How to make Acorn Coffee

Every autumn when we see acorns on the ground, we talk about what we could do with them. Acorn coffee is discussed every year, but usually doesn't materialise. This year we discovered how to make Acorn Coffee.

What does Acorn Coffee taste like?

First thing to say: I can confirm that acorn coffee bears no resemblance to coffee whatsoever. However it is pleasant to drink as a warm, nutty beverage. And since it has no caffeine, it is a nice alternative to coffee. It just isn't coffee.

Acorn Coffee Recipe

How many Acorns do you need?

You can make a small batch of Acorn Coffee with a couple of handfuls of acorns. This is good to know because the process of making it, whilst simple, does have a number of steps. One of which, peeling the acorns, is hard on the hands (or nails, in my case). So you can make a small batch first to see if you enjoy drinking Acorn Coffee rather than making a large quantity, only to discover that you don't like it. 

Making Acorn Coffee

What Equipment will I need?

As well as your acorns, you will need an old saucepan to boil them in. I say 'old' simply because when you boil them they release their brown colour. This water can be used to dye things, which gives you an idea of how difficult it can be to get it off the pan !

You will also need a sharp knife, and a coffee grinder or blender to grind your acorns before roasting/toasting them.

How to make Acorn Coffee

Ingredients

A couple of handfuls of acorns, as close to 'perfect' as you can get (ie no black marks, bits growing out of them or splits)

Boiling Water

You will also need

An old saucepan 

A coffee grinder or blender.

Method

  1. Boil the acorns in their shells for about 20 minutes. 
  2. Let the acorns cool, and then peel off their shells. If the outer skin of the acorn remains intact (mine usually come away with the shells), remove that too.
  3. Roughly cut them up, then lay them on a baking tray.
  4. Put the tray in a warm place for 24 hours to allow the acorns to dry out - I put mine in the airing cupboard.
  5. After 24 hours, grind the acorns in your coffee grinder or blender.
  6. Place the ground acorns back on the baking tray and pop under the grill for a few minutes until they're dark brown. They are prone to catch so, if you prefer, you could put them in the oven. Either way, keep an eye on them.
  7. Allow them to cool and then store in a jar ready for use.

How to Prepare Acorn Coffee to Drink

Put a couple of teaspoons of your acorn coffee in a small jug, pour on boiling water. You can leave the granules in your mug, but bear in mind they won't dissolve. So after a couple of minutes, I like to strain them through a tea strainer into a mug. Then add milk if you like or you can drink it black. You can also add sugar to taste.

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