The coffee industry is increasingly interested in reducing the environmental damage caused by the production of this fruit. The husk, flowers, and leaves of the coffee tree were considered waste and were thrown into the rivers causing their contamination. However, nowadays on farms, the maximum use is made of waste by transforming it into food for human consumption.
One of them is coffee flour, which is achieved by separating the cherry (peel) from the bean and drying it to grind it later. According to the Coffee Cherry company, the purchase of 40,000 pounds of coffee cherry waste to make flour has an immediate favorable impact on the environment. It is reflected in 280 thousand 702 pounds less in fields and streams that would pollute when rotting and it also reduces 101 thousand 053 kilos of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Ideal in confectionery
It is a product that contains five times more fiber than whole wheat flour and three times more iron than spinach. It also has a large amount of protein, antioxidants, potassium, and is gluten-free.
Its appearance is reddish in color and has a sweeter taste than that of traditional flour, which is why it has begun to be used in the bakery and confectionery to make cookies, cakes, bread, pasta, chocolates, etc.
It is recommended to combine it with regular wheat or other flours, starting with small amounts: only 10 to 15 percent of the total flour in a recipe should be coffee flour.
There is also another way to make this flour, promoted by the biophysicist at Brandeis University in the United States, Daniel Perlman. Its method consists of roasting green coffee beans very lightly and subjecting them to a cryogenic grinding process, which is carried out in an atmosphere of ultra-cold and chemically inert liquid nitrogen to protect the beans from oxidation.
Amount of caffeine in coffee flour
This product contains less caffeine than a cup. There are between 600-800 milligrams of caffeine per 100 grams of coffee flour. In one tablespoon there are about 7.7 grams of coffee flour. Taking that value, that’s about 62 milligrams of caffeine per tablespoon of coffee flour.
In addition to being a healthy product, considered by many to be a superfood, the production of this flour makes it possible to take care of the environment and generate additional income for coffee producers.
Infusions made with leaves, flowers and coffee cherry
At the 2011 World Barista Championship, Salvadoran Alejandro Méndez surprised the judges with an espresso paired with coffee flower tea, coffee husk tea and a mucilage infusion. This original mixture, prepared with the remains of coffee, took him to the first place of the contest.
That of the Salvadoran champion is an example of the growing interest in using all the elements of the coffee tree, beyond seeing them as waste or using them as plant fertilizer due to their high concentration of nitrogen. After harvesting and processing, flowers, leaves, husks, parchment and mucilage are discarded and used to make drinks.
In countries such as Yemen, Sumatra, Ethiopia, Jamaica and Sudan, infusions with leaves or coffee husks have been consumed for centuries on a regular basis. In Yemen, for example, one of the most popular preparations is Quishr, made from the pulp of the coffee fruit (husk), which is dried and mixed with spices such as cardamom and ginger to use as an infusion.
Currently, this practice is a trend for several reasons: by using the husk, leaves and other by-products of the coffee tree to make beverages, producers make their crops more efficient and environmentally friendly, by generating less waste that would end up rivers causing pollution. At the same time, the sale of the shell becomes a new source of income.
Among the by-products of coffee is parchment, a husk that covers each bean and is detached through the threshing process. In an infusion it results in a sweet cup with a caramel flavor.
Coffee husk tea
The peel of coffee cherries is rich in sugars, minerals, potassium, chlorogenic acid, and caffeine. It has a sweet profile, with fruity notes like plum and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. To make the drink, about 5 grams of cherry must be infused in 150 milliliters of hot water for three minutes. It can be consumed hot or cold.
Coffee flower tea
It is a sweet, aromatic preparation, with hints of white flowers like jasmine. After being self-pollinated and dried on the plant, the flower petals are collected and dehydrated to infuse.
Coffee leaf tea
It is made from the leaves discarded at harvest. After drying, the leaves are dipped in boiling water to create the tisane, which tastes completely different from coffee. Its notes are reminiscent of green tea, they are smooth, with low levels of caffeine, low astringency and a lot of sweetness.