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Like variation? Try These Spices with Your Turkish Coffee

Want to make your cup of Turkish coffee even more delicious with beneficial and beautiful-smelling spices? Try these options.

Although Turkish coffee tastes great on its own, you might be wanting to make it taste even better. The most popular way to sweeten Turkish coffee is adding sugar but we all know how bad sugar is for your health. And I think sugar hides the subtle flavors and the jolting bitterness that Turkish coffee has.

Spices are a healthy way to experiment with different flavors and enhance the taste and smell of Turkish coffee. But with countless options to choose from, it can be hard to pick what spices go well with Turkish coffee.

Best spices to add Turkish coffee are cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salep. You can also play with the taste of Turkish coffee by adding more creative options such as ginger, clove and paprika.

Here you can find detailed information on these spices and how to add them to your Turkish coffee.

1. Cardamom

When it comes to Turkish coffee, no spice can beat cardamom.

Originating from India, cardamom is used mostly in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine in dishes such as custard and milk based desserts.

Cardamom has diuretic effects and can help with stomach problems. Cardamom is also good for boosting metabolism and may help with weight loss.

In order to add cardamom in your coffee you need to toast them on a dry pan for a couple of minutes. Then, remove the seeds and grind them. Add ground cardamom seeds into your Turkish coffee before brewing to get the full effect. You can add afterwards if you want less cardamom taste.

It’s earthy herbal flavor is the perfect finishing touch for Turkish coffee.

2. Cinnamon

My favourite spice to add into Turkish coffee is cinnamon. With its great smell, I think cinnamon boosts the whole Turkish coffee experience.

It’s a spice native to Sri Lanka and along with being used in many foods such as cinnamon rolls, soups and desserts, cinnamon’s health benefits also make it an important spice used in traditional alternative medicine.

Cinnamon lowers blood sugar and is effective in fighting diabetes.

Best way to add cinnamon to your coffee is done by mixing the powdered cinnamon with the ground Turkish coffee before preparation. If you have cinnamon sticks instead of cinnamon powder, you can grind it with your coffee.

3. Ginger

Another spice you can add to your Turkish coffee that will completely transform its taste and smell is ginger.

Ginger originated in Southeast Asia and came to Roman Empire in the 1st century AD. It’s mostly used in stir-fries, marinades and herbal teas and has a strong taste and smell.

It can treat morning sickess and may reduce muscle soreness.

If you want to add ginger to Turkish coffee first peel ginger with the help of a spoon instead of a knife to avoid over-peeling and wasting it. Then, grate as much as you want and add it to your Turkish coffee grounds before brewing.

4. Clove

If you’re after some freshness, then adding some clove to your Turkish coffee is what you need.

Clove is native to Indonesia and is used in rice dishes, curries and stews. They are also used for freshening breath and masking bad smells. It’s also effective against tootache and mouth ulcers.

To add cloves into your Turkish coffee first grind them very finely using a mortar and pestle. Just like adding other spices, add your ground cloves into Turkish coffee before brewing.

5. Salep

Another one of my favourite spices to add into Turkish coffee is salep.

It’s a traditional Turkish flour that we’ve brought from Arabs. It’s made from the tubers of an orchid plant and although it’s generally mixed with milk and drunk on its own, you can also add it to your Turkish coffee as well.

Salep can be helpful for alleviating heartburn and indigestion. It also taken as a cure against diarrhea.

Unlike other spices I’ve mentioned you can add salep to your coffee after brewing. Just mix it well and if you want to increase the smell of salep, sprinkle some onto your Turkish coffee as well.

6. Nutmeg

A classic for any kind of sweet and hot food as well as puddings, baked goods and eggnog, nutmeg will greatly boost your Turkish coffee experience.

Just like cloves, nutmeg’s origin is Indonesia and has many health benefits.

It has powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory powers. Nutmeg also is a great antibacterial and it may boost libido.

When it comes to adding nutmeg, make sure that you add a tiny bit to avoid overpowering the taste of Turkish coffee. It’s best to add on top of your coffee after brewing.

7. Vanilla

When it comes to any kind of coffee, you can’t go wrong with vanilla.

Vanilla originated in Mexico and is primarily used in desserts such as cakes, cookies and ice cream. It’s so widely used that when we talk about the default taste of ice cream, it’s vanilla.

Vanilla has many benefits such as protecting heart, and reducing stress levels. It’s good against hair loss, acne, indigestion and it can help with weight loss.

You can add vanilla to your Turkish coffee in the powdered form or as vanilla extract.

8. Paprika

If you like “hot” beverages and are looking to get creative, paprika is the way to go.

Paprika is another spice from Mexico like vanilla and it’s usually used to season savory dishes.

We know that coffee boosts metabolism and we also know that paprika boosts metabolism. So why not combine them together for a double boost and an even more unique taste. But I better warn you that if coffee is making you jittery, adding paprika may not be the best idea.

Heating paprika will release its taste even more, so it’s better to add it after brewing and enjoy it while it’s still “hot”.


Turkish coffee tastes great on its own and it’s best to try it unsweetened first. But if you like experimenting with your coffee, there are many spices that you can add to your cup of Turkish coffee.

Some of the best ones to add are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, clove and sahlep and the list goes on…

So try adding one of these to your Turkish coffee and see how it tastes!

And if you’re new to the world of Turkish coffee and don’t know which tools and ingredients to use, you can check out my guides on the best Turkish coffee products that you can buy online!

If you’ve found this post helpful or interesting, please don’t forget to share it on the social media. Help spread the enjoyment that Turkish coffee brings! 😉