coffee_grounds
Tim O’Brien

Get those coffee grounds the hell out of the compost pile, because science has worked out how to transform them into booze. FINALLY someone is making it so that I can get drunk off my trash.

Bioengineer Solange I. Mussatto, of Portugal’s University of Minho, and her colleagues were able to dehydrate the used grounds from a roasting company, add sugar and yeast, and ferment the mixture to make alcohol. The resulting liquor is not very caffeinated — it loses most of its caffeine in the brewing process — but at 40 percent ethanol, it packs a decent wallop.

But how does it taste? That’s a matter of some dispute. The researchers wrote that the booze “was considered as having features of a pleasant beverage,” which isn’t quite the same as saying that it IS a pleasant beverage. And trained taste-testers opined that it definitely wasn’t:

The judges described the drink as smelling like coffee and tasting bitter and pungent. Researchers noted that the taste could be improved with age and concluded that the quality was good enough for consumption.

“Good enough for consumption” is not exactly a ringing endorsement, but you can’t have everything.

Now, what else can we dig out of the trash and make into booze?