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Cardamom in coffee might sound strange, but cardamom is typically added to Turkish and/or Arabic coffee.  Cardamom is related to ginger, and it has a eucalyptus-like aroma and a warm flavor similar to cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, but with lemon-citrusy undertones.  Not only does it add a very complex flavor to coffee, but according to The Herb & Spice Companion, there is some evidence suggesting that cardamom reduces the effects of caffeine in coffee.


I really like the use of cardamom in mocha because all of its flavor complexities pair well with the various flavor notes in the cocoa powder.  And it’s even better when complimented with a square of your favorite dark chocolate.  ;)


I’m going to send this recipe to Nutmeg Nanny for this week’s Blogger Secret Ingredient…coffee! 




Cardamom-Spiced Mocha


(Yield:  2 servings)


2 c hot water

3 – 5 TB medium-coarse ground coffee (depending on taste)

1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp brown sugar or turbinado sugar

2 cardamom pods

Splash of milk (optional)


Bring the water up to a boil; shut off the heat and let the water cool for 3 minutes.  The cardamom pods can be lightly crushed (using a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a large knife – similar to crushing garlic) or ground (using a coffee grinder, blender, etc.); grinding them will give the mocha a more intense cardamom flavor. 


Add the coffee to a French press and once the water cools, bloom the coffee grounds by adding just enough water to cover the coffee.  Now add the rest of the water, along with the cocoa, sugar, and cardamom, and stir 5 times. 


Place the plunger on top of the French press so that the coffee stays hot, but do not press the plunger down; let the coffee brew like this for 3 – 5 minutes.  Slowly push the plunger down.  Serve the mocha with a splash of milk if desired.

Crushed Cardamom Pods
Crushed Cardamom Pods


Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. Yum! I’m a HUGE coffee fan, though I’m trying hard to cut back to about 3 cups a week. This sounds delicious; I love the idea of drinking coffee the way they do elsewhere. And even better, it’s made in a French Press.

    Great post!

  2. First of all I LOVE your photos!! We have a great spice store near by, Ill pick up some cardamom this weekend,thanks for the great idea!Figtreeapps

  3. Thats sounds heavenly combo! I will try this tonight!

  4. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie says:

    Sounds excellent! I love the idea of cocoa powder and cardamom in this delicious coffee drink!

  5. I really like cardamom – this looks delicious!!

    1. theungourmet, I found the cardamom pods at a small Arabic grocery store, and believe it or not, they were only $2.99 for about half a pound! In the past I’ve also purchased other spices very inexpensively there (I bought cumin for $6 for about a pound!). I’ve also seen cardamom pods at other ethnic stores.

  6. I can imagine how nice the scent of cardamom in the coffee… ah… beautiful :)

  7. Wow a cup of this should warm me right up to my toes!

  8. I haven’t tried using cardamom in my coffee.Heck, I even haven’t seen cardamom in!

  9. What a delightful drink! A wonderful flavor combo!



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