Cardamom Coffee is an aromatic blend of brewed coffee with warm, exotic subtle notes of freshly ground green cardamom. This coffee is enjoyed throughout the Middle East and India where milk and sugar is optional.
Adding cardamom to coffee has been around for hundreds of years in the Middle East and India. You'll typically find it prepared in the two most popular ways - in Turkey where it's brewed in an ibrik and in Indian coffeehouses with instant coffee, sugar, and hot milk.
You also may have tried it at Philz Coffee in the US, where cardamom is added in their Tantalizing Turkish and Philharmonic menu items.
If you love your coffee black, you'll love the way cardamom subtly complements the flavor and aroma of coffee. It adds a little something something to a plain cup of joe. However, a Cardamom Latte with warm frothy milk and a bit of sugar is just as delicious!
Ingredients - Notes and Substitutions
We only need two ingredients for Cardamom Coffee... what a surprise!
- Coffee Beans - Use your favorite coffee beans, decaf is welcome for a night time drink! It's better to freshly grind roasted coffee beans for maximum flavor and freshness.
- Cardamom - Be sure to use plump, green cardamom pods. We aren't using the whole pod, just the black seeds inside. Pre-packaged ground green cardamom significantly loses it's flavor and scent, so I'd avoid that altogether otherwise there's really no point in making this.
Note: Be sure to pick up green cardamom pods, not black cardamom pods which are larger and more savory.
How to make Cardamom Coffee
This recipe uses the method of making a simple brewed cup of coffee with cardamom that's commonly found in the US.
Smash the green cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle. They'll start to crack open and release the black seeds inside.
Remove the seeds from each pod and dispose of the green pods.
Transfer the coffee grounds into an airtight container. Store it at room temperature in a dark area of your kitchen for up to two weeks for maximum freshness.
Brew coffee as you usually do with fresh grounds - with boiling water, a French press, pour over, a coffeemaker, etc. Most baristas recommend 2 grams of coffee grounds to 1 ounce of filtered water. Generally 1-2 tablespoons, depending on preference of strength, works for 4-6 ounces cup of coffee.
Be sure to thoroughly wash out your coffeemaker so that the spice doesn't linger in future brews.
Note: I do not recommend brewing large batches for later or using these grounds for cold brew. Freshly ground cardamom will continue to infuse flavor into the coffee and the flavor becomes more medicinal.
Use a milk frother to make some hot, frothy milk and add it to the coffee for a warm Cardamom Latte.
Sweeten the coffee with 1 teaspoon of jaggery, honey, or white sugar.
There are, of course, several variations to Cardamom Coffee depending on the culture, the way it's prepared, and the strength of the coffee.
As I mentioned before, in Turkey it's prepared in an ibrik, sometimes with or without sugar. In India, a pod of green cardamom is typically added to a hot mug of instant coffee with milk and sugar.
Other cultures add more spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg. Some coffeehouses add cardamom syrup to freshly brewed black coffee. It's ultimately very customizable to your preference.
Just be careful not to add more than about ¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom per cup of coffee so that you can enjoy the subtlety it adds. I also found that keeping it in the fridge overnight transformed that flavor and it became overpoweringly medicinal.
More Coffee Recipes to try
- 1 cup coffee beans
- 10 - 12 green cardamom pods, seeded
- 8 - 10 oz water
- 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
- milk, (optional)
- Grind the coffee beans and green cardamom seeds together in a spice grinder. Store the ground coffee in an airtight container.
- Brew coffee using your regular method, using a French press, pour over, or a coffeemaker. Or, add 8 - 10 fluid ounces of water (to account for evaporation) into a saucepan and stir in 1-2 tablespoons of coffee grounds once the water starts to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, and let it sit for another 3 minutes off heat. Strain over a fine mesh strainer into a coffee cup.
- Add sugar to taste and milk (optional).