Maca Coffee: Superfood or Super Sketchy?

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

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Maca coffee is a rising star in the coffee world. This no-caffeine beverage may improve stamina and energy and support a wide range of body functions.

Maca coffee is a rising star in the coffee world. This no-caffeine beverage may improve stamina and energy and support a wide range of body functions.

In this article I’ll explore the world of maca-infused coffee – where ancient herbal traditions meet modern coffee culture. I’ll also expound on maca root coffee and how you should take it. What’s more, I’ll have a look at any potential maca coffee benefits as well as side effects.

Ready to supercharge your morning ritual with a bolt of natural caffeine-free energy? Then read on!

Overview: What Is Maca Coffee?

Maca coffee is the perfect caffeine-free alternative beverage. It contains naturally sweetened powdered maca root as the main ingredient. Alternative names for maca include ginseng Andin or Peruvian ginseng.

Naturally, maca is an excellent coffee substitute. If you’re looking to switch up your daily morning cup or (perish the thought) replace coffee altogether, this is the drink for you!

Typically, there isn’t any ground coffee in maca coffee. But its preparation and processing is similar to that of coffee beans. This gives it a taste profile much like the highest quality coffee beans. So, if caffeine gives you the jitters, this is the perfect “non-coffee” coffee drink.

While maca is delicious as it is, boasting an earthy, nutty, slightly sweet and herbal flavor, many enjoy it with flavor additives. Maca coffee may contain ground turmeric, raw cacao powder, matcha powder, moringa powder and even cayenne pepper!

Some manufacturers may add ground coffee to their maca products. Of course, this is to appeal to die-hard coffee lovers (like me) who can’t do without caffeinated beverages.

You may also make your own maca coffee by adding maca powder to home-brewed coffee. Enjoy this coffee drink with plain ol’ hot water or regular milk. Non-dairy milk, such as coconut, soy or almond makes a perfect alternative for vegans.

What Is Maca Powder?

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Native to Peru and Bolivia, maca powder is a food supplement derived from the root of the maca plant. Also known as Peruvian ginseng, this cruciferous plant is of the Brassicaceae family. Incidentally, that family includes kale, cabbage and broccoli, too.

Crucially, maca is adaptogenic. When taken in small doses, adaptogenic plants are non-toxic. They enhance the body’s ability to handle stress and return the body to optimal balance.

You may be curious about how all this works. Well, adaptogens and nootropics help regulate the body’s cortisol levels. This hormonal regulation limits not just stress but also restlessness and fatigue. Nootropics, regular and enzyme coffees are related to adaptogens in function and may enhance brain function.

Maca was first “discovered” in the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes mountains in the 1980s. However, indigenous communities had long enjoyed this tuber as a root vegetable. They also regularly used it for medicinal purposes.

Maca’s Rise In Popularity

As its health benefits became famous outside South America, this nutritional supplement became available as maca coffee. As an export product, maca root is available as a raw powder, plant extract or gelatinized starch.

Maca has certainly grown in popularity in the last few years. You’ll now find it growing in China’s Yunnan province due to a rise in worldwide demand.

Still, most discerning buyers stick to Peruvian maca, renowned for its potency and purity. Here, it grows at high altitudes of over 4,000 meters in rich soils thousands of years old.

In the United States and other countries, you may find maca powder in health food stores sold as a nutritional or dietary supplement. This food supplement is commonly found in capsule, powder, tablet or liquid form. It contains a wide range of active plant chemicals, including vitamins, fiber, minerals and alkaloids.

According to scientists, these active plant chemicals may have several nutritional benefits, including:

  • Promoting antioxidants, which help fight free radicals

  • Improving brain function

  • Improving mood

  • Promoting healthier digestion

What Does Maca Taste Like?

Plain maca powder is deliciously earthy, buttery, nutty and herbal. It is slightly sweet with pronounced caramel notes. However, the leaves of the maca plant are quite the opposite, with spicy and peppery flavors. This functional food is delicious when mixed in hot water and takes on other flavors well.

For example, a rich cocoa powder works well with maca root powder. Milk, half-and-half and heavy cream are also good additions. For vegans or people who don’t consume dairy, oat milk beautifully enhances the flavor of this herbal gem.

Some people may also mix in cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves or ginger to spice things up. And for the adventurous among you, cayenne pepper is a must-try. Finally, for those looking to boost their immune systems, matcha, moringa or a golden maca latte with turmeric make excellent choices.

What Are the Health Benefits of Maca Coffee?

The potential health benefits of maca powder are many. Besides being a Peruvian herbal medicine, maca powder users report increased energy levels.

Scientific research also shows that taking maca root powder or maca coffee may help support normal hormonal function. This, in turn, may promote improved sleep and reduced anxiety.

In addition, menopausal women taking maca powder have reported improved symptoms. These include hot flashes, mood swings and chills.

Perhaps one of the most touted potential benefits of maca powder is enhancing men’s reproductive health. Research suggests that consuming coffee maca supplements or adding maca to coffee may help with male libido. This may result in improved desire, sexual physical performance and a better overall sex life.

Maca Root

There are three main kinds of maca powder:

  • Yellow maca powder may boost energy, endurance, muscle building and mental focus.

