It is common to find coffee extract products or read recipes that list them as ingredients. If you have ever wondered what coffee extract is and how much caffeine it contains, here you will find all the answers to your questions.
What Is Coffee Extract?
Coffee extract is obtained by using alcohol as a solvent to extract a concentrated coffee-flavored liquid from coffee beans. The resulting liquid can then be used in baked goods, cocktails, ice cream, and as an ingredient for many other recipes.
One of the best things about coffee extract is its taste. All coffee’s compounds are broken down during the roasting and extraction process, meaning they lose their usual bitterness.
Coffee Concentrate Vs Coffee Extract
Before we venture into the world of coffee extract, we should explain what an extract is. Concentrates use water as a solvent to extract solids from certain substances. For example, if you brew your coffee beans in cold water, you will get some delicious coffee concentrate.
On the other hand, extracts use alcohol as a solvent, and they extract only the compounds of specific substances. The resulting liquid maintains all the original health benefits and is naturally flavored.
More importantly, coffee concentrate usually has a longer shelf life. If you have some coffee extract in your fridge, you should consume it as quickly as possible. This is because extracts keep all coffee’s aroma and flavor, which are volatile elements. In other words, the longer you store your coffee extract, the more bitter and sour it will irremediably become.
What Is Green Coffee Extract?
The resulting liquid maintains the beans’ chlorogenic acids, including caffeine and quinine. These, which are usually contained in all green and roasted coffees, are associated with antioxidant properties. In other words, your green coffee extract will have the highest health benefits of coffee but with lower acidity and bitterness due to the extraction process.
Does Coffee Extract Taste Like Coffee?
The coffee extract might not taste 100% like traditional coffee. It is often made with unroasted green beans to preserve their aroma and prevent it from getting spoiled during the roasting process.
On the other hand, you are not necessarily meant to drink coffee extract as it is. You can use it as an ingredient for your favorite recipes and mix its taste with other flavors. In other words, it aims to add an aftertaste of coffee to everything you want, from cakes to ice cream.
Is There Caffeine In Coffee Extract?
Caffeine is a psychoactive substance that we regularly consume through coffee. It helps us stay awake and feel full of energy, but it might also have some side effects if you drink too much coffee.
It is important to note that caffeine runs throughout the entire coffee plant, but it is found in higher concentrations in the coffee cherry fruit. There are hundreds of species of coffee plants on our planet, meaning that the amount of caffeine in every single bean might vary. The average quantity is 1.9 milligrams of caffeine per coffee bean. During the roasting process, coffee beans lose part of their caffeine amount. This means that green beans, usually the main ingredients used for coffee extract, tend to have more caffeine.
When you extract your coffee, you are using alcohol as a solvent. All coffee’s properties will be preserved, including its caffeine amount, although the resulting liquid will taste less bitter. As you can imagine, this means that coffee extract still has a certain amount of caffeine. This is something you might want to consider when using the coffee extract to prepare cakes or other bakery products for children or people who cannot or don’t want to consume any caffeine.
Can You Make Homemade Coffee Extract?
The coffee extract might be hard to find in your usual grocery store. For this reason, we have experimented with a few procedures until we have found the perfect way to make your homemade coffee extract.
You will need the following:
- ¼ cup of whole coffee beans. You can use green beans if you want your extract to be more caffeinated and stronger
- 1 cup vodka
- A pestle and a mortar
These are the steps you need to follow:
- Crush the coffee beans using the mortar and pestle. If you don’t have those, you can use a rolling pin.
- Transfer the crushed coffee beans to a clear jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Pour the vodka over the coffee beans. Stir well until all ingredients are combined.
- Close the jar and place it in a cool and dark place for about one week. You should regularly check on it, especially during the first days, to keep swirling the liquid.
- After one week, your coffee extract will be ready. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove all the beans. You can get rid of all the coffee bean dust with cheesecloth if you prefer, although it will not jeopardize your extract’s flavor.
- Your homemade coffee extract is officially ready. Enjoy!
You should store your coffee extract in your fridge. It will be good to be used for a couple of weeks, although you will most likely notice a more bitter aftertaste after a few days.
What Do You Use Coffee Extract For?
Coffee extract is commonly used as a delicious substitute for vanilla in all baked goods. However, you can experiment with different uses until you find the perfect recipes. The sky’s the limit! These are favorite ways to use coffee extract:
- With a chocolate milkshake, for a mocha treat
- With your steak marinade or gravy, to make it thicker and sweeter
- In warm or hot water, to make a lighter and less caffeinated americano
- To spice your cocktails and mocktails up
- Frozen with water in an ice-cubes tray, to make a fancy decoration for your cocktails and cold coffee brews
Can I Use Coffee Extract Instead Of Vanilla Extract?
Yes, of course, you can. You should try it! Coffee extract is less sweet than vanilla, but it will still give your recipes a rich and chocolaty aftertaste. Just make sure you taste it before adding it to your other ingredients because you might need to add some more sugar or sweetener to balance all the flavors.
Can Coffee Extract Help Me Lose Weight?
Several products containing green coffee bean extract have recently hit the market, claiming that they can help you burn calories and lose weight quicker. Although caffeine can have a positive impact on your metabolism, at the moment, there is no scientific proof that green coffee beans extract can give you a “boost of natural energy.”
In other words, while we encourage experimenting with coffee-based products to dive into the world of this precious ingredient, we must emphasize that it shouldn’t be used solely to lose weight or alter your metabolism. Coffee is indeed a delicious treat, which you should enjoy for the mere pleasure of drinking it.
Does Drinking Coffee Extract Have Side Effects?
As you may already know, excessive caffeine consumption can lead to insomnia, headaches, and increased heart rate. Additional side effects include anxiety, nervousness, and an upset stomach. This means that, although it usually tastes lighter than your average espresso, coffee extract is still a caffeine bomb ready to explode.
The Health Benefits Of Coffee Extract
On the other hand, coffee extract still preserves all coffee bean’s health benefits. This includes its antioxidants due to the high quantity of chlorogenic acid, which is mainly found in green coffee beans. Studies have found that caffeine, including coffee extract, can boost energy, mood, alertness, memory, and performance. Coffee also has anti-inflammatory properties, protecting our body and brain against certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Don’t forget that caffeine is one of the most common natural stimulants found in various food and drink, and your coffee extract can become a lighter and sweeter substitute for your usual cuppa if you wish.
The Marvelous World Of Coffee Extract
Making coffee extract at home is simple and quick. Once ready, you can use this precious liquid to enhance the majority of your recipes. One of the best things about this product is that it keeps all coffee’s natural properties while presenting a less bitter and sour taste.
However, the coffee extract also contains caffeine. This means that you should always be considerate when using it in your recipes, especially if you are cooking for people who are particularly sensitive to caffeine. The same applies if you decide to drink your coffee extract to replace your usual cup of americano.