General Question

arnbev959's avatar

Is all coffee roasted?

Asked by arnbev959 (10888points) June 28th, 2008

or is there any type that is made with raw coffee beans?

Also, can you make wine out of coffee beans?

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12 Answers

whatthefluther's avatar

A green coffee bean must be roasted to get the flavor we know as coffee. I suppose you could brew the green bean but suspect you will end up with a bean soup or an interesting side dish.

playthebanjo's avatar

a bad cup of coffee makes me whine.

lefteh's avatar

Unless you want this in your cup, yes, it must be roasted.

And no, you cannot make wine out of coffee beans. Wine must be made from a fermented fruit, which is usually grapes.

marinelife's avatar

Coffee beans were chewed for a long time before they were made into a beverage. The first coffee was made with raw beans: “When Arabs discovered how to boil water, they made coffee initially by boiling the green bean at that time. (Green beans do not give up the coffeeols because the chemical change caused by roasting has not taken place.) Therefore, the taste is very different.”

Sorry, lefteh, it is rare, but you are wrong this round. Wine can me made from coffee. “The first drink made from the coffee tree was wine. It was made from coffee cherries, honey, and water. In fact the word coffee has its origins in an old Arabic word “Qahwah”, meaning wine. It fell out of favor with the spread of Islam and its sanctions against the consumption of alcohol.”

robmandu's avatar

@lefteh, turns out that wine need not be made out of fruit.

There’s mead (a.k.a “honey wine”) and rice wine… just off the top of my head.

One could theoretically make a wine from coffee beans… but it’s not exactly a straight-forward task:

Successful fermentation of nongrape materials presents a variety of challenges. Most important is increasing the sugar content in the fruit or other component. At optimal maturity of any fruit, the sugar content is insufficient to yield a wine of 10+ percent alcohol. As a result, winemakers are allowed to add sugar, a process called chaptalization. A winemaker also needs to control acidity since fruit and vegetables are often deficient. The deficiency is corrected by addition of either citric or malic acids or by blending higher acid fruit or wine. In contrast, citrus and some berries may be too high in acidity, a defect that can be corrected by the practice of amelioration or regulated addition of water. Nitrogen deficiencies may arise from the fruit and/or processing and, if critically low, result in interrupted or stuck fermentation. Such fermentations require addition of exogenous nitrogen, typically in the form of diammonium phosphate (DAP). With the exception of berries, processing of fruit and vegetable products generally results in very poor juice yields. Pectinase enzyme preparations may be used to attack cell wall structure, liberating fluid. Alternatively, the fruit may be frozen and thawed before processing. Formation of ice crystals ruptures cell walls, which then release fluid and increase juice yield. However, this may result in premature oxidation and diminished fruit character. An alternative, fermentation of macerated pulp, rather than of expressed juice, will trap heat of fermentation and increase the probability of stuck fermentation. In contrast, fermentation of larger volumes of juice requires cooling capable of dissipating heat.

lefteh's avatar

Marina and robmandu, those are extremely interesting beverages, but if you ask me, the Cambridge Dictionary, or this alcohol dictionary, it’s not wine unless it’s fermented fruit. Another fermented beverage, perhaps, but I’m skeptical of calling it wine.

marinelife's avatar

@lefteh Coffee cherries are fruit. Like grapes with seeds. The coffee beans are the seeds.

lefteh's avatar

@Marina: My fault, I totally missed the parts of your link and post that talked about the coffee cherries. I was reading it all as coffee beans for some reason. In that case…awesome! Coffee wine!

Knotmyday's avatar

Even better: Coffee beer! In the spirit of openmindedness, I might try either. They sound icky though.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Okay, this thread may be three months old, and this may be obvious already, but I just want to point out that Lefteh technically wasn’t wrong when he said “you cannot make wine out of coffee beans” which was, in fact, pete’s question. I don’t doubt that Marina is correct about the coffee cherries, but that is a different question.

Lots of interesting stuff here! Thanks for sharing!

cooksalot's avatar

I remember as a child picking coffee beans at my grandparents farm. They are actually a red berry that looks almost like a service berry with a big pit (the bean) Those were actually very sweet. The bean it’s self really wasn’t tasty at all. We just spit those out. ick! I’m not sure how a drink made of just the raw beans would taste. (blah)

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