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Why Spice Blends Belong in Ice Cream, Coffee & More

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Looking to add some pep to your drinks, dessert, and more? We partnered with Califia Farms to share the spice mixes that Lior Lev Sercarz, owner of La Boîte, turns to for extra flavor.

"There's no reason why coffee should not be seasoned," says Lior Lev Sercarz. And he should know—Lior is the owner and mastermind behind La Boîte, a spice emporium, nay, spice wonderland, in New York City. Our Shop has been a huge fan for years, and we even teamed up with him to design a clever new way to store your spices.

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His blends challenge cooks to use spices in inventive ways, combining ingredients both familiar and far-reaching. He hopes to inspire a more experimental, carefree, and fearless approach in the kitchen. So ready those spice grinders (we use a coffee grinder, too): we asked Lior for three unexpected spice blends to recreate in your own home. They'll wake up any snooze that may have crept into your cooking routine. Read on for the magic blends, and a handful of out-of-the-spice-jar ideas to put them to good use.

Photo by Bobbi Lin; design by Tim McSweeney

Ready to spice up your life with Orchidea, Yemen, and Mishmish? Start here:

  • Nut brittle: We have a tutorial for making brittle, any kind of brittle, right here. When you fold in your chosen nuts, dash the spice blend in, too.
  • Coffee, hot or cold brew: Add spices to your ground beans, then french press, Chemex, or soak to your heart's content.
  • Ice cubes: Adding a hint of spice to the ice cube tray is a neat trick for a cream-based drink, coffee, cocktail, or otherwise. Let it surprise your guests as it slowly steeps into the beverage.
  • Ice cream: If you're churning your own, add the spices in for the last few minutes of blending. If you're jazzing up a store-bought pint, let it soften a bit, then mix the spices in until evenly distributed. Or fold into chocolate or caramel sauce, we dare you.
  • Dressings: Sneaking a blend into a vinaigrette is all you need to turn a pile of greens into a certified salad, and a simple way to shake up your usual grain bowl routine.
  • Creamer: Simmer your base creamer and the spices in a small pot, then cover and let steep for an hour or so off the heat.
  • Toast: Cinnamon sugar isn't the only spice blend that deserves to party with a thick swipe of butter and crunchy slice of Pullman loaf.
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Have you ever experimented with your own spice blends? We want to hear the successes and failures.

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We partnered with Califia Farms to share Lior Lev Sercarz's favorite spice mixes to add to coffee. Inspired by what plants can do, Califia Farms crafts flavorful plant milks from nature's bounty, like almonds, coconut, and more—see all their products here.

Tags: califia farms, almond milk, spices