Just a few drops of this aromatic and full of flavor coffee extract add specific coffee flavor and medicinal properties to your baking, cooking, and even your skincare beauty products. This simple coffee essence made of two ingredients is a great way to add coffee flavoring to any homemade dish.
Whether you are a coffee lover or not you will appreciate this small bottle of coffee essence at your hand that can turn a boring cake into coffeelicious sensation.
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What is coffee extract anyway
Coffee extract is an alcohol concentrate made of roasted coffee beans and alcohol. Herbalists would call it tincture and some people may know it as coffee essence.
Coffee extract captures taste, aroma and medicinal properties of coffee beans in one small bottle. It makes an excellent addition to sweet or savory dishes and can last for years if stored properly.
To make a potent coffee essence you need aromatic roasted coffee beans and alcohol. No special equipment or skills are required.
If you want to make your coffee extract really strong and full of flavors make sure you select aromatic coffee beans that are fresh and organic. So look for beans that have a printed roast date on them. Ideally, look to use beans for up to four weeks.
If you happen to have cocoa beans at your hands, make cocoa extract full of chocolate flavor.
you can use ethanol (synonyms: ethyl alcohol or grain spirit) that is available in a pharmacy or vodka, rum or brandy. However, use mild tasting alcohol that will not interfere with the coffee flavor.
I prefer vodka for its neutral taste and color.
40-50% alcohol is equal to 80-90 proof - these are standard concentrations for making extracts or tinctures.
How to make coffee extract
Use mortar and pestle to crack the coffee beans. You simply need to open the coffee beans so they can release their coffee flavor. Alternatively use a food processor or coffee grinder but you will need just a few pulses to achieve the desired result. A plastic bag and hammer will also do.
Pour the cracked coffee beans into a sterilized jar with a plastic lid. Cover them with the alcohol of your choice, and shake it well. Close the jar with a plastic lid or use parchment paper between the metal lid and a jar to avoid any corrosion.
Let the mixture infuse for a week in a cold, dark place, shaking occasionally. We need the solvent in our case alcohol to extract all the flavors and oils from the beans. You can check in a few days if you like the taste of the extract. Keeping the extraction process longer will result in a strong and bitter coffee tincture which is not what we want. It depends on the strength of coffee beans and on the concentration of the extract. More is not better in this case.
You can speed up the extraction process by grinding the beans into powder. Higher concentration of beans versus alcohol or increase the frequency of shaking.
Strain the mixture
Strain the beans through the cheesecloth, coffee filter or fine sieve and keep just the concentrated liquid.
Use dark dropper bottles to store it. Don’t forget to label it with the date you made it. Store in a dark, cold place for over 3-4 years as alcohol is a great preserving agent.
If you want to make coffee extract without alcohol you can use 3 parts of food-grade liquid glycerin and one part of water instead of alcohol..
Coffee extract is made of coffee beans and alcohol and contains caffeine as well as other components such as oils.
Coffee essence substitute
If you don’t have time or alcohol at your hand there is an even easier and faster way to get a coffee essence which is not technically a coffee extract but a pretty close coffee essence substitute.
Coffee beans are water soluble thus fast coffee extract substitute can be made by extracting roasted coffee beans in water for an extended period of time. It is called coffee concentrate that makes an intense and very concentrated brew. The coffee concentrate is often used to make cold or iced coffee however can also substitute coffee extract to add a typical coffee flavor and aroma.
How to make coffee concentrate
Grind the coffee in a coffee grinder to make it the size of sea salt. Use ratio of one part of coffee to four parts of water. Transfer the coarse coffee into a clean jar and pour over clean cold water. Mix it well and make sure the coffee is completely saturated. Cover the mixture and let it brew for 24 hours.
Strain the mixture using a cheesecloth or a coffee filter and use just pure coffee concentrate. Keep it in the airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
To speed up the extraction process you can use hot water instead of cold. Alternatively very strong freshly brewed coffee or instant coffee instead.
Coffee extract uses and recipes
Coffee extract makes a great addition to your desserts, cocktails or enhance your savory dishes such as fish.
While coffee is most widely used to boost your energy it’s also gaining a reputation as a remedy for the skin thanks to its antioxidants.
Caffeine that is present in the coffee may help reduce the appearance of cellulite - thus this DIY coffee scrub may come handy.
Known for its stimulating effect when applied internally, coffee extract acts opposite when applied topically due to the antioxidants presented in the coffee
Add few drops to a bath or bath bombs to calm and relax
coffee has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties thus helping to fight acne. Add few drops of coffee extract to this acne mask.