Elevate Your Next Cup Of Coffee With A Dash Of Yemeni Hawaij

Those familiar with Yemeni recipes will know about hawaij. Also known as hawaj, hawayei, or hawayij, the term means "mixture" in Arabic. This warming assortment of spices can be mixed into recipes with ease and offers an aromatic addition to stews and vegetable dishes. Typically made with cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, black pepper, coriander, and cumin (the exact spices used in hawaij can vary), the pungent mixture can be tossed into marinades or sprinkled onto proteins for a quick upgrade of flavor. Yet hawaij needn't be reserved for food. The colorful combination of spices can instantly bring a burst of punchy taste to tomorrow's morning cup of coffee. If you're a pumpkin pie spice fan, hawaij is right up your alley. 

While you can make your own hawaij mixtures by combining ground spices, it is also possible to buy pre-made blends. Both sweet and savory varieties of hawaij are available. When looking to incorporate this spicy mixture into morning coffee rituals, start with the sweeter version of the mixture — a convenient, ready-to-mix powder of ginger, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg. Begin by including a half teaspoon in your French press before adding hot water, then taste the result. Additional sprinkles of the spice can be added if your palate calls for more warmth.

This is not your regular cup of Joe

If you're not sold on the idea of adding spices to your morning cup of Joe, try sprinkling a pinch of the mixture on top of a freshly brewed mug. Just as adding a pinch of salt can turn up the volume of some of the flavors found in your coffee roasts, a touch of hawaij can enhance layers of coffee flavor notes.

After sampling cups of coffee flavored with an assortment of ground spices, you may find yourself sprinkling spoonfuls into banana bread recipes or into the next batch of cinnamon carrot muffins you bake. The mixture of spices can warm honey whipped cream recipes and complement slices of freshly baked apple pie, and lovers of turmeric golden milk will enjoy swirling the flavorful addition into steaming cups of milk. Since hawaij is a flexible combination of ingredients, the adaptations are endless when it comes to ways to bring more flavor to the foods and beverages you make at home.