Acorn Coffee drink

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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Acorns are in season now for anyone in the cooler parts of the country.

These are not native, but they are a traditional food and the techniques are applicable to native species too .... as well as that, its easy, fun and delicious !

Acorn coffee does not contain caffeine, and probably shouldn't be called coffee because it isn't coffee, but its the simplest name to use which people can relate to.
If you have ever had a grain type "coffee substitute" (caro, ecco and others) you will know what I mean.

Here's the process.

Start with a bunch of acorns, probably a cup full would be a good start if you want to start small, but I processed a 2 L bucket full.
Only collect fallen acorns which are brown in colour and with no obvious damage to the outer shell:
20170331_210700 (Small).jpg

A quick crack with a nut cracker and the outer woody shell peels off for use as kindling.
Discard any "nuts" which are moldy, or have insect holes (not many if you get them fresh):
20170331_213308 (Small).jpg

Coarsely chop the acorns with a kitchen knife:
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Then roast in a fry pan on a low heat. Keep the contents moving constantly.
The acorn meat will dry out and darken. You will feel the difference when stirring once the meat has dried and darkened;
Once dry, it will be easier to push and stir:
20170401_182555 (Small).jpg 20170401_184924 (Small).jpg

Once evenly roasted to a dark colour, and dried out, the acorns should be finely ground.
You could do this be hand, but the dried shards are very hard to crush, so I opted for a food processor.
The food processor only really did a half good job, but that's OK, you can see many acorn chips which seem impervious to the blades.
If your acorns are not as dry, or you have a better grinder you may be able to get it all ground to a powder ?
20170401_191043 (Small).jpg

After the grinding, I put it back in the pan for another roasting.
Once again on a low heat with constant stirring to get an even dry, and brown product :
20170401_192037 (Small).jpg

That's it !

Once cooled I put it into an air tight jar for storage and made myself a cuppa.
I added 2 heaped teaspoons to a tea filter/infuser and filled the mug with hot water;
let it steep for a minute or so, removed the tea filter and added milk (as per with normal coffee).

The acorn grounds don't dissolve. Y9ou don't need to use an infuser, but you will end up with quite a pile of acorn grounds in the bottom of your mug if you don't !


And the drink ? ..... Delicious

A dark, rich blend with the flavour of grain and nuts. A very pleasant alternative if you want a hot drink without caffeine !

Enjoy
 
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