Spicing Up Your Coffee

Beyond the colder mornings, falling leaves, and sudden appearance of geese everywhere, Autumn has a few hallmarks that are inescapable signs of the fall season. In the coffee-world, this manifests itself as one of the biggest consumer crazes revolving around an individual drink that you’ll ever see. Love it or hate it, its pumpkin spice season, a time of year that has coffee drinkers either jump for joy or reflexively wince in anticipation of the targeted marketing they’re about to experience at every café across America. Regardless of which of these groups you may fall into, it’s likely that you haven’t given much thought into the history and potential benefits of adding spices to your coffee. Even if you’re a purist who wouldn’t dare taint your morning beverage of choice or just someone who isn’t interested in spiced coffee, you may change your tune once you hear about how literally lifesaving it can be! For the spice experts already out there, you’ll have to forgive us.

Spiced Coffee isn’t a New Trend

The pumpkin spice trend is only the most recent iteration of a long history of people putting other dry ingredients in their coffee. In fact, adding spices directly to beverages is a time-hallowed tradition that you can find in pretty much every culture, worldwide. Think about it, if spices can make food taste better, then it only tracks that they can make drinks taste better too! That was the thought process used by historical man, and it shows when you look at the long list of beverages that contain a variety of spices. From Greek hippocras to French sang dragoun, Welsh metheglin to Indian lassi, adding spices to drinks has a long history that’s frankly much older than coffee itself.

Spices are Good for You

It’s rare that the health benefits of everyday spices are discussed in the nutrition community, but the powers of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger shouldn’t go unmentioned! These are all proven to have therapeutic qualities, and yet you hardly ever see them featured in any special diets or health programs, despite centuries or even millennia of medicinal use. This is mostly due to the fact that studies which explore the health benefits of spices often only examine supplemental quantities (amounts typically greater than what you would use in a meal). However, this doesn’t diminish the helpful qualities of any of these spices, as they can fortify an already healthy food or beverage and make it even better!   Coffee itself is no exception, as it has beneficial properties that are compounded once you add a corresponding spice to it. Coffee beans contain high levels of antioxidants, the same can be said of cloves, cinnamon, and turmeric. Antioxidants are a timeless nutrient; they help mitigate the damage done by free radicals in the body, something that every human invariably suffers from.

Statistics are on our Side

According to findings collected by the National Institute of Health (NIH), moderate coffee consumption has actually been linked to decreased risk of a whole host of severe or even deadly conditions. In one study, led by Dr. Neal Freedman of NIH’s National Cancer Institute, subjects who consumed three or more cups of coffee a day benefitted from a 10% total decreased risk of death. These coffee drinkers were also found to be at a decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and respiratory disease. While the exact compounds contributing to these amazing benefits can’t be pinpointed, external factors such as exercise and alcohol consumption and were accounted for over the course of the study.

Ten percent less likely to die? It makes a simple cup of coffee sound like a magic potion, or futuristic wonder drug! Just think about it— if simply having a few cups of Joe a day prevents serious disease, then imagine what adding an anti-inflammatory like turmeric or an analgesic like ginger could do? The next time you decide make your morning cup, you should consider what a pinch of spice could add to your life.

Make your Next Cup Special with Minas Expresso

Coffee and coffee-friendly spices can have amazing health benefits, but did you know those benefits are lost if the coffee is over-roasted or under-ripe? It defeats the whole point of trying to make your coffee healthier. That’s why you need Minas Espresso coffee beans. We produce specialty-grade beans, and that’s not just a label! Specialty coffee is assessed by licensed professionals, who ensure that every aspect of the beans are the best they can possibly be. From tree to table, our coffee is tested so that you don’t lose out on any flavor or health benefits. Sound like what you’ve been looking for? Try out any of our specialty coffee varieties here at the Minas Shop!

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