In this article, I’ll walk you through nutmeg tea recipes that not only tastes good, but also has some medicinal health benefits for you. I’ll cover the recipes that I have concocted or come across for nutmeg tea. But before that, I will teach you how to prepare the nutmeg so that using it as an ingredient becomes a smooth process.
I’ve done research on nutmeg before, and it’s such a versatile spice. It can be used as a medicine, as a food flavorant, as a natural antidepressant, as a cognitive enhancer for creative thinking, and as an aphrodisiac.
So before I go through the recipes, let me first give you a few pointers on how to prepare the nutmeg.
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Nutmeg Preparation for Tea & Culinary Use
So to use nutmeg in a recipe, you have 2 options: you can use the whole nutmeg nut and grind it up yourself. Or you can purchase the pre-ground nutmeg to use in the nutmeg tea or other culinary preparation. But there are some important things that you need to know about both.
Using Whole Nutmeg
If you want to use the whole nutmeg nut in a recipe, you need to pulverize it into smaller pieces to extract the nutmeg oil that has all the flavors in it. To do this, you can either cut it with a knife. Or you can use a mortar and pestle. Or you can use a spice grinder.
If you want to cut the whole nutmeg with a knife, you need first chop it in half. That way you have a base for the nut/seed so that it doesn’t roll around on the cutting board while you are cutting it. Then you need start from one edge and slice the nut paper-thin. Like you are peeling it almost.
Using a mortar & pestle requires some technique- you first drop the whole nutmeg into the mortar and strike it gently, and then slightly harder each time with the pestle. If pieces start to flying out of the mortar, then you are striking with too much force. And you keep striking until you are left with a coarse powder.
Finally, using an electric spice grinder is also not that simple. Usually spice grinder’s will not be able to process a whole nutmeg nut at once- you may end up damaging the grinder if you are not careful. So what you need to do is first break the whole nutmeg nut/seed into 2-3 smaller pieces with the mortar & pestle & then grind it with the electric grinder.
Using Preground Nutmeg
Using pre-ground nutmeg is super convenient, but you need to know several things to get the best quality nutmeg powder.
One thing that they don’t tell you when you go to purchase nutmeg powder is that the nutmeg powder has some or most of its essential oils extracted out. And then what remains has a trace of the essential oil, and therefore is less flavorful than freshly ground nutmeg. That means you end up having to use more pre-ground nutmeg.
If you want to choose the nutmeg powder that is fresh and with the most amount of essential oil, you need to look for the nutmeg powder that has a dark, brownish-red color. When the essential oil is extracted from the nutmeg powder, you will be left with a more grayish color in comparison.
So now that I’ve covered what you need to know about preparing & acquiring the nutmeg, you can hopefully make a more flavorful cup of tea! Let’s now go over the recipes.
Nutmeg Tea Recipes
Here’s the collection of nutmeg tea recipes that I have research & collected over time. Feel free to try them out yourself, and let me know what you think. If you have a recipe that you’d like to share, please feel free to share it in the comments below!
Note that all these recipes will follow a similar format for preparing the nutmeg tea, so I thought I’d just mention once & for all down below.
First bring the water to boil. Then stop the heat, and leave the water to cool until it stops bubbling.
Then you add all the ingredients in, and let it steep for 5 minutes. You have the choice of using a tea ball to separate the mass of ingredients from the tea during the infusion, or pour the liquid out through a strainer to separate the mass.
Then your tea is ready for drinkings.
But another option is to gently boil only the spices like nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. And then when you stop the heat & let the decoction stop bubbling, you add the tea leaves. The reason why you can only boil the nutmeg & other spices is because boiling plant leaves like green or black tea will make the drink bitter and unpalatable.
Although this is not an issue if you add milk.
Floral Nutmeg Tea
You can make quite a flavorful cup of tea with nutmeg and just floral plant
I’ve written about using Tulsi before in tea preparations. On its own, Tulsi leaves impart a delicious floral flavor floral taste to it. Like peppermint but with flowers; it’s kind of hard to describe. Tulsi has soothing properties that helps me stay calm & focused while I work.
