Coffee Flour: From Waste Product to Super Food

Coffee plants have more to offer than just their beans.

The smell of coffee in the morning is enough to inspire some of us to start our day. For the team at Coffee Flour, the inspiration of a morning cup of joe goes further. What if there was a way to make the coffee industry more environmentally and economically sustainable for everyone involved? Could there be a way to help the farmers who grow the beans to the consumers who need that daily cup of inspiration?

Each year, billions of pounds of coffee cherry pulp, a byproduct of green coffee production, is left to rot on farms, taking up space and polluting local ecosystems.2 The Coffee Flour team felt there had to be a better way of dealing with this issue and wanted to find a solution that not only disposed of a problem (i.e. heaps of discarded coffee cherries) but also turned the byproduct into a new, sustainable source of revenue and nutrition, both at the source and all the way up the value chain.

They came up with a process to utilize the coffee cherry pulp and skins by creating a unique drying process and creating coffee flour. This ingredient, once a waste product from the coffee industry, is converted into a functional food ingredient with economic value.

Coffee farmers are able to augment their income from coffee bean production by selling the coffee cherry fruit.2 Consumers are able to off-set their coffee waste footprint and add more vital, plant- derived nutrients to their diet by using coffee flour.2

What are the benefits?

Coffee flour is an all-natural, Non-GMO Project verified, Paleo, vegan ingredient. Discarded coffee pulp contains four major classes of polyphenols (viz., falvan- 3- ols, hydrozycinnamic acids, flavonols and anthocyanidins).1 Polyphenols are phytonutrients that are high in antioxidants. Studies done on wet processed coffee pulp identified anthocyanins and important levels of caffeine still present in the waste product.1 Nutritionally, coffee flour is high in protein, vitamin A, fiber, potassium, and iron.2

Coffee flour is a good candidate for a highly functional food ingredient capable of adding value to your baked goods.

How can your bakery use coffee flour?

The current recommendation for bakers interested in adding coffee flour to a formula is 10%- 15% coffee flour replacing your current flour in sweet baked goods.2 Bakers should be aware that coffee flour is denser than white or wheat flour and works best when used in combination with other flours, so recipes should be adjusted accordingly.2 Coffee flour does not taste like roasted coffee beans; the flavor is red fruit and slightly sweet. It can be used similarly to cocoa powder and might darken the color of your baked good.

Coffee Flour™ Deep Dark Brownie3



(BAKER’S NOTE: it is important to always work this batter with a spatula. Never use a whisk as any incorporated air will adversely affect the final texture)

  1. Preheat a convection oven to 350oF.
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine the eggs and vanilla using a fork.
  4. Melt chocolate and butter in a large bowl over a simmering water bath, stirring with a rubber spatula.
  5. Remove bowl from heat and add sugars, stir until dissolved and allow to cool slightly before adding eggs.
  6. Once cooled, add the eggs making sure to combine thoroughly with a rubber spatula. Once eggs have been incorporated, fold in dry ingredients.
  7. Spread batter into a greased and parchment lined 9×9 pan. Knock out any air bubbles and bake until a wooden skewer comes out clean (25-30 minutes).
  8. Allow to cool COMPLETELY before cutting, or chill if needed. Keeps 3-5 days wrapped at room temperature or can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Coffee flour can be added to breads, snacks, doughs and savory items as well as sweet baked goods. It is packed with nutrients and antioxidents. Coffee flour could be the secret ingredient to boost your baked good into a super baked food!

Here at the Wholesale Coffee Company, we’re always looking for ways of reducing waste and being kinder to the environment. That’s why we were interested to hear about a new company in the US, set up to use waste from the coffee industry.

A former employee of a well-known coffee chain, Dan Belliveau was concerned about the billions of pounds of used coffee cherries left after the coffee beans themselves have been removed. While there are various initiatives st up to re-use the pulp, such as using it as fertiliser, most of it is discarded as waste. After some research, Dan eventually came up with the idea of ‘coffee flour’. It’s gluten free, contains only a very small amount of residual caffeine and behaves like cocoa powder when used for baking. The idea has received backing from coffee industries, and Dan has worked with leading chefs to come up with recipe ideas.

One of the problems with making coffee flour commercially available is that of collecting the used cherries from various diverse sources. Dan has decided on drying the wet, used cherries at the mills where they’re processed to make them easier to transport, and hopes to make use of the existing coffee supply chain.

