Spice and Coffee: Squashing Some Rumors
Some people look forward to pumpkin spice season more than they look forward to their own birthdays, or to Christmas, or to the birth of their own children. For them, we produce our famous Pumpkin Spice coffee.
But there is another class of people that delights in making fun of those people. Some of them are bitter curmudgeons, for sure, but most are merely misguided purists. They believe that they are out to preserve coffee’s true essence, decreeing that coffee and coffee alone belongs in a morning mug. But they’ve got it wrong. In fact, mixing flavors into coffee is an age-old tradition.
The spice trade, now centuries old, often saw coffee traded alongside exotic spices such as allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg — the very spices that go into our Pumpkin Spice blend. For as long as there has been coffee brewing, cultures around the world have been adding flavors to it.
The mixture of coffee and chocolate is a classic pairing, and no one begrudges a touch of vanilla. A sprinkling of cinnamon is much appreciated on a cappuccino in much of the world, and you’ll not be surprised to find lemon juice or rind in some Latin American countries. Chile pepper and black pepper make appearances, as does a sprinkling of salt.
Chicory? Check. Cardamom? Check, too. And butter and evaporated milk and coconut oil and almond extract and a whole rainbow of flavorings at your local coffee bar. These are things that bring out the subtle flavors of coffee, heightening citrus or cherry notes, bringing out the natural chocolate or vanilla flavors, strengthening the richness of the beans’ roast-induced caramels. Coffee is such a food-friendly beverage, there are few flavors it doesn’t play well with.
And as autumn creeps in on us, it’s hard to imagine digging into a slice of pumpkin pie without a steaming cup of coffee close at hand. The warm, earthy flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice — like a dollop of sweetened whipped cream — are equally at home in the cup or on the plate.