You can also add or replace with the Tulsi leaves with Chrysanthemum, Rosebud, Osmanthus, or Chamomile Flowers.
Together with the nutmeg, it becomes quite an odd but pleasant taste that dances on the tongue.
- 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 3-4 tsp Tulsi
- 3 tsp Chrysanthemum (opt.)
- 5 tsp Rosebud (opt.)
- 3 tsp Osmanthus (opt.)
- 3 tsp Chamomile (opt.)
- 1 cup of water
Nutmeg Green Tea
One of my favorite teas is the leaves of the classic Camellia sinensis, also known as tea plant. Green all by itself is a balanced, complete drink that quenches my thirst for caffeine. But drinking the same tea all day can get boring.
So adding a bit of nutmeg goes a long way to add to the complexity that green tea has in terms of taste.
- 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 2 tsp Whole Green Tea leaf
Nutmeg Ginger Tea
Nutmeg & ginger together is a great combination for cold weather.
This tea has a Ginger cola like flavor, and spicy flare that also opens up the nostrils & lungs to help you breath better. Ginger is specifically effective against colds, whereas nutmeg is better for warming up the body.
Both improve blood circulation and warm the body up for winter weather. I imagine that this tea would also be an effective aphrodisiac for similar reason.
If you use fresh ginger, make sure to slice up the ginger as thin as possible to improve the extraction from it during the infusion.
- 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Ginger Powder or 4-5 large & thin slices of ginger
- 3 tsp Honey
Ingredients: Ginger, Nutmeg
Nutmeg Cinnamon Clove Tea
A classic combination of spices is nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. I believe this combination is also known as “pumpkin spice”. But pumpkin spice also includes allspice, so you could try adding some of that if you want a true pumpkin spice tea.
Many people use these spices to make pies or apple cider. It’s a combination that becomes popular during the fall & winter months.
You’ll want to use a little less cloves, given that it tends to have a very strong flavor. And add honey to taste.
- 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Cinnamon powder (or 1/2 a stick)
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp allspice (opt.)
- 2 tsp Honey.
Nutmeg Masala Chai Tea
One of my favorite versions of nutmeg tea is Masala chai. It is a tea that is brewed with a blend of spices, and is regarded by Indians as an ayurvedic herbal medicine.
The main ingredients for regular Masala chai are black tea leaves, milk, sugar/honey, cardamom, and ginger. And then you can add almost any other warming spice to tea, like nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. I’ll list an extensive number of options for the spices that you can add in the ingredients section below.
And as for the black tea leaves in this recipe, it’s best to use a strong flavored tea leaf, like Assam black tea. A strong-flavored black tea will insure that the flavor does not become overpowered by the spices & milk.
You may also want to use a type of Assam that is also labeled “mamri” CTC. CTC means Crushed, Teared, and Curled; which refers to the tea leaves that have been made into granules by being pressed under cylinders that crush, tear, and curl the leaves. This type of black tea results in a stronger flavor, but at the expense of loosing the subtle nuances that whole Assam tea leaves may provide.
It’s perfectly fine for us, given that we are making a spice tea where subtle tastes would be covered up anyhow.
- 2 tsp. black tea leaves
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Cloves
- 1/2 tsp. Ginger Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Allspice
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Star Anise
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Fennel
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon (or 1/2 a stick)
- 1-2 Green Cardamom Pods
- 1/2 inch of vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp Ground Vanilla Powder (opt.)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup water
- 3 tsp Honey
Note that the brewing process for nutmeg masala chai is going to be a little different than most others.
So first you need to add together 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, and all the spices. Bring this mixture to a boil for a few seconds. Then reduce the heat so that the decoction continues to simmer gently. At this point, you add the Assam black tea leaves, and then you let that decoction simmer for about 5 minutes.
