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Raw Coffee

I did a little research today on how Juliano may be doing his raw coffee. Let me step back a moment though, and give you some history. I have mentioned in the past that my husband and I have always enjoyed having coffee together. It is not so much the flavor, but the ritual behind it, etc. Well, this weekend a package was delivered to us that had a home coffee roaster that my husband had purchased. I learned a lot about the process of roasting coffee by experimenting with him this weekend with the roaster. Now, of course, roasting is obviously not raw. But, in the mean time, I took some of the green coffee beans and soaked them for twenty four hours, and then sprouted them. This morning I took the sprouted beans and ground them up in a clean coffee grinder, and to my surprise, they were brown on the inside! (Also I should mention that after I was done soaking them, the water was turquoise!). I put the green grounds into a a cup and heated water to just 90 degrees and then poured the water over the beans to let them “brew”. After 10 min. I poured the brew through a nut milk bag to strain off the coffee grounds. The coffee was much weaker, but still tasted like coffee, but without the bitter flavor.

The lack of bitter flavor made me wonder about the caffeine content of the green coffee, since regular coffee gets it’s bitterness fromt he caffeine. So after doing some research on google, I found a way to decaf. green beans using only water, called the Swiss System. I think that soaking the beans might have done a sort of natural decaf. process, of course there is no way for me to measure this.

Supposedly, the Swiss System is a “natural” way to decaf. green coffee beans (natural in the sense that it doesn’t use chemicals and only water). It is unclear though at what temp the water is in the Swiss System. But, if just soaking the green beans extracts the caffeine, and then you carefully monitor the water temp used to make the coffee, I think we might just have found the key to Julianos raw coffee!

Here is a link to the Swiss System website that has both a video and narrative explanation of the process: http://www.swisswater.com/decaf/process

I would love other’s knowlege, thoughts, and experiences with this…especially if you have tasted Juliano’s raw coffee at his restaurant!



  • Sounds yummy Spiritedmama. I allow myself some coffee “as a treat” about every other month, but I understand the ritual of coffee. I very much have a daily ritual with green tea. It helps to center and ground me throughout the day. What I don’t understand is the hype surrounding coffee and tea when so much research lauds the extraordinary antioxidants in each (wine included here). I’m thinking if they are consumed in moderation and are fair trade, fair wage, organically grown, what’s the problem? Could be my naivete.

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Om…this weekend was the first time I had had coffee in 2 weeks, and it was really more “in the name of science”. I am trying to change our ritual to green smoothies, which has worked for the most part. But, I have to admit that it felt really good to revisted and share that part of my life with my husband again. It was a large part of what brought us together in the first place. I am considering having it as a treat every once in a while, like say if my husband and I ever get a babysitter and go out on a date or something.

  • Land devoted to producing coffee and tea even if fair trade and organic could be used for organic food production, currently millions and millions of acres of quality fertile land is devoted to growing these plants which (even if the mainstream say they are healthy) are unhealthy in every way. This is all for a ‘ritual’?

    spiritedmama, are you certain Juliano uses real coffee in his raw coffee? I have been to the restaurant several times but have not tried the coffee. I know there are raw ‘coffee’ type drinks made with cacao and carob. Coffee is as toxic or more so than cacao.

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    SocaL, not sure if Juliano uses real coffee or not. I have just heard it referenced thru-out the raw community as “raw coffee”. Maybe next time someone is at Juliano’s restaurant, they could ask. I have looked on line and have not been able to find out directly.

    As far as the rituals go, you and I differ on some of that. There is a part of my life that derives enjoyment and pleasure from food and spending time with other’s enjoying food. I don’t just eat food for sustenance. (of course I am not exactly sure on your position on this…I just know from the food lists that you have posted, I would NOT be happy just eating the few things on the list…so, admittedly, that is all I have to go on. If I am wrong, please by all means correct me!) So, for me…yes, the ritual and the connection with people, especially my husband is VERY important for me, and worth a cup of coffee every now and then. I do understand that it could be considered a toxin. But, I do believe that it also can have health benefits when not overdone. This differs from you opinion, just as it is my opinion that iceberg lettuce has little to no nutritional value at all. So, as is becoming a pattern, I think….we may have to agree to disagree.

