Yes, you can absolutely put a peppermint in your coffee. Adding a peppermint to coffee is a popular way to give the drink a refreshing minty flavor. The peppermint will infuse into the hot coffee, releasing its minty aroma and cooling menthol taste. This simple addition creates a delicious peppermint-mocha style coffee drink.
What happens when you put a peppermint in coffee?
When you place a peppermint candy, extract, or syrup into hot coffee, several things begin to happen:
- The hot coffee starts melting the peppermint, releasing its concentrated minty oils and flavors.
- As it melts, the peppermint infuses into the coffee, dispersing its flavor throughout the drink.
- The vigorous aroma of fresh peppermint rises up from the coffee cup.
- The menthol in peppermint provides a cooling sensation that cuts through and balances the coffee’s inherent bitterness.
- The result is a smooth coffee with a refreshing minty taste and pleasant aroma.
Within a minute or two, the flavors fully infuse and you are left with a delicious peppermint-coffee drink. The intensity of the mintiness depends on how much peppermint you use.
Does peppermint taste good in coffee?
Peppermint and coffee go extremely well together. The mint acts as a perfect flavor complement to coffee’s rich, dark roast. Here’s an overview of how the minty flavor profile enhances black coffee:
- Minty Cooling Effect: Peppermint’s menthol cools down coffee’s bitterness and provides a refreshing zing with each sip.
- Aroma Enhancement: The vibrant minty fragrance boosts coffee’s aromatics for a more intense smell.
- Flavor Balance: Mint brings a bright, sweet note that smooths out harsh roasty flavors.
- Added Complexity: The herbal mint mingles with coffee undertones for more depth of flavor.
- Soothing Quality: Peppermint has a soothing effect which makes the coffee experience even more enjoyable.
The light touch of mint grants coffee a more nuanced, carnival-like flavor. It adds a pleasant freshness that livens up any standard cup of joe.
What are the benefits of peppermint in coffee?
Adding a touch of peppermint to your morning brew brings a variety of helpful perks:
- Health Benefits: Peppermint may aid digestion, relieve headaches, and boost focus and energy levels.
- Flavonoid Antioxidants: Peppermint contains high levels of cancer-fighting agents.
- Anti-Inflammatory: The menthol in mint has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
- Alertness: The mint helps stimulate alertness to counteract coffee’s sedative effects.
- Settles Stomach: It can ease any post-coffee stomach irritation or indigestion.
- Freshens Breath: Like gum, it freshens breath leaving a clean minty mouthfeel.
- Lowers Calories: Using mint is an easy way to flavor coffee instead of cream and sugar.
Sipping a mint-infused coffee is an everyday way to enjoy a little boost of peppermint’s health and sensory benefits.
What types of peppermint can you use?
There are several easy options for adding peppermint to coffee:
- Peppermint Extract: Just add a few drops of pure mint extract into the coffee. Shake or stir well to fully integrate the flavor.
- Peppermint Syrup: Mix in sugary peppermint simple syrup for a sweeter mint flavor.
- Peppermint Candy Canes: Add crumbled candy cane pieces or swirl the stick around in hot coffee.
- Peppermint Tea Bags: Steep a mint tea bag in the coffee cup for 5+ minutes for a strong mint infusion.
- Fresh Mint Leaves: Muddle a few fresh leaves in the cup for the freshest mint flavor.
- Flavored Creamers: Swirl in peppermint-flavored creamer for a quick flavor boost.
The options provide you with complete control over the mint intensity. Generally 1-3 drops of extract, 1 tea bag, or several mint leaves is enough for a moderately minty coffee.
Does peppermint overwhelm the coffee taste?
When used in moderation, peppermint provides a pleasant enhancement to coffee rather than overpowering it. The key is to use just enough mint extract, leaves, or candy pieces to impart a hint of flavor. This allows the smooth minty aroma to accent the coffee notes beautifully.
However, adding too much peppermint can make your coffee taste too strongly like mouthwash. Very heavy handed use of extracts or oils can dominate the entire flavor profile. Brew a test cup first with just a small amount of mint to find the right balance.
To retain the robust coffee flavor with just a minty nuance, follow these tips:
- Use only 1-2 drops of peppermint extract per 8 oz coffee.
- Limit to 1-2 crushed candy canes per cup.
- Add just 1-2 fresh leaves or a single mint tea bag.
- Use only a splash of flavored creamer and stir minimally.
- Mix the mint in gently to prevent over-extraction.
With a delicate touch, the mint acts as the perfect flavor complement instead of an overwhelming additive.
What drinks pair well with peppermint coffee?
Sipping minty coffee goes great with several other beverages. Here are some delicious drink pairings:
- Hot chocolate: The chocolate notes blend perfectly with mint for a peppermint mocha effect.
- Chai tea: Mint coffee enhances the spices in a cup of chai for a more complex flavor.
- Peppermint tea: Drinking the two mints together makes for an extra refreshing, double dose of mint.
