General Question

unused_bagels's avatar

Why does my cinnamon clump up in my coffee?

Asked by unused_bagels (1742 points ) June 24th, 2010

I thought it would be tasty to put cinnamon in my coffee, but it won’t dissolve. I’m stirring it, but nothing happens. Am I doing it wrong, or does it just not dissolve?

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22 Answers

MaryW's avatar

The size of the particles will not let the water between them.

MissAusten's avatar

It works much better if you sprinkle the cinnamon over the coffee grounds before brewing.

earthduzt's avatar

wont disolve in hot, best to use a little bit of cold water or cold milk and disolve it in that first…its like when you make gravy or something with flour if you put flour in with hot liquid it will clump so you must add it to just a tiny bit of cold liquid it will disolve

unused_bagels's avatar

@earthduzt – I had no idea cinnamon would dissolve better cold. I always thought that things dissolved better hot.

@MissAusten I’ll try it and get back. Thanks!

syz's avatar

It’s my understanding that cinnamon will not dissolve in water at all, that the small particles of ground bark will suspend in a liquid instead. It’s the oil in the bark that provides the aroma and taste, and since oil and water don’t tend to mix…...

Otto_King's avatar

The grinded cinnamon is too fine to dissolve in any drinkable teperature. The best thing to do is to pour the cinnamon on the top of the milk foam, then it’s gonna dissolve better, because those fine particles spreading more equally on foam.

mrentropy's avatar

@MissAusten You need to be careful with that. I did that once in a drip coffee maker. When I went back to it to get my coffee, I found that very little made it to the pot; the majority of it seeped over the basket and all over the counter. I reckon it’s a matter of how the coffee maker works, how much cinnamon you use, and how lucky you are.

gailcalled's avatar

Use a cinnamon stick as a stirrer in your coffee rather than the powder.

mrentropy's avatar

@gailcalled In a glass coffee cup. Then it looks classy.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Cinnamon does not dissolve, it mixes.I always add mine to the ground coffee beans I put in the coffee-maker. That works well for the taste, but filters out the cinnamon solids.

YARNLADY's avatar

Use liquid cinnamon, pure cinnamon extract.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Wow! I bet you only need a drop of THAT stuff! LOL!

YARNLADY's avatar

@CaptainHarley One drop per 12 cup pot.

MissAusten's avatar

@mrentropy Really? I’ve added cinnamon to the coffee grounds many times over the past several years and never had a problem. I can see how if the ground cinnamon covered the coffee so that the water built up instead of seeping through, it might overflow and leak. Perhaps stirring the cinnamon into the ground coffee would prevent that from happening.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@MissAusten

Never had that problem.

kruger_d's avatar

If you already use sugar in your coffee, use a cinnamon sugar instead (like you would put on toast). The sugar disperses the particals and allows them to sink.
Cinnamon will also take the edge off a bitter brew.

mrentropy's avatar

@MissAusten That would probably do the trick. In truth, I wasn’t paying much attention and was completely ignorant on the properties of cinnamon so I probably layered it on.

But I learned my lesson.

MissAusten's avatar

@mrentropy I use cinnamon in a couple of recipes that show off how hard it is to mix into liquids. Cinnamon syrup and cinnamon ice cream both start off looking gross, with clumps of undissolved cinnamon floating around. With the syrup, all the heavy boiling seems to evenly distribute the cinnamon. The ice cream base doesn’t boil, but it does cook for quite a while, and the mixing process of the ice cream maker works in any cinnamon that still looks like it hasn’t dissolved. I’m so tempted to try to recreate your coffee disaster just to see if a layer of cinnamon would cause the water to overflow, but it would be a waste of good cinnamon. Might have to do it anyway…

mrentropy's avatar

@MissAusten Well, have a mop ready. After watching the Bunn coffeemaker we have at work, I wonder if the type of drip coffee maker doesn’t matter either. I say this because with the Bunn, if you fill the basket halfway with coffee, when it’s done making it the grounds have been hammered along the bottom and sides. It looks like someone hit it with a fire hose.

My old coffee maker that I had the cinnamon disaster with barely moved the grounds around.

MissAusten's avatar

@mrentropy I wouldn’t actually use the coffee or coffee maker. I hate to clean up messes. I’d just coat a coffee filter with cinnamon, dribble some water in, and see if the water is able to seep through the filter. I may be tempted to waste some cinnamon in the interests of scientific exploration, but no way in hell am I wasting my good coffee! ;)

njbrownie's avatar

I was having the same problem, only with tea. I tried sprinkling the cinnamon in the empty cup and pouring boiling water over it. I tried putting the cinnamon in after I put in the water. Nothing worked, until today. I sprinkled cinnamon on the bottom of the cup and added cold water. I put the cup in the microwave for about 2 minutes, and the cinnamon dissolved. After reading other’s comments, I know that it worked because I used the cold water first! If only I had read the comments earlier! Thanks for the helpful suggestions!

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