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Offbeat

Cooking blunder 30 years ago inspires Japanese man to invent ‘coffee’ made from garlic

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 October, 2017, 4:29pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 October, 2017, 8:25pm

“Garlic coffee” could be a boon to coffee lovers who are trying to abstain from the caffeinated drink. That’s according to the man in northeastern Japan who has invented a drink that looks and tastes like coffee but is made entirely from locally grown garlic.

“My drink is probably the world’s first of its kind,” said 74-year-old Yokitomo Shimotai, who was a coffee shop owner in Aomori Prefecture. “It contains no caffeine so it’s good for those who would like to drink coffee at night or pregnant women.”

Shimotai, who launched the revolutionary drink in January, said he discovered it by accident following a cooking blunder about 30 years ago. He burnt a steak with some garlic while cooking and waiting tables at the same time at his cafe.

He mashed the scorched garlic with a spoon and mixed it with hot water. When he drank it, he was surprised at its bitter “coffee-like taste”.

Shimotai began researching the drink after he retired, aiming to turn it into a product.

After years of trial and error trying to find the optimum way to produce it, he finally created a “coffee” drink he was satisfied with about five years ago, by using an electric furnace to roast the garlic.

After cooling it, the garlic is mashed up and dripped.

Shimotai registered a patent on his method in 2015 and opened a workshop in neighbouring Iwate Prefecture.

While Shimotai’s drink has an aroma of roast garlic, it will not cause bad breath because it is thoroughly grilled, he insists.