Cinnamon adds a pleasant splash of flavor to elevate your coffee to another level. But, cinnamon in any form doesn’t naturally dissolve in the coffee, or it takes considerable effort. This is just the insoluble nature of cinnamon. So, how can you add cinnamon to coffee to spice it up?
So can you dissolve cinnamon in your coffee?
No, cinnamon will not naturally dissolve in your cup of coffee, or in most other liquids. This is because cinnamon is not a leaf or a seed, but the fibrous bark of a tree. If you were to attempt to dissolve these small ground fibers you will be left with a slimy sludge as each fibrous particle expands with water.
So, will adding cinnamon to your coffee turn your cup of joe into a slimy sludge? More on that below…
So, how is a coffee drinker supposed to add this terrific flavor to their potent brew without facing cinnamon grounds that simply won’t dissolve? Stick around for everything you need to know about getting this perfect combination from cinnamon in stick or powder form.
Is Cinnamon Coffee Healthy?
Cinnamon actually has a number of health benefits while it does add an aromatic flavor to your coffee. Cinnamon has been shown in studies to have multiple positive health benefits as it can significantly lower blood sugar levels, as well as triglycerides for diabetes sufferers, and cholesterol.
Even small amounts like one teaspoon of cinnamon a day impact these health factors, like your blood sugar and triglycerides, positively. Therefore, it’s an overall good idea to add a teaspoon of cinnamon to your coffee and reap the health benefits it provides by helping to lower your blood sugar levels.
What is a Macchiato? – Is it bitter and needs a hint of cinnamon?
Why Cinnamon Won’t Dissolve Easily Like Sugar Or Salt
The primary reason that cinnamon will not dissolve in your coffee like a sugar or salt, is that it is a bark. The cinnamon in your kitchen actually grew as the tough exterior of a tree growing in a steamy jungle in Asia.
The bark does not naturally dissolve in any liquid. Sugar and salt are made of tiny crystals that will dissolve easily in just about any liquid. You can see how insoluble wood fibers can be by collecting some twigs from your garden and placing them in a pot of water.
You could boil that pot all night long and the twigs will be exactly as they were when you placed them in the water. It’s similar when you’re adding cinnamon to your cup of coffee. Except certainly that you do not want to drink your coffee after it stood there for a night anyway!
Ground Cinnamon or Sticks?
Of course, you will see a difference if you ground these wood fibers into tiny particles before boiling them. Just like a coffee bean holds flavor better than ground coffee, cinnamon sticks are more flavorful than their ground counterparts. This means the cinnamon in its ground form will not hold as much flavor as those still in their stick presentation.
Another point that will affect the flavor profile of your cinnamon is its storage location and conditions. Just like coffee, your cinnamon will benefit from a closed container in a dark location – make that an airtight container in the fridge for example.
When a dash of cinnamon is added to your drinks in its ground form, it can be ground so fine that its texture is not even noticed when you are drinking. Of course, if you were to grind it to a less fine powder, you will immediately notice the remnants at the bottom of your cup when you’re adding cinnamon to your cup of coffee.
But, in the light of the aspect that we can’t dissolve cinnamon in coffee, let’s take a look at some other ways to enjoy this tasty flavor in a good cup of Joe.
Add cinnamon powder to your coffee grounds
Well, you probably already thought of this! While you are setting up your coffee and calculating the exact measurement of coffee and water in the apparatus of your choice, you may find a way to add the cinnamon grinds to the coffee grinds and have them filtered out simultaneously. But, this may not always be an option to adding cinnamon to coffee grounds.
If you use an espresso coffee maker, for example, you do not want to add anything to the coffee grinds before you place them in the coffee maker. This is because an additive like cinnamon, or cocoa, will expand differently than the coffee grinds and affects how the water passes through the grinds and therefore taint the final product. You will also be left with an espresso machine that is now clogged with cinnamon fibers. This may or may not be easy to clean out.
But, this would be a great idea to add cinnamon to coffee grounds if you were using the French Press or even the Turkish Style coffee maker, you will just have to strain it before serving your cinnamon coffee.
This is because the grinds will absorb enough water to make them unpleasant little slimy particles when they stay in contact with water. If you will be serving this without filtering the coffee (Are bleached coffee filters safe?), the experience of drinking your cinnamon coffee will not be pleasant.
The tiny bits of cinnamon will also collect at the bottom of the coffee cup from a Turkish pot and could collect on the French Press itself. Either way, this is something to avoid.
The problem with trying to add the cinnamon to the grinds in the regular percolator type coffee maker (Best Percolator Coffee Grind) is that the expanding cinnamon particles will form a barrier that prevents the water from interacting properly with the coffee grinds. This can also lead to a backup problem in the coffee machine.
So if you are working with a French Press or Turkish Pot, and you have a good filter, you can simply add the cinnamon powder to your coffee grinds. For everyone else, we still have two more options for adding cinnamon to your morning coffee so hang in there.
Add cinnamon powder to your cream
So we have established that cinnamon does not interact well with hot liquids. But, there is a way to introduce the flavor to your percolated java potion without dropping it in the hot brew. You can add cinnamon to the cream before adding it to the coffee. It will mix better with the cream and this will prevent a skin of cinnamon granules from forming at the top of your coffee.
This will work best with those heavier creamers. Those with a high-fat content will get a better hold on the small cinnamon pieces. Theoretically, this might work with non-dairy creamers, but I wouldn’t know.
So if you like creamer, there are some terrific options. Add it with your cream, mix it into your whipped cream or even just sprinkle it on top of your creamy coffee before drinking. There is no limit to what you can do with cinnamon and cream.
Of course, this does mean you will not be drinking black coffee. If you like your coffee black (Differences between Black and White Coffee) as the night you might have to add your cinnamon to the coffee directly. But, there is one more option.
Keep a few cinnamon sticks with your coffee beans (or grounds)
This is a subtle method of adding flavor to your beans but, it occurred to me and I believe it shows promise. As you may know, coffee is an especially absorbent material. If you were to store some sticks with your coffee beans, you will find they absorb the flavors and aromas of the cinnamon sticks quite perfectly.
How many sticks you will need to accomplish this production will depend largely on the number of beans you are dealing with and the desired strength. It may be worth taking notes and recording measurements if you hope to use this method.
You might want to start with one cinnamon stick and see whether this will add a delicious aroma to your coffee. Increase by adding more sticks over time to find out the perfectly flavored coffee.
You might also consider trying different types of cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon might provide a slightly sweeter taste compared to Cassia Cinnamon. You want to take that into consideration as Ceylon Cinnamon is better suited for desserts due to its mildly sweet flavor whereas Cassia Cinnamon has a stronger and spicier flavor. You might need to search for Ceylon Cinnamon specifically as most cinnamon you can find in supermarkets is the Cassia Cinnamon variety.
This method may even work for other natural flavors like vanilla beans to be added to your coffee drinks.
Try to experience different flavors in your coffee. Various spices can help to give your coffee a completely different flavor profile. Cinnamon is an especially pleasant flavor, but its fibrous nature makes it especially difficult to deal with.
In addition to the delicious flavor that cinnamon adds to your coffee, you also reap the health benefits that cinnamon provides. It can lower your blood sugar levels and triglycerides as well as your cholesterol markers.
One final idea that you might be able to try would be to fill a tea bag or tea infuser spoon with larger cinnamon fibers and leaving this in your cup of coffee for a minute while you let it reach the perfect drinking temperature
Finally, you might be inclined to just break off some pieces of cinnamon and add them directly to the coffee and fish them out before you drink. That can work for some but not others. But if you make a tasty cup of invigorating coffee that you like, then call the exercise a success.