Is coffee flour the next big thing?

Here at the Wholesale Coffee Company, we’re always looking for ways of reducing waste and being kinder to the environment. That’s why we were interested to hear about a new company in the US, set up to use waste from the coffee industry.

A former employee of a well-known coffee chain, Dan Belliveau was concerned about the billions of pounds of used coffee cherries left after the coffee beans themselves have been removed. While there are various initiatives st up to re-use the pulp, such as using it as fertiliser, most of it is discarded as waste. After some research, Dan eventually came up with the idea of ‘coffee flour’. It’s gluten free, contains only a very small amount of residual caffeine and behaves like cocoa powder when used for baking. The idea has received backing from coffee industries, and Dan has worked with leading chefs to come up with recipe ideas.

One of the problems with making coffee flour commercially available is that of collecting the used cherries from various diverse sources. Dan has decided on drying the wet, used cherries at the mills where they’re processed to make them easier to transport, and hopes to make use of the existing coffee supply chain.

The coffee flour, which apparently tastes ‘fruity’ rather than of coffee, contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals including iron and potassium as well as fibre and protein and is said to give baked goods a ‘rich and earthy’ flavour. So far, the product is mostly being sold to commercial bakers and restaurants, with a limited number of retailers selling directly to the public.

Dan hopes that eventually coffee flour will become a mainstream ingredient, helping to reduce waste and provide a valuable protein and food source.

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