Leave it to a Seattle company to scheme up the newest in an already robust line-up of alternative flours: coffee flour. This very new gluten-free flour is made from the pulp of coffee cherries and is apparently super high in protein. A skeptic at first, I began to do some research and what I found may surprise you.
I first heard of coffee flour in The Seattle Times a few weeks ago in a great article by Ángel González. But first things first: the flour isn't made from coffee beans themselves. Instead, it's made from taking the dried pulp of the coffee cherry — the part that covers the bean— and grinding it down. If unused in this way, the coffee cherries are generally thrown out, so it's certainly a beneficial move in an aim to reduce waste.
But I couldn't help but wonder: wouldn't everything you make with the flour just taste like coffee? I can imagine a really good dark chocolate brownie where this would be successful or a favorite cookie recipe, but what about savory tarts or fruit pies? And what about the crazy amount of caffeine: wouldn't we all be chronically overly buzzed? Skeptical, I read on.
The company in charge of spearheading the new flour insists that it actually doesn't taste like coffee, but more citrusy with floral notes. So perhaps it would be nice with those fruit pies after all. As for the caffeine, they claim that what would be considered a typical serving (they give the example of sandwich bread) would contain the caffeine equivalent of an eighth of a cup of brewed coffee. Not much. So it turns out my thoughts and concerns weren't all that concerning after awhile.
But as with all the new food products and flours out on the market today, I sometimes get caught in the grocery aisle asking myself, why this? It turns out the answer to that question in regards to coffee flour could be the nutrition and the extra option for gluten-free folks. The flour is touted to have five times more fiber than conventional wheat flour and far, far less fat than coconut flour. You can't stroll into your neighborhood market and buy it just yet: they're still working out the production details and will start manufacturing it for bread manufacturers and restaurants first. I, for one, am eager to give it a shot.
→ Discover more about coffee flour: Coffee Flour
(Image credits: Coffee Flour; CoffeeFlour)