The coffee flour, which apparently tastes ‘fruity’ rather than of coffee, contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals including iron and potassium as well as fibre and protein and is said to give baked goods a ‘rich and earthy’ flavour. So far, the product is mostly being sold to commercial bakers and restaurants, with a limited number of retailers selling directly to the public.

Dan hopes that eventually coffee flour will become a mainstream ingredient, helping to reduce waste and provide a valuable protein and food source.

Here at the Wholesale Coffee Company, we’ve got everything you need to make your commercial coffee business a success. To browse our range, take a look at our main website at

What You Should Know About Coffee Flour

Any baking connoisseur knows flour is no longer limited to plain ol’ wheat anymore. These days it seems like you can make flour out of just about anything-from almonds and oats to fava beans and amaranth-and now it’s time to add one more to the list. Coffee flour, the latest gluten-free variety, is a buzzed-about ingredient that just so happens to have two versions to rave about-and its own set of nutritional benefits that come along with them. Here’s what you can get from a bag of coffee flour that even a straight-up cup of Joe can’t claim. (Also, here’s how to bake with eight other new types of flour.)

Version 1: Coffee Flour from Discarded Cherries

The usual coffee-harvesting process looks like this: Pick the fruits, known as coffee cherries, off the coffee tree. Extract the bean from the middle. Discard the rest-or so we thought. Starbucks alum Dan Belliveau found a way to take those leftover cherries and grind them into a flour. The result? CoffeeFlour™.

This new flour variety offers way more health benefits than your basic all-purpose flour. It has about half the fat, significantly more fiber (5.2 grams compared to 0.2 grams), and slightly more protein, vitamin A, and calcium. Coffee flour also packs a huge iron punch with 13 percent of your daily recommendation coming in 1 tablespoon.

Despite its name though, coffee flour doesn’t actually taste like coffee, which means it won’t have an overpowering flavor when you use it to make muffins, granola bars, and soups. It also isn’t meant to be a direct substitution for the flour a typical recipe calls for. You’ll likely have to do a little trial and error, so start by replacing 10 to 15 percent of the recipe’s regular flour with coffee flour, then use your usual flour for the rest. That way you can get used to the taste and see how it reacts with the other ingredients without totally ruining your recipe.

And if you’re sensitive to caffeine, don’t worry: Since it’s made from the coffee cherries and not the bean itself, coffee flour contains only about the same amount of caffeine as you’d find in a bar of dark chocolate.

Version 2: Coffee Flour from Coffee Beans

The other route to coffee flour involves the beans themselves-but not the dark, oily, super-aromatic beans you likely associate with coffee. (Surprised? Check out these other coffee facts we bet you never knew.) When coffee beans are first picked, they’re green. Roasting makes them shed their greenness, along with a significant amount of their health benefits. The original bean is packed with antioxidants, but Brazilian researchers found that those levels can be cut in half during the roasting process.

That’s why Daniel Perlman, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Brandeis University, worked to keep the antioxidant count high by roasting the beans at lower temps, which created “parbaked” beans. Those don’t taste so great in coffee form, but ground up into flour? Bingo.

This version of coffee flour keeps up the levels of chlorogenic acid antioxidants, which slow down the digestive system’s glucose uptake. As a result, you’ll get more sustained energy from that muffin or energy bar, rather than the usual spike and crash, says Perlman. (Side note: Before you think of making coffee flour at home, know that it’s not really as simple as it sounds. Perlman’s coffee flour, which Brandeis University patented last year, is milled in a liquid nitrogen atmosphere.) The taste is pretty mild, with a slight nuttiness that plays nicely in a variety of recipes. Perlman recommends subbing in 5 to 10 percent if you’re baking on a budget, since coffee beans cost a lot more than wheat.

And those in need of a caffeine kick can rejoice: A muffin made with coffee-bean coffee flour has as much caffeine as you’d find in a half-cup of coffee, says Perlman. We’ll start baking to that.

  • By By Moira Lawler

Coffee Flour

Caffeine Level 62mg Serving Size 1 tablespoon Caffeine StrengthCorrection? Send Feedback

Coffee Flour is a product made from either the coffee cherry or the coffee bean itself.

The above listing is for the Coffee Flour made from the coffee cherry fruit which was invented first and is currently on the market as well as already being used in food production.

