Coffee ranks as one of the most popular beverages since the dawn of civilization.
It might surprise you to learn that the drink is the largest single source of antioxidants in food. Heck, it outranks fruits and veggies combined!
On the other hand, cinnamon is packed with lots of nutrients. Imagine infusing the loaded spice with rich coffee!
Little wonder it is one of the best ways to kick your normal cup of coffee up a notch.
This guide shows you the benefits of cinnamon in coffee and how to infuse your coffee with the flavorful spice.
What is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a spice from the bark of evergreen trees in the laurel family known as Cinnamomum.
The spice has been around for several centuries and the most popular types are grown in China, Sri Lanka, North America, and Europe.
While cinnamon has been used for religious ceremonies, embalming the dead, funeral rites, and several other purposes, its most common use is in the culinary world.
But what exactly is in cinnamon that makes it a must-have in any kitchen?
Check out the nutritional facts for a single teaspoon of ground cinnamon, according to the United States Department of Agriculture:
- Calcium: 26 mg
- Calories: 6
- Carbohydrates: 2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Dietary fiber: 1 g
- Magnesium: 2 mg
- Phosphorus: 2 mg
- Potassium: 11 mg
- Protein: 0 g
- Sodium: 0 mg
- Total fat: 0 g
- Total sugars: 0 g
- Vitamin A: 8 international units
- Vitamin K: 1 microgram
In a nutshell, cinnamon spice offers numerous health benefits, and adding it to your coffee is a simple way to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
Types of Cinnamon
No doubt, cinnamon is great. But before you add it to your coffee, it is important to know that not all cinnamon is created equal.
There are four types of commercially cultivated cinnamon species. Here’s a quick rundown.
Ever heard of true or pure cinnamon? That’s Ceylon.
It’s a variety native to Southern India and Sri Lanka. However, you find this cinnamon type commonly grown in East Africa and Mexico.
The tan-brown cinnamon has a soft and lighter texture with many tight sticks. It has a more herbal taste and a mildly sweet flavor, making it a preferred addition to desserts.
Ceylon is not common, so you can expect it to be more expensive than other types of cinnamon.
The cinnamon you find on the shelves of supermarkets is most likely Cassia. These are widely common and often referred to as regular cinnamon.
Cassia comes from China and is what most people think of when they imagine cinnamon.
The dark brown-red cinnamon has a rougher texture and thicker sticks compared to Ceylon.
Although it is considered lower quality, the variety has a very strong, spicy flavor and is consumed all over the world.
This variety is mostly found in North America, accounting for about 70% of the region’s cinnamon imports.
Korintje is generally milder and friendlier. Plus, it works for nearly everything, from foods to beverages and desserts.
Royal cinnamon is mostly grown and found in central Vietnam. This is not a common variety, so you’re not likely to find it on grocery store shelves.
To get the Royal cinnamon, you may have to contact a spice purveyor.
Why should anyone bother to buy through a purveyor? To put it simply, Royal cinnamon is super sweet and extra spicy.
Think of it as 10X cinnamon!
What Type of Cinnamon Should You Use in Coffee?
Regardless of the cinnamon variety you buy, there are a few different ways you can use the spice in your coffee.
Cinnamon Quills (Curled Sticks)
Rolled-up quills are excellent for steeping in your cup of coffee.
This is a great way to use cinnamon, especially if you are after the rich taste.
If you are using the spice solely for its many health benefits, you’ll get better results from the ground (powder) form.
Powder or Ground Cinnamon
This is the most popular form of cinnamon because it is easier to incorporate into foods and beverages.
You can even make powder cinnamon at home by grinding the sticks. But you will need Ceylon sticks for this.
Another good way to use cinnamon in coffee is to use cinnamon syrup.
If you don’t have cinnamon syrup, you might want to mix ground cinnamon in flavored syrup or even warmed honey before adding it to your coffee.
This allows the spice to mix well with your drink and give it an overall better flavor, particularly if you prefer black coffee.
Keep in mind that cinnamon can also be bought in the form of extracts, supplements, and essential oils.
But these are usually consumed or used differently instead of adding them to coffee.
Benefits of Adding Cinnamon in Coffee
Apart from better taste, cinnamon in coffee offers plenty of health benefits.
Here are just a few research-based benefits you can get from the spice:
- Helps you fight free radicals: Cinnamon has antioxidants that help fight free radicals in your body. Polyphenol in the spice is a powerful plant-based antioxidant compound that fights disease. They can also reduce and control blood sugar levels.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease: In addition to regulating blood pressure, regular consumption of cinnamon has been linked to lowering bad cholesterol levels in the body. Half a teaspoon of cinnamon in coffee can help diabetics.
- Helps repair body tissues: Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, adding cinnamon in coffee can help fix tissues in your body and reduce symptoms of inflammation.
- May prevent cancer: While studies in this regard are limited to animals, preliminary evidence suggests that cinnamon extracts can help fight against cancer cells.
- Fights numerous bodily infections: Cinnamon has been proven to slow down and even hinder the growth of some bacteria. It also fights fungal infections, and may also fend off or fight tooth decay.
