What Happens When You Try To Deep-Fry Coffee Beans?

If you consider yourself a coffee enthusiast, connoisseur, or the type of person that enjoys sampling various coffee at different roasting levels, you might enjoy a deep-fried coffee experience. No, this wasn't a random Tiktok idea but a curiosity-inspired experiment by coffee expert and author James Hoffman.  

For a YouTube video, Hoffman deep-fried green coffee beans. He explained that he switched the heat conductor, which would usually be a regular coffee roasting machine. After immersing 100 grams (3.5 oz) of Ethiopian coffee at 170 degrees Celsius (approximately 340 degrees Fahrenheit), the beans started browning, but not evenly. Hoffman noted the beans didn't puff out as typically happens while roasting, making it difficult to hear the first crack. 

When it was done, Hoffman removed the excess oil (which was a lot) and waited for it to cool off. Grinding coffee was more difficult, but not too much. Surprisingly, by using a pour-over brewing method, deep-fried coffee came out tasting good. "It's buttery and rich," Hoffman said, with great texture, no fatty or greasy flavors, and a distinct softness. This wasn't the case when making an espresso, which Hoffman described as "disgusting," especially given the amount of fat and zero sweetness. In the end, Hoffman didn't encourage people to try deep-fried coffee for its flavor, just if feeling curious. 

People are curious about alternative ways to deep fry coffee

Viewers were pleased to watch a "very entertaining and educational video," as the language James Hoffman used throughout was quite scientific. Although Hoffman said there is not enough literature on the subject of deep-fried coffee, his viewers thought differently. "James has literally kickstarted a new coffee industry in one video," someone commented. In fact, the community was already thinking of ways of experimenting with this deep-fried technique. 

"[I would] love to see this with different oils," read one comment. Another user elaborated on a similar idea and proposed trying the same recipe with coconut oil, peanut oil, or some other type of nut oil. Others suggested changing the frying method and trying another similar video featuring coffee beans in an air fryer or even using a steaming process for other non-traditional methods. 

Although odd, the concept of deep-fried coffee doesn't seem that wild. Some commenters shared that people roast coffee with margarine in Malaysia, especially in rural areas. "The result is coffee that tastes a bit as you described, soft and rich and buttery," the user explained. Maybe deep-fried coffee is the next great coffee discovery, but we need bold palates to pave the way.