When I was in Marrakech last year I had a lovely concoction called cafe aux epices – literally coffee with spices.  I like to make my coffee as normal, add the spices and then the milk or plant milk.   Do remember to buy spices as fresh as possible and store airtight in a dark and ideally cool place.  This prevents them losing their potency and flavour.  There is a world of difference between stale and fresh spices.

I would suggest the only spice that’s really essential is the Ceylon cinnamon, everything else is mix and match according to your preference.

6 teaspoons ground Ceylon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon of one or more of the following:
Ground cloves
Ground aniseed/fennel
Ground black pepper
Ground ginger

Why this is good for you:
Did you know that you have a very individual metabolic response to caffeine?  If you (like me) have the genetic variant of the CYP1A2 gene then having more than 1 cup a day increases risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.  This is why studies in the past have produced conflicting results on how coffee affects heart health.  BUT just a cup a day can be beneficial for most of us.  However some people with digestive issues may need to skip coffee and substitute dandelion coffee (try www.intelligenttea.ie mail order ground dandelion coffee – its delicious).  Lighter roast coffee contains more beneficial polyphenols than dark.  Polyphenols modify your good bacteria in favour of the good guys that help immunity and reduce inflammation.

Spices have an antioxidant effect.  They stimulate your body to make more antioxidants.  This is a great idea if you prefer not to struggle with inflammation.  All common chronic health conditions  of are driven by inflammation e.g. heart disease, asthma, eczema, depression, autoimmune conditions (e.g. hypothyroidism, Crohn’s) and cancer.  Tens of thousands of high quality research  papers published in peer reviewed scientific journals confirm the various health benefits of spices.   By the way, Ceylon cinnamon helps you regulate blood sugar levels.  So if you have insulin-resistence (pre-diabetets) or type II diabetes a teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon a day is a fantastic thing to add in – whether in coffee/coffee substitutes, mixed in porridge/granola or in curries.