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Opinions on Kentucky Coffee Tree and the taste of the brew from their roasted seeds

 
Charlie Michaels
Posts: 124
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I have a strong interest in this species.

That it could be a local source for coffee or coffee-like drinks seems really promising to me.

There's alot of discrepancy with the quality of this product. Google kentucky coffee trees and you'll get tons of sources that tells you how far you would have to stretch your imagination to make it taste like coffee and that the settlers only tried it once and never again because they were high one day.. I feel like people just want to say whatever they can so they feel they are above wild foods. The USDA even says its super poisonous (its obviously not).

People with I'm sure no first hand experience of trying Kentucky Coffee tree coffee who put down the drink as barbaric, archaric, nasty, or what have you... I think are just really biased. So I wasn't satisfied with a first look. I wanted to see if it could be a viable source for a coffee like drink.

So I found a blog with a person who says she went with Wildman Steve Brill on walk and picked up some Kentucky Coffee seeds to make what she calls a "Nutella like paste" http://habeasbrulee.com . That led me to looking up Steve Brill's opinion on the seeds, and he says "The pod of the Kentucky coffee tree makes the world's best tasting caffeine-free coffee". http://www.spiritofmaat.com/archive/aug3/wildman.htm Quite a huge difference in opinion! I'd really like to believe that Steve's opinion is more accurate, because other sources say I'd be wasting my time.

Anyone have any experience with the Kentucky Coffee Tree?
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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Try it with out roasting it first and you will find out how super poisonous it is.
 
                                      
Posts: 172
Location: Amsterdam, the netherlands
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doesnt the same go for a potatoe?
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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Joop Corbin - swomp wrote:
doesnt the same go for a potatoe?

I think it's primarily green potatoes and pregnant women.
 
Delilah Gill
Posts: 35
Location: Southern Georgia
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I'm growing them now, but so far they aren't big enough to produce pods of beans. I have tried roasted Coffee tree beans as a coffee substute before but I also added some brewed Yaupon (YO-ponn) holly (it's the only U.S. plant that produces substantial amounts of caffeine. lol, I like caffeine.)
No, it didn't taste like coffee, but was decent as a hot tea type drink.
I do recommend roasting the beans and not using them raw.
 
            
Posts: 32
Location: Louisville, KY
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My experience was like Delilah's: it had the consistency of tea, but was sort of astringent-tasting. 

I had been making a dandelion-root-and-chicory coffee substitute until I realized I liked the chicory by itself better. (It's easier to harvest than dandelion root, too.)
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Coffee beans are fairly poisonous. Two loaves of bread, made with coffee beans in place of wheat and eaten in one sitting, would probably be lethal.

For most plants, that seems to be the function that caffeine serves: they protect edible parts of themselves by adding something that suppresses appetite, causes some discomfort if more is consumed, and kills if the animal in question consumes too much.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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There may be varieties of KCT, with some being a better match than others. In the book Ghosts of Evolution they talk about how people who don't know what they are getting think it's coffee.
Tastes just like coffee, Carl Mehling told me. Carl is a paleontologist and educator at the American Museum of Natural History, and he enjoys collecting and eating edible wild plants. I've served it to friends, and nobody ever suspected it was anything other than coffee. Even when I tell them, people have a hard time accepting that it's not the real thing
 
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