Coffee plants have more to offer than just their beans.
The smell of coffee in the morning is enough to inspire some of us to start our day. For the team at Coffee Flour, the inspiration of a morning cup of joe goes further. What if there was a way to make the coffee industry more environmentally and economically sustainable for everyone involved? Could there be a way to help the farmers who grow the beans to the consumers who need that daily cup of inspiration?
Each year, billions of pounds of coffee cherry pulp, a byproduct of green coffee production, is left to rot on farms, taking up space and polluting local ecosystems.2 The Coffee Flour team felt there had to be a better way of dealing with this issue and wanted to find a solution that not only disposed of a problem (i.e. heaps of discarded coffee cherries) but also turned the byproduct into a new, sustainable source of revenue and nutrition, both at the source and all the way up the value chain.
They came up with a process to utilize the coffee cherry pulp and skins by creating a unique drying process and creating coffee flour. This ingredient, once a waste product from the coffee industry, is converted into a functional food ingredient with economic value.
Coffee farmers are able to augment their income from coffee bean production by selling the coffee cherry fruit.2 Consumers are able to off-set their coffee waste footprint and add more vital, plant- derived nutrients to their diet by using coffee flour.2
What are the benefits?
Coffee flour is an all-natural, Non-GMO Project verified, Paleo, vegan ingredient. Discarded coffee pulp contains four major classes of polyphenols (viz., falvan- 3- ols, hydrozycinnamic acids, flavonols and anthocyanidins).1 Polyphenols are phytonutrients that are high in antioxidants. Studies done on wet processed coffee pulp identified anthocyanins and important levels of caffeine still present in the waste product.1 Nutritionally, coffee flour is high in protein, vitamin A, fiber, potassium, and iron.2
Coffee flour is a good candidate for a highly functional food ingredient capable of adding value to your baked goods.
How can your bakery use coffee flour?
The current recommendation for bakers interested in adding coffee flour to a formula is 10%- 15% coffee flour replacing your current flour in sweet baked goods.2 Bakers should be aware that coffee flour is denser than white or wheat flour and works best when used in combination with other flours, so recipes should be adjusted accordingly.2 Coffee flour does not taste like roasted coffee beans; the flavor is red fruit and slightly sweet. It can be used similarly to cocoa powder and might darken the color of your baked good.
Coffee Flour™ Deep Dark Brownie3
- 163g (1 1/4 cup) all purpose flour
- 34g (1/4 cup) Coffee Flour®
- 12g (2 T.) dark cocoa powder
- 8g (1 T.) kosher salt
- 311g (11 oz.) dark chocolate, 65-70%
- 226g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
- 329g (1 1/2 cup) dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
- 5 eggs, room temp
- 7ml (1 1/2 t.) vanilla extract
(BAKER’S NOTE: it is important to always work this batter with a spatula. Never use a whisk as any incorporated air will adversely affect the final texture)
- Preheat a convection oven to 350oF.
- Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Combine the eggs and vanilla using a fork.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a large bowl over a simmering water bath, stirring with a rubber spatula.
- Remove bowl from heat and add sugars, stir until dissolved and allow to cool slightly before adding eggs.
- Once cooled, add the eggs making sure to combine thoroughly with a rubber spatula. Once eggs have been incorporated, fold in dry ingredients.
- Spread batter into a greased and parchment lined 9×9 pan. Knock out any air bubbles and bake until a wooden skewer comes out clean (25-30 minutes).
- Allow to cool COMPLETELY before cutting, or chill if needed. Keeps 3-5 days wrapped at room temperature or can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Coffee flour can be added to breads, snacks, doughs and savory items as well as sweet baked goods. It is packed with nutrients and antioxidents. Coffee flour could be the secret ingredient to boost your baked good into a super baked food!
- Esquivel, Patricia, and Víctor M. Jiménez. “Functional properties of coffee and coffee by-products.” Food Research International 46.2 (2012): 488-495.
- Widmayer, Carole “Re: Coffee Flour.” Received by Katie Jones, 20 Feb. 2017.
- “CoffeeFlour™ Deep Dark Brownie.” CoffeeFlour 04 Apr. 2016.