Soaking Coffee Beans in Honey?

Honeyed Robusta? Interesting!

When it comes to commercial coffee production, Robusta is the king. I guess it is attributed to its huge fruiting capacity, ease of cultivation, pesticide resistance and wider choice of growing lands. Excelsa and Liberica have low fruiting capacity while Arabica is picky on its growing altitude. Arabica is well raised in mountain areas and is the choice of specialty coffee makers.

Coffee can be sweetened during cup preparation. As in adding sugar to boiling concoction or individual cup by drinkers preference. Instant coffee in sachets and bigger packs are often added with sweetener, milk and other flavorings before packing. Kind of fast and convenient but strips away most of the inherent flavor. Whatever, there must be fewer people who are very particular with the taste. Instant coffee is a boom business.

I saw the post on Coffee Roaster Forum, with short provided description. Based on my understanding, it was whole unmilled Robusta soaked in honey. Robusta usually undergo dry processing – harvesting then immediate sun drying. Soaking maybe done before drying or after, then re-drying. The latter is more labor intensive but may allow better absorption. Removing the husk first will surely save on precious sweet liquid.

So why add flavor before the coffee is sent to roasting chamber? The roasting temperature for sure will degrade and evaporate those. A method with more sense is spraying flavor right after roasting. When the freshly roasted coffee is in cooling stage. If vanilla flavor is sprayed, there is a good chance it will be carried over to cup. However, if coffee beans was soaked in vanilla solution, dried, then roasted. Do not expect a vanilla flavored coffee after. For light roasted coffee, maybe. I might do some testing once our own built drum roaster is in operation.

I also heard this trick with cacao beans. Adding fruit flavors such as calamansi and mango during fermentation process. In artisinal setting where makers roast their bean light. Flavors added during fermentation may survived roast. Even more chance for raw chocolate makers, beans never undergo roasting. Ohh! I remember. There is a thing called “green coffee”. I mean literally selling the ground green coffee. In this case, any infused flavor is surely retained to great extent.

Honey flavor may not be the real intention. Roasting is a complex process. One of this is sugar caramelization. Reinforcing the sugar content by soaking in honey may improve the end flavor a lot.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Making A Cold Brew Coffee

I am making a cold brew coffee for myself. I feel like drinking coffee today but the weather is hot. Smoking hot coffee intake might add to uneasiness. Way back in my laboratory work where the air conditioning is often broken. Our best friend were the staggering electric fan and cold drinks. Whenever we wanted coffee in the middle of daylight, we prepared coffee hot, let it cool and froze. We make it right after office arrival so we can enjoy it real ice cold when the heat wave attacked.

Today is different. I will be preparing the cold brew cold from the start. The coffee grounds I will be using came from refrigerator. We keep it there once opened. I put enough grounds in mason jar and filled it up with filtered water. There is no strict rule on the amount. Black coffee lovers may add more to their liking. Then put it inside fridge again to allow flavor extraction.

They recommend 18 to 24 hours steeping time. Placing the grounds in cheese cloth bag so you can just lift it off clean after. No filtering. Less work. I have no such at the moment. I mixed the grounds and water together and planned on filtering it off with coffee brewer fine filter. It is more work but the coffee filter is easier to clean than cheese cloth.

making cold brew coffee

For intricate preparation, all the details should be recorded and observed. Such as ground weight, refrigerator temperature, steeping time and coffee brand. All the coffee processing details in case you roast it on your own. I have watched several demonstrations of barista style coffee. They are very precise down to very small details. Not following but jotting down details has its own benefits. You’ll soon discover which combination of parameters makes the best cold brew.

Let us wait 24 hours!


The set 24 hours waiting time became almost 48. I was too busy yesterday that I lost track .  I hope it is still good to drink. I take it out of the fridge and notice almost all grounds are settled to bottom. They absorbed enough water, loose air and became more dense.  The few specs left on top are those clinging on glass sides.  It can be decanted carefully but I choose to use filter. I want all the dots out of my sight.  There can be no coffee without it but it running down the throat feels bad.

It is a cold morning coffee but it is fine. It is strong. It kicks. The bitterness kinda overpower the chills. There is bitterness not in my usual filter drip and espresso cups. The extra 24 hours did the work of over extracting,  getting also the unwanted.


Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Coffee Cup From Spent Grounds

Made by the German Startup Kaffeeform. Featured in Mashable and got a trending post in Facebook. There seem to be a great support for movement for environmental cause. It is great and I hope their willingness is not as short-live as one click or a short comment. I mean showing concern but still using disposables and throwing them irresponsibly.

