I'm experiencing parosmia (unusual or phantom tastes and smells) which is making some (but not all) foods and drinks very unpleasant tasting. Sometimes it feels like I've got somebody's feet under my nose. Or there's vomit in the room with me.

One of those drinks affected is coffee, and I'm trying to figure what can reduce the parosmia.

I've read that some strong smells can be used to counteract the issue, and I've had some success adding extra garlic, chilli and black pepper to my food. Like juice has worked when I drink tea (really not ideal!).

None of those are going to be pleasant in my coffee. I've learnt salt doesn't work. I haven't got cardamon and I don't know how to prepare it for using in coffee, or if it would work.

I've read that vasoconstriction/vasodilation is involved in parosmia, which might be modified by caffeine strength?

Is there anything else I can use to strongly flavour my coffee, or modify it (more or less caffeine, darker/lighter roast?) and make it less unpleasant to drink?

  • Have you tried using some kind of alcohol? Some Liquors or Whiskey might make a difference
    – dodekja
    Apr 16, 2022 at 10:40
  • 1
    @dodekja I don't drink for religious reasons, but I appreciate the suggestion Apr 16, 2022 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


Great question! Here are some ideas to try.

  • Sometimes I add unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch processed or not) to my coffee. (I add it to the concentrated AeroPress brew before adding the rest of the water just to dissolve it easier. In this situation, adding less water to make a more concentrated brew might also help.)
  • You can get Turmeric powder with black pepper in 1000 mg capsules. The intent is to reduce inflammation such as arthritis. The black pepper is supposed to make it more effective and it adds to the taste. Sometimes I open my daily capsule and pour it into coffee. The result is kind of gritty but tasty. You can also get turmeric powder in bulk, and that might be ground finer.

Please report back on your discoveries.

  • 1
    I didn't have unsweetened cocoa, but I tried pepper and tumeric from the spice cupboard and it tasted good. I think my sense of taste has come back though, before I could try. I noticed adding milk helped. Apr 16, 2022 at 17:57

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