If you thought the best use for your coffee grounds was the compost pile, think again (although, seriously, coffee grounds are great for compost): Scientists have found a way to turn spent coffee grounds into an alcoholic beverage.
According to Science Magazine, researchers have created a beverage with 40% ethanol alcohol, making it comparable to liquors such as vodka and tequila. With the booze industry constantly looking for new products, a call was put out for new beverages made from interesting materials, and scientists turned to coffee grounds to see what they could come up with. The process was explained like this:
The scientists first collected this raw material from a Portuguese coffee roasting company and dried it. Then they heated the powder in water at 163°C for 45 minutes, separated out the liquid, and added sugar. Next, the team mixed in yeast cells, let the concoction ferment, and concentrated the sample to get a higher alcohol content. (A similar process is used to produce other distilled beverages such as whiskey and rum from wheat and molasses.) And voilà!
While the resulting booze has the flavor of coffee, almost all of the caffeine is removed during the brewing process, so it might get you drunk but it won't keep you awake. It apparently does taste good though — the abstract of the study says “Based on the sensory analysis, SCG spirit was considered as having features of a pleasant beverage, with smell and taste of coffee.”
Look for a zillion bad cocktail recipes featuring liquor brewed from coffee in about five years.
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