Pistachio ‘coffee’, a healthier alternative to decaf?

Pistachio nuts

‘Coffee’ made from pistachio nuts could well be a healthier option for decaf drinkers, and it soon could be available to brew at home.

When normally roasted, the nuts are said to have a similar aroma to conventionally roasted beans but their remarkably high oil content tends to leave a sludge-like residue, unlike the dry powder which gets popped into group heads.

Consequently, it has never really been considered as a viable option.

“This meant [that] it wasn’t really a suitable alternative,” said Dr Fahrettin Gogus, a researcher based at the University of Gaziantep, Turkey, who led the project into the potential decaffeinated substitute.

After a period of trial and error, Gogus and his team have apparently found a way to ensure that there is no excess oil and thus producing grounds comparable to coffee – enabling you to brew them at home in a conventional manner.

“We wanted to produce a powdered version,” Gogus stated.

“This oil-free version can be used in any coffee machine to produce espresso-like coffee. It is not exactly the same as a traditional cup of coffee; it has a very different aroma.”

The drink, apparently (for we haven’t had a cup, yet), has a pine and citrus aroma which is a by-product of the presence of certain compounds found in pistachios. Worryingly some of these compounds, known as volatiles, can potentially be dangerous. But a method has been devised to remove these harmful substances without compromising on the signature taste of the drink.

One major positive from this alternative is that the drink is not subjected to a chemical treatment to remove caffeine, as pistachios don’t naturally contain the chemical. Additionally, Pistacia terebinthus, is known for containing ample levels of antioxidants, antiseptics and anti-inflammatory properties – making this drink, dare we say it, potentially healthier than a normal decaffeinated cup of joe.


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