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Smoked Paprika and Maple Latte

February 28, 2010

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.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2010 9:32 pm

    This recipe might be the classiest you’ve had on here–still thinking about trying the egg, though.
    On a herb/spice related note, I’ve always wanted to try a rosemary latte, maybe sweetened a little with plain sugar, or vanilla.
    Anyway, I’m definitely trying this one tomorrow. Thanks for the poison test!

  2. Anonymous permalink
    March 1, 2010 1:43 pm

    That looks and sounds pretty decent!

  3. March 1, 2010 3:11 pm

    You’re welcome!

    Rosemary latte, eh? Could work. Thanks! Be sure to let me know if you do try these (either the rosemary or the paprika).

  4. March 1, 2010 4:06 pm

    La Chinata is incredible stuff!!

  5. Mike permalink
    March 2, 2010 11:29 am

    Actually I’m not sure that the sweet version of the paprika would work better. As it is you have a hot note (the paprika) being counter-balanced by the sweetness of the syrup. If you go to the sweet version (which really isn’t all that sweet, but rather just not hot) the syrup may end up over-balancing.

  6. March 3, 2010 3:54 pm

    You may be right, though I’ve never shied away from unreasonably sweet concoctions. We’ll see!

  7. March 13, 2010 6:12 am

    Well, I tried the paprika/maple syrup coffee, and I’ll at least cede that it wasn’t bad. I’ll go ahead and say that it was even good, although it’s not what I’ll drink when I’m trying to wake up in the morning. I’m trying to think of food pairings that would help it out (of course, I said that it was good already), but haven’t come up with any yet.
    Pretty sure also that I overloaded on the smoked paprika–it tasted way pepper-ish–but even then, for the one cup that I lasted, I couldn’t find anything really wrong with it.
    There’s my analysis.

    More poison testing! Please?

  8. March 15, 2010 9:55 pm

    Haha, you actually tried it! I’m glad you found it not bad. Yeah I wouldn’t have it every day, but I certainly enjoyed a cup of it. Maybe this would be good with some smoked salmon and hickory sticks?

    More poison testing coming up soon!

  9. carpeviam permalink
    April 30, 2010 3:51 am

    Stumbled on to your blog. Nice idea!

    I tried the paprika tonight, though took it black without even adding the maple syrup (though I’m dying for my local coffee shop to concoct a maple latte for me). I enjoyed the flavor! I gave a subtle kick after swallowing and was great for something different.

    Perhaps paired with an omelette or skillet breakfast dish? Dessert…no clue.

  10. October 13, 2010 9:33 pm

    I just started putting paprika in my black coffee. Fantastic!!!! Would definitely try adding some maple sugar to add a little sweetness to the pot.

  11. Chase permalink
    April 4, 2011 3:52 am

    At first this post threw me off a bit, but it actually makes perfect sense. Chocolate is sometimes flavored with chilis giving them a sweet/spicy flavor combo that’s rather nice. Coffee with it’s similar earthy, rich, flavor should work just as well. Can’t wait to try it.

  12. cappuccino cups permalink
    April 27, 2013 12:27 pm

    I got advised that to produce the finest cappuccino you should use
    seriously chilled milk – however I can not tell the improvement in the ones I have made from home.

    Even though I’m a bit of a rookie the cappuccinos I create at home are far better than Costa Coffee (In My Opinion Anyhow !)


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