If someone ask me what to do with spent coffee grounds, I will immediately say bring it back to coffee farms and use it as organic fertilizer. It gonna reduce farmer cost on commercial fertilizer and keep the soil healthier longer. We all know that it readily degrades. Placing them in trash bin for landfill destination is simply an irresponsible thing to do. Landfill  leaches out toxic substances going to river, sea and other water bodies.

Spent coffee ground means, the thing left after preparation of your favorite cup of joe. The solid rid of desired stimulant. The coffee giant Nestle and Starbucks sure could make a lot of this and produce lot of biodegradable cups if they want to. As of date, the popular are fragile ceramic and paper cups with a thin layer of non-biodegradable plastic. Else, the hot coffee will be absorbed and it is ruined before the coffee can be served. So what is claimed to be biodegradable and environment friendly cannot deliver what is promised. Hope this entry level coffee cup is not another piece of crap.

Made with spent ground and natural glue. I can only think of few things. Elmer’s Glue ( a wood and paper glue) is said to be natural and non-toxic. The cheaper elementary grade glue, called “paste or kola” is made of cornstarch or tapioca. If you are familiar with charcoal briquettes, they are made with this as binder. Mom used to made a lot for us when we were young. It was even cheaper than buying small packs with half contents. Another option are sticky plant sap. Some variants are processed to rubber, others as food additive. There were times we used Jackfruit and Antipolo tree sap for catching cicada and small birds.

I imagine it as simple briquette making. Needs wood chips/powdered charcoal and binder as material. Then a press machine to form the desired shape. It is more delicate though. Like the spent ground should be handled properly to prevent decay and contaminant. Not treating it as garbage but a valuable raw material. It is coffee but the cup should not taste like or never impart any taste for every coffee preparation or whatever hot beverage placed into it.

The cup has natural coffee color and can hold the hot beverage based on video shown. Other color shades are nice but may drive customer suspicions. Colorants are natural and synthetic. More explaining to do after the paint job. Leaving it as is may not be as attractive and elegant but it is natural.

The cup is supposed to last for two years. After, it can be thrown away guilt free. There is degradation of sorts while in use that eventually render it unfit after the claimed period. I am intrigued of what is really happening. I hope I can get my hands on it for observation.

Primitive kitchenware are made of coconut shells, bamboo, wood and banana leaves. They are truly environment friendly. They decompose with repeated use. Dump it and get new one, use and repeat. What is so hard with that?

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Coffee Husk Tea

For the first trial. Tea making time. I brought water to boil. Let it cool for two minutes. Then steeped a spoonful of husk in glass for about five minutes.

The glass immediately turns tea-like upon pouring the hot water. The typically dried coffee bean smell became pronounced. Nothing else I could perceived. Maybe there was. My senses is not trained with other tea stuffs. Maybe that is why!

coffee husk tea preparation

The color was getting darker toward the end of set time. I decided to halt there though. For the strict coffee and tea preparation, getting beyond certain times will extract unwanted flavors.

In its plain form. The smell is typical of dried coffee beans but the taste resembles the original tea. If you are tea lover, you gonna appreciate it.

The coffee husk that I got hold of was Excelsa variety. The highly sought Arabica might have better flavor.


coffee husk tea with ginger slice

I like this version. This is better. Getting opinion from someone who has experience helps a lot.

This recipe is from YouTube Chanel, The Roaster Pack.

  • 20 grams cascara
  • 400 g water,  about 93 degree Celsius
  • Steep 4 minutes
  • Add cinnamon or ginger

I reduced the water volume down to 150 ml. Did cross multiplication to get the 7.5 grams husk proportion. Ended up adding 9 grams in the end. Brought the measured water to boiling. Wait for 2 minutes to lower the temperature a little. To about 93 C as stated.  Put the husk plus a slice of ginger in vessel and poured the hot water in. Let it stand for 4 minutes as instructed. Removed all the floating husk.

This time, it is more enjoyable. Mild cascara flavor plus a light ginger kick.

Going to try cinnamon next.

Note: Liquid ingredients are normally measured by mL. It could also be measured by weight but the first is easier. One gram of pure water is equivalent to one mL. I used filtered water. I assume the difference is negligible.


I prepared another one this morning.  The same set and measurement of ingredients except for one. I added a squeeze of calamansi instead of ginger. I transferred it to clean tea cup right after.  I noticed previously, the coffee husk taste was getting stronger toward the bottom.  That was because I let the husk soaked. I never liked it that way.

The resulting tea was still good. However, the calamansi was overpowering the cascara. I should have added the calamansi gradually until I achieved the right blend.

coffee husk calamansi tea

update as of September 2018

I saw this at SMX exhibit. Interesting!

packed coffee cascara

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.