Coffee Grounds Can Be Used To Make Alcohol

Thanks to the advances of science, you may not have to choose between a hot cup of joe and your favorite adult beverage. If you’re thinking that a new coffee liqueur is about to hit the market, you’d be wrong in your assumptions. Instead, scientists have developed an alcohol that uses spent coffee grounds as the main ingredient! The experiment is just another one of many examples of why students earning their culinary certificates shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with ingredients.

Scientists started working on the project when the distilled spirits industry put out a call for new beverages made from unusual ingredients. They collected used grounds from a Portuguese roasting company, and first dried them. The grounds were then heated in water and separated from the resulting liquid. Sugar and yeast cells were mixed into the liquid, which was then left to ferment. After the mixture had fermented, it was concentrated in order to create a higher alcohol content. The process may seem a little complicated at first, but its actually very similar to the one used to make whiskey.

According to the journal LWT – Food Science and Technology, the resulting beverage was a liquor with 40 percent ethanol, making it similar to drinks such as vodka or tequila. Eight taste testers had the (lucky) job of sampling the alcohol and rating it based on its intensity of flavors and smells. The drink was found to have the aroma and flavor of coffee, making it a “pleasant beverage.” Despite coffee being the main ingredient, though, culinary academy students who are worried about the dangers of combining alcohol and caffeine can drink responsibly with peace of mind. The researchers found that the distilling process all but removed the caffeine from the coffee grounds.

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