This product was developed as a way to provide more income and sustainability to coffee farmers by utilizing the whole coffee product and not just the bean. Typically most of the fruit portion of the coffee cherry goes unused and is discarded.

Coffee cherries are very high in nutrition and are a great source of fiber and antioxidants. Therefore, the nutrition of coffee flour is pretty remarkable.

The following was sent to us by folks who make Coffee Flour. “There is between 600-800 mg of caffeine per 100 grams of Coffee Flour. There is approximately 7.7 grams of Coffee Flour per tablespoon. Taking the high value, that is approximately 62 mg of caffeine per tablespoon of Coffee Flour.”

Coffee flour can be used in all kinds of products from baked goods to smoothies. However, consumers should be aware of the additional caffeine it could add to one’s diet.

You can learn more about coffee flour made from the coffee cherry here.

The Other Coffee Flour

The coffee flour made from parbaked coffee beans is currently under development and not yet on the market. It was invented by Daniel Perlman, a biophysicist from Brandeis University in Massachusetts.

This coffee flour is estimated to have 200 mg per tablespoon so it will have a greater impact on the caffeine content of the food that it is used in.

Ingredients in Coffee Flour

Coffee cherry fruit or parbaked coffee beans

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Breyers Coffee Ice Cream 30mg
Coffee (espresso) Beans 6mg
CoffeeMallows 200mg
Edy’s Grand (Dreyers) Coffee Ice Cream 60mg
Go Cubes Chewable Coffee Squares 50mg
Go! Coffee Energy 80mg

How Does It Compare With Other Foods?

Caffeine per Item 200180160140 120100806040 200 Food of Coffee Flour No Doz Awake Chocolate Hershey’s Special Dark Bars Jolt Gum Data Sources: Email from the manufacturers of Coffee Flour or

Newly Patented Coffee Flour Could Fuel Caffeinated Baked Goods

Thanks to a biophysicist, caffeinated muffins could be coming soon to a coffee shop near you — and they’ll also be loaded with antioxidants. Professor Daniel Perlman of Boston-area Brandeis University has invented a coffee flour milled from par-baked green coffee beans that can be used in baked goods; a patent for the process was approved in December.

As the Boston Globe notes, a number of studies have been done in recent years focusing on the health benefits of coffee, but while many researchers agree that a few cups a day is good for you, they have yet to pinpoint what exactly is responsible for coffee’s beneficial effects — though they suspect it may have something to do with “chlorogenic acid (CGA), an antioxidant that appears to modulate how rapidly the body breaks down glucose.”

Just four grams of this flour will provide the same caffeine boost as a cup of coffee.

Perlman’s newly patented process involves par-baking green coffee beans at a relatively lower temperature for a short period of time, which retains the CGA that’s typically lost in the regular coffee roasting process. The resulting light-colored beans are no good for brewing and drinking, so instead, he turned them into a finely milled flour that has up to four times as much CGA as regular roasted coffee beans.

Antioxidants are great and all, but for caffeine fiends, the prospect of caffeinated baked goods is perhaps the more exciting part. Perlman, who’s also responsible for helping to develop a number of other food products including the popular Smart Balance butter substitute and omega-3 enriched peanut butter, tells Eater he’s been experimenting with baking with his new coffee flour, which is pretty potent stuff: “This flour contains 2.5 percent caffeine by weight, so if you were to put 4 grams of this into, say, a breakfast muffin, it would be the equivalent of drinking a cup of coffee.”

And according to Perlman, consuming foods made with the coffee flour would be quite different from drinking, say, a caffeine-loaded energy bar or an energy drink like Monster: “Unlike some bars that are loaded with chemically purified or synthesized caffeine, this is natural food source caffeine,” he points out. “I would expect it to be absorbed a little more gradually than the caffeine in a cup of coffee, so a more sustained release and longer-term stimulation than you get when you drink a cup or two of coffee.”

“I have been baking with it as an ingredient, we’ve actually a number of companies who’ve used it in tests of bakery products, so it’s a very user-friendly ingredient,” he explains. “It’s a fine flour which mixes with regular flours of any type you might choose – whether it’s wheat flour, rice flour, whatever — so you can use this as an enhancing ingredient. I don’t see this as being a direct one-to one replacement for regular flour since coffee beans are relatively expensive compared to wheat flour, so it’s more of an enhancing nutritional ingredient to provide the antioxidants a well as the natural caffeine boost.”