- Cinnamon coffee: Cinnamon and peppermint mingle for a candy cane-like flavor.
- Irish coffee: The mint nicely offsets the bite from whiskey for a unique twist.
- Iced coffee: Mint infuses well into cold brew for a menthol iced coffee taste.
Sipping your minty coffee alongside a matching beverage makes for an elevated coffee experience.
Should you use peppermint extract or fresh peppermint?
Both peppermint extract and fresh peppermint work great for flavoring coffee. However, there are some differences:
- Extract provides very concentrated, intense mint flavor with just a drop or two.
- Fresh leaves offer a more subtle, nuanced mint taste.
- Extract fully infuses within a minute while leaves take longer to steep.
- Extracts come in more flavors like chocolate or candy cane mint.
- Fresh mint has a cooling, juicy mouthfeel and aroma.
- Extracts tend to be much easier to use.
In the end, preference plays a large role. Extracts provide bold mint flavor with little effort. Fresh mint makes for a more authentic taste, but requires steeping leaves in the cup. Either way, adding a touch of peppermint enhances coffee with a wonderful minty boost.
Do you add peppermint before or after brewing coffee?
To properly infuse the coffee grounds, it is best to add peppermint flavors before brewing hot coffee.
Here is the recommended order:
- Add peppermint extract directly into empty coffee grounds. Use a dropper to disperse small amounts evenly.
- Mix any peppermint syrup thoroughly into the dry grounds.
- Crush candy canes and stir pieces into the dry grounds.
- Brew coffee as normal, allowing the water to pass through the flavored grounds.
This method enables the mint to infuse directly into the freshly brewed coffee for the fullest flavor.
Alternatively, you can add mint after brewing by sprinkling in candies, adding syrup to the hot coffee, or steeping a tea bag. But for best results, pre-mix mint with the grounds then brew normally.
How much peppermint extract should you add to coffee?
When using concentrated peppermint extract, a little goes a long way. As a general guideline for a moderate mint level:
- For a single cup of coffee, add just 1-2 drops of extract before brewing.
- For a medium pot (3-4 cups), use 2-3 drops.
- Add 4-5 drops for a large pot (6-8 cups) of coffee.
Be very delicate with the drops to prevent overwhelming mintiness. Taste test your coffee after brewing to determine if you’d like to add more. Too much extract can make your coffee taste like mouthwash.
You can also add extra drops directly to your cup after brewing for an extra menthol spike. But use a conservative amount in the grounds then adjust to taste.
What are the best peppermint coffee recipes?
Here are 3 delicious peppermint coffee recipes to try:
Peppermint Mocha Coffee
- Brew coffee as normal
- Add 2-3 drops peppermint extract to grounds before brewing
- Mix in 2-3 tablespoons chocolate syrup after brewing
- Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings
Candy Cane Coffee
- Crush 2 mini candy canes and add to grounds
- Brew coffee as normal
- Top with whipped cream and sprinkles
- Garnish with a candy piece
Peppermint Mocha Frappe
- Add 1-2 drops extract and chocolate syrup to brewed coffee
- Blend with crushed ice and milk in blender
- Top with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, and crushed mints
These recipes highlight delicious ways to use peppermint’s cooling flavor in creative coffee drinks. Adjust mint levels to your taste preference for the perfect sweet and minty cup.
Fun toppings for peppermint coffee
Peppermint coffee lends itself to many festive toppings. Here are fun ways to garnish your minty coffee drinks:
- Whipped cream
- Crushed candy canes
- Chocolate sauce or syrup
- Chocolate shavings
- Crushed mints
- Mini marshmallows
- Crushed gingerbread cookies
Aim for toppings that complement the mint flavor. The most popular choices are whipped cream with candy pieces or chocolate drizzle. Get creative with various spices, candies, and sauces swirled on top.
Is peppermint coffee good for you?
Enjoying coffee with a touch of peppermint can provide some great health benefits. Here are a few ways minty coffee is good for you:
- Aids Digestion: Peppermint helps relieve bloating, gas, and stomach upset.
- Energy Boost: The mint stimulates alertness to counter the draining effects of coffee.
- Headache Cure: Menthol in peppermint can help alleviate headaches.
- Flavonoid Antioxidants: Peppermint has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents.
- Freshens Breath: It serves as a natural breath cleanser.
- Lower Calories: Using mint allows you to cut back on sugar and creamers.
So enjoy that minty coffee guilt-free! Just don’t overdo the peppermint, as too much can cause mouth numbness.
Adding a touch of peppermint is a delicious way to spice up any ordinary cup of coffee. The mint provides a refreshing zing that nicely complements the robust coffee flavor. Just a small amount of mint extract, leaves, or candy canes infuses your cup with sensory excitement. Sip your peppermint-infused brew along with fun mix-in flavors and festive toppings for a coffeehouse treat right at home. Let the soothing mint be your new morning coffee companion.