Friday, October 3, 2014

Green bean beverages

I just finished watching a video on YouTube about how to make green bean extract. I guess you get what you pay for on Youtube... this unfortunate soul wasted a lot of digital "film" and time making a drink he cheerfully described as "horrible". The problem is, somehow the making of green bean extract has circulated around as a process that requires soaking after boiling the green beans.

Well, soaking green beans is how you make water-process decaf coffee. Yes, caffeine is a slippery little molecule that is very water soluble. Swiss Water Process coffee involves soaking green beans in already-brewed coffee. The relatively large flavor molecules in the brewed coffee block the flavor from escaping into the brew, but the caffeine is not blocked and freely leeches out. Presto, 97% of the caffeine winds up in the outside liquid while most of the flavor stays inside the bean.

So, when this hapless fellow instructed his viewers to "turn off the stove after boiling and let the mixture sit for an hour" he was creating a caffeine extract, not green bean extract. Caffeine is a very bitter molecule and that is why low-caffeine coffees have a smoother taste profile. The effect on the body would be more like drinking rocket fuel than something healthy.

Here's a simple recipe for green bean extract:

1. Start with green beans that have gone straight from hulling to drying tunnels. Most coffees spend many hours traveling from the huller to the drying tables, causing fermentation. This is not a big issue but it's simply healthier if you are going to drink green beans "straight" to get beans with no fermentation. Our Costa Rica Estate beans are a perfect choice.

2. Rinse the green beans in a strainer or colander for a minute as you would any fresh food. Then put together in a saucepan one part green beans by volume to about 4 parts water that has been brought to a boil. This ratio does NOT have to be exact.

3. Boil for about 12 minutes. Then pour off the liquid through a strainer. Let the liquid cool unless you are making a hot beverage.

 4. Add any sort of fruit juice to your preference, we suggest cranberry because a little goes a long way. If the fruit juice is unsweetened you may want to add a little sweetener. You could also mix it with tea.

5. Drink and enjoy.

Taste the green bean extract by itself. It should taste a little like dilute pea soup, slightly sweet, and not at all bitter. The drink you make with it should be quite delicious. Ours are!

If you want to store the green bean liquid for later, put it in the fridge immediately.