Perlman isn’t the first to dream up flour made from coffee. A product called CoffeeFlour launched last year, and while it may sound similar to Perlman’s creation, inventor Dan Belliveau says it’s actually quite different: Rather than being made from green coffee beans, it’s made from the coffee cherry fruit — a byproduct of the coffee bean harvest that’s usually discarded — and is darker in color, with a deeper, earthy flavor more reminiscent of regular coffee. Perlman notes that this part of the coffee plant isn’t generally recognized as safe under U.S. food safety regulations, saying, “In spite of publicity, it may be difficult to convince people that it’s a good idea to eat vegetable materials that have not been routinely consumed by humans over many decades.” But Belliveau says his product comes along with lots of other benefits: “Our utilization of the wasted coffee fruit provides many additional benefits like additional revenue to the farmers for a waste product, protecting the rivers from waste runoff, adding jobs in developing origin countries, and creating a nutritional ingredient for origin country food supply.”

Developing antioxidant-loaded coffee products seems to be all the rage right now: Last month, coffee beans said to have many of the same health benefits as red wine hit the market. Called CoffVee, the inventor uses a proprietary process to infuse the beans with resveratrol, a polyphenol found in grape skins that’s been linked to the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

The idea of turning coffee bean waste into flour was one that intrigued Guardian readers a few weeks ago and also raised a number of questions.

Here’s a brief recap: while working for Starbucks, engineer Dan Belliveau stumbled upon the perplexing issue of managing coffee waste, especially billions upon billions of pounds of pulp known as coffee cherry. He developed a new use for coffee cherry — Coffee Flour, advertised as a gluten-free product that has five times more fiber than whole grain wheat flour, three times more protein than kale and other health and environmental benefits.

We picked several comments from our readers and turned to experts to find the answers to their questions.

Could the coffee cherries be better used locally as fertilizer?

Hskoppek wanted to know:

What I miss a little in this article is weighing the pros and cons of exporting coffee in its entirety. What is the effect on the local economy, the people and the environment? Maybe it would be better to find a way locally to turn it into compost in order to maintain soil fertility?

Infinitussollux, a coffee farmer in El Salvador, disagreed with some of the claims made in the article:

Coffee pulp is a key fertilizer for us, specially for small producers who can not afford commercial fertilizers. Many nutrients concentrate in the pulp and by not putting it back into the soil we will further deplete our lands. Buying up the pulp and exporting it as flour is another way of extracting wealth from us so that people in rich countries can have another fancy product.

Renee Bowers with the Fair Trade Federation said that these comments were consistent with what she’s heard from federation members. She put us in touch with Monika Firl of Cooperative Coffees. Firl focuses on working with small-scale farmers on sustainable production systems and said that the readers were correct in their concerns.

“If well managed, there is no waste in the coffee fields,” she said. “It can all be recycled into very useful composted fertilizers, which the fields need to maintain production levels.”

The cost of making the simple compost is minimal, Firl said. It’s largely time and back-labor. The farmers pile up layers of organic waste, including the coffee cherries, and within a month it’s usually turned into compost. This is then bagged up, hauled back to the fields, and placed around coffee trees.

In addition to coffee cherries having high amounts of nitrogen, which is critical to basic composts, the “honey water” from washing depulped coffee seeds can also be recycled. Instead of having the acidic water run off into streams, it can be added to mineral sands that neutralize the acidity and provide nutrients. This can be used to enhance the compost.

“Coffee farmers need to leverage every natural resource they can access,” Firl said. “Because good productions levels in the trees extract more nutrients than what simple compost contributes.”

Belliveau said the Coffee Flour program was structured in a way that lets local food manufacturers – those in locations where the flour is produced – create products that are consumed locally.

“Our goal is to have 50% of the coffee flour remain in the country of origin and the balance exported,” he said.

He added that participation in the Coffee Flour venture is voluntary.

“Farmers are not forced or coerced into selling their pulp. If a farmer prefers to use their pulp as fertilizer they are encouraged to continue doing so. The unusable portions of harvested pulp is sorted out in our quality control process and directed for fertilizer use,” he said.

Net positive or negative for the environment?

Unconstituted raised the issue of overall environmental impact:

They’ve found a way to make money from leftovers. Old hat trick. Seriously. Waste reduction by creating a new market for edible coffee? Taking into account packaging and processing for this new product there would undoubtedly be a net gain in waste and pollution.

