The most valuable part of the coffee plant are the coffee beans, but coffee beans don’t grow on trees ready to be picked and roasted. Coffee trees produce coffee cherries, a small fruit that contains the coffee beans. The coffee cherry is discarded after it has been processed to remove the bean and it is generally discarded. But there is one company that is trying to come up for a new use for those leftover cherries by turning them into coffee flour.
The gluten free Coffee Flour is made by drying and grinding up discarded coffee cherries, waste from the coffee bean harvesting process. It may sound like a stretch, but with the tremendous growth of the gluten-free flour market, there is actually a lot of potential for this unusual flour. Coffee flour contains 5 times more fiber than whole grain wheat flour, 84% less fat than coconut flour and three times more protein per gram than fresh kale. It is high in potassium and, like coffee, contains a bit of caffeine (although less than brewed coffee). It can be used in cooking and baking and, apparently, tastes more like roasted fruit than coffee. That’s certainly an interesting flavor profile for a flour and it could very well add a lot of complexity to baked goods. The flour is not yet commercially available, but it is being produced in Hawaii, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Vietnam, and should start showing up in products and on shelves sometime in 2015.