    (friendly smile, and wink)

  • I too love the ritual of coffee more than anything else about it. For me, it’s a thing that started mainly with my father and I sharing an espresso. Has anyone had any experience grinding raw cacao nibs (I get mine on sunfood.com) and using those in replace of coffee? I wonder how this would taste, etc….

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    I have mixed ground coffee and ground cocao together many times and brewed it, and it is a nice combo. However, raw cocao would not be a “replacement” per se, as it is just replacing one caffeine/theobromine substance with another. But, as I said earlier, it is a nice treat every once in a while!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    When I was still drinking coffee a few years ago, my bf wanted to try to find out if raw coffee could be made so I would have that instead of the regular coffee. Apparently, at the time, there was a raw food restaurant in San Fran that did it – I can’t remember which one – I don’t know if they still do it – but I think they were using a “cold press” method to do it.

    I think it is very possible to have raw coffee if you can get your hands on some raw coffee beans – I mean, you could just ground them up and and maybe put the grounds in a tea holder and put it out in the sun to brew (like sun tea).

    From what I know, most of the toxins in coffee are created when it is roasted.

    I never got to try the raw coffee (I would try it if I got a chance) – I am pretty much off of coffee now (I miss it when it is cold out). There is an organic farm in Hawaii (Maui) called Ono and they grow organic coffee. If you take a tasting tour, you can taste the coffee bean raw and right off the vine. I haven’t done it before but I saw it on the Travel Channel.

    Raw cacao smoothies are in a way a replacement for coffee since it has the caffefine in it. Lots of people say raw cacao has helped them to quit coffee.

  • barosebarose Raw Newbie

    Queenfluff – you may be speaking of Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco (they have two locations in SF, one in Berkeley and one in Marin Co) I had some of their cold pressed coffee and its pretty good. None of the bitterness and stomach ache I normally get from regular coffee. I dont know how they did it though…I think it was from roasted coffee, but I can ask them tonight when I go by there.

    If it wasn’t Cafe Gratitude, it was probably Alive! or Raw (Raw is no more).

    I normally dont drink coffee, but I do miss the ritual.

  • It all seems like I am from some other planet to many of you. If others get to the place I am at with food and see it as a part of your body and not a means to entertain, you will understand. I get entertainment from a ripe juicy watermelon or pineapple that just has the perfect amount of sweetness. I also know the difference between eating something that is good or bad just by how I feel after it reaches my stomach. Some of you understand this, some will get there and some will not. It’s all a matter of what you want from your food. You really need to throw out any references to the healthiness of foods that are given out by the mainstream. Most are completely backwards. If you have not learned that yet I think you should just stop and look at it for a second. Nobody except those who are either eating raw or are curious about it would ever even think that a cooked dinner has any negative health effects. If I told one of my coworkers that the food he is eating is killing him, I will get laughed at and ignored. You have all taken a big step and are past this. That is a great achievement. If that is all you get out of this experience, you are already way above the masses. If you want to go further and avoid ever seeing a doctor, never having to worry about getting a cold, flu, fever, food poisoning, stomach aches, etc. then you will need to go a little further. It’s all available to those who want it. Eating raw is only a small part of the natural way man’s life on earth was meant to be lived. I believe that even you, spiritedmama will eventually experience it one day and you will say to yourself “so that’s what he was talking about”. If not, that’s cool also. Peace and health to all!

