Smoked Paprika and Maple Latte
My friend’s mom—let’s call her “V”—is a wonderful cook. Every time I’ve gone for dinner, she has whipped up dishes that were not only delicious, but creative. So when she emailed me a suggestion for the blog, I had to listen.
Her suggestion? Smoked paprika coffee, sweetened with maple syrup.
This is no regular paprika. The smokiness hit my nose as soon as I opened it, and trying a bit on my tongue, it was quite spicy.
I put just a bit in the grounds; maybe half a teaspoon or less1.
I mixed it up a bit, then brewed the coffee. I took a few sips of the coffee black. It was quite good; the smokiness definitely came through and went well with coffee’s natural earthy flavour. The spice was also prominent, coming across like a milder version of my successful Curry Coffee.
But I wanted to take all of V’s advice, in addition to taking the spicy coffee idea in a new direction. So out came the maple syrup.
The real stuff, obvi.
I put about two tablespoons of syrup, along with some cream 2. Then, to top it off and make it look fancy-like, some whipped cream and another pinch of paprika.
Well now, this is not bad at all. Having the paprika right on top made the smokiness really hit my nose as I sipped. The maple syrup is subtle, but it sweetens without detracting from the drink’s earthy theme. With the other flavours competing for attention, the spice comes through mostly as an aftertaste, providing an unusual little kick.
I’ll definitely try variations on this again. Apparently there is a sweet (vs. hot) version of the smoked paprika that may go better here. I’d also add a bit more maple syrup next time. However, I’m going to label this as a big success. I’d pay good money for it in a coffee shop. Hey Starbucks: hire me.
Note: If you’d like to try this yourself, the smoked paprika may be hard to find. You’re probably better off searching independent / specialty food stores than grocery stores (it’s called La Chinata if you want to ask for it by name). I got it at Jill’s Table here in London Ontario.
1 I actually freaked out and took a bit off after taking the picture. You don’t need much.
2 OK, I know, it’s not a true latte without hot/steamed milk. But “double double with paprika” just didn’t have the same ring to it.