This is a tough question, and our reporting hasn’t turned up a full lifecycle analysis, which would be needed to yield a definitive answer. But here are some things to think about:
On the one hand, the carbon emissions from growing wheat make up the largest percentage of flour’s carbon footprint – 35% compared to only 4% for packaging, at least in one lifecycle analysis of wheat used for pasta in Italy (pdf) – so if Coffee Flour ultimately reduces the amount of wheat that needs to be grown to produce the flour, that would substantially cut its carbon emissions.

That said, coffee cherry is one of the best fertilizers available, and commercial fertilizers (often nitrogen-based) come with significant environmental impacts, including emissions – especially nitrous-oxide – equivalent to 5.6kg of carbon-dioxide (pdf) for every kilogram of nitrogen.

Stacey Towes with Level Ground Trading helps champion the cause of small-scale farmers in developing nations. He said that if coffee cherry pulp isn’t composted to provide nutrients to trees, then alternative sources of fertilizer, and all the packaging associated with that, will be needed by farmers in larger volume.

All that, of course, would increase the environmental impact of Coffee Flour. But it’s unclear at this point whether – and, if so, to what extent – the company would be using coffee cherry that would otherwise be used as fertilizer and would have to be replaced, as opposed to coffee cherry that is currently wasted. So a key part of the answer would depend on whether the flour is really being made from waste or not.

Another part of the answer would depend on whether the process to mill the coffee cherry into flour is more resource- and carbon-intensive than milling wheat. Processing wheat can make up a significant piece of flour’s carbon footprint: 30% according to this 2011 study, with milling itself accounting for around 12%, but only 5% in the Italian semolina analysis.

And what about the caffeine content of the flour?

Thea1mighty wondered whether eating food with Coffee Flour could give you a huge caffeine jolt:

I’d be worried about the caffeine levels in such a product, though if it tastes good and will not wire you awake for days, then it sounds like a very great idea.

Belliveau said that a decaffeinated version of Coffee Flour is in the works, using a non-chemical-based process to keep the flavors and nutrients of the original product intact. He added that based on laboratory testing, the amount of caffeine that can be found in a typical recipe using Coffee Flour is somewhere between 12%—25% of the caffeine found in a regular cup of coffee.

He noted that in some products using chocolate (which also has caffeine) as well as 100% Coffee Flour, the caffeine levels might be close to a cup of coffee.

London-based Square Mile Coffee Roasters fielded the same question from their customers. At the time, the company was selling cascara, a tea made from coffee cherry. In 2013, the company had the German company that decaffeinates their coffee test the cascara for caffeine levels.

“Surprisingly, we found the caffeine content to be fairly low,” Square Mile’s Anette Moldvaer wrote. “Even at the strongest, longest brew, the caffeine content of cascara came in at 111.4 mg/L, compared to the broad range of about 400-800 mg/L in brewed coffee.”

Is Intellectual Ventures a patent troll?

Basedrop pointed out an issue regarding the company that is helping to launch Coffee Flour, Intellectual Ventures.

Intellectual Ventures is a notorious patent trolling company. In that they rarely R&D real tangible goods, this one appears to be a greenwash PR move. Patent trolling companies are on the hot seat now as the laws are being rewritten in their disfavor so they are looking to come off as actually developing products. This particular product is (s)crap. You can grind any natural bi product into dust and introduce it as a food additive (including wood, insects, human waste etc…)

Shortly before the initial Coffee Flour article ran, Intellectual Ventures was the subject of a piece by Ars Technica about the initial outcome of a slew of patent cases the company filed in 2013. A number of tech sites label the company as a patent troll, and a 2012 in-depth feature from CNET dived into the inner workings of the venture co-founded by two Microsoft veterans.

“Intellectual Ventures has become a boogieman for aspiring entrepreneurs and big tech companies alike,” Jim Kerstetter and Josh Lowensohn wrote. “Rolling out a new feature for your web site? Have a better way to reflect light through a camera lens? Better watch out, Intellectual Ventures might have a patent for that.”

Chris Alliegro, executive vice president of the Invention Development Fund at Intellectual Ventures, responded to basedrop’s comment by pointing out that the term “patent troll” is being applied to any company that seeks to protect its assets and patents.

