Recently, coffee shop customers have started to demand more from the beverages that they order. The increasing health and wellness focus has led to an increasing number of customers looking for drinks that do more than just taste good. Many people now want to get food and drink that contributes to their health and wellbeing or supports their lifestyle. With this in mind, lots of consumers are now buying more traditional drinks such as green tea or kombucha. Another example of a traditional, health-focused drink that is becoming more and more popular is the turmeric latte. Turmeric in black coffee can have many health benefits, but how exactly can turmeric coffee benefit your health?
Turmeric is a spice that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Traditionally, it is used to treat digestive issues and stomach aches, but it has further benefits. Adding turmeric as an ingredient in your coffee is one great way to get more of this amazing spice in your diet. If you’re looking for a natural energy drink that will provide some great health benefits, turmeric latte or turmeric coffee is a great option to consider.
Turmeric Latte: It’s Not Technically a Latte
As you’d expect from the name, the main ingredient in a turmeric coffee is turmeric. This ingredient also gives the drink its color. It is sometimes called golden milk or a golden latte. However, this drink is not technically a latte, as traditionally it does not contain any coffee – although coffee can be added to it if you prefer. Instead, the drink is created by topping milk foam and latte art onto turmeric milk. It has an earthy, creamy flavor with a spicy kick and some sweet hints.
Turmeric milk is usually made with fresh or ground turmeric that has been steeped in milk for a long period of time. This can be done using dairy milk; however, it is sometimes made using coconut milk or another non-dairy alternative as in India, where the drink is believed to have originated, dairy consumption is quite low in some regions.
Since steeping turmeric in milk can be quite a messy and time-consuming process, many cafes that sell turmeric latte will create their own mixes which can be sold to the public for use at home too.
Once the turmeric milk mixture is ready, it is then boiled and seasoned to taste with sweeteners and spices. When made at home, it is usually strained and served immediately, but if you get it in a café, you will usually have a beverage topped with latte art. One of the best things about this drink is that you can easily adjust it to suit your preferences by making changes to the spices and sweeteners that you add.
Studies have found that the consumer demand for ‘functional ingredients’, which are defined as natural food products that improve health, boost immunity, or prevent disease, is growing. Probiotic yogurts, for example, are one example of this kind of food that has seen an increase in demand in recent years, along with fruits such as goji berries or blueberries. With this trend, turmeric has seen a revival in drink recipes and on coffee shop menus recently, although this spice has been well-recognized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. In fact, the first record of turmeric being used for medicinal reasons dates all the way back to 250BC. It plays a major role in Ayurvedic medicine and often plays a key part in religious ceremonies. The spice is so popular that there are more than fifty Sanskrit phrases recorded to describe its benefits.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a native spice to India where the majority of the world’s supply is produced, harvested, dried, powdered, and processed. India also consumes over eighty percent of all turmeric products worldwide, with the average adult in Asia estimated to consume between 200-1000mg of turmeric in a day.
Studies have confirmed the medicinal qualities of turmeric, showing this spice to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiparasitic and antiviral. It is often combined with black pepper and milk to create a home remedy ointment that is applied to the skin to treat a range of topical complaints.
However, some researchers are of the opinion that further clinical trials on the effectiveness of turmeric are necessary to clarify the effect that it has on the human body. While the exact effects of this spice are not clear, the general medical opinion is that it does have some therapeutic potential.
Making Turmeric Coffee
Another drink that contains this spice is turmeric coffee. It is very simple to make as the only additional ingredient is turmeric. You can also add other spices and flavorings to turmeric coffee including ginger, cloves, black pepper, creamer, sweetener, butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, and more.
How Coffee Impacts Curcumin Absorption
The main compound in turmeric is called curcumin, which is responsible for the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties of the spice. However, one drawback of turmeric is that the curcumin is quite difficult for your body to absorb, which limits how useful it can be. And adding turmeric to coffee can actually make it even harder for your body to get all the benefits. The solubility of curcumin will decrease when added to acidic liquids with a pH of six or lower, including coffee, which is an acidic liquid with a pH of around five.
The good news is that there are several strategies that you can use to improve the absorption of curcumin from foods and drinks. Turmeric coffee and golden milk lattes often have black pepper added to them because it contains piperine, a compound that can help with the absorption of curcumin. Along with this, curcumin is fat-soluble, so it may be easier to absorb when combining it with a source of fat such as milk, oil, creamer, or butter in your turmeric coffee.
Benefits of Turmeric Latte and Turmeric Coffee
Thanks to the curcumin and other compounds in turmeric known as curcuminoids, adding turmeric to your coffee offers a range of potential health benefits, which include:
Curcumin may be useful for reducing nerve and inflammatory pain. In fact, many natural pain relief supplements use curcumin as a main ingredient.
Curcumin may be useful for alleviating chronic inflammation, which has been linked with a variety of chronic ailments including heart disease, cancer, mental decline, type 2 diabetes, and digestive disorders.
Increase Antioxidant Activity
Curcumin may be useful for neutralizing harmful, free radical compounds in the body. When they build up to high enough levels, they can lead to cellular damage.
By increasing antioxidant activity in the body and reducing inflammation, curcumin may be useful for helping your body effectively fight off harmful pathogens.
How Much Turmeric to Add to Coffee
If you have ever used turmeric powder in cooking, you will know that it is potent and fine. You only need a small amount of turmeric to add a pleasant flavor to your dishes. Because of this, you don’t need a lot if you are making turmeric latte or coffee with turmeric. Generally speaking, around half a teaspoon will be enough. However, you can certainly add more if you prefer a strong taste of turmeric. You can safely use the same amount as you would use in cooking and baking. However, take care if you are taking any supplements that contain turmeric as doses of more than 6g of curcumin can cause digestive problems for some people.
Making Turmeric Latte at Home
If you want to try a golden latte, you don’t have to search for a coffee shop that sells them. This drink is fairly easy to make and uses just a few basic ingredients. You can add some butter or coconut oil if you want to use a plant-based or skim milk in order to increase the fat content and make it easier for your body to absorb the curcumin.
You will need:
- One cup of milk
- Half a teaspoon of turmeric
- A quarter of a teaspoon of black pepper
- A quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon
- A quarter of a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1-2oz strong coffee or espresso (optional)
- 6g coconut oil or butter (optional)
- Honey to taste (optional)
- Heat the all the ingredients together on a low heat in a saucepan. Whisk the mixture often until it is warmed and fully combined.
- Transfer the mixture carefully to a mug and add some honey to sweeten if you like.
- If you want a foamier latte, add a small amount of the drink to your mug and froth it with a frothing wand, before filling the cup with the mixture.
If you are always looking for healthier drink alternatives and tasty drinks made with natural, beneficial ingredients, turmeric latte is a must-try. It is easy to make at home with the right ingredients or you can purchase golden milk mixtures from many coffee shops.