We have recently been doing a little research on this whole “green coffee extract” trend, as one of our customers recently asked us how to make it. I’m sure no one missed the summer advertisements from Starbucks last year about their green coffee extract beverages. If you did, perhaps you saw Dr. Oz feature it on his show touting it as a weight loss enhancer.
Green coffee is made from plain old coffee beans. The difference is that green coffee is unroasted and fresh off the stem. Instead of roasting the beans for that distinctive, smoky, aromatic flavor, green coffee beans are left in their just-picked, raw state. To get “green coffee extract,” green coffee beans are boiled in water for 15 minutes. The coffee bean-infused liquid is then strained and blended with other ingredients like water, fruit flavors, or sugar.
Whoa, hold up one minute there. Fresh off the stem??? Our beloved coffee beans are pits of coffee cherries, and the cherries are what is picked off the stem-not the pit. After picking, they are sorted and dried for over a week, removed from a shell called parchment, and then rested for at least 2 months in a warehouse before they are exported (which bare minimum takes one month to get them to their final destination.) I’d hardly call that "fresh off the stem, just picked, raw state."
“Health experts” and celebrity dieters alike tout green coffee extract as a new weight loss “miracle supplement.” Joe Vinson, the chemist at the University of Scranton who ran a single pilot study on weight loss and green coffee extract in Bangalore, India, claims that “it appears that green coffee bean extract may work by reducing the absorption of fat and glucose in the gut; it may also reduce insulin levels, which would improve metabolic function.” Vinson’s report shows that green coffee bean extract can be effective in weight loss. But the study has limitations — it included only 16 adults, it did not follow-up on the subjects’ weight after they stopped consuming green coffee extract, it was not entirely blinded — which have left scientists and physicians alike unconvinced.
"It appears...," "may work...," 16 adults and no follow up? Not exactly convincing!
So, with this in mind, what do we do with this sudden interst in green coffee extract? Well, I suppose that there is no harm in tryng this out. Heck, I'll probably boil some up this week. I might even add it to my juicing and see if it gives me a boost!
But for those of you have not spent much time with green coffee, it’s not exactly the kind of thing you’d want to pop in your mouth and suck on. It smells like grass, and is as hard as a rock. I have a feeling the addition of fruit flavors and sugar to this extract is extremely important to make it palatable.
If you decide to be an adventurer, we’d love to hear what you think of it. We have lots of green coffee to sell you, and if you want to experiment with the recipes you find online, be our guest!
And save us a sample!