We can go on and on about the many benefits of cinnamon, but let’s focus on how to enjoy the spice with coffee.
By the way, you’ll get more benefits from cinnamon if you buy the organic variety.
Spicing Coffee With Cinnamon
Here’s the thing. You don’t have to add cinnamon in coffee solely to prevent diseases.
Cinnamon is yummy and will give you an extra boost of flavor.
With time, everyone gets tired of the same taste and flavor.
And since coffee is something most people drink almost every day, it is a good practice to spice it up with something as simple yet beneficial as cinnamon.
You should spice your cup of joe with cinnamon, whether or not you are doing it for health reasons!
To help you with this, here are a few suggestions.
How to Dissolve Cinnamon in Coffee
Technically, you can’t dissolve cinnamon in coffee. Why’s that?
Cinnamon is an insoluble fiber. Unlike sugar and salt crystals, it’s not going to dissolve or melt in coffee.
However, you can seep the spice with coffee grounds so nicely and get that distinctive cinnamon flavor without the slimy sludge.
Here’s something to keep in mind.
For best results, avoid adding ground cinnamon to the drip filter, Moka pots, espresso, or any other brewing method that uses gravity or pressure.
How to Infuse Coffee with Cinnamon
Now that you know cinnamon won’t dissolve in coffee, how do you infuse it?
You can infuse your coffee with cinnamon in the following ways:
Add cinnamon to your coffee grounds before brewing
The easiest way to add or infuse coffee with cinnamon is to do so pre-brew.
Adding the spice directly to coffee after brewing will most likely result in unpleasant clumps.
Instead of merely sprinkling cinnamon ground on top of your coffee, follow these steps:
- Grab your coffee maker, a coffee filter, cinnamon ground, and coffee grounds
- Fill your coffee filter with coffee grounds
- Generously sprinkle cinnamon right into the filter
- Brew your coffee as usual
Keep in mind that adding ground cinnamon expands and soaks up water. So, it will be a huge mistake to add it to your espresso in the coffee.
This mistake will leave you with a lot of sludge and slimy substance to clean up.
Add cinnamon to your cream
Already brewed your coffee? No worries.
You can still add cinnamon. But don’t just dump it in there because that would make it clumpy.
Here’s what you should do:
- Mix the ground cinnamon with milk, cream, honey, or flavored syrup
- Pour the mixture gradually into your already brewed coffee and stir rapidly to ensure the spice doesn’t separate
If you opt to add cinnamon after brewing coffee, it is best to go with heavy creamers. That’s because fats tend to bind better with cinnamon grounds so the spice won’t float to the top.
You can choose to sprinkle ground cinnamon directly in your whipped cream. But do this before you start whipping.
Add cinnamon sticks during cold brewing
If you prefer cold brewing, you’ll want to use cinnamon sticks instead of grounds or powder. This is to avoid gumming up the filter.
To do this:
- Break your cinnamon quills into two halves (two sticks will do for a cup of coffee)
- Mix them in the coffee grounds
- Cold-brew as usual
Put some cinnamon sticks in your coffee beans or grounds
Finally, you can infuse your coffee with cinnamon by keeping a few sticks with the beans or grounds.
There is no magic to this, and most coffee drinkers will quickly understand why this works so well.
Good quality coffee absorbs smell quite easily.
That means putting some cinnamon quills with your coffee beans will make them absorb the aroma of the sticks.
Of course, you will need more cinnamon sticks if you want a strong aroma. The number of sticks will also depend on how much coffee you have.
After a while, you will have rich cinnamon-infused coffee when you grind the beans.
How fast your beans absorb the cinnamon aroma will depend on the quality and type of beans you have.
So, you might have to test a few different coffee beans and various proportions to figure out what works best.
You could also grind your coffee beans before burying the sticks in the ground. This might even release more flavor faster.
How Much Cinnamon Should You Put in Coffee?
Lastly, too much of everything is bad, and this goes for cinnamon, too!
Indeed, cinnamon offers lots of benefits in addition to improving the flavor of your coffee. But you want to use only a small amount of spice in your beverage.
There is no set dose for cinnamon because the spice has not been proven as a treatment for any condition, at least for now.
But as a general rule, a quarter teaspoon of powdered cinnamon per cup of coffee is more than enough. Some experts suggest 2 to 4 grams (between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon ground) per day but no more.
Going beyond the suggested amount might be an open invitation to health problems.
That’s because high doses of cinnamon can be toxic, and that’s really not what you want.
Adding cinnamon to coffee doesn’t only improve the taste but also offers plenty of health benefits. Plus, it sure smells good!
The rich aroma alone can bring a warm feeling to your home, especially in chilly weather. Yet, the flavor is great all year round!
Whether you’re looking to improve digestion or simply want to spice up your cup of joe, cinnamon is a great addition to coffee.
Why settle for a regular, plain old cup of coffee when you can spice it up with something very beneficial?
You should try cinnamon in coffee today!
Last Updated on March 1, 2022 by Ashok Parmar