For a large portion of the world, the day starts (and continues, repeatedly) with a fresh, hot cup of coffee, which is great. But, 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 its own, is like all other cannabis products: Unable to get you high in its raw, natural state. Before a user can ingest cannabis for its 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 a flat “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. In addition, 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 (and 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 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 same effect and 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” anymore.
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!