  • Red maca powder may help with female libido and stamina while reducing menopausal symptoms. It may also support bone strength in women and prostate health in men.

  • Black maca powder may boost stamina and endurance in male athletes. It is also potentially beneficial for men looking to enhance sperm count and quality.

Many users report multiple maca coffee benefits. But a small note of caution here: there aren’t enough human clinical trials to back up these claims. So, speak to your doctor before taking red, yellow or black maca powder as a part of your regular diet.

Maca Powder Potential Side Effects

Drinking maca coffee may provide a host of potential health benefits. But as with everything, there are side effects. Thus, you must consult a health professional before consuming maca coffee.

Some reported side effects of taking maca coffee, include: 

  • Lack of sleep and restlessness

  • Altered menstrual cycles

  • Mood changes

  • Stomach issues

  • Cramps

Doctors advise that hormone-sensitive people should avoid taking maca powder. These include people with thyroid problems and pregnant or lactating women. In addition, doctors also advise that women with breast or ovarian cancers avoid consuming maca powders or maca coffee.

You must be diligent when choosing black, red, or yellow maca supplements. Although the FDA doesn’t regulate maca root powder, it has marked some maca powders unsafe.

To be sure, buy your maca dietary supplement from reputable online retailers. These retailers will alwaysdisplay third-party testing information on their websites.

Your best bet is organic maca powders free of GMO ingredients and harmful additives. It is also wise to ensure that you source your maca root powder ethically and sustainably from farmers who value the environment.

In addition, different varieties of the maca plant (red, black, or yellow maca) go through different growing methods. This may affect the nutritional content of these functional foods.

How to Make Maca Coffee

To make maca coffee, you’ll need the following:


  • Organic maca powder (1 tablespoon)

  • Hot water or brewed coffee from a drip coffee maker if making a caffeinated maca coffee (1 cup)

  • Regular milk, half-and-half or non-dairy milk if making maca lattes (1 cup)

  • Sweetener, e.g. maple syrup, agave syrup, stevia or monk fruit sweetener

  • Flavoring, e.g. vanilla extract, cocoa powder or turmeric (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)


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Maca Coffee Recipe Instructions

Making maca coffee that is naturally sweetened without refined sugars and caffeine is easy. Here’s how to do it:

  • Mix hot water (dairy or non-dairy milk if making a maca latte), maca root powder, sweetener and your flavoring of choice in a small saucepan.

  • Small amounts of sweetener and flavoring go a long way in enhancing this recipe (a quarter to a half teaspoon is more than enough).

  • Turn on the heat to medium-low and place your saucepan on the stovetop.

  • As the maca powder mixture heats, gently blend it using a handheld whisk or electric milk frother. Heat this mixture for about five minutes.

  • Once hot enough, pour into your coffee cup or mug and serve immediately.

If you’re making a caffeinated maca powder coffee recipe:

  • Brew your coffee black and strong.

  • Pour the brewed coffee into a saucepan and place on your stovetop.

  • Over a medium-low heat, add maca powder, sweetener and a flavoring of your choice.

  • Using a handheld whisk or frother, gently mix maca and the brewed coffee with the additions for five minutes until well-blended.

  • Take care not to overheat this coffee maca mixture as this may upset the nuanced earthy and nutty flavors of the maca powder and brewed coffee.

  • You may also add regular milk or a non-dairy alternative to this maca coffee recipe to make it a maca latte.

  • Pour into your favorite coffee mug and enjoy!

Final Thoughts: Maca Coffee Is a Delicious Powerhouse

It’s clear that maca coffee drinks are more than a trend. As non-caffeinated beverages they are flavorful and energizing nutritional powerhouses. Plus, they provide a welcome change for coffee lovers looking to spice up their daily routines.

From its roots in the Andes to its current place in modern coffee culture, maca powder coffee is more than an alternative to your regular brew. Its earthy, nutty flavor profile is an acceptable alternative to traditional coffee. And its potent blend of natural ingredients makes it one of the best dietary supplements for an energy boost.

So, if you want to invigorate your mornings and wake up your taste buds, you know what to do! Try maca coffee as the perfect superfood-infused brew for its many potential health benefits. Your taste buds (and body) will thank you!

Do you drink maca powder coffee? Has it had any noticeable health benefits for you? Please share your experience in our community section below!

Maca Coffee FAQ

According to science, this drink provides several health benefits. These include improved physical performance, sleep and digestion. It may help boost reproductive health, promoting an increased libido in men with sexual dysfunction and reduced hot flashes in menopausal women.

Medical research shows that maca root powder amounts of up to 3.5 grams per day over no longer than four months are safe to consume. However, doctors advise that people with thyroid issues should avoid maca coffee. It contains compounds that could interfere with the normal functioning of the thyroid.

Maca is a natural alternative to coffee for both men and women. Scientific research has shown that apart from providing an energy boost, maca may help with hormonal and sexual health. Maca may increase libido in men living with sexual dysfunction and help manage menopause symptoms in women.

Doctors advise that taking 3 to 3.5 grams of maca herbal supplement daily should manifest positive health benefits in 6 to 12 weeks.

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Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

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