31 May Extreme Coffee: Exploring the Bizarre and the Unconventional
Voltaire once said “Perfection is attained by slow degrees, it requires the hand of time”. He was a philosopher, wit and prolific writer who reportedly drank 40-50 cups of coffee a day. He credited coffee for the inspiration behind many of his ideas.
Byron Bay Coffee Company abides by this principle (not the drinking 50 coffees part). For close to three decades we have persisted in the pursuit of mastering the perfect cup of coffee. We know all good things take time.
However, not all coffee lovers out there follow our mantra. There exist countless caffeine aficionado’s on a tireless search for the next big or better coffee, the most expensive, rarest, strongest or the ultimate in bizarre. “What else can we do with coffee?”
We have compiled some examples of the extreme coffees that are available should you dare or care to try them.
For the pyromaniac or pyrotechnician: Charcoal Coffee or Kopi Joss
Sugary coffee is served with a flaming hot charcoal plunged into it, smoking and sizzling. It claims to have numerous medicinal benefits including neutralising acidity making it smoother on the stomach and is said to have lower caffeine content. This is a turbo-charged version of the meek and mild activated charcoal latte doing the café rounds.
For the egglomaniac: Coffee with Egg
Kaisermelange is a mix of egg yolk and honey slowly stirred through strong black coffee. Swedish Egg Coffee is made by creating a paste of coffee grounds and a cracked egg (including shell) and adding the slurry to rolling, boiling water. The perfect one-pan breakfast.
For the fence-sitter: Coffee Cherry Tea or Cascara
Sun-dried coffee cherry skins brewed like tea with boiling water in a pot or plunger resulting in a sweet, fruity infusion with relatively low caffeine content. Cascara, Spanish for ‘husk’, are the dried outer skins of the cherry-like coffee fruit that are often discarded once the coffee bean has been removed. Optional: add honey or spices and aromatics such as ginger and cinnamon. The no-man’s land of beverages – not quite coffee yet not quite tea.
For the craft brewer: Coffee Beer
The similarities between roasted coffee beans and roasted barley has led to an explosion of Coffee Beers, whether in a bottle, can or on tap. There are numerous techniques including but not limited to the cold toddy method which steeps the beans in cold water then blends the liquid with the beer, adding beans to the fermenting process or brewing with barrel aged coffee beans. This is hipster heaven.
For the sweet tooth: Meringue Coffee
Hot espresso topped with towers of meringue rosettes. To be devoured by breaking up the meringues and dipping them into the coffee. Dairy free, sugar-laden and highly photogenic.
For the indestructible: Bulletproof or Butter Coffee
Quality single-origin espresso blended at high speed with grass-fed butter or ghee and MCT oil (a powerful coconut oil extract). Professes to eliminate hunger, boost weight loss, reduce caffeine ‘jitters’, improve brain power and repel bullets.
For the self-medicator: Marijuana Coffee
Black coffee infused with cannabis oil. Claims to relieve pain and stress but be warned, it can make you very, very hungry.
For the thrill seeker: Espresso Cola
Cola on ice topped with an espresso shot. Optional: add vanilla syrup. To elevate your already heightened buzz to serious pick-me-up status, add a shot of rum.
For the turophile or cheese lover: Coffee with Cheese or Kaffeost
Hot coffee poured over pieces of cheese (the cheese is often made with curdled milk from goats, cows or reindeers and baked). It is a drink and a meal all in one.
For the adventurer: Elephant Dung Coffee
Said to be the most expensive and rarest coffee in the world. Washed and dried coffee beans are fed to elephants and recovered from their dung 1 to3 days later. The digestive process breaks down the protein and produces a taste that purports to be like no other, nutty, earthy and rich. When a number two makes it to number one.
For the dipsomaniac: Espresso Tonic, E&T, Turbo G&T, C&T or Coffee Tonic Cocktail
Gin, ice and a shot of coffee (cold brew or chilled espresso) topped with tonic water and garnished with lemon or orange peel or cucumber. Optional: add a splash of bitters or a simple lime sugar syrup. The Queen is crazy for it.
For the daredevil: Civet Coffee or Kopi Luwak
Produced from partially digested coffee beans collected in the droppings of the civet cat or palm civet. Their anal glands supposedly creating a unique, musky smoothness. This luxury coffee is one of the most expensive in the world due to its rarity but watch out there are a large range of fake varieties on the market – you don’t want just any old excrement protecting your bean.
For the extravagant: Black Truffle Mocha
A shot of espresso mixed with a teaspoon of chocolate topped with warm stretched milk and a piece of black truffle garnish. We are talking the uber-expensive, pungent, sulphuric, luxury fungus variety not the regular chocolate one.
For the salty dog: Sea Salt Coffee
An espresso with a sprinkle of salt in place of sugar or a cold brew poured over ice, topped with a mixture of whipped cream and salt, served with an extra sprinkle of sea salt on top. Allegedly enhances the flavor and reduces any bitterness. Coffee and the beach have always been a winning combination.
For the not-so-faint-hearted: Monkey Spit Coffee
Monkeys feast on ripe coffee beans, chew them up and spit out the seeds. These seeds are then harvested and dried. The monkey saliva is said to break down the bean, altering its profile and creating a distinct vanilla flavor – an affogato with just that spittle bit extra.
For the oenophiles: Coffee Wine or Wine Coffee
Coffee aged in wine barrels or espresso served with a nip of wine are not necessarily new but now wine-infused coffee exists. Beans are soaked and rehydrated in red wine, then dried and roasted. The result – a full bodied bean with hints of small dark fruits and packed with a double dose of antioxidants. Fancy a Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino or and Cabernet Coffee Espresso with your smashed avocado this morning?
And if none of those tempt you there is always colourless coffee, bacon or taco flavoured beans or the nitrogen-infused variety. You can also have yours served deconstructed, presented in an avocado skin or poured into an assortment of edible receptacles.
At Byron Bay Coffee Company we prefer our coffee complex and full-bodied but without the bells and whistles and smoke and mirrors.
To quote the late Jack Kerouac, novelist, poet and black coffee drinker: “Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion”.