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We visited some Ethiopian friends a few weeks ago and they made this awesome coffee -- regular filter coffee spiced up with pounded cloves, cinnamon and black pepper.. It was one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had

This is my first post in this forum so forgive me if this is really a novice post.. but man that coffee was really good and I had to share!

Do you all spice your coffee? What do you add to it? Are there spices that should not be added?

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Glad to find a post by another novice. I am a novice, but I am also a coffee purist in that I almost always drink it black. I am VERY interested to hear what other members have to say on this topic.

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Color me interested too. I've been toying with the idea of tossing some cardamon into the filter in my espresso machine to see if I could come close to the cardamom coffee I've had in the past.

Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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Color me interested too. I've been toying with the idea of tossing some cardamon into the filter in my espresso machine to see if I could come close to the cardamom coffee I've had in the past.

That sounds good and I think it might be really good with the strong black cardamoms from the Indian store - but I am guessing here... hmm.. sounds really nice though

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Color me interested too. I've been toying with the idea of tossing some cardamon into the filter in my espresso machine to see if I could come close to the cardamom coffee I've had in the past.

That sounds good and I think it might be really good with the strong black cardamoms from the Indian store - but I am guessing here... hmm.. sounds really nice though

I only have green cardamom on hand right now, but I'll give it a try and report back.

Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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Color me interested too. I've been toying with the idea of tossing some cardamon into the filter in my espresso machine to see if I could come close to the cardamom coffee I've had in the past.

That sounds good and I think it might be really good with the strong black cardamoms from the Indian store - but I am guessing here... hmm.. sounds really nice though

I only have green cardamom on hand right now, but I'll give it a try and report back.

I just talked to my dad and he said to use just a teeny tiny pinch of crushed black cardamom any more than that willmake the coffee bitter

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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I've been fortunate enough to experience the Ethiopian coffee ceremony on a few occasions ajnd the coffee was always very, very good - once it was the best coffee I've ever tasted. It's my understanding that some households/families have a tradition of adding small amounts of ground spices and others do not.

The preparation method includes the process of roasting the beans in a skillet or similar pan, passing the smoking pan in front of the guests so all can inhale the aroma and then returning to the preparation area where the beans are ground with a mortar and pestle before the infusion takes place. I'm guessing that the process of crushing the beans with the spices anhances the manner in which the flavors meld. I suspect that justign adding a bit of cardamom to the grounds in a drip maker or espresso machine would have a far less favorable impact or perhaps just less subtle.

Thanks for bringing up this interestign topic Monica. I happen to love iced Vietnamese style coffee with condensed milk and Im thinking that a few subtle additions of spices to that mixture would be very interesting.

By the way - Thai iced coffee is traditionally made with the addition of cardamom.

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I have visited a couple (along with a friend who knows them quite well) who are from Morocco but he lived for many years in Madagasgar where his father was a spice merchant.

He prepares a spiced coffee which is a "secret" even his wife says she does not know.

He has a rather odd vessel in which he roasts the coffee beans, and I suppose the spices too.

It is brass and shaped sort of like an hourglass but the bottom is slightly rounded and sets into a ring over a small charcoal brazier. The "waist" of the thing has a cork collar around it so it can be grasped without burning the hands and the top is open.

Actually it looks sort of like one of the old Chemex coffee makers except for the rounded bottom.

He swirls the thing around and around as the beans and spices are roasting and then dumps everything into a brass mortar when it smells right. I know it includes pepper becaue I can taste it and cinnamon as I think those two are traditional in Moroccan spiced coffee. However I believe I could taste a hint of cloves and possibly mace but I am not sure what else. There is a faint lemony note that might be from sumac, but he really was not at all forthcoming about his recipe.

He puts the pounded coffee/spice mixture in a tin-lined copper vessel, sort of like an ibrik but different than any others I have seen, pours in hot water and continues to heat it over the brazier until it boils.

Unlike Turkish coffee, he doesn't wait for the grounds to settle, he simply strains the coffee into another of the ibrik-styled vessels and serves it immediately in what I would call tea glasses, with silver holders. Neat little things that hold about 4 ounces. It is delicious as is but is even better with a bit of sugar. His wife offered it and says she can't drink the coffee without some sweetener. If it had been available, I would probably have added a tiny bit of cream. I am not a purist and I love the taste of cream in coffee.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I found Leilah's phone number and called and asked about the vessel I mentioned in my last post. It is an ibrik and it was ordered from this site which is also where he orders the green coffee berries he uses in his spiced coffee. He prefers one from Yemen.

Check out the coffee roasters they have on this site. Who knew??

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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That sounds divine, Monica! I sometimes grind some cinnamon stick with my coffee. I love to play with things like that.

We have at least one remaining Ethiopian grocery store that sells green coffee berries and Ibriks. I've long pondered getting them and totally butchering the whole thing....

Thanks for the ideas!

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I found Leilah's phone number and called and asked about the vessel I mentioned in my last post. It is an ibrik and it was ordered from this site which is also where he orders the green coffee berries he uses in his spiced coffee. He prefers one from Yemen.

Check out the coffee roasters they have on this site. Who knew??

Come to think of it my neighbour is from Yemen.. perhaps she can help me as well. This is some really cool stuff

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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i am not a coffee drinker but one of my aunts (who is also among the top 5 cooks on the planet) advises simply grinding coffee beans in the same grinder in which one grinds whole indian "garam masala" spices--cinnamon, cloves, cardamom etc. not adding the latter to the former--just using the same grinder.