“That’s regrettable, since there isn’t anything inherently wrong with protecting those things,” Alliegro said. “I doubt any reasonable person would argue for a system in which people were free to steal others’ ideas.”

Alliegro said that Intellectual Ventures is working on a number of tangible products, including sustainable packaging, a supplement for cattle feed, self-cleaning paint and a safer device to help fix pelvic fractures.

Any more questions about Coffee Flour? We’ve asked our experts to check back, so leave your questions in the comments section below.

Megan Lavey-Heaton is a web/mobile producer for near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She is also a freelance tech editor for AOL’s The Unofficial Apple Weblog.

The circular economy hub is funded by Philips. All content is editorially independent except for pieces labelled advertisement feature. Find out more here.

Coffee flour is a food with a mission. Every year, billions of pounds of coffee fruit are discarded as a byproduct of coffee production. Instead of leaving the fruit to rot as waste, coffee flour was created to convert the leftover fruit into a tasty, nutritious flour that can be used for baking, cooking and making beverages. High in fiber, protein, and antioxidants, coffee flour is a non-GMO food that is naturally gluten-free. Not only is our coffee flour a perfectly versatile ingredient, it also helps create jobs for farmers and protect the environment.

What Does Coffee Flour Taste Like?

It has a unique, smooth flavor reminiscent of tea with floral or citrus notes. Perhaps surprisingly, coffee flour does not taste like coffee.

Does Coffee Flour Contain Caffeine?

Coffee flour only contains a small amount of caffeine. It’s approx. equal to the amount of caffeine in dark chocolate.

How Should I Use Coffee Flour?

Coffee flour can easily be incorporated into baking recipes. Try it in a recipe for cookies, muffins, brownies, squares, cakes, bread, or similar recipes. Coffee flour is intended to be mixed with other flours in baking because it’s extremely high in fiber. We recommend using 30% coffee flour in place of all-purpose flour or other gluten-free flours in your recipes.

For a boost of nutrition, you can also add a couple tablespoons of coffee flour to smoothies, soups, or sauces. Blend or stir it in until well-combined. Coffee flour behaves similarly to cocoa powder.

Health Benefits of Coffee Flour

A one-tablespoon serving of coffee flour contains only 34 calories, yet packs a whole lot of nutrition! This small serving provides over five grams of dietary fiber, including soluble and insoluble fiber to support digestion. Coffee flour is extremely rich in potassium and iron. Depending on the serving size, it can also supplement your diet with a good source of protein and antioxidants. Plus, coffee flour is sodium-free, fat-free, gluten-free, paleo and vegan-friendly. Coffee flour has all your dietary bases covered!

A Story of Sustainability

Coffee flour was created as a solution to an environmental problem, and it has since evolved to become so much more than that. As you may know, every coffee bean is surrounded by a pulpy red cherry. This pulpy coffee fruit is a byproduct of coffee production, and unfortunately, most of it is discarded as waste that often contaminates rivers and local water sources. That’s where coffee flour comes in! Instead of throwing out the coffee fruit as waste, it can be converted into a finely ground flour for baking, cooking and more.

This unique baking product stands to revolutionize the coffee industry. In addition to eliminating waste in the environment, coffee flour has provided an additional revenue stream for coffee farmers. New jobs are also created in order to mill and process the fruit. The ultimate goal is to supplement farmers’ income, create more jobs, and make a positive impact on the entire industry. That’s why we’re happy to source coffee flour at Together with our customers, we can make a positive social, economic, and environmental impact.

Gluten-Free Coffee Flour: What It Is + How to Use It

This article from Honest Cooking was republished with permission and originally appeared as Coffee Flour Brownies.

Ever heard of coffee flour? If not, hurry up and jump on this bandwagon with us! You won’t regret it. Created by milling the dried coffee cherry or the skin and pulp that surrounds a coffee bean, coffee flour is dark in color, rich in taste and full of nutrients. Our favorite part? It’s great for the planet. The part of the coffee plant that is used for flour has always been discarded, until now.

Plus, coffee flour has more fiber than whole grain wheat flour, more protein than fresh kale, more potassium than a banana, more antioxidants than a pomegranate, and more iron than fresh spinach. Woah.

Annelise McAuliffe

With a fruity and earthy aroma, coffee flour is perfect in recipes that feature apple or chocolate. We loved it in our usual favorite brownie recipe (see it below) and especially loved that it made it naturally gluten free.

