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Coffee and cacao beans have some properties in common. I'm wondering can you make something akin to chocolate from a coffee bean or something like coffee from a cacao bean?

"Brewed Chocolate" seems like a no-brainer. In fact, I found this brand which makes it. http://www.drinkchoffy.com/

Making a solid candy from coffee beans seems a little more iffy. But would this theoretically be possible by crushing the roasted beans (coffee liquor) and extracting the oils (coffee butter) and mixing with the milk and sugar and other usual ingredients?

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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You don't need a brand for brewed chocolate. You just take cocoa powder (which is ground cocoa beans minus most of their fat) and put it into boiling water. You don't even need to strain. But I prefer to make mine with milk (btw, I sometimes brew coffee in milk too).

Solid candy from coffee is something else. What you call "coffee butter" is, in fact, coffee oil at room temperature. I can't find information about the breakdown of the coffee beans, but I am not sure if they have the starch content of cocoa beans (which helps hold a chocolate bar together). Add to this the potential for a heart attack inducing amount of caffeine per bar of caffeeolate and you see why this isn't commonplace.

I guess that the industry today would find ways around these problems. You can hydrogenize the oil (although I don't think it would attain the smooth texture of tempered chocolate, chocolate butter has some very special crystallization properties which allow a chocolate bar to have a silky but hard texture. It will be just grainy) and you can decaffeinate the whole thing, and then mix it with some starch to thicken it, and as much sugar as there is in milk chocolate to counter the higher bitterness of coffee.

But this will be as distant from real rich-flavoured coffee as 39 cent discounter chocolate bars are from real chocolate. There won't be an equivalent of premium dark chocolate (which is the one that tastes of cocoa beans instead of sugar).

If you love coffee so much that you want to try a coffeeolate bar, you are better off making coffee flavoured chocolate. If you want the least taste mix, start with a white chocolate bar. The easiest way would be to melt it and mix in a very small amount of cream with lots of instant coffee solved into it, but the taste will be bound by the instant coffee quality. The other way would be to brew the coffee powder in cream, very concentrated (more than an espresso) and add it to the melted chocolate. You'll have to work at chocolate candy making temperatures (30°C to 32°C), if you overheat, you'll have to retemper the chocolate.

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Amazing answer! For the record, I don't love coffee that much, this is purely hypothetical. –  Mims H. Wright Apr 19 '11 at 5:50
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Unlike chocolate, the taste of roasted coffee beans degrades quickly; typically a week after roasting one can start to notice a decline in quality. Good vacuum packaging helps, but has its limits.

The coffee bean is also low in fats so I imagine there must be lots of checmical doctoring to get a good smooth texture.

So, while a "coffee bar" might be physically possible I don't think it would have a very good quality to it for someone who enjoys good coffee. I'd love to be proved wrong because it's an interesting concept (spoken as one who's enjoyed crunching a bean or few straight out of the roaster).

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I don't know if this precisely counts, however I did find one that isn't a coffee flavored chocolate bar but rather a coffee bar bound by cocoa butter.

To capture the rich, authentic coffee flavor, we then quickly blend the freshly roasted coffee with the highest quality all natural ingredients....creamy whole milk, sugar, and the purest cocoa butter.

Next we mill the whole mixture until it is fine enough to release all that wonderful coffee flavor and deliver a silky smooth liquid concoction. This warm aromatic liquid is then formed into bars and allowed to cool

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