Coffee can be accompanied or combined with many ingredients to give it a different touch. And today, we are going to get to know one of these variants: coffee with cardamom. Coffee and cardamom have always gone well together, thanks above all to the acidic, eye-catching and slightly spicy counterpoint of this spice, which is widely used in Arabic cuisine. It is often added to coffee but also to tea, especially in the Middle East.
When we talk about the recipe for coffee with cardamom, we have to differentiate it from the traditional Arabic coffee, which is a coffee flavoured with various spices, including cardamom (although it is not obligatory, and a few others are always added).
The well-known oriental coffee with cardamom is not necessarily the same drink that we are going to explain in this article, which is only a combination of coffee and cardamom, with no other additives.
First of all: Getting to know cardamom
Before getting into the subject, we can’t talk about coffee with cardamom without first knowing what cardamom is because it is one of the most widely used spices in the world.
Cardamom is a spice with an aroma and nuances that are somewhat difficult to explain, complex and with very diverse notes. We can place it somewhere between citrus peel, mint, a light spiciness… but above all, it is very, very aromatic. It is widely used in all kinds of preparations, but especially in confectionery.
Cardamom is easy to find, both in online shops and in the typical spice jars in supermarkets (they usually come with the seeds whole, unground). It is always better to buy the whole seeds and grind them at home before using them in the kitchen, rather than buying them ground. In the latter version, they lose much of their strength and freshness.
How to flavour coffee with cardamom (step by step)
To prepare coffee with cardamom, we have two basic options: coffee with whole cardamom seeds, which is infused, or coffee with ground cardamom, which is obtained by mixing your usual coffee with ground cardamom and preparing it as you would any other espresso or filter coffee. The latter is a similar formula to the one we use when preparing malt coffee, chicory coffee and the like.
Well, although both methods will give you a coffee with a hint of cardamom, cardamom flavoured coffee is strictly speaking only the former.
It is basically an infusion in which the coffee is mixed with the whole (unground) beans of the spice in hot water and left to steep until the water is infused with the aromas and nuances of both ingredients equally.
The second case could be a coffee and cardamom espresso, not a simple flavoured coffee.
What is coffee with cardamom for?
Cardamom coffee is a variant of regular coffee that usually has a different, festive touch and is usually used in the Orient only on special occasions and holidays. One of the reasons for this has always been the high price of this spice.
Cardamom is also used to complement other traditional coffee recipes, such as the Arabic coffee mentioned above or pot coffee with cardamom. But in these cases, cardamom is not the only protagonist: it is part of a complex line-up of mixed spices and ingredients whose sole function is to flavour the coffee.
How to make coffee with cardamom: Traditional recipe
Time required: 10 minutes.
There are many ways to prepare coffee and cardamom, but we are going to take this one as a reference, which is very close to what should be the standard recipe.
1. The first thing to do is to grind the cardamom, always with a mortar and pestle (not a grinder)
You can use already ground cardamom, but the aroma will not be the same, and it will be too fine for certain processing methods. As a reference, use about 20 grams of cardamom for each cup of coffee you are going to extract.
2. Mix the ground coffee and cardamom
Stir well so that the mixture is homogeneous.
3. Use the coffee and cardamom mixture as if it were normal ground coffee in the preparation method you are using
How should you drink coffee with cardamom? Well, you can actually use any brewing method to make it. The one in the example is by infusion (French press), so the cardamom should not be ground too much, but you can also make cardamom coffee in an Italian coffee machine. In this case, you should use finer ground cardamom. Also, with a coffee strainer or with a drip cone, by manual filtering.
We also advise you to try different amounts of cardamom, varying gram for gram depending on your taste and the type of coffee you use (more intense or lighter). The aim is for the touch of cardamom to be perfectly distinguishable but without obscuring the characteristic aroma of the coffee.
If we wanted to summarise, we would basically say that it is a matter of mixing the coffee with the crushed or ground cardamom and passing the mixture through hot water (either through an infusion or through a pressure filter, this is up to taste) to obtain a coffee that tastes like cardamom.
We can also go into variants and add some other ingredients, such as coffee with cardamom and cinnamon. Still, then we would be getting closer to the Arab coffee we mentioned at the beginning and moving away from the simple and traditional coffee with cardamom.
Benefits of cardamom coffee: Basic properties
A well-made cardamom coffee, i.e. with a quality coffee bean and a balanced aroma where coffee and cardamom live side by side and do not stand out one over the other, is an experience that every coffee lover should try. And it also has the advantage that it is very easy to make at home.
The properties and benefits of coffee with cardamom can be summarised in the following points:
- It has antibiotic properties.
- It benefits the nervous system.
- It reduces and regulates blood pressure.
- It combats swelling.
- It helps to a better digestion.
- It is effective in alleviating bad breath.
In general, all the benefits of coffee with cardamom come from the presence of this spice, as all its properties remain intact when we include it in a cup of coffee.
Is it possible to buy ready-made cardamom coffee?
No, unfortunately, the recipe for coffee with cardamom is a very traditional preparation that must be made on the spot and with all the freshness of the ingredients that go into it. We are not aware of any product or manufacturer that sells ready-made cardamom coffee.