That intensely yellow spice you see at Indian grocers is so much more than a vital ingredient for your tandoori and aloo tikki.
Turmeric is from the ginger family, so if you find it fresh, it’s an unapologetically ugly little root, but from Golden Grind it’s a work of beauty.
Receiving my order from Golden Grind, I must admit, I felt the magic. It was delivered in a flat black box, with a lid that hinged open to reveal three pouches – in jet black, brilliant red, and snow white. Golden text and stars dazzled.
I think I even gasped.
Never had turmeric looked so spectacular.
Golden Grind’s turmeric blends are free from a lot of things – animal products, sugar, nuts, gluten, dairy, preservatives and caffeine, but it’s what they’re not free from that really matters.
Turmeric itself is gnarly, earthy and a little bitter. You’re not likely to love it if you dip your finger into the jar in your spice cupboard, but GG have got it sorted.
The staple ingredients in Golden Grind’s blends are cinnamon, ginger, black pepper and, needless to say, turmeric.
I first tried the Coconut and Cacao turmeric blend. This combination really appealed. Added to their usual blend is coconut milk powder and licorice root powder.
It was better than expected.
I wanted to like turmeric lattes – I mean, they’re pretty hip, right? But I was worried. Like I said, turmeric powder is not overly delicious by itself. It’s pretty pungent.
I’ve added it to my tofu scramble and curries, and on occasion I’ve added too much. And apart from creating a cloud of yellow mist and dying my hands a nasty shade of nicotine, I’ve had a fluoro dinner that I keep guiltily pushing around on my plate.
So yes, I genuinely had my doubts about being physically able to embrace and enjoy this turmeric latte craze.
And now for the but.
I liked it. It wasn’t horrific! It was actually tasty!
I immediately envisioned myself on a winter’s morning, in front of a fire, with a hot mug of the stuff. Toasting and cleansing my insides, calming and warming, leaves blowing and tumbling about outside in the icy air.
Or in smoothie. Maybe some banana. Post workout. Chuck in some ice. I was even thinking about pineapple. Pineapple and coconut – a spiced pina (turmeric) colada (minus the booze or not)?
Or with a shot of my regular – I’m talking coffee. The dirty golden. Relative of the dirty chai. Ideas filled my mind.
The Coconut and Cacao is probably my favourite of the three. A little less intense than the others, and a touch more creamy. Being a fan of licorice, particularly in tea, I could taste the licorice root, which added a touch of welcome sweetness.
It worked well with my unsweetened almond milk. And despite my sweet tooth, needed no additional sweetener. It had a very slight numbing sensation in my mouth, which would be very soothing for a sore throat on that blustery winter’s day.
I next tried the Chilli turmeric blend. I was keen for this one too. I add chilli to a lot of my foods. Sriracha and me are never far apart. This time, I used unsweetened coconut milk.
You could smell the chilli straight away. Hurrah. The chilli tingled my palate, but by no means was it too intense. It felt a little more scratchy on the way down than the Coconut and Cacao, but nothing I couldn’t handle. This one wasn’t as sweet either, so a touch of sweetness wouldn’t go astray.
And as for the Hero turmeric blend, again not as smooth as the Coconut and Cacao, nor as punchy as the Chilli. It was the perfect signature dish. Honest, earthy and soothing.
And I felt so healthy. I was kind of proud. Here I was doing turmeric lattes – no cringing or eye watering. I even glowed (no doubt, a subtle yellow).
Turmeric has long been a part of the southern Indian traditional medicine, Siddha, its concepts not unlike Ayurveda. And after turmeric was recommended to Golden Grind’s creators by a Chinese doctor, Tahli and Renwick Watts and Sage Greenwood decided to make the most of this power spice and serve it in their family-owned cafe.
And after trials (and tribulations) Golden Grind was born.
There have also been some studies which suggest that turmeric, or one of its key components, curcumin, may reduce inflammation. And there’s a whole bunch of other very exciting claims about turmeric’s healing potential.
Turmeric is generally used in savoury dishes, but when combined in just the right ratio (which GG have cleverly done) and added to your favourite nut milk, it transforms into a mesmerising, subtly spiced, warming beverage.
Golden Grind Hero (per 2.5g serve): 7.6kcal // 1g C (incl 0.5g sugar) / 0.2g F / 0.2g P
Golden Grind Coconut + Cacao (per 2.5g serve): 7.610.7kcal // 0.8g C (incl 0.3g sugar) / 0.6g F / 0.2g P
Golden Grind Chilli (per 2.5g serve): 7.8kcal // 1.1g C (incl 0.4g sugar) / 0.2g F / 0.2g P