Finally, use a steel mesh strainer to filter the chai tea from the mass. Now your nutmeg chai tea is ready to serve.
Nutmeg Coffee Recipe
Not only can you spice up your tea, but also spice up your morning cup of coffee with a bit of nutmeg.
Adding nutmeg and other spices to your coffee tastes especially good when you add some milk to the mix. Some people like to make a pumpkin spice latte using the classic spice combo of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice.
For Nutmeg Coffee:
- 1 cup Coffee
- 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
For Pumpkin Spice Latte:
- 1 cup Coffee
- 2-3 ounces of Whole Milk or Half & Half
- 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. Clove
- 1/4 tsp. Allspice
- 1/4 tsp. Vanilla bean
For Cardamom Coffee:
- 1 cup Coffee
- 1 Large Cardamom pod or 3 Small Cardamom Pods
- 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg (opt.)
The simplest thing you could do if your coffee is already brewed is to directly add a 1/2 teaspoon of powdered nutmeg to your cup of coffee, and stirr for about 30 seconds.
If you have time, you can either wait about 5-7 minutes to allow the nutmeg particles to sink to the bottom.
But this will not yield the best taste. And the coarse nutmeg particles may feel odd & slightly unpalatable on the tongue.
So the better option is to go down the french press route. So you make your coffee as you normally do with a french press. But you add the 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg with the coffee grounds before you pour the hot water over it in the french press vessel.
The french press method of brewing nutmeg coffee is superior because you get to filter away the coarse nutmeg pieces through the steel filter mesh, and because you give time for the nutmeg particles to sink to the bottoom. While pouring the coffee solution into the cup the nutmeg oils that float to the top are also carried into the cup. This makes for a particularly flavorful brew.
However, that’s not the case if you use a regular coffee maker. For this option, you could add the nutmeg and other spices into the filter basket. But the problem is that if you use a filter paper, then a lot of the spice oils (and coffee oils) get trapped by the paper filter. Although using a paper filter yields a cleaner cup of coffee, it also means you get a less flavorful cup of coffee.
To get around this issue, you could use a steel-mesh filter for your coffee. Not only will a steel mesh filter allow the nutmeg oils to get into your drink, but also more the coffee oils are passed through, making the coffee more flavorful.
So even without adding any nutmeg, you can make your coffee taste a lot better by using a steel mesh filter.
What is Nutmeg Tea Good For?
Nutmeg tea has a couple of benefits. Firstly, the nutmeg helps you fall asleep at night. So nutmeg tea helps with insomnia and falling asleep. I personally find that the nutmeg tea’s sedative effects kick in after a few hours, so it’s not an immediate effect. But by the same token, I don’t recommend taking nutmeg tea if you need to go driving a couple of hours from when you drink it. I would suggest saving nutmeg tea as a nighttime treat.
Nutmeg tea is also good for depression. Remember now, I’m not your doctor, so this isn’t a prescription. But personally when I’ve used nutmeg before, I feel really relaxed, with waves of giddy happiness. It’s quite nice when you want to just chill out. The scientific reason why nutmeg acts as an antidepression is because nutmeg is a MAO inhibitor. That means it stops the breakdown of neurotransmitter like serotonin. This increases the amount of serotonin molecules in the brain, and theoritically this improves mood & happiness. That’s similar to how SSRI antidepressants like fluoxetine work.
Nutmeg tea is also good for increasing appetite. The reason is simple- spices like nutmeg mildly irritate the gastrointestinal tract of the stomach. This speeds up the transit of food through the digestive system, meaning that your stomach becomes empty quicker. The irritants also tend to increase the gastric juices secreted by the stomach, which means that nutmeg may improve digestion (but avoid eating nutmeg with foods high in tryptophan like cheese, as nutmeg is a MAOI). Finally as nutmeg increases a person’s appetite for food given that it makes a dish taste better. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve added nutmeg to any of your cooking.