill factored in is -40.
-40 below zero.
Although I loved our years in Minnesota, I do not miss the long, freezing winters.  Although, it was because of those long, cold, freezing winters that I learned to drink and love coffee!

With deathly low temperatures on my mind, coupled with me awake, sipping hot, strong, black coffee; I suddenly started to think about spiced coffee.  Thus, this post is born!

Originally, it's believed spiced coffee originated as a way to make coffee taste better. Now, we have excellent quality available to us and we don't need to make it taste better, but a better quality coffee makes a better tasting spiced coffee drink to enjoy!

There are variations to the basic spiced coffee and it can go under a few different names (Brazilian, Moroccan, Mexican), but the general idea is a strong coffee or espresso flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne or black pepper and cream.  Many also use cardamom, but not all; and that is a regional or cultural ingredient as well as the type of 'pepper' used - if at all.

Depending on how you plan to prepare your spiced coffee, there are a couple 'hints and helps' to remember.  The first;
  • If you are using dry spices and flavorings (especially ground cinnamon) to add to your already brewed coffee:  you will want to mix all the dry ingredients together before adding it to the liquid as individual ingredients such as ground cinnamon (!!)  does not mix well and will float and clump.  Combining ground cinnamon with a powdered creamer, powdered sugar, cocoa or other dry ingredients helps it to blend easy.  If you want to add cinnamon by itself to a hot liquid you will want to 'whisk' it; which is hard in a coffee mug.  
The second being;
  • Actually grinding the spices together in a coffee or spice grinder will result in a better flavor, and for pour over style or French Press coffee the spices will be equally distributed and easily disperse and impart their flavors to the ground beans.
The first recipe is just a very generally used powdered mix to make spiced coffee quickly and easily, the no fuss way.  If you want to try leaving the cayenne out you can, but it's a very, very small amount and adds just a touch of spicy hot to the sweet of the cream and sugar.  I will post a version that uses black peppercorns instead below.

Grind or mix together;

2 T powdered sugar
1 T powdered creamer
1 T cocoa (powder)
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/8 t cayenne pepper
Add this to; 2 shots of espresso or about 6 oz. hot, strong coffee

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Kraft's version of Spiced Brazilian Mocha

Here is one from Kraft - but I would like to say I personally don't buy or eat Cool Whip topping and would prefer readers use a fresh, real whipped heavy cream.  The flavor will be worth it but here is their recipe without tweaking.

Spiced Brazilian Mocha

2 cups freshly brewed strong MAXWELL HOUSE Coffee, any variety
1 oz. BAKER'S Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cups milk
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

PLACE coffee and chocolate in heavy saucepan; cook on very low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring constantly with wire whisk.

STIR in sugar and cinnamon. Bring to boil on medium heat; cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk and vanilla, stirring until well blended. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally.

POUR into 4 large cups or mugs. Top with whipped topping. Garnish with a light sprinkling of additional cinnamon, if desired.

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I love this one because it opts to use cardamom (remember; I'm Swedish! Ha ha) and it uses coconut milk, dates to sweeten, as well as a vanilla protein powder instead of non-dairy creamer.  We don't regularly buy cow's milk - but use almond and coconut milk, which this one uses as well.  I like that. 

1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t ground cardamom seeds
4 cups coffee
1 cup vanilla protein powder
10 dates
2 cups plain unsweetened coconut milk

Brew your coffee with the cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Blend coffee, coconut milk, dates and protein powder in a high speed blender until smooth.  Fresh/dried dates don't melt like sugar obviously, so they need hot coffee to help 'melt' them.

*Dates, pitted 1 pound equals 2 1/2 cups sugar.  Date sugar can be substituted 1:1 for sugar but adjust according to your own taste.

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Here is the one I mentioned above - the one that uses black peppercorns instead of cayenne.  I love this one because it uses real ingredients; not the powdered version of creamer - and is brewed together - not mixed into pre-brewed coffee.

1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t ground black peppercorns
1/4 t ground green cardamom seeds
1/4 t ground cloves
coffee beans to equal about 4 cups coffee

Combine the spices and roughly 3/4 c coffee beans in a grinder. Brew the coffee and spices in your coffee brewer or place the spices in a coffee filter for a pour-over version; or brew in a 4 cup French Press.  After brewing, add hot milk (you can quickly microwave a cup of hot milk to heat it - don't boil it) and add sweetener or sugar of your choice to taste.

You might also be interested in pre-mixed, easy brewed Spiced Coffee k-cups or ground from Amazon;
20 Cup Marley Coffee® Sampler! 9 Flavors
Marley Coffee, Spiced Root Rum, 24 Count
NM PiƱon Coffee Mexican Spiced Chocolate Flavor 12oz. Ground
Trader Joe's Joyous Joe Ground Coffee Sampler - A Festive Assortment of Flavored and Spiced Coffees