Sunday, October 25, 2015

Honey Locust Coffee

I love coffee. A lot. In the world of foraging there is a constant search for a coffee like substitute. It appears I am not the only one with a coffee addiction. Coffee beans are not commonly grown in North America so finding a substitute is a national quest. Wild edibles that have been frequently used are dandelion root, chickory root, white avens roots, and honey locust seeds from the long pods. Just as an aside, the only plant I have found to grow in North America that produces actual caffeine in a substantial amount is the Yaupon Holly.

Recently, a foraging friend online, Peter Gussie, experimented with using Honey Locust pod seeds as a form of coffee bean. He graciously allowed me to share his experience.

He collected a grocery store bag's worth of Honey Locust pods which produced about 3/4 cup of seeds.

He roasted them in a cast iron skillet for 15 minutes.

The "beans" were not uniform in size so some cooked darker than others.

The final brewed batch tasted more like Earl Grey tea than coffee, but good, nonetheless. You can definitely pick up a little sweetness from the beans.

Thanks Peter Gussie for the review!

1 comment:

  1. Cleevers are reputed to produce usable amounts of caffeine. Decent picture of Cleevers here:

    Dr Duke's ethnobotany database ( is a slick way to find species that have specific chemicals. In most cases, the part of the plant being assayed is listed.