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What Is Maca Coffee?

April Moritz
Updated May 16, 2024
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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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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 Coffee 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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Maca Coffee

What is maca coffee?

Maca coffee is a type of coffee that contains maca powder, made from the root of a plant native to Peru. It combines the benefits of maca powder, known as a natural energy booster and adaptogen, with the flavor and caffeine of coffee.

How do you make maca coffee?

To make maca coffee, brew your coffee as usual and then add a teaspoon of maca powder to your cup. You can also add milk, cream, sugar, or other sweeteners if you prefer. Stir well until the maca powder dissolves.

What are the benefits of maca coffee?

Maca coffee has several potential benefits, including improving mood and mental clarity, enhancing physical performance and stamina, supporting hormonal balance and reproductive health, boosting the immune system and antioxidant levels, and promoting skin health and appearance.

Are there any side effects of maca coffee?

Maca coffee is generally safe and well-tolerated by most people, but may cause some mild side effects in some cases. These may include insomnia or jitteriness if consuming too much caffeine or maca, digestive issues such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea if sensitive to maca or having a high dose, and allergic reactions such as rash, itching, or swelling if allergic to maca or any other ingredient in your coffee.

How much maca coffee should you drink per day?

There is no definitive answer to how much maca coffee one should drink per day as it depends on personal preference, tolerance, and goals. However, a general guideline is to start with one teaspoon of maca powder per cup of coffee and adjust according to taste and effects. Consult with your doctor before adding maca to your diet, especially if having any medical conditions or taking any medications.

Where can you buy maca coffee?

Maca coffee can be purchased online or in some health food stores that sell organic products. You can also buy maca powder separately and add it to your regular coffee at home. Choose a high-quality brand that offers pure, organic, and ethically sourced maca powder for the best results.


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April Moritz
By April Moritz
April is a frequent contributor to DelightedCooking, specializing in health, travel, and nutrition topics. She enjoys hikes, camping, and spending time exploring her beautiful city of Portland with her dog, Andi.
Discussion Comments
By anon1005812 — On Nov 27, 2021

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

By ZipLine — On Apr 05, 2013

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.

By literally45 — On Apr 05, 2013

@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.

By fBoyle — On Apr 04, 2013

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?

April Moritz
April Moritz
April is a frequent contributor to DelightedCooking, specializing in health, travel, and nutrition topics. She enjoys hikes, camping, and spending time exploring her beautiful city of Portland with her dog, Andi.
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