The Ratio To Follow When Adding Spices To Your Coffee

There's something about the spices that make the drinking coffee a little more special. And while we may not think of it as we're sipping, adding some spice to your coffee is easy to achieve at home. But it's all about getting the ratio right. The amount of spice you add is going to determine its impact on the overall brew. The general rule is that a little goes a long way. So, ½ a teaspoon of ground spice per 6 cups of coffee is a good measurement to start with. As most coffee pots tend to go up to 12 cups, your ratio would become 1 teaspoon per pot of coffee.

But where does that teaspoon go? Does it go directly into the coffee once it is brewed? No –  you actually add your measurement of ground spice directly to your coffee grounds. This way, the water is able to infuse the grounds and spices together as the coffee brewing, rather than the spices simply floating around in your mug. Spices like cinnamon are not soluble, meaning they won't incorporate into brewed coffee the way sugar will. Hence why it's necessary to add them to the grounds beforehand if you want to extract the best possible flavor. This particular spice-adding method works very well with drip coffee machines — but it's hardly the only method for spicing up your morning brew. 

More ways to spice up your morning coffee

Another great way of spicing up your morning brew is to take whole spices and store some in your coffee beans. Whether it's a cinnamon stick, whole nutmeg, cardamom pods, whole cloves, ginger root, or star anise, the spices will infuse into the coffee beans over time. This way, by the time you are ready to grind them, the beans will already have the spicy flavors that you're looking for. 

One thing to keep note of with this method is that your grinder will likely hold onto the flavor of the spices. This is easily solved with cleaning, however. As with the very first method, how much spice you add will equal intensity of flavor. Therefore, err on the side of less. After all, you can always add more, but you can't take it away. 

You can also add whole spices to your cold brew. The spices will infuse directly into the preliminary concentrate, making it a great method for those who really like spice-forward coffee. You could go spice-heavy for something like a cold brew chai, or keep it on the milder side with just a cinnamon stick. Just remember that whatever spice you put in will infuse with the coffee for at least 12 hours. You'll likely need to experiment more than once to get your flavors just the way you want them.