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Thank you for letting us get to know you a little better, SocaL. The one thing I have always thought is a downfall to forums such as these that have people from all over the country/world is that it is hard to get the “feel” for someone without seeing them, meeting them, etc. So,I think where some of your misunderstandings (for lack of a better term) with others may be just a lack of us knowing you better. Also, as I have mentioned before, sometimes the approach you have used in trying to convey the info. you are so passionate about. I for one do not think you are from another planet, and I know that your intent is for the good of all. I have been thinking about a good analogy for the approach thing, and I think I have one, but you will have to bare with me as I do my best to get “philosophical”. I came to this as I was talking with my 13 year old son this evening. Sometimes despite my best intentions to give advice in the spirit of love and concern, he is after all 13 and knows everything. Now, we all know he doesn’t really know everything, he is just fragile and when he just wants to do his best. So, I could approach him with inflammed words meant to scare and deter him from the behavior that needs to change, but that will only put him on the defensive which means his ears, brain, and heart shut down. I have lost him. However, if I use words of empowerment, and help guide him in the direction I want his behavior to go, then he will come to the right conclusion on his own…he does after all know everything (smile, wink)

    On another note, I think you have touched on something that we do agree on. I too find joy in finding fruit with the perfect amount of sweetness! And I do agree that I will reach MY best level of raw and that I will think of you, and all of the other wonderful people on this site who have contribute to my unique journey.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Wow Spirited mama your experiments are so fascinating. I am pretty sure that Juliano does use raw coffee and not a substitute, I saw him interviewed on youtube here:


    He says it is fresh coffee and isn’t it great that coffee is now good for you, so I think he is talking about the real thing.

  • Socal, I echo Spiritedmama’s sentiment that your post was open and refreshingly personal. Thank you for that. I appreciate your thoughts on food being utilitarian and share in your concern for the overconsumption of food and our resources. I want to offer that as a trained working sociologist I can attest to the society building function of ritual. Lets de-construct Spiritedmama and her husband’s ritual of having coffee. This communicates to each of them they are going to carve out a span of time to be present with one another. The coffee is an entre to a conversation. You sit, you drink, you “be” with one another. Food rituals have this power in our society, other examples include family holiday dinners, romantic pop-the-question dinners, first date teas, etc. We are not at a place in society where there can be the extremely honest invitation, “Can I get to know you better, will you go sit somewhere and talk with me?” Food/drink provides the invitation! Admittedly we can replace possibly harmful food/drink rituals with healthier ones (IE drinking with my homies). We CAN do better, but this is what we have right now and I would much rather see people talking and connecting!

  • This is from Juliano’s online menu:

    MACA ICED COFFEE $7.39 Creamy super food smoothie that will be the best iced blended coffee you’ve ever had!!

    ESPRESSO $1.85 served at 120 degrees.

    CAPUCCINO $5.54 Frothed milk and espresso, kissed with honey.

    He isn’t very specific about what the ‘coffee’ actually is. I feel he doesn’t actually use real coffee but some alternative as he does with most everything else on his menu. Next time I am in Santa Monica (which will be soon, as my dentist is in Pacific Palisades) I will stop by and see if I can get to the bottom of this.

    Here is a link on the evils of caffeine (for those who care) http://www.alivefoods.com/coffee.html

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Thanks so much for volunteering to find out what is really in the coffee SocaL. Let’s figure this out! It was hard for me to believe that he was offering coffee. Now looking at his menu, I would also like to know what kind of milk is he frothing for that capuccino, and is the honey raw?!

  • barosebarose Raw Newbie


    Do you ready/follow the book “Survival into the Twenty First Century”? I’m curious because my SO has the older edition and it was the most powerful health book I ever read – even years before going raw (though I don’t follow a lot of dietary standards; I use it more as a reference book). A lot of what you write reminds me of that book.

  • Okay here is my opinion on the whole thing..I personally believe that everything in life should be done in balance. That being said…Marriage in my opinion is hard enough…if you and your husband actually agree on something..(coffee) than my opinion is that you should indulge on occasion.. happy marriage…happy life… happy kids…etc..

