First, they took the humble haldi doodh and turned it into turmeric latte. Then, came lattes laced with avocado. And now, wellness enthusiasts have done the unthinkable by giving us broccolatte – that’s coffee infused with broccoli. Yikes!
As a sworn coffee aficionado, I certainly take offence to this constant crusade to ruin the one undoubtedly good thing in life – coffee. But you don’t have to be a coffee lover, or addict as they are fashionably referred to, to know that broccoli and coffee don’t mix well. Not at all.
My mortification with the idea of broccoli coffee notwithstanding, this weird, weird (yes, once was not enough) is likely to find a spot on the menu of your favourite neighbourhood cafe and soon.
Broccoli Coffee Take Form
We have Australia to blame for this one for the broccoli coffee took form in Melbourne. At the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and Hort Innovation (CSIRO) to be precise.
The drink comprises your regular mix of espresso and steamed milk which is then topped up with a ‘healthy dose’ of broccoli coffee powder. CSIRO claims that this high-fibre broccoli coffee powder is produced through a drying processed that helps in retaining the original colour, nutrient composition and taste – yes, TASTE – of this fresh veggie. Mary Ann Augustin, CSIRO’s lead researcher on the project, calls broccoli the ideal addition to your coffee since it is high in fibre, protein and health-promoting bioactive phytochemicals.
According to CSIRO scientists, broccoli coffee is the perfect way to increase nutrient intake, since people are just not eating enough vegetables. We bet CSIRO has its share of disgruntled moms who have mastered the art of sneaking veggies into their kids’ shakes, smoothies and pasta, and are now coming for our coffee.
CSIRO highlighted another benefit of this innovation. The broccoli coffee powder can also help in reducing food wastage by putting ‘discarded’ veggies to good use. “Since over one-third of all food produced globally is lost or wasted, much of it, in our society at least, due to ‘imperfect looking crops’, it only made sense to use these perfectly healthy veggies in a product like our broccoli powder,” CSIRO statement on release of broccoli coffee powder stated.
Broccoli Coffee Taste
Well, making coffee healthy by adding it with what is apparently one of the most nutrient-rich vegetables in the world right now sounds great in theory. The Common Folk Cafe became the first to serve broccoli coffee in Melbourne, Australia. We have yet to see this newest trend emerge on the Indian food scene. Given that the whole concept is just a couple of months old still, it’ll get here soon.
All this talk about broccoli in our coffee brings us to the all-important question – what does it taste like? If you’ve ever eaten broccoli, you’d probably know the answer is GROSS. Now, this nutrient-rich green veggies can still be bearable when grilled or sautéed and tossed into its tastier cousins like zucchini, asparagus and bell peppers, but having your coffee taste like broccoli, to me, is unthinkable.
With due respect to CSIRO’s groundbreaking innovation that is so nutrient dense that just two spoons of this powder can make up for a fifth of our recommended daily intake of vegetables, I suggest we add this broccoli powder to soups, salads, curries or pasta even. No one really drinks coffee for nutrition.