Five spice coffee

Growing up, I never did like coffee. At age 17, my first job was at the McDonald’s in Hartville, Ohio (near Akron). I tried just a little bit of their coffee, and also their cappuccino, but I couldn’t stand either of them. Not only did I detest the way it tasted, but my stomach couldn’t take it, and I consider myself to have a strong stomach.

Then I spent nearly six years in Malaysia, from 2001-2007. While living there, I spent time in countless homes, and it’s safe to say that I was given coffee or tea in at least 95% of the homes I visited. That did it – now I love coffee, and I drink it just about every day. From time to time I’ll get a specialty coffee drink from Caribou Coffee (my top choice), Starbucks, 1st Cup Cafe (a Somalian shop in south Minneapolis), or another lesser known coffee shop. Often, though, I’ll brew my own coffee at home, and add my customary International Delight or Nestle chilled creamer.

This morning I decided to “spice up” my coffee, as I do sometimes. I’ll share my concoction here, along with a couple of photos. Perhaps some readers will have tried a similar blend, others might be a bit surprised to hear what I mix together, and perhaps others will be inspired to give this combination a try. Here are the five spices I added to my coffee this morning, before adding creamer, and it turned out very well:

1. Cinnamon

2. Nutmeg

3. Ginger

4. Cayenne Pepper

5. Black Pepper

Yes, I do add plenty of cayenne pepper, to the point that it burns. I probably wouldn’t drink my coffee that way if it was just black, but with the right amount of sweetened, chilled creamer, it ends up being delicious, at least to me.

I was first inspired to spice up my coffee after falling in love with ginger tea in Malaysia (the spicier, the better). I never thought of adding cayenne pepper, though, until 2009/2010 when Caribou Coffee featured a Spicy Mocha, which was a $2.00 option on “Happy Mondays.” One day I asked a cashier what made their Spicy Mocha spicy, and that’s when I found out that cayenne pepper and coffee can go well together. Perhaps today is the day when you will find that out. Give it a try!

Five spices with the skyline of downtown Minneapolis in the background

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