The Loh Down On Science

A surprising new way to jazz up your cup o' joe!

Hey, coffee-holics!  Here comes a new kind of buzz.

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Spanish and Portuguese scientists have figured out a way to make liquor from spent coffee grounds, or SCG.  The recipe is simple: heat grounds to 325 degrees for 45 minutes.  Add sugar and yeast, ferment and distill, and voila! You’ve got coffee-hol.  Why hasn’t anybody done this before???

The resulting 80-proof liquid was dubbed SCG Spirit.  It contains 17 aromatic volatile compounds that contribute to its sensory profile.  These include esters, aldehydes, acids—and a whopping 40-percent ethanol!  Twelve expert taste-testers were brought in to provide visual, olfactory, and gustatory analysis—in other words, how does it look, smell, and taste.  

Based on this scientific study, the researchers report their concoction to be, quote, “a pleasant beverage, suitable for human consumption, with the smell and taste of coffee.” 

Which you might need to chase too much of with real coffee, black.  Hey, that's how you put the "bar" in "barrista."  Just sayin’.

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


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