Dan Belliveau is about to change the way you think about coffee. The former Starbucks executive has created a powder from the pulp of the coffee fruit, known as the coffee cherry. (The cherry’s pit is what we refer to as the coffee bean.) And it’s this pulp—something discarded by coffee farmers for the past 400 years—that has the makings of the next nutrient-rich superfood.
Coffee flour (coffeeflour.com), as Belliveau calls it, doesn’t taste much like a cup of joe. Rather, it has the secondary fruit notes common in coffee. As a result, even a small amount of the flour tends to enhance many types of foods, from bread and brownies to pasta and popcorn.
The finely ground powder is also rich in iron and fiber, and contains three times more protein than kale. Did we mention it is also gluten-free?But coffee flour isn’t a flour substitute, so cooking with it is by trial and error. That’s why Belliveau and Coffee Flour partner Jason Wilson, executive chef of downtown’s Miller’s Guild, are developing recipes to inspire and reel in food companies.
Inside their Madison Valley “lab” (the former Crush digs), we sampled dishes containing 15–50 percent coffee flour and like it best in baked goods. Early adopters agree. Nestle is testing it; and Nathan Myhrvold’s Bellevue-based Intellectual Ventures (publisher of Modernist Cuisine) has been an investor from the start.
Curious? Taste a coffee flour waffle ($15), chocolate fudge cake ($9), gnocchi or even a cocktail (the New Orleans martini, $12, is made with coffee-flour-infused gin) at Miller’s Guild, or just stay tuned. By year’s end, 5.5 million pounds of coffee flour will have been milled in the world’s major equatorial countries. Though you won’t yet find bags of it on shelves with other flours, you just may be tasting coffee flour in your store-bought tortilla someday soon.