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Unusual Coffee Flavours You Have Probably Never Heard Of

Posted by Meera Nair on

People have unique tastes. And to cater to their individual palate preferences, the world of F&B has several unusual items to offer. 

When we say unusual, we don’t just mean coffees like kopi luwak, which certainly has an interesting processing method. We’re talking about aromas and ingredients that you would never have imagined to find in your cup of joe!

Once you read about these 5 unusual coffee flavours, you’ll truly begin to wonder how they were even invented in the first place.

Taco Coffee

Taco coffee takes spice-loving to a whole other level. 

Sure, some of the best coffee flavours in the world are brewed with hints of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, but taco coffee is infused with Mexican spices that are reminiscent of a good meal at your local eatery.

It also has an underlying flavour of meat, which can sound odd if you are a coffee traditionalist. But guess what? Taco coffee works! At least enough to still be sold by coffee producers.

Monkey Spit Coffee

Apparently, the animal kingdom plays a significant role in introducing strange flavours of coffee to the world.

If the mention of kopi luwak makes you cringe, monkey spit coffee is not likely to sound any less jarring. 

Originally produced in India, it is also found in Taiwan. What happens here is that monkeys eat coffee cherries from the plantations. Since they can’t digest coffee beans, they spit them out. This is then collected, cleaned, and processed by coffee producers.

The monkey’s saliva is said to break down enzymes of the bean, making the flavour profile of the coffee sweet. 

Jacu Bird Coffee

jacu bird

The Jacu birds just like Rhesus monkeys were once antagonists that harassed coffee farmers. They would eat the coffee cherries and lay waste to the farmers’ produce.

But soon, it was identified just how valuable these birds could be to the production of coffee.

Found in Brazil, these birds are said to have the ability to pick out only the ripest coffee cherries, which they then consume. 

Once the undigested beans are passed through their system and defecated, they are picked out and cleaned before being processed.

The quality of coffee cherries coupled with the fact that these birds are herbivores and don’t possess any of the animal proteins that Indonesian civets or Rhesus monkeys do results in beans that are of exotic value. 

Jacu bird coffee is full-bodied and has a nutty flavour to it.

Mushroom Coffee

When you think of pumpkin spice and apple cider lattes, these additives in coffees don't seem so strange.

With mushroom coffee, it is the idea that is more unusual than the taste or method of processing itself.

Granted there can be several fruits and even some veggies that may make their way to lattes and other brews; who would even think of mushroom coffee? 

It is a blend of black coffee and powdered mushroom. Unlike what you’re probably imagining, it doesn’t taste strongly of mushrooms. Rather, mushroom coffee has a more earthy tone to it because of the variety of mushrooms chosen for the coffee.

Records state that mushroom coffee isn’t just a new trend. It has a deep-rooted history in Finland during World War 2.

Kopi Gu Yu

Kopi Gu Yu, also known as butter coffee, is a Hainanese invention dating back to the 30s.

kopi gu yu
Image Courtesy - Mothership Singapore

If you regularly consume dairy products, seeing butter in your coffee may not be off-putting, especially if you understand what it brings to your cup.

Kopi Gu Yu is typically a strong black coffee with a serving of condensed milk at the bottom and a layer of butter on top of it.

You might then wonder why not just use milk? What’s the point of the butter?

The reason for adding butter that is often cited is that the butter softens the harsh flavours of the Robusta coffee beans.

Moreover, the butter kickstarts the fat-burning process in your body, which is useful for also absorbing the caffeine from the coffee at a slower pace. So, with Kopi Gu Yu, you don’t just have a slightly different taste to your coffee; it is altogether a different experience.

Yes, it has a greasy aftertaste, but that is quickly overshadowed by the caramel flavours that can be found in the coffee. 

It takes an extreme passion for coffee and an unsatiated curiosity to explore flavours and brewing methods that are somewhat unusual.

Some of these flavours aren’t even easy to find!

If you’ve tried either of these flavours, do share your experience with us.

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