Last month, renowned pastry chef Dominique Ansel debuted a new dessert item at the West Village, N.Y.C.-based Dominique Ansel Kitchen: a decadent Caramel Cardamon Coffee Cake. One of the elements that makes this masterpiece so unique (besides Ansel’s golden touch) is an ingredient called CoffeeFlour, a product made from dried coffee cherry pulp, a largely wasted by-product of green coffee production.
CoffeeFlour was invented in 2012 by Dan Belliveau, an engineer with a focus on food production. “The amount of waste produced in the food and beverage industry is staggering," says Belliveau. "The goal of this product was to find a creative and valuable use for the discarded cherry pulp. Rather than leave these cherries to rot in heaps or be dumped into rivers, which is toxic to the environment, CoffeeFlour uses a proprietary method to convert the cherry pulp into a nutrient-dense ingredient that can be used for baking, cooking, mixing drinks, and crafting chocolate.”
The flour is loaded with iron, potassium, protein, and fiber, and has been popping up in the kitchens of numerous celebrated chefs, such as Blue Hill’s Dan Barber, who added it to an espresso gelato served at his sold-out WastED pop-up event in Manhattan. Jason Wilson, a James Beard Award winning chef from Seattle, converted his famous restaurant CRUSH into the CoffeeFlour Test Lab, and most recently, the Seattle Chocolate Company began incorporating the agricultural innovation into its jcoco Arabica Cherry Espresso line of chocolates.
“Many top chefs are dedicated to educating consumers about the enormous amount of food waste produced in the U.S. and beyond,” explains Belliveau. “By working with sustainable ingredients, they make it clear that there's nothing sacrificed in terms of taste or quality.” While CoffeeFlour is not available to consumers just yet, it’s safe to say we can expect to be seeing more innovative uses of it in the near future.