For a large portion of the world, the day starts (and continues, repeatedly) with a fresh, hot cup of coffee. Which is great. No, really, there’s nothing wrong with that, drinking plain old coffee. It’s just… what if that coffee also got you high?
If that sounds inspiring to you, then strap in: As part of our series on kief related tips & recipes we’ve got a way to put an extra bit of bounce in your morning cup – A nice dose of THC. Let’s dive in.
What is Kief?
A brief primer: Kief is essentially the little powdery, crystalline bits that are attached to – and fall off of – cannabis buds, also called “trichomes”. If you’ve seen a multi-stage grinder the powder left behind in the final section is kief (we discuss this more in detail in our article “How to Make Kief” so be sure to check out the above link if you’d like to learn more).
Kief, on it’s own, is like all other cannabis products: Unable to get you high in it’s raw, natural state. Before cannabis can be taken for it’s psychoactive effects it must be exposed to heat, in a process called “decarboxylation” or “decarbing”. This turns the natural THCA found in marijuana into THC, the closely-related chemical that just so happens to get humans high.
Thus, if you’re reading this article thinking “Can I just add some kief to my coffee and get high?” the answer there is flatly “No“. There is a lot of misinformation about this on the internet so we want to clear the air here: The temperature of your coffee is not enough to effectively decarb your kief. The cannabis decarbing process requires heat over time, which a cup of poured coffee cannot maintain. Even if you keep your coffee in a thermos the temperature & time ratio will do little-to-nothing to decarboxylate your kief.
So How Do You Make Coffee With Kief?
If you want a recipe for making cannabis infused coffee with kief that actually works you have two options available to you:
Option #1: Decarb Your Kief
This is a question with a fairly detailed answer, and one we go into at length in our article “The 3 Best Ways to Decarb Your Weed“, but the short version is: Place your kief into a flat layer on a parchment paper lined baking tray and set it into the oven at 230°F for 30 minutes to 1 hour. You’ll need to keep a close eye on it as it cooks to make sure it doesn’t burn; if the color starts looking too brown it’s time to pull it out, no matter how long it’s been in the oven. Stirring it to mix on occasion will also help prevent burning.
After your kief has been decarbed it is now activated and ready to be used in any dish you’d like, including making cannabis infused coffee. To derive the maximum benefit we recommend using a splash of milk or creamer in your coffee, topping off with fresh coffee if needed to make sure it stays hot. The fat molecules present in the dairy will give the cannabinoids leeching away from the kief/cannabis something to bind to, making the THC more well blended with the drink; otherwise, we recommend making sure you sip out every last drop & piece of kief left in the cup, to make sure you’re getting the full benefit of the cannabis within.
Option #2: Use an Infusion or Concentrate
With Option #1 you have two major problems: First, uneven dispersal of the cannabinoids being drained from the kief, and secondly, the kief itself remaining in the drink, which can lead to a gritty, unpleasant texture. Our advice about putting milk or creamer into the cup of coffee is a good way to use decarbed kief if in a hurry, but we recommend the more elegant solution of using your kief to make an infusion.
We have several methods for making an infusion in our article “How to Make Edibles” but the basic idea is to take decarbed cannabis product (in our case kief) and let it steep in a fatty liquid (such as milk, coconut oil or butter) for a long period of time at a very low temperature. THC (as well as CBD) will begin to release from the plant matter as the cannabis is exposed to elevated temperatures, binding to the fat molecules inside your chosen infusion material.
Once steeped your kief can be strained out using a coffee filter; you may have some success using this for another infusion (or you can just go ahead and eat what’s left). Your initial cannabis infused product, though, is now ready. Adding some of this to your morning cup of joe will definitely get you a nice buzz, and without any of the textural issues of just dumping in a bunch of kief powder.
Of course you can also accomplish this without kief: Melting a THC chocolate into your hot coffee will have the exact same effect, and also allow for more precise dosing (not to mention essentially giving you a marijuana mocha). Likewise any other tincture, infused oil, or even hash can be added, saving you some time and a few steps in getting your cup of cannabis coffee.
Is Kief Coffee Worth It?
Well, it depends. Part of the mythological appeal of putting kief into a cup of coffee is just dumping some grinder remains into a cup of brew and getting yourself a special kick start on the day. But, as we said, that doesn’t actually work, and either you’re going to be sipping on a mug of gritty coffee or going through so many steps to make it work that it isn’t even really “kief coffee” any more.
Still, if you’re looking for a way to catch a morning high and are determined to make it happen with your java, we can completely understand, and there are certainly worse ways to get lifted than with a cup of cannabis infused hot coffee. We hope our article above has given you a few good tips on how to make that happen (or not happen) with your kief. Enjoy!
This recipe calls for making cannabis infused milk or creamer which then can be added to hot coffee, hot cocoa, or a cold brew cup of coffee. It can be made in less than 2 hours and will make enough for 4 to 6 servings.
What You Need
The following items and ingredients are needed:
- 2 Grams of Flower
- 1 Gram of Kief
- 1 Cup of Evaporated Milk OR 1 Cup of Whole Milk OR 1 Cup of Half and Half
- Coffee OR Hot Cocoa
- Double Boiler
- Spoon OR A Utensil for Stirring
- Fine Mesh Strainer OR Cheese Cloth
- Oven Safe Bowl
Step 1: Decarboxylation: Activating the THC
As we’ve discussed before in our guides to making tinctures and cannabutter, the first step you need to take is to activate the THC in your flower and kief. This requires a process known as decarboxylation. First, grind your marijuana and place it in an oven-safe bowl or on a pan with your kief. Cover the bowl with a lid or the pan with some aluminum foil. This will help to prevent your kitchen from getting too stinky. Preheat your oven to 250oF and put your cannabis in there for about 17 minutes.
Step 2: Boil Water in Double Boiler
Toward the end of the 17 minutes, fill the bottom part of your double boiler with water and bring it to a gentle boil. The goal here is to find the perfect temperature where the water on the bottom will boil, but the milk, which will soon be placed on top, won’t.
Step 3: Add Marijuana, Kief and Milk to Top Part of Double Boiler
After decarboxylation, add your ground up flower, kief and 1 cup of evaporated milk, whole milk, or half and half to the top part of the double boiler. Once again, make sure it never gets hot enough for the milk to start boiling.
Step 4: Let Cook for 30 Minutes while Stirring Nearly Continuously
It will need to cook for about 30 minutes, but you’ll need to stay close that whole time. You need to almost continuously stir the mixture. As soon as it sits for too long, a gross skim will develop near the top of the milk, and you don’t want that. Also make sure to be scraping the flower and kief that may get stuck to the side of the bowl back into the mixture.
Step 5: Strain Mixture
After 30 minutes, it’s time to strain. Use either a fine-mesh strainer or a cheesecloth. Make sure to press the dregs with a spoon to squeeze out all of the liquid.
Step 6: Add to Coffee or Hot Cocoa or Refrigerate
Now it’s ready to serve. One dose should be about 2 to 3 tablespoons. If you’re unsure about how much to use, it’s always good practice to use less until you better understand the effects and potency of the cannabis-infused milk. You can add your milk to a cup of coffee or hot cocoa or store it in the fridge. The milk won’t keep forever, and it’s probably best to try and use it within 4 days of making it.
Make sure to enjoy responsibly and share with us how yours turned out!