A study in March of this year found that 64% of Americans consumed a cup of coffee within the past 24 hours. A 2013 study showed 83% of adults in the U.S. admitting to being regular coffee drinkers. A cup of coffee is a critical part of the morning routine for an overwhelming majority of the country. Maybe that’s why the ritual has become ground zero for so many mind-boggling twists and innovative takes on the classic cup of Joe. Just this year alone, dueling butter coffee, broccoli coffee and mushroom coffee trends have all managed to carve out space for themselves among the curious. So what’s the next big thing happening in java town? Turmeric coffee.
Why are people drinking turmeric coffee now?
The constant churn and burn of new-now-next food trends aside, turmeric coffee is having its own little moment right now, largely because of turmeric’s success as a non-coffee staple in many cafes in recent years. Turmeric has been popping up in smoothies, green juices, and the various golden milk recipes that that have Instagrammed their way straight into our hearts and bellies. Golden milk is the eye-catching combination of turmeric and ginger, mixed with liquids ranging from coconut milk to bone broth, depending on how they do it in your neck of the woods. It’s served both hot and cold, making it a perfect year-round treat. Cinnamon, maple syrup, cardamom and even citrus zest are frequent collaborators in these heady brews that range in color from ochre to pale, buttery yellow.
It’s likely that rising public awareness in the ingredient, along with vague understandings about its health benefits are what has adventurous baristas combining turmeric and coffee. The rest of us are just along for the ride.
Now that I think about it, what is turmeric anyway?
It’s a bright yellow spice. We get it by drying and grinding down the rhizome – an odd, horizontally-growing underground root system with vertical stalks that pierce the soil above – of a plant in the ginger family. It’s sort of like yellow wasabi, in both its appearance as a plant, and in its bold color and intensity of flavor.