Fact Checked

What Is Maca Coffee?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

Maca coffee is a coffee substitute made from maca, a South American tuber. Typically sold as a powder, maca coffee does not actually contain coffee, but is roasted and prepared so as to give it a coffee-like flavor. It is frequently sold as a coffee substitute to those who are interested in nutritional and herbal remedies and those who are looking for an alternative to caffeinated beverages. In some cases, maca coffee may be blended with other herbs, while some brands use only pure maca. The powder may be dissolved in hot water to prepare a traditional coffee-like drink or might be added to dairy or nut milks to make a hot or cold latte beverage.

While maca is a common foodstuff in the areas where it grows, it is usually sold in the United States and other countries as a nutritional supplement. Typically touted for its ability to raise libido and fertility as well as provide users with additional energy, it is often advertised as a natural alternative to drugs that treat various types of sexual dysfunction. The efficacy of maca for treating any type of health condition is under debate, but it is generally considered to be safe to use. Some experts, however, warn that it has not been tested for safety in pregnant women, and those who are concerned about side effects from herbal remedies may wish to avoid drinking maca coffee.

Maca coffee is made from the roasted maca root.
Maca coffee is made from the roasted maca root.

Many supplement companies sell maca coffee under a variety of names. Consumers may wish to try several different brands, as each company may have its own method for roasting the maca, and some may taste better than others. Another consideration is that some companies add other herbs, such as ginseng, to their blends. These herbs are often reputed to offer energizing or aphrodisiac qualities. Some producers of maca coffee may also add real coffee as well as sweeteners or powdered creamers to their products. Users who want to avoid caffeine or processed foods may wish to find a maca coffee that contains only roasted maca root.

Maca coffee is often sold under a variety of names.
Maca coffee is often sold under a variety of names.

Individuals who dislike coffee but who want to try maca for its other benefits can usually find other types of maca powder for sale. Plain maca powder has a slightly sweet, malty taste that works well in baked goods and smoothies. Another option is the use of flavored maca powders, which may contain other botanicals and sweeteners to make the maca more palatable.

Maca Coffee Benefits

Maca is often touted for its ability to raise libido.
Maca is often touted for its ability to raise libido.

Recently, more research has been done into the potential health benefits of maca, which has long been used as herbal medicine by different people. Some of the ways maca may be able to provide better health are by protecting against bone disease, reducing anxiety, and improving a person's mood. The mental-health-related benefits are likely due to the presence of flavanoids in maca.

Maca may help treat various types of sexual dysfunction.
Maca may help treat various types of sexual dysfunction.

In addition to working as a mood-booster, maca is very nutrient-rich. Widely considered a superfood, it is dense in vitamins as well as carbs and proteins. Consuming it may give a person added energy and stamina. It also has a lot of benefits relating to a person's hormones and sexual health. Some women have found that it eases many of the symptoms commonly associated with menopause. Additionally, some studies suggest it may increase fertility for men who consume it. It can also increase libido for both men and women.

Where Does Maca Come From?

Pregnant women should avoid maca coffee.
Pregnant women should avoid maca coffee.

Maca is a product derived from a plant that is native to Peru. The maca plant is found at high elevations in the Peruvian mountains and can survive in harsh conditions that are unsuitable for many other plants. The plant itself is actually a vegetable similar to cauliflower, though the main edible portion of it is the roots, which are used to create maca powder, supplement capsules, or liquid forms of the plant product. There are different colors of maca root used to create powders and supplements which may offer different types of benefits. These colors are yellow, red, and black, with yellow being the most common and black being the rarest.

Is Maca Safe to Drink?

For most people, maca should be safe to drink with no adverse health effects. One possible exception may be for people who have thyroid problems, who should use caution and speak to a health professional before consuming it. Similarly, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not consume maca without first discussing it with their healthcare provider.

How to Use Maca Powder in Coffee

One of the main benefits of maca is that it can give you increased energy and help you power through the day without inducing the anxiety and jitters that are commonly associated with caffeine. Often used by athletes to improve performance and serve as a workout supplement, maca powder may also help you to face your workday with increased motivation. When you start adding maca to your diet, you may find that it takes several days for you to notice any effects. This is because the effects of maca build up over time. With consistent consumption, you should find it to be a much more powerful supplement than if it is only used sporadically.

Making a Maca Latte

Maca can be added to your morning cup of coffee, or you can make an all-maca latte and cut out the caffeine altogether. When adding it to a coffee drink, it is advisable to allow the liquid to partially cool first, as extreme heat may destroy some of the compounds in the maca that give it its health benefits. Mix about a teaspoon into your mug along with cream, sugar, or any other flavorings you like.

There are many recipes for maca and coffee drinks on the internet that provide suggestions for flavor pairings. You can experiment with different flavors until you find something that is to your liking to implement into your morning routine.

For an all-maca latte, most people use dairy or coconut milk as a base. The liquid should be heated, and the maca powder can be stirred in. Usually, additional spices and flavorings are added to give the drink more body and help it to taste more like a traditional coffee latte.

What Does Maca Taste Like?

Before adding maca to coffee or other foods and drinks, it helps to have a good idea of what it will taste like. Many people describe the flavor as being nutty, similar to a more earthy-tasting, mild peanut butter flavor. If this doesn't sound appealing to you, don't forget that by adding in other ingredients and spices, it can become much tastier. Some people describe maca lattes as having an almost butterscotch-like flavor.

Other Uses of Maca

In addition to mixing it with coffee, maca can also be used in other foods and beverages. If coffee is not to your liking, consider blending it into a smoothing or stirring it into a morning bowl of oatmeal. It can also be added to homemade baked goods.

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Discussion Comments


l like the product very much. Please, where can we get it in Nigeria?


Is maca coffee considered a raw food? I'm on a raw food diet right now and I read somewhere that maca powder is a raw food. But I guess since it has to be roasted to be maca coffee, it's not a raw food anymore?

It would be great to replace coffee with maca coffee I think because after a while our body builds tolerance to caffeine. I used to drink only one cup of coffee in the beginning to feel awake and now I drink two to three.


@fBoyle-- Yes, I think that's a bad idea. I'm not an expert but I know that maca has energizing properties and so does coffee. You might like the taste but I'm guessing that it will give you terrible jitters afterward.

I get my maca coffee from an online store. It tastes very good, I just mix it with hot water. I can't have coffee because I don't react well to caffeine. It gives me heart palpitations and anxiety. Maca coffee has been a great alternative to coffee for me.


I've been wanting to try this coffee for a long time. I haven't found any place that sells it yet but I'm thinking about adding maca powder to my coffee after brewing it. Is that a bad idea?

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    • Maca coffee is made from the roasted maca root.
      By: Oscar Pinto Sánchez
      Maca coffee is made from the roasted maca root.
    • Maca coffee is often sold under a variety of names.
      By: volff
      Maca coffee is often sold under a variety of names.
    • Maca is often touted for its ability to raise libido.
      By: Ivan Montero
      Maca is often touted for its ability to raise libido.
    • Maca may help treat various types of sexual dysfunction.
      By: Irina Karlova
      Maca may help treat various types of sexual dysfunction.
    • Pregnant women should avoid maca coffee.
      By: pedrosala
      Pregnant women should avoid maca coffee.