Maca Coffee: A Totally Different Cup Of Joe (Recipe)
Many of us are looking for ways to eat and drink more locally and sustainably as our planet becomes more populated and stretched for resources. What’s more, we are looking for functional lattes that do more than just caffeinate the body and nourish the soul.
In keeping with this trend, we’ve developed a maca coffee recipe that’s both sustainable and functional. Keep reading to learn more about maca, including what it is and how to make this delicious maca coffee.
What You Need
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- ½ cup coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon maca powder
- 1 tablespoon raw, unfiltered honey, more or less to taste
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- ½ cup oat milk
- 1 teaspoon cacao nibs for garnish
- Milk frother
- Medium-size saucepan
At a Glance
All About Maca Coffee
According to experts, functional food and beverages will be taking the culinary landscape by storm in 2023 and beyond (1). What are functional beverages, you ask? In short, they are either natural or fortified ingredients that are packed with nutritional benefits above and beyond merely providing for your daily nutritional needs (2).
We’d venture to say many people are taking full advantage of this healthier trend, as evidenced by the numerous social media ads for health-boosted coffee drinks like bulletproof coffee and coffee substitutes like chicory, mushroom coffee or Matcha coffee.
Our recipe is no exception, using nutritious maca root powder in place of ground coffee. This maca latte recipe takes classically hearty, healthy ingredients and adds a modern twist to deliver an exceptional alternative to your morning cup of coffee.
Before making this drink, let’s learn more about maca and its benefits.
What is Maca Powder?
Maca powder is derived from ground maca root, which is an edible tuber from Lepidium meyenii, aka. the maca plant (3).
Also known as Peruvian ginseng, maca is a cruciferous vegetable root — related to other vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts. And like their relatives, all parts of this plant can be eaten, though the powdered maca is only made from the root tubers.
Originally grown in the Andes mountains of Bolivia and Peru, maca plants were regularly exposed to fluctuating temperatures and very harsh climates. Therefore, these hearty plants are easy to grow and harvest, making them a popular choice for those looking to adopt hyperlocal and sustainable diets starting in their own gardens.
While yellow maca roots — which yield yellow maca powder — make up about 70% of all maca crops, you can also find red maca powder and black maca powder (4).
Health Benefits of Maca Coffee
As a natural dietary supplement, maca root powder is well known for its ability to alleviate various types of sexual dysfunction and increase fertility in both men and women (5). While more human clinical trials are needed to verify some of these sexual benefits, the clinical data suggest that maca powders may:
- Alleviate mild erectile dysfunction in men
- Increase libido in women
- Improve sperm motility and increase sperm count in men
- Enhance sexual performance
Anecdotally, maca coffee benefits may also include:
- Relief from menopause symptoms like hot flashes
- Reduced depression and anxiety
- And increased energy
Before you decide to make this maca coffee regularly, it’s always a good idea to consult your healthcare provider or primary care physician. Also, be sure to tell your doctor about all the dietary supplements and medications you’re currently taking, as maca root powder may interact with other supplements and have additional contraindications.
Maca lattes are the ideal morning beverages for anyone looking to replace coffee in their diet while still enjoying a tasty drink with a rich nutty flavour, potential health benefits, and an energy boost.
What Does Maca Root Taste Like?
The natural maca taste is usually augmented by the flavours of cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, ginger, and cacao powder when used as a coffee substitute. On its own, however, the leaves are spicy, while the roots are nutty, buttery, and slightly sweet.
To enhance maca powder’s natural butterscotch-like flavour, this recipe uses both raw cacao powder and coconut milk. Warm spices like cinnamon and ginger give it added depth. If you want an equally creamy but lower-fat alternative, you can substitute the coconut milk for barista-style oat or almond milk.
A Note About Maca Powder Dosage
Before we continue with the maca coffee recipe, it’s crucial to stress that natural herbal supplements come from a medicinal tradition. As such, they are unlike traditional coffees, cappuccinos, or lattes, where overdose is rarely an issue.
The dosage of maca is important. While other online maca coffee recipes use more than a teaspoon of maca powder per maca latte, you must not increase the amount found here without first consulting your primary healthcare provider.
The available clinical data on safe dosages are sparse, but most studies suggest that it’s best to take between 1.5 to 3 grams of maca powder daily. We’ll use ½ teaspoon of maca powder in this coffee drink, which equals about 2.8 grams. So be careful how you modify the recipe, even if you enjoy the taste of maca powders.
