We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to introduce coffee into our baking recipes, partially for the taste and partially for the jolt of caffeine it can supply in a delicious treat. We recently came across coffee flour, a flour made from the fruit of a coffee tree, and we were amazed by its wide array of uses.
Below, we’re going to fill you in on what coffee flour is, how to make it, and how you can use it as a delicious and gluten-free alternative to flour in baking. Let’s get started!
What is Coffee Flour?
Coffee flour is flour that’s made from the cherries of coffee trees. In normal coffee bean production, the seeds — more commonly but inaccurately referred to as “beans” — of coffee cherries are extracted from the fruity flesh, processed, dried, and then roasted to create the coffee beans you’re used to seeing.
Typically, the fruit of the tree isn’t consumed by humans, so any flesh surrounding the coffee bean is usually just discarded as waste. A recent development involves drying the fruit after the seed is removed, grinding it into a fine powder, and using it as a flour in baking or cooking recipes. The term “coffee flour” is used quite appropriately to describe the fine powder.
What Does Coffee Flour Taste Like?
It may surprise you to find out that coffee flour doesn’t taste anything like coffee! While the seeds of coffee cherries contain the coffee flavor profile we’re used to tasting, coffee flour has more of a fruity taste to it since the bean has been removed.
Because it’s fruity, it isn’t suitable for use in all baking recipes. Savory desserts or dishes that call for flour won’t be complemented by substituting coffee flour, given the fruity and sweet taste. However, it can be a great addition to sweet treats like cookies, brownies, pastries, and even cakes or pies.
Is Coffee Flour Caffeinated?
Coffee cherries and the coffee flour that’s made from them are slightly caffeinated, but they don’t contain nearly as much caffeine as the beans or regular coffee. A tablespoon of coffee flour contains a very small amount of caffeine equivalent to about one-quarter cup of regular strength coffee.
Why Would I Use Coffee Flour?
While coffee flour doesn’t add a lot of caffeine or coffee flavoring to your food, it will add lots of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins while remaining low in calories and carbohydrates. It’s an excellent way to add some nutrition to your otherwise potentially unhealthy baked goods.
Additionally, coffee flour is gluten-free, so it’s perfect for use in baked goods for those who have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
How to Make Coffee Flour at Home:
Coffee flour can only be made if you have access to whole or pitted coffee cherries. If you don’t, you can skip down to our section on coffee flour recipes. In case you can get coffee cherries, we’ll detail how to make coffee flour at home!
1. Dry your coffee cherries.
Begin by drying your coffee cherries if not done so already. To do this, leave your coffee cherries spread out in a thin layer on a baking sheet for several days or by baking in your oven at the lowest setting (under 200 degrees if possible) for hour-long increments until dry.
2. Grind the dried cherries.
Add a small amount of the dried coffee cherries to your spice grinder, food processor, or flour mill. Grind or mill until the consistency is similar to flour.
Repeat until you’ve ground or milled all of your dried coffee cherries.
What if I Can’t Get Coffee Cherries?
If you can’t get your hands on coffee cherries, you can opt to buy coffee flour instead. Look for bags in the baking aisle at your local grocery store or check your favorite online retailer.
How Do You Use Coffee Flour?
Part of the beauty of coffee flour is that it can be used in place of regular flour in just about any recipe. Like we mentioned before, it has a fruity, sweet taste and won’t be suitable for some recipes. However, it’s excellent for non-savory baking, especially in recipes that already contain fruit.
You can replace all of the regular flour in your recipe with coffee flour or use a mixture of other flours and coffee flours. For gluten-free baking, you can use a combination of coffee flour with almond flour or some other flour alternative that doesn’t contain gluten.
SEE ALSO: How to Make Espresso Powder at Home
The applications of coffee in the world of food and beverages never cease to amaze us, but coffee flour takes coffee’s versatility to the next level! It may be challenging to find the raw ingredients to make coffee flour at home. However, you can purchase pre-made coffee flour and use it in any recipe in place of flour to add a gluten-free dosing of protein, antioxidants, and fiber to a delicious treat.
More great reads:
- How to Make Dalgona Coffee (Whipped Coffee)
- How To Make Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans
- French Coffee 101: How to Drink Coffee Like a Parisian
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