What is Maca Coffee? Benefits, Taste, & More

Recently maca coffee has grown in popularity as a coffee substitute. What is maca coffee, what are its benefits, and should you drink it? We answer all this and more …

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Written by: Daniel Powers, MS
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Recently maca coffee has grown in popularity as a coffee substitute.

What is maca coffee, what are its benefits, and should you drink it?

We answer all this and more below.

benefits of maca coffee

What is Maca Coffee?

Maca coffee is a coffee substitute made from maca, a tuber-like plant that grows in the mountains of South America.

Despite its name, maca coffee does not actually contain coffee. It’s called “coffee” because it’s roasted and prepared in a manner similar to coffee. It also has a burnt, coffee-like taste.

It’s frequently offered as a coffee substitute to individuals who are seeking alternatives to caffeinated beverages and those interested in nutritional and herbal medicines.

Maca coffee may be combined with other plants in certain situations, but some manufacturers just use pure maca.

To prepare a normal coffee-style beverage, dissolve the maca powder in hot water. The powder may also be used to make a hot or cold latte drink by mixing it with the dairy or nut milk of your choosing.

In South America, maca is used as a food, however, in the United States and other countries, it is sold as a dietary supplement.

Maca is touted for its ability to increase libido and fertility as well as provide users with additional energy; it is often advertised as a natural alternative that works to support sexual health.

The claims that maca helps to support sexual function are well-founded, as numerous clinical trials have shown that maca may be able to increase libido.

However, the safety of maca has not been established for nursing women. Avoiding maca coffee may be a good idea for those who are nursing.

Maca Coffee Brands:

Maca energy coffee is sold by a variety of brand names by many supplement companies. Each brand roasts its maca coffee differently, and some may taste better than others.

Another thing to consider is that some brands include additional herbs, such as ginseng, in their mixes. These herbs are commonly believed to have energizing or aphrodisiac effects.

You can also find maca coffee that includes real coffee as well as additional sweeteners or creamers. Individuals who wish to avoid caffeine or processed foods should choose a maca coffee that is entirely composed of roasted maca root.

Plain maca powder has a sweet, malty flavor that complements baked goods and smoothies. Another alternative is to use flavored maca powders, which might include other botanicals and sugars to make the maca easier to consume.

We recommend checking out the maca products by The Maca Team.

This is a family-owned company that works directly with maca growers in Peru. They have a morning-time Maca Coffee Blend, check it out if you are looking for a trusted maca brand. They have both a sweetened and an unsweetened formula, so feel free to find the blend that’s right for you.

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Maca Coffee Benefits:

Maca was traditionally used as a food source by native tribes in South America. Below are the two top research-backed benefits of maca coffee.

1. Sexual Function

According to human clinical research and traditional usage, maca may help boost sex drive as well as sexual function.

A 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that maca helped men have more sex drive. After 8 weeks of treatment (with a 3,000mg daily dose), the researchers noted an increase in sexual desire in the maca group. It was discovered that although maca improved sexual interest and desire, it did not alter hormone production.

In a clinical study on women with sexual dysfunction, 3g of maca each day was found to increase sexual desire. The researchers noted that the maca was well tolerated and that a 3g dose was more effective than a 1.5g dose.

2. May Improve Stamina & Energy

Maca coffee has been linked to a boost in energy and endurance.

A clinical trial was conducted to determine maca’s impact on athletes. The researchers noted that the performance of the athletes increased by 10.3% on average. According to the findings, maca is thought to improve not only athletes’ but also everyone’s physical health.

A placebo-controlled study discovered that maca aided healthy men to improve self-reported energy levels.

Nutrients in Maca Coffee:

Maca coffee contains an abundance of nutrients.

Some of the key nutrients include:

  • B vitamins
  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • Potassium

All of these nutrients work together to support overall health.

Additionally, maca coffee is a good source of antioxidants, which scavenge harmful toxins and byproducts that can damage cells.

Where Does Maca Come From?

Maca is a native Peruvian plant that has been used in medicine for thousands of years. It grows in the Andes mountains at high altitudes.

The plant itself is actually a vegetable similar to a radish, 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 several types of maca root employed to make powders and medicines, each with its own set of advantages.

These include:

  • Yellow maca (most common)
  • Red maca
  • Black maca (most rare)

Each type of maca root is said to provide different benefits.

Is Maca Coffee Safe?

For the most part, maca energy coffee is considered safe to consume by most people.

One possible exception may be for persons who have thyroid issues and should use caution before taking it.

Similarly, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not consume maca without first speaking with their healthcare provider.

How to Use Maca Powder in Coffee:

If you’re looking for a caffeine-free alternative to coffee in the morning, maca coffee just might be the answer.

Maca coffee is a naturally energizing herbal drink that can help to give you high-energy days.

You can also make an all-maca latte and omit the caffeine altogether, add maca to your daily cup of coffee, or prepare a maca latte and eliminate the caffeine.

How To Make a Maca Latte:

Mix about a teaspoon of dried maca powder into your cup along with cream, sugar, or any other flavorings you like.

If you decide to use maca in your coffee, it’s a good idea to allow the liquid to cool somewhat first, since extreme heat can break some of the maca’s chemicals, which provide it its health benefits.

There are a variety of maca- and coffee-based recipes on the internet that provide suggestions for flavor pairings. Experiment with various tastes until you discover one that you enjoy using in your daily routine.

The majority of people use coconut or cow’s milk as a foundation for their all-maca latte. The liquid should be heated, and the maca powder can be incorporated. Typically, additional spices and tastes are added to provide the beverage more body and resemble a traditional coffee latte.

What Does Maca Taste Like?

It’s a good idea to have some idea of what maca will taste like before adding it to coffee or other meals and beverages.

The flavor is often described as nutty and somewhat earthy-tasting.

If you don’t like this flavor profile, it may be helpful to remember that adding other components and spices may improve the flavor considerably. Some people have described the taste of maca lattes as having an almost butterscotch-like flavor.

Other Ways To Add Maca To Your Diet:

Maca may also be used in a variety of other meals and beverages, in addition to mixing it with coffee.

Consider altering your coffee to make it smoother, stirring it into a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, or using it in homemade baked goods.

You can also take maca in capsule form. This is the best route for those that don’t like the taste of maca.

Some individuals prefer to take a gelatinized version of maca, as they find it easier on their stomachs.

You can read more on our guide to gelatinized vs. non-gelatinized maca here.


Maca coffee is a drink made from maca root and coffee. It has many benefits for overall health and can be used in place of coffee to get the benefits of maca.

Maca root comes in several different colors, each with its own set of benefits. It is safe for most people to consume, with the exception of pregnant or breastfeeding women.

If you’re interested in adding this plant to your life, consider drinking a mug of maca coffee.

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About Daniel Powers, MS

Daniel has a master's degree in herbal science from the Maryland University of Integrative Health. He has a passion for herbal medicine and how it can be used to support everyday health & wellness.

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