It’s extraordinary that almost no-one has heard of coffee juice. Or coffee cherries for that matter.
This could be the next big thing, and we don’t say that lightly, if fact in the cautious world of coffee we have never felt the need to use that phrase.
The coffee cherry is the heart of the issue. It surrounds the more familiar green coffee bean and when coffee is harvested the red cherries hang in large clumps from coffee bushes.
But inside the coffee cherry is not only a pair of beans but lots of the sweet tasty pulp which surrounds it. This pulp can taste delicious and is full of nutrients, some sources say more even than superfood acai. It is thought that the original use of coffee in pre-historical times was as an unroasted nutritious drink.
And here is the truly bizarre bit. Currently the pulp is regarded as a waste product by the coffee industry, even to the extent of polluting rivers in coffee growing areas with masses of alleged waste product from the processed cherries.
Now a young company aims to change that. Re-Coffee in Switzerland are developing a machine that will extract the whole of the cherry, both the pulp and unroasted bean, on coffee farms and local processing centres.
This is potentially money for nothing.
For those of us interested in a green economy the situation is ironic. If coffee industry polluters had been made to pay for their river pollution they might have discovered the next big thing a bit sooner.