Across the globe, many people enjoy coffee on a daily basis. But relatively few people have ever embarked on the adventurous journey of discovering coffee’s lesser known by-products. Did you know it’s possible to make soap from coffee grounds? Or that there’s coffee jelly?
For a plant that is converted into a beverage over 99 percent of the time, coffee is amazingly versatile. The distinctive coffee flavor leads to countless flavoring experiments, (not all of them successful). A few, like cappuccino-flavored potato chips, received a somewhat cool reception.
However, check out some of the most popular, most original and most bizarre caffeinated creations ever:
Did you know the official state drink of Rhode Island is coffee milk, a beverage that uses a syrup called Autocrat to create its distinct flavor and sweetness? Its origins are murky, but it may have originated with the Italian immigrant population of Providence.
A much stranger creation was unveiled in 2006, when soft drink giant Coca-Cola released a new flavor of soda called Blak—essentially traditional Coke flavored with coffee syrup. The beverage didn’t last long—it was discontinued just a couple years later—but the company ended up recycling the name for its non-carbonated arm, Coca Cola Femsa, which provides the majority of Coke products to Latin American countries.
If you want to try to make it yourself at home, you can always try Coke infused with cold brew coffee.
Coffee jelly (and its candy spin-off, coffee jelly beans) is a Japanese specialty, and is exactly what it sounds like. It’s made by combining coffee with agar agar jelly.
While it might be sold on every corner in Tokyo, coffee jelly is sufficiently unknown in America, so finding a jar is both difficult and prohibitively expensive. Here’s an easy recipe from SpoonUniversity.com that you can try at home.
2 C coffee (hot or warm)
0.25 oz powdered gelatin
2 T warm water
2-3 T sugar or sweetener