How to Make Maca Coffee
The recipe is very simple. You’re only three steps away from a creamy, comforting, healthy drink that offers a wonderful coffee-like flavour with none of the caffeine. Let’s get to it!
1. Prepare the Maca Coffee Base
Combine 1 cup of coconut milk, ½ cup of coconut cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and ⅛ teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine.
Next, bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric, ½ teaspoon of maca powder, 2 teaspoons of raw cocoa powder, and 1 tablespoon of honey (or to taste). Whisk thoroughly to ensure everything is completely dissolved.
Pro tip: You can substitute sugar alternatives for honey. Maple syrup adds a delicious smoky sweetness. If you’re following a keto diet or cutting out refined sugars, monk fruit, D-allulose, erythritol, stevia, or agave are all great choices.
2. Froth the Milk
If your milk frother doesn’t heat milk, start by heating ½ cup of oat milk — or whichever non-dairy milk you prefer — to 70 degrees Celsius. This can be done in another small saucepan or the microwave. Froth the milk using a handheld or electric milk frother. You can also steam the milk using the steam wand of an espresso machine.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a frother or espresso machine, you can froth milk using a French press! Pour the heated milk into a 950-ml French press. Starting with four large pumps, inject air into the milk. Then, use several smaller plunges near the bottom of the French press carafe to texture the milk.
3. Assemble the Maca Coffee
Pour the warm maca coffee base into a 600-ml mug or divide it into two 350-ml mugs for two servings. Top the maca latte with the frothed milk, and garnish the maca coffee with a teaspoon of cacao nibs or a dusting of chocolate shavings.
Pro Tip: Vegan or non-dairy whipped cream adds a special touch to this healthy maca coffee. If you add it, reduce the amount of frothed milk to make room for it in your mug.
Maca coffee is a functional beverage that’s as delicious as it is packed with health benefits. As long as you are mindful of the amount of root powder you ingest, this maca coffee is a tasty, caffeine-free way to incorporate herbal medicine while still enjoying a warm and soothing drink.
Have you made this maca coffee? Drop us a comment below, follow us on Instagram, or connect with us in our Home Grounds Facebook group.
Yes, you can use dairy milk in this maca coffee if you’re not following a vegan diet; just swap it for the oat milk in the recipe. We suggest whole milk for the creamiest texture, but 1% or 2% milk are good options if you’re concerned about fat or calories.
You can buy maca powder at most health food stores, or you can buy it online. Be sure to read the label carefully and follow all safe dosage instructions. If possible, look for organic maca powder.
Yemeni Qishr ginger coffee is another alternative to traditional coffee. But unlike maca, it is still derived from the coffee plant. It is made from dried coffee cherries or husks. In Yemen, the dried husks are ground to a medium-fine powder and then brewed with hot water, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar.
Maca coffee has no adverse side effects, according to studies (2). It is generally considered safe in doses of up to 3 g per day. However, it’s always prudent to consult your primary care provider before adding a herbal supplement to your diet. It has yet to be studied extensively in pregnant or breastfeeding women, so it may be best to skip maca coffee in those cases.
Yes, maca makes you hungry because it increases the energy you expend during physical activity and other bodily functions, such as digestion (6). Maca helps your body use calories more efficiently and can increase the muscle mass built during workouts. This increased muscle mass burns more energy at rest, which may cause increased appetite.
- Hunt, R. (2022, November 10). Food Trends That Are About To Take Over 2023. Mashed; Mashed. https://www.mashed.com/1095968/food-trends-that-are-about-to-take-over-2023/
- Link, R. (2020, January 17). What Are Functional Foods? All You Need to Know. Healthline; Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/functional-foods#examples
- Regina. (2022, October 25). Maca plant: growing, harvesting & benefits – Plantura. Plantura. https://plantura.garden/uk/vegetables/maca/maca-overview
- bennett. (2020, January 15). What are the different colours of maca? Little Bird Organics; Little Bird Organics. https://littlebirdorganics.co.nz/blogs/little-bird-blog/what-are-the-different-colours-of-maca
- Verywell Health. (2022). What Is Maca Root? Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/ways-maca-may-benefit-your-health-89573
- Peru, E. (2019, February). Maca – Benefits, Nutrition & Side Effects. Eat Peru; Eat Peru. https://www.eatperu.com/maca-benefits-nutrition/