Moroccan coffee is a spicy variant of everyone’s favorite morning pick-me-up that packs more flavors into one cup of coffee than we thought was possible. You’ll need a well-stocked spice cabinet, a French press, and some bold, dark coffee to make Moroccan coffee. Gathering the ingredients is half the battle as the recipe itself is pretty straightforward.
Like other spiced coffee recipes, our suggestions are just starting points. Moroccan coffee doesn’t have rigid requirements, and there is ample room for customization and variation. We’ll start by giving you a traditional recipe before concluding with some ideas on how you can tweak it to make it your own. Let’s get started!
Everyone Is Invited to the Party
We weren’t kidding when we said you need a well-stocked spice cabinet to make Moroccan coffee. Most people will have to take a trip to the grocery store before making Moroccan coffee since some ingredients aren’t as common as others.
Many people will have cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in their kitchen, but black peppercorns, ground cardamom, and ground clove might require special purchases.
Most recipes for Moroccan coffee emphasize that you should use freshly ground spices. If you have a spice grinder, you should buy whole spices and grind them yourself. Much like coffee beans, freshly ground spices are more flavorful, and you’ll get a much livelier cup if you use freshly ground spices.
Simple Moroccan Coffee Recipe
This recipe makes a large batch of Moroccan coffee and serves up to four large mugs. It is difficult to scale the recipe down because the spice measurements are fairly small. If you can reliably measure tiny amounts of spices, then you can adjust the recipe to your desired volume freely. Otherwise, we recommend sticking with this batch size since most people have measuring spoons that measure quarter and eighth teaspoons.
Before you get started, you should make sure you have the necessary equipment and ingredients.
Customizing the Recipe
One great thing about Moroccan coffee is how flexible it can be. While the recipe we presented represents classic Moroccan coffee, you should feel free to alter the amounts of each spice or remove some entirely if you want. For example, if you don’t like ginger, removing the ginger from the recipe doesn’t suddenly make your coffee something else. The fundamental requirements for Moroccan coffee are spices and dark roast coffee. Which spices you use and in what amounts are open to interpretation.
Besides tweaking the number of spices you add, you can also use different types of milk. Changing the milk takes you further from traditional Moroccan coffee but makes for tons of interesting flavor combinations. Oat milk is one of our favorite options, but almond milk and coconut milk are also excellent choices.
One word of caution is to avoid using light or medium roasted coffee. Moroccan coffee basically requires the use of dark roast coffee. Of course, you are free to try whatever you like if the spirit moves you, but we find light and medium roast coffees don’t handle the intense spice flavors nearly as well as dark roasts. It is easy for the subtler, more mellow flavors to get overpowered by the potent cocktail of spices in light and medium roasts.
Spiced Moroccan Coffee
- French press
- Kitchen scale
- Spice grinder
- Timer or stopwatch
- Small saucepan
- 32 oz water
- 2 oz dark roast coffee coarsely ground
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground black peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom pods
- ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
- Start by preparing your coffee as you normally would for brewing a regular cup of French press coffee. Grind dark roast coffee on a coarse setting.
- If you have a spice grinder, use it to grind the spices. Otherwise, measure pre-ground spices and add them to the French press with the coffee.
- In a small saucepan, pour enough milk for the desired number of cups. The amount is entirely up to you.
- Heat the milk on low until it's hot but not boiling.
- Pour between 180 g and 200 g of boiling water over the coffee-spice mixture. Start a timer.
- Wait 1 minute before pouring the remaining water up to a total of 900 g (32 oz).
- After 4 minutes, press the plunger on the French press with even pressure. Try to move the plunger slowly and smoothly. Be sure not to press the coffee and spices into the bottom of the French press, as doing so will produce bitter, harsh coffee.
- Decant the coffee into mugs and add hot milk to taste. You can also add sugar to taste, although we recommend trying it without sugar first. There are so many flavors present in the cup that even people who regularly take their coffee with sugar often drink Moroccan coffee without it.
Even among other spiced coffee recipes, Moroccan coffee is unique since it uses a whopping six spices to organize a powerful attack on your taste buds. When the spices are coupled with a strong dark roast, the result is a hearty, bold coffee with nice warming qualities and tons of interesting interplay between the flavors.
Moroccan coffee is great for people who like to tune recipes to their taste since there is plenty of room for altering which spices you include and how much of each you use. The one fast rule is to use dark roast coffee since light and medium roasts can be overwhelmed by the spices and lost in the sea of flavors.
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Featured image credit: Zadorozhnyi Viktor, Shutterstock