Give Your Coffee A Unique Burst Of Flavor With This Classic Spice

Glass of fresh espresso
Glass of fresh espresso - Yelenayemchuk/Getty Images

When it comes to dressing up a cup of coffee, cream and sugar are the standard inclusions. However, there's another addition you can stir in for an upgraded flavor: cardamom. Cardamom has a distinctive peppery, almost minty flavor with notes of pine and citrus. It also has a decidedly floral touch to it while bringing a warm quality that gives your drink a cozy feel when you add it. It might sound like an unlikely combo, but it's actually not all that unexpected. In Southeast Asia and the Middle East, cardamom is a common inclusion in this beverage. The spice grows in these regions and has been used in the beverage for hundreds of years.

Whether you want to participate in an age-old coffee-drinking tradition from a different part of the world or you're just interested in a new way to start your day, adding cardamom is the way to go. Just make sure to avoid a few spice mistakes for flavoring your drip coffee, such as adding the seeds at the wrong stage and using the wrong style of spice.

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Tips For Creating The Perfect Cup Of Cardamom Coffee

Cardamom pods and coffee
Cardamom pods and coffee - Oksana Ermak/Getty Images

The first thing to know is that you don't want to use the usual ground cardamom you'll find on supermarket shelves. The ground variety won't have the same rich flavor as cardamom pods, as it's been stripped of the essential oils. What's more, if you add it directly to your coffee, it can clump together and form an unappetizing blob of mush in the bottom of your cup. Or, if you add it to your coffee grounds, depending on your filtration method, it can wind up clogging your coffee maker's tubes. So, when making cardamom coffee, you'll want fresh green cardamom pods.

Once you've got your pods in hand, there are actually a few different ways to prepare your brew. The easiest method is to split the spice open and pop a few pods directly into your cup. The spice can be fairly strong, so start with one pod and add more as needed to get the right kick of flavor. Another option is to grind the pods and mix them with your coffee grounds. Then, use the combination to brew your favorite style of filtered coffee. Finish off your concoction by adding your usual cream and sugar to taste. Or, enjoy it black and let the notes of the spice shine through.

Other Flavors To Spice Up Your Coffee

Coffee beans and cinnamon sticks
Coffee beans and cinnamon sticks - TanyaLovus/Shutterstock

Cardamom isn't the only spicy kick for your morning cup of coffee. There are plenty of other mix-ins you've likely already got in your spice cabinet that can really enhance your cup of joe. One easy addition is cinnamon. Just add a spoonful or two to your coffee grounds and prep the brew as usual. You'll get a boost of extra flavor, imbuing your drink with woody, warm notes that balance out some of the bitterness of the coffee. Plus, cinnamon adds a sweet touch that can give the illusion of adding sugar to your drink. Another spice to use might be star anise. This addition brings licorice notes as well as sweet, earthy flavors.

You could play around with spice blends, such as pumpkin pie spice. This is a mix of warming spices, including nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger and cinnamon. It even sometimes includes cardamom, giving you a mild floral flavor and adding a twist on using cardamom alone in your brew. Pumpkin pie spice adds sweet notes and cozy autumn flavors that can give the illusion of drinking a pumpkin spice latte. Other spice blends you could try include s'mores blends, apple pie spice, and Persian Advieh, a mix of cinnamon and cardamom with hints of cumin and coriander. Experiment with your own flavor combos, or stick with cardamom. No matter which you go with, you're bound to get an upgraded twist on your morning brew!

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