Chefs across the nation have been playing with coffee flour and have used it in breads, pastas (We think a filled coffee flour ravioli would be heavenly!), cookies muffins and more. Since it is a dark flour, it will make whatever you are cooking or baking darker in color too. If you are trying it in favorite recipe, be sure to increase the liquid by 10-25% and coffee flour works especially well blended with other gluten free flours like almond or coconut.

Check out their website for more tips and recipes.

We tried the coffee flour in a chocolate banana cake that traditionally uses all-purpose flour. Our first attempt? It did not go perfect. See the picture below? It looks great! However, the texture was a bit dry. We tried the recipe again and increased the hydration by 25% and also increased the sugar by an extra 2 tablespoons and it was perfect.

In our favorite brownie recipe (below), we swapped out the flour for coffee flour and simply increased the butter and they came out perfect. They smelled heavenly, were the perfect gooey texture, has just the right amount of earthy flavor, and we would never had known that they were gluten free.

Annelise McAuliffe

Coffee Flour Brownies


  • ¾ cup + 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups + 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1½ cups coffee flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Over low heat or in the microwave, melt butter.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, coffee flour, cocoa, baking powder, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Stir in 1½ cups chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes (in a parchment or foil lined pan), or until set.

Found in: Baking, Dessert, Ingredient, Recipes

When you think of flour, you don’t normally think of caffeine. But coffee flour is a thing, and over the past few years, it’s been hailed as a nutritional powerhouse. It’s also an Instagram mainstay, with coffee flour popping up as an ingredient in cookie, brownie, and pancake recipes. But what is coffee flour, exactly?

“Coffee flour is made from green coffee beans , same as in regular coffee,” says Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN. “However, they are roasted at a much lower temperature than typical coffee beans are and then ground into a flour.” Instead of being roasted at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the beans used in coffee flour are roasted at 300 degrees or below.

Typically, it’ll be used in bread-based items, like waffles, pancakes, cookies, breads, and muffins, thanks to its “mild, nutty flavor,” says Gans. (To be clear, when it’s used in baked goods, coffee flour doesn’t really taste like coffee.) It can also be used as a spread or added to soups, sauces, pasta dishes, and smoothies, as it’s similar in texture to cocoa powder.

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So why are people using it? One potential benefit is that coffee flour is gluten-free, which is why you see it used so often to make baked goods, says Gans.

If you have Celiac disease, for instance, coffee flour is a good option, especially if you’re looking to branch out from typical gluten-free flours, like amaranth or almond.

What’s more, coffee flour is packed with whole grains to keep you full and stabilize blood sugar. A one-tablespoon serving has only 34 calories and more than 5 grams of fiber. “Flour made from 100% whole grains provides fiber, which may help lower cholesterol levels and promote blood sugar control,” says Gans. (Because it is so high in fiber, it’s best to mix it with another type of baking flour: Gans recommends using coffee flour to replace about 5-10% of other flours, like white or wheat, in a baking recipe.)

Coffee beans are also rich in antioxidants, “which may help strengthen your immune system,” she adds. What’s more, coffee flour might contain more antioxidants than regular coffee, thanks to the lower roasting temperature, according to a recent study from Brandeis University.

But is coffee flour actually a solid substitute for a cup of joe? Probably not, says Gans. “It appears would be consuming a lot less compared to a cup of coffee,” says Gans. One tablespoon of coffee flour only, or rather 7.7 grams of coffee flour, is equivalent to about a third of a cup of standard coffee, while an eight-ounce cup of coffee has 95 mg. So try it when you’re making muffins if you want — but if you’re looking for that java buzz, you may want to stick with your cappuccino instead.

Isadora Baum Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, certified health coach, and author of 5-Minute Energy.

By now, you’ve probably heard of almond flour, cassava flour, and coconut flour — baking wonders for those who have dietary restrictions or are simply trying to cut carbs. One you might be less familiar with is coffee flour, though if you spend much time roaming stores like Trader Joe’s, you might have spotted it on the shelves. Before you toss it in your cart for the first time, here’s everything you need to know about this up-and-coming ingredient.

What Is Coffee Flour?

Coffee flour is derived from the coffee cherry plant, the same plant that coffee beans are harvested from. Usually, the coffee fruit is discarded, but after it was discovered that these leftovers could become a powerful ingredient in the world of baking, coffee flour emerged! The flour you’ll see on the shelves of your local grocery store is made from just the pulp of the coffee cherry, rather than the skin and the pulp. It has no fat content at all, but the fruity roasted flavor of the flour is incredible.

