Maca coffee is a coffee substitute made from maca, a South American tuber. Typically sold as a powder, maca coffee does not actually contain coffee, but is roasted and prepared so as to give it a coffee-like flavor. It is frequently sold as a coffee substitute to those who are interested in nutritional and herbal remedies and those who are looking for an alternative to caffeinated beverages. In some cases, maca coffee may be blended with other herbs, while some brands use only pure maca. The powder may be dissolved in hot water to prepare a traditional coffee-like drink or might be added to dairy or nut milks to make a hot or cold latte beverage.
While maca is a common foodstuff in the areas where it grows, it is usually sold in the United States and other countries as a nutritional supplement. Typically touted for its ability to raise libido and fertility as well as provide users with additional energy, it is often advertised as a natural alternative to drugs that treat various types of sexual dysfunction. The efficacy of maca for treating any type of health condition is under debate, but it is generally considered to be safe to use. Some experts, however, warn that it has not been tested for safety in pregnant women, and those who are concerned about side effects from herbal remedies may wish to avoid drinking maca coffee.
Many supplement companies sell maca coffee under a variety of names. Consumers may wish to try several different brands, as each company may have its own method for roasting the maca, and some may taste better than others. Another consideration is that some companies add other herbs, such as ginseng, to their blends. These herbs are often reputed to offer energizing or aphrodisiac qualities. Some producers of maca coffee may also add real coffee as well as sweeteners or powdered creamers to their products. Users who want to avoid caffeine or processed foods may wish to find a maca coffee that contains only roasted maca root.
Individuals who dislike coffee but who want to try maca for its other benefits can usually find other types of maca powder for sale. Plain maca powder has a slightly sweet, malty taste that works well in baked goods and smoothies. Another option is the use of flavored maca powders, which may contain other botanicals and sweeteners to make the maca more palatable.