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.


update

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.


update

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.

Getting The Coffee Cascara

I almost forgot this. The coffee husk. Now popularly of known as cascara. I am intrigued how they are making good drink out of this supposed waste product. The thing that is usually converted to fertilizer and charcoal.

Continue reading “Getting The 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.

Using Cocoa Shell for Gardening

Finally my problem about cocoa shells have been resolved. My uncle who is a garden lover caught me dumping them just anywhere. He stopped me. Gathered two buckets, and asked me to put them there. He said, he is buying coco coir for compost making. He will give the free cocoa shells from me a shot.

I have been trying to make my cocoa production eco-friendly. Already using fully recyclable aluminum foil as primary packaging and cheap kraft paper as outer label. They are folded and cut with zero wastaged.

According to my cocoa bean source, one of the most useful application of cocoa shells is natural fertilizer. Farmers are putting them back beside cocoa trees together with pods. Others claim, no organic fertilizer is needed when harvesting starts. A good step to organic farming.

I don’t do farming and I don’t own a farm or garden either. So compost making is not for me.

Through diligent reading, I discovered two related uses that are not hard to impliment. The first is using the husk as tea. Second, using it as flavoring, the so called “bitters”. I tried tea first but I don’t quite like it. Why would I sell product I don’t like.

I never had a chance to do cocoa shell tea improvement because someone told me, there are news of cocoa having ochratoxin (a carcinogen), that are mostly concentrated in shells. It halted me and will not continue unless I find it safe.

For the time being, all cocoa shell will be for my uncle’s farm.

cocoa shells

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.

Cocoa Hulls/Shells for Making Tea

This is interesting. The artisans of Undone Chocolate mentioned cocoa hulls make a delicious tea. I never know how, maybe just steeping or boiling a handful of hulls in water will do the trick.

Unfermented cocoa bean shells have kind of nasty taste, too bitter and astringent. Fermented shells are kind of woody and dusty flavored. Now I am wondering how it taste when prepared like a tea.

At this point, the best use of husk is for fertilizing cocoa tree. Mine fertilize different plants including weeds because I am dumping it near random flora. I thought of including it in hand-made paper but experts told me not to. It contain a lot of nutrients needed by plants and so better be besides their roots.

Going to save some husks for trial.

Lately, I discovered the heaps of cocoa shells is loved by native chickens. They play around it, searching for food and occasionally sleeping.

Base  from what I heard and read, the allowable shell percentage in winnowed cocoa nibs is  one percent. The less is better. I like my chocolate bars to have the best taste possible so I am patiently hand picking the remaining.

Fellow artisan did trial batches, intentionally adding shells. He concluded that a maximum of 5% is tolerable. He did it not to launch such. It was just for the sake of curiosity.

Adding shells to chocolate and related product is not adulteration. It is allowed. In fact a big chocolate company patented this technology. If you see a fiber-rich claim on the label. Then, don’t give it a second thought.

cocoa shell

update: September 20, 2015.

So, after I finished my last batch. I saved a glass half full of large hulls.  I tasted some to verify the flavor consistency. It is still what I said above, woody, dusty and kind of astringent.

I gathered my favorite contraption for tea preparation, the steep style tea pot. Placed the hulls in wire mesh and poured, a recently boiled water and swirl gently for few minutes.  I was considering this a preliminary trial so I never jotted down any measurement. If I ever liked the outcome, then I will do repeat trials to get the formulations to my liking.

Unfortunately, there was no appreciable change after tea preparation. The solution tasted woody, dusty and a bit astringent. I never liked it in short words.  A bit of sugar never made the thing better.

I ingested a few sips and threw off the rest on kitchen sink. I think it is not worth it or just lack a bit of research.


Update as of September 12, 2017

For the sake of education, I added the term “tea” as one of the uses of cocoa shells. I presented it and and one from the audience had a violent reaction.  Cocoa bean like coffee has potential to have Ochratoxin A.  A possible carcinogen.  It is concentrated mostly in shells, so its use for food consumption is highly discouraged.

Without further ado. I closed the curtain for cocoa shell tea experiment.

A lot of inquiries coming in and I see more and more manufacturer venturing into such. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I need to reconsider.

According to FAO (CAC/RCP 72-2013). Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a toxic fungal metabolite classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as possible human carcinogen (group 2b).  JECFA established a PTWI (provisional tolerable weekly intake) of 100 ng/kg body weight. The main culprits are Aspergillus species.

So it is not a sudden death poison, contrary to what I was thinking. I was so afraid back then! It takes time before the symptoms manifest and cannot be pinpointed to cocoa shell tea in case.  I think the evil within me is getting stronger.

There is a way to control OTA. The fermentation should be carried out properly in such manner that fermentation organisms overpowered OTA producers. Then should be dried fast enough to prevent mold growth and without sacrificing bean quality.  Moisture content requirement is 8% or less. Moisture absorption and re-wetting should be prevented.

After, the only process that can significantly reduce OTA contamination is shell removal. About 95% reduction as proven by studies.

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.

Unlimited Rice and Tea to All

This was not the first time I ate at Karate Kid Restaurant. I am hoping it was not the last.

After finishing the tea, she called the waiter and asked for refill. The waiter smiled. After a few moment, he grabbed the tea pitcher, came near to us and said, “Mam, your order was regular tea, the bottomless is the smaller glass”.

It was a bit embarrassing! I still remember the scenario at Mang Inasal. A man seemed very hungry and finished one rice serving in a jiffy. He called the waiter for another rice cup but the crew told him his order was a regular. The guy never said another word. He finished his meal and walked away. Perhaps he went to another restaurant to fill his angry belly.

Who know about the smaller and bigger glass thing? Who know which is the bottomless option? A big poster is posted beside the counter saying bottomless ice tea and unlimited rice but not specified which meals have the privileged for these promos. Uhhmm, the crews know this very well and will bring the rice and tea near to you saying your meal is just regular and not unlimited.

A tag reminding the customer that his order is entitled or not for unlimited option would be very helpful. Or, emphasize it to every customer before taking the order.

Why not make the bottomless tea available to all customers. It is just instant powder and water anyway. The same is thru for rice. Average people only eat 1 1/2 cup rice and rarely 3. I am sure it would drive more customers in.

We never asked for another rice serving for the fear that our orders were not entitled for unlimited rice.

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.