I few years ago I put Cinnamon in my coffee. After a few hours (I'm a slow coffee drinker) I started to take my last sip and a big clump of mucus hit my tongue and I almost puked. After recovering, and almost getting into fist fights with several co-workers (They loved pulling pranks) a few of them said cinnamon always does that. I'm still not so sure? What is up with Cinnamon and coffee and are there any other spices that does that? Or should I have continue to punch my co-workers?

  • 1
    I put cinnamon and honey in my coffee for therapeutic reasons and I simply suck down the sludge. Its a bit like swallowing a raw egg.
    – user22541
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 13:32

4 Answers 4


Cinnamaldehyde, the compound that gives cinnamon its flavor, is known to cause inflammation in mucous membranes (http://cameochemicals.noaa.gov/chemical/20036).

It's also mildly water soluble. So, when you made your coffee it was probably diluted enough that it didn't cause a problem. As it sat out, it probably fell out of the solution and settled in the bottom of your cup in a more concentrated form.

  • 10
    What does the fact that a chemical stimulates mucus production in humans have to do with how it behaves when wet? Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 20:37
  • "Falling out of the solution" doesn't happen. If some substance is dissolved in some liquid, then the substance will never settle to the bottom. Commented Jun 11, 2020 at 0:39

Cinnamon is made from the ground bark of a variety of trees in the Cinnamomum genus. All of these barks contain starches, soluble fibers, and insoluble fibers to some degree.

Lower grade cinnamons such as Cinnamomum cassia contain higher amounts of lignins, bassorins, pectins, and mucilages; accounting for almost 80% of the mass of the powdered cinnamon. These compounds form gummy, mucus-like masses when hydrated or dissolved in water. The mucilages in cinnamon can be dissolved in cold water, but it takes heat and time to fully hydrate the bassorins and other compounds which creates a gummy mass. Higher quality cinnamon from different species may contain less mucilages or other compounds, but all powdered cinnamon will form a mass to some extent. Herbs and spices such as cardamom, chicory, nutmeg and many others contain many similar compounds in various proportions that could also form gummy masses, but it would take research and/or experimentation to figure out the amounts needed.

Cinnamon flavors can be added to coffee without ending up with sludge in your cup by adding the cinnamon to the brewing chamber or by adding cinnamon extract or cinnamon essential oil to the brewed coffee.

  • 1
    +1 This is the only answer that actually answers the question. Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 15:24
  • This is the real and correct answer to the original question Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 20:44
  • If I could upvote twice...
    – ChefAndy
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 23:36

I know people who like cinnamon in their coffee, but the trick is to put the cinnamon in with the grounds before you brew it. I am not sure if there are other spices that do that. However, if you are looking to get back at your co-workers, just get some fine garlic powder, and sprinkle it on the base of their windshield. The air intake will suck it in, and blow it throughout their car, and the inside of their car will be smelling like garlic for a long time. The finer the powder, the better.

  • Can you put the cinnamon in the grounds if you use a French press? Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 3:31
  • 3
    I've never done it, but I don't see why not...... Just don't put in the garlic powder. Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 13:40
  • Can I add in the basket for a drip coffee maker? If I added it afterwards, it tastes bad. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 3:31
  • 2
    Absolutely. That's exactly where you should put it. Start with a little, too much could be overpowering. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 13:13
  • 2
    I always wondered what the liquid left from soaking dried thai or chinese chile peppers in hot water, which smells and looks all like black tea, does when you serve it as black tea.... Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 13:45

Try using cinnamon sticks in place of powders. I have better results, also you can refill your cup of coffee and reuse the cinnamon sticks from your last cup.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.