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Thank you for your comments tlrosbach, I agree that happy marriage = happy life and kids for sure! Someday my husband and I will be happily raw, with a happy raw family, but until then, a little coffee now and then to show the love is not going to hurt, I don’t think. I may end up changing my mind in the future, but for now…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it

  • If you are worried about the toxicity versus the rawness there is an alternative at the health food store..it is various things such as chicory roots..of course you still add it to heated water..so, it is not raw..but, does not have the side effects of coffee..it actually tastes quite good..Good luck :)

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Thanks! I have tried that before, and I do like it…I had just forgotten about it. Always nice to get friendly reminders!

  • humanimalhumanimal Raw Newbie

    hey thats awesome! Man I havent been on here for a while. I feel so sheltered lol

  • laurajlauraj Raw Newbie

    I believe coffee/ caffeine is not eco-friendly and is toxic to the human body and to wildlife, particularly birds (pesticides). It causes habitat loss and destruction, as referenced by SocaL. It is addictive in nature and mucous and acid forming. I was programmed from a young age to enjoy coffee and depend on it to kickstart my energy when the toxins from all the cooked and unhealthy foods and beverages would drain all life out of me, to enjoy coffee socially and also alone. And yet I know it is a catalyst to other negative behaviors, just as cooked food is, because it is not natural to our bodies. It also dehydrates the heck out of me, personally. As soon a I drag my butt out of bed to the coffeepot, drink my coffee with the expectation that it will bring me back to life, I feel dehydrated, sluggish and toxic afterwards. But that’s just me. I say to myself and anyone else with a coffee/caffeine addiction…substitute something else in the morning for it, such as fresh pineapple/orange/yam juice. That’ll get us going, refresh and rehydrate, and will not start the day on an unhealthy and very toxic note. I plan to take my own advice!

  • rawmamarawmama Raw Newbie

    Loved the taste of coffee more in the past than now (still do have it but a much smaller cup), but the smelllllll ahhhhhhhh, love the smell, and just the smell makes me want to have a cup! :) I have tried the herbal ones, but nothing has hit home quite as well as the original coffee bean. I do agree about the fresh juices, I can skip any coffee if I have a fresh juice, but do get lazy about that process first thing in the morning. It might be my one habit to die hard…especially hawaiian hazelnut…but cutting back to tiny cups has at least cut the “love” in 1/2 :) If anybody comes up with a great replacement, I’m sure I’ll read about it here and be 100% willing to give it a try! Have fun, whatever your choice, enjoy it :)

  • rawmamarawmama Raw Newbie

    socal, was going to read your blog but can’t read the text because of the background running behind the text. Is there a way to turn off the background? Thanks.

  • rawmama, I suppose it depends on the browser you are using. I use MSIE version 7 and it is fine. What browser do you use?

  • rawmamarawmama Raw Newbie

    ah ha, good point! Firefox…didn’t work, but Safari did, thanks :) What do you drink in the morning when you wake up instead of coffee?

  • I wake up all energetic and ready for a new day, why spoil it with coffee? I usually drink a strawberry or raspberry smoothie for breakfast. Easy and good, 1 pound of fresh ripe organic strawberries and a blender. Wash, blend, drink.

  • I’ve always found waking up to a good-looking smile is a great way to start the day, too. :) hee hee

  • As promised, here are the results of my research! I went to Juliano’s Raw today after visiting the dentist (which is a very long story). I asked about the infamous coffee and the answer that I got was that they use real coffee which is not raw. There you have it. In fact I think he is just selling people what they are addicted to, he has tons of wines, coffee, all the excitotoxins in almost every dish he sells, fats of all kinds for sale (oils, avocados, cacao butter, coconut butter, olive oil, etc.). That’s the way to make money in the USA (or anywhere else) – just sell the addicts their poisons and watch them line up.

  • rawmamarawmama Raw Newbie

    Well that stinks!!! >:P Thanks for letting us know about the truth of Juliano… I must say that I am truly disappointed, I thought that we would have learned something new from him, a healthy alternative, but my instincts were wrong.

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Thanks for the report Socal. It doesn’t make much sense to sell non-raw coffee at a raw restaurant….so disappointing!

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