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That sounds divine, Monica! I sometimes grind some cinnamon stick with my coffee. I love to play with things like that.

We have at least one remaining Ethiopian grocery store that sells green coffee berries and Ibriks. I've long pondered getting them and totally butchering the whole thing....

Thanks for the ideas!

Nessa - hi!

okay so I am ignorant.. what are these green coffee berries?

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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i am not a coffee drinker but one of my aunts (who is also among the top 5 cooks on the planet) advises simply grinding coffee beans in the same grinder in which one grinds whole indian "garam masala" spices--cinnamon, cloves, cardamom etc. not adding the latter to the former--just using the same grinder.

See that would work except mine is a Punjabi version of Garam Masala and I add cumin and coriander and I bet you that will mess up the taste

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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I just got a call from Jalloun, the guy who makes the spiced coffee. He has come across with his "secret" spice mixture.

No black pepper, he uses what he calls malaguette pepper, also known as grains of paradise, a little sumac (I was right), cardamom green or white, cinnamon and allspice.

Sounds good, doesn't it?

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I just got a call from Jalloun, the guy who makes the spiced coffee.  He has come across with his "secret" spice mixture. 

No black pepper, he uses what he calls malaguette pepper, also known as grains of paradise, a little sumac (I was right), cardamom green or white, cinnamon and allspice. 

Sounds good, doesn't it?

Aha! Finally I can use those grains of paradise that have been taking up room on my shelf for ages. I searched high and low after reading Amanda Hesser's piece in the Times years ago. I finally found them and promptly lost interest. Thanks, andiesenji!

I tried adding some green cardamom to the coffee in my (crappy) espresso maker. It makes terrible espresso but passably latte. I had Cafe Bustelo on hand. The first time I mixed the seeds from one pod in with the coffee. No discernable cardamom. This morning I added 2 pods' worth to the filter basket before adding the coffee. Much better - very pronounced taste and aroma, but I'd use a tiny bit less next time.

Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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okay so I am ignorant.. what are these green coffee berries?

My understanding, Monica, is that they are raw coffee beans and that you roast them to get what we know as that lovely dark brown bean of the gods.

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I have been thinking about the various spices that might be combined with coffee and am wondering what effect the Szechwan peppercorns might have.

Since one effect mentioned is a slight numbning of the tongue, would that interfere with tasting the coffee and other spices?

If it were to be combined with other spices, what should they be, what combines well with the Szechwan pepper?

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have been thinking about the various spices that might be combined with coffee and am wondering what effect the Szechwan peppercorns might have.

Since one effect mentioned is a slight numbning of the tongue, would that interfere with tasting the coffee and other spices?

If it were to be combined with other spices, what should they be, what combines well with the Szechwan pepper?

Would pepper be too strong... I dont know. We would have to experiment to find out I think

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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I tried adding some green cardamom to the coffee in my (crappy) espresso maker. It makes terrible espresso but passably latte. I had Cafe Bustelo on hand. The first time I mixed the seeds from one pod in with the coffee. No discernable cardamom. This morning I added 2 pods' worth to the filter basket before adding the coffee. Much better - very pronounced taste and aroma, but I'd use a tiny bit less next time.

The cardamom should be pounded first, or added to the coffee beans if you are grinding them. A slight toasting as mentioned earlier is helpful, too.

I was in an Egyptian store (Nasr) in Scarborough, Ontario, last week, where they would add 1 teaspoon of cardamom to a pound of coffee before grinding, for $1. extra. It results in a nicely scented brew.

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okay so I am ignorant.. what are these green coffee berries?

Just to clarify - she's referring to green coffee beans. The "berries" are also known as coffee "cherries" and they are the actual fruit. The beans that we have come to know and love are the seeds that form inside the berry. The meat of the coffee cherry is stripped off in the process of getting the bean. The process by which this is done and dryign accomplished varies significantly from one area to another, hence terms like "DP" for dry processed and "washed" for a differing process. No matter - I always love the end result when it starts out with a good coffee.

All of the Mediterannean and Middle Eastern stores in my area sell Ibriks and at least one sells green coffee beans, although they are of unknown provenance. I'd suggest sticking to a store thats sells to the Ethiopian community to increase your chances of getting really good beans - there's not much bad coffee that makes it out of Ethiopia (at leats I've never had any).

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I have been thinking about the various spices that might be combined with coffee and am wondering what effect the Szechwan peppercorns might have. 

Since one effect mentioned is a slight numbning of the tongue, would that interfere with tasting the coffee and other spices? 

If it were to be combined with other spices, what should they be, what combines well with the Szechwan pepper?

Would pepper be too strong... I dont know. We would have to experiment to find out I think

Black pepper is one of the spices added to some spiced coffee recipes, just as it is in some chai recipes.

I mentioned in an earlier post that a friend made coffee with spices and instead of black pepper added grains of paradise or malaguette pepper which he learned to combine with coffee while living in Madagascar.

I know that grains of paradise are not as strong as black pepper but have a peppery flavor and are often finely ground and added to fruit drinks to add a bit of spiciness.

The Szechwan peppercorns are a completely different spice, unrelated to either black pepper or malaguette pepper.

I was just wondering what effect it might have when added to coffee.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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