Since time immemorial, soy has always been a staple food in Eastern cuisine, although not so much in the West. However, for some time now, soy has been introduced into our gastronomy to unsuspected limits. It is no longer just an ingredient adopted by vegetarians or vegans, but its multiple applications have also reached all kinds of users.
In the world of coffee, we also find a good example of this popularity with soybean coffee (or soya, as it is known in Latin America). In today’s article, we are going to take a closer look.
We’ll start with the basics: What is soybean coffee? Basically, it is an infusion made from the roasted fruit of this legume. And at this point, we must make a fundamental clarification: we must distinguish true soybean coffee (infusion prepared with roasted soybeans) from soy drinks, incorrectly called “soy milk”, which are sometimes used as a vegan complement to prepare coffee with soy milk or similar preparations.
How is soybean coffee made?
Buying soy coffee is quite complicated. The good news is that we can make it at home because it is a fairly simple recipe.
To find out how to make homemade soybean coffee, there is only one hurdle to overcome: having raw, uncooked soybeans so that we can cook them ourselves. It may not be the most common food in your local supermarket or grocery shop, but I’m sure if you look for it, you’ll find a way to get hold of it.
Time required: 20 minutes.
Let’s see how to make soybean coffee at home, for which all we need as ingredients are dried (raw) soybeans, water and sugar or the sweetener of our choice.
1. Roasting the soybeans
This is the first and main step in making soybean coffee: the beans, as with coffee or other herbal teas, need to be roasted to give them their characteristic flavour. This process is usually done in a frying pan, and there is no set time for roasting. Wait for the beans to turn brown or dark brown.
2. Grinding or crushing the roasted beans
As you can see, the final process is very similar to the one we follow with traditional coffee. To infuse the beans, it is necessary to grind them (not too finely), and for this, we can use a conventional grinder, a blender or a home grinder. Bear in mind that soybeans are not as hard as coffee beans.
3. Add hot water
Once the roasted soybeans have been ground, it is time to make the coffee using the method of your choice. For this type of herbal tea, we recommend using a manual method, such as manual drip coffee machines or the classic cloth coffee filters. In either case, you will need to add hot water that has been boiled beforehand. You can also put the amount of roasted and ground soybeans you prefer in your cup and add the hot water to it as if it were a soluble coffee. But this will make it more difficult to infuse properly.
4. Season to your taste
We can’t give any guidelines here. If you are making soybean coffee for the first time, we advise you to try it plain and get used to the taste. This way, you can then add milk, sugar, honey, cinnamon to flavour or sweeten it just the way you like it.
And to finish illustrating how to make soy coffee at home, here is an instructive video where they explain it to you beautifully. Seeing this… you have no excuse to try it.
What if I need soybean coffee capsules?
As far as we know, there are no soy coffee capsules. What we do have is coffee capsules with soy milk (which we have already said is not the same thing), specifically from the brand Origen & Sensations and compatible only with Dolce Gusto coffee machines. Remember: coffee with soy is not soy coffee.
Properties and benefits of soybean coffee
The benefits of drinking soybean coffee are similar to those of other non-caffeinated plant-based coffees, such as chicory coffee, to name a few. You can also find others in our guide to coffee substitutes.
- In fact, the first and most visible benefit of soybean coffee is precisely this: as it is caffeine-free, it is not contraindicated for minors, nursing mothers or pregnant women. Does this mean that soybean coffee is good for pregnant women? No, simply that it is not forbidden to drink it, as is the case with caffeinated beverages. Whether it is good in the sense of providing a tangible benefit is another matter.
- The other advantages of soybean coffee have more to do with the properties of the soybean itself as if we were drinking it cooked in another type of food. Perhaps the one that most distinguishes it from coffee is that soy is a great source of protein.
- It also prevents osteoporosis and helps to control cholesterol levels.
- Soy is a major source of fibre – ideal if you have trouble going to the toilet.
- Natural soy helps lower blood sugar levels, but this benefit is diluted if you add sugar to your soybean coffee. In particular, it is the protein in soy that plays an important role in regulating insulin production. Soybean coffee is often recommended for diabetics for this reason.
- Is soybean coffee good for gastritis? Yes, if you suffer from gastritis, you will not be able to drink traditional coffee – even decaffeinated – because it contributes to the production of acid in the stomach. This will not happen with soybean coffee.
Related: How to froth soy milk