Perk up, java lovers. Coffee Flour is coming your way.
The light-brown processing by-product is set to jolt caffeinated cooks with its earthy, dark, fruity flavor lending itself to baking, cooking and even chocolate-making, according to its purveyors.
Coffee Flour will make its debut Monday at two TED2015 conferences in Canada, and should be available in New York later this year.
Dan Belliveau and Andrew Fedak are on track to produce 1.2 million pounds of the buzzy product this year — 900,000 more pounds than they made in 2014.
The coffee they grind every day comes from a cherry-red berry, the interior of which is a bean and an inedible pulp. The bean gets processed into coffee, and the pulp gets discarded or turned into fertilizer — until now.
Belliveau, who was fired from Starbucks for wanting to change facility operations, came up with the idea after realizing how much waste coffee production creates.
“If you try to take all the pulp from a harvest and put it in a field, it’s too much, you can’t,” Belliveau told the Daily News. “The pulp is not a great fertilizer, although it can be a really great part of it.”
The farmers — in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Vietnam — aren’t tasked with any extra work either. They take their crop to the mills for processing and get 3 cents for every pound that’s turned into flour. That’s on top of the 5-to-10-cent take-home they tend to get for every pound of coffee.
Belliveau hopes to leave 50% of the product in origin countries so that their citizens can benefit from its nutritional and financial potentials.
The flour’s nutritional stats read like a dietitian’s dream. Coffee flour has more fiber than whole-grain flour, more protein than kale, more potassium than a banana and more iron than spinach — and it’s gluten-free, to boot.
But how does it taste? According to one James Beard-winning chef, pretty darn good.
“Coffee flour brightens the flavor of existing ingredients, much like a vinegar or fat,” says Seattle chef Jason Wilson, who called it “a breakthrough.”
And despite the name, it won’t give you the shakes. The amount of caffeine in a typical coffee flour recipe is just 12% to 15% of that of a cup of coffee.
But some fear the flour rips off farmers who use it as fertilizer.
“Buying up the pulp and exporting it as flour is another way of extracting wealth from us so that people in rich countries can have another fancy product,” one Salvadoran farmer told The Guardian.
Belliveau was quick to back his brand.
“We’re interacting with farmers to ensure there’s a revenue stream that gets back to them,” he said.
The Fair Trade USA Council, which certifies businesses that pay farmers fairly, told The News that Coffee Flour has not yet approached the council, but “it is something we would be open to exploring.”
SOURCE: NY Daily News