Is Coffee Flour Good For You?

Unlike a lot of gluten-free flours on the market, coffee flour is grain-free and nut-free, which makes it perfect for someone following a Paleo diet. A serving contains 7 grams of carbohydrates, but six of those are from dietary fiber, making it an ideal choice for a low-carb diet as well. “It’s packed with plant-based antioxidants and potassium, plus key minerals including iron and calcium,” Jackie London, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition director of the Good Housekeeping Institute, told POPSUGAR. “Just like other plant-based flours, it provides protein, too.”


And while it’s beneficial for your health, it’s also good for the environment. “Coffee flour is a highly sustainable product, since it’s a new use for the pulp leftover from the production and growth of coffee beans,” she said. Birds, meet stone.

What Can You Make With Coffee Flour?

Coffee flour has a strong coffee flavor, so you might try it in baked goods like brownies or cake loaves. Basically, anything with chocolate will pair well with the flavor profile of this flour. However, because of its unique texture and bold flavor, it’s best to use it in a 1:3 ratio with a more traditional flour. Try pairing it with almond flour, all-purpose flour, or even coconut flour.

Image Source: Getty / kajakiki

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Coffee flour is relatively new to the baking scene. If you love coffee, these gluten free coffee flour cookies are something you are going to LOVE.

If you are a cookie-holic like we are, don’t forget to check out all of my popular gluten free cookie recipes on the blog!!

Have you seen the new coffee flour in your Trader Joe’s yet? It is made from the coffee fruit. You may remember when Starbucks recently had their Cascara Latte, it was also made from this coffee fruit. Coffee flour is naturally gluten free!! (Another unusual flour that is naturally gluten free flour is banana flour. Check out these easy paleo banana flour waffles!)

Coffee lovers, it is time to rejoice!

I was so intrigued by the idea of coffee flour. Hello! I love coffee. I knew I had to create something easy and delicious with this new fun healthy flour. Combining the coffee flour and coconut ended up being a great combination!

You will have to let me know how you like this gluten free coffee flour cookie recipe.

Table of Contents

What is coffee flour?

You are probably wondering if coffee flour has caffeine. I wondered this too because I wondered if I could eat a lot of these cookies without getting a caffeine buzz. Coffee flour has as much caffeine as dark chocolate. (That being said, I would probably only eat a couple at one sitting.)

What is Coffee Flour Like to Bake With?

I was really surprised at how easy it was to use coffee flour. You use about 3 tablespoons, similarly to using cocoa powder in a recipe. These cookies have the same texture as a regular cookie and have a delicious taste. Drop me a note below and let me know what you think!

Is Coffee Flour Healthy?

Coffee flour is high in fiber and full of potassium (13% more than a banana!) Because it isn’t processed at a high heat like coffee beans, the coffee fruit retains its antioxidants and health benefits. Coffee flour is also high in iron.

You can buy coffee flour at your local Trader Joe’s, or online.

More Delicious Gluten Free Cookie Recipes to Try:

  • Gluten Free Compost Cookies
  • Gluten Free Vanilla Crescent Cookies
  • Gluten Free Grilled Banana Whoopie Pies

Things You Need To Make This Recipe:

  1. A durable cookie scoop. This one has lasted the longest for me.
  2. Unsweetened coconut flakes. Coconut works really well with the slightly fruity/molasses coffee flour flavor.
  3. My very favorite gluten free flour blend.

How to make gluten free coffee flour cookies:


  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 3 tablespoons coffee flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter, +1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, add all dry ingredients, including the shredded coconut. Whisk to blend.
  3. In a small bowl, add wet ingredients. Whisk to blend.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Use a cookie scoop to drop cookie dough balls onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes until the cookies are done.

Recommended Products

There are affiliate links in my posts. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

  • Pamela’s Products Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend, 4 Pound
  • Organic Shredded Coconut (Unsweetened) 2 Pounds by Anthony’s, Batch Tested Gluten-Free, (2lb)
Nutrition Information:

Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 26mg Sodium: 157mg Carbohydrates: 20g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 11g Protein: 2g Please note this nutrition information is calculated by a recipe plugin and is an estimate based on the ingredients used in this recipe.

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Does coffee flour have caffeine

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