What is malt coffee?

Malt coffee is a delicious beverage made with roasted barley grains instead of traditional coffee beans. Despite lacking caffeine, this drink offers a flavor and aroma similar to regular coffee, making it a popular choice for those who want to enjoy this brew without experiencing stimulant effects.

This beverage is popular worldwide, particularly among communities that value organic and vegan products and lead healthy lifestyles. It’s worth mentioning that this type of coffee is often mixed with chicory due to its low-calorie content and digestive benefits.

If you’re interested in learning how to prepare malt coffee, this article will provide you with all the information you need about this fascinating infusion.

Origin and history of malt coffee

Although malt coffee is a different beverage from traditional coffee, its history is closely related to the popularization of coffee consumption in general.

Coffee arrived in Europe in the 16th century and quickly became popular. However, during the 18th century, there were times when coffee availability was affected by blockades and trade restrictions, leading to the search for local alternatives like malt.

As malt coffee gained popularity, different methods and production techniques were developed. Malt grains were roasted and ground, and they were prepared similarly to traditional coffee, using coffee makers or infusing malt in hot water.

How is malt coffee made?

Barley is a cereal used to make a delicious malt infusion. The recipe may vary slightly according to individual preferences, but here’s a basic recipe for preparing with or without a coffee maker.

To prepare malt coffee with a coffee maker, you’ll need the following:

  • Malt (whole or ground)
  • A skillet or oven for roasting
  • An Italian coffee maker, a manual drip coffee maker, or a French press

This is the step-by-step process using unmilled barley (if you have milled barley, you can directly go to step 3):

  1. Roast the malt: Like coffee, barley must be roasted before use to develop its flavor. You can roast it in a skillet or oven, according to your preference.
  2. Grind the malt: The malt should be ground to a medium coarseness. You can use a coffee grinder for this. Remember to use the right amount (approximately one tablespoon per cup).
  3. Prepare the coffee maker: Place a tablespoon of ground malt (adjust the amount to your taste) in your coffee maker. Then proceed to follow the corresponding instructions for the type of coffee maker you’re using, whether it’s an Italian coffee maker, a French press, or another type of machine.”
  4. Brew the coffee: Start the brewing process as you would with regular coffee.
  5. Customize your coffee: You can add milk, sugar, or other ingredients according to your preferences. If it’s your first time trying malt coffee, I recommend trying it plain to appreciate its flavor from the start.

If you prefer to make malt coffee without a coffee maker, here are the steps:

  1. Heat water in a pot until it’s near boiling without letting it boil. The ideal temperature is between 90°C and 95°C.
  2. Add the ground malt to the hot water and stir well.
  3. Let the mixture steep for 3 to 5 minutes to infuse the flavors into the water.
  4. Use a cloth strainer or coffee filter to strain out the malt residues while pouring the infusion into a heat-resistant cup.
  5. Remove the strainer with the malt residue once the liquid has been fully strained.

Enjoy your malted coffee prepared without a coffee maker!

Varieties and flavors of malt coffee

Depending on the brand and additional ingredients used, such as chicory or certain spices, malt coffee can offer flavor variations. Some varieties may have a spicier touch or subtle herbal notes. Here are some examples:

  • Malty flavor: This flavor can be smooth and slightly sweet.
  • Toasted notes: Like traditional coffee, malt coffee can have toasted and smoky notes, which can vary in intensity and provide a deeper flavor.
  • Natural sweetness: Some malt coffee varieties can have a natural sweetness, similar to caramel or brown sugar. This can add a touch of sweetness to the drink without the need for additional sugar or sweeteners.
  • Soft aroma: Malt coffee often has a pleasant and gentle aroma reminiscent of freshly roasted beans. This aroma can be appealing to coffee lovers.

I recommend trying different brands and preparation techniques to discover your favorite flavor.

Benefits of malt coffee

Here’s a summary of the properties of malt coffee if you’re considering trying it for the first time:

  • Firstly, you should know that barley (where malt comes from) is one of the healthiest and most complete cereals.
  • Malt is caffeine-free, so malt coffee for pregnant women is an excellent solution for completing breakfasts.
  • Malt coffee is also recommended for people with diabetes because it helps reduce glucose presence.
  • It contains a large amount of antioxidants and is a natural cholesterol regulator.
  • Can we give malt coffee to children? Yes, malt is a cereal, and children can have it if they like.

Does malt coffee have caffeine?

No, malt coffee does not naturally contain caffeine. Caffeine is a substance found in traditional coffee beans, but in malted coffee made with roasted malt grains, caffeine is not present.

This makes malted coffee a popular choice for those who want to enjoy a coffee-like beverage without experiencing the stimulating effects of caffeine.

Where can I buy malt coffee?

Buying ground malt is easy, as it can be readily found in supermarkets and specialty stores that sell natural and organic products. Additionally, you also have the option to buy malt coffee from online stores.

If you have trouble finding instant or soluble malted coffee that can be prepared simply by adding hot water, you can always follow the steps I explained earlier to make it at home.

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Written by Pablo Barrantes Nevado
I am Pablo Barrantes, a coffee lover. I decided to start this website to solve all the doubts that arise every day when preparing our favorite drink: coffee. I am an industrial engineer by profession, but I have worked in coffee shops for many years, where I have learned all the secrets about coffee machines and coffee. My passion for coffee has led me to investigate and study beyond the obvious, and thanks to this, I can offer solutions and give news about coffee and coffee makers. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I research, document and write here.

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