Is it technically coffee? No—but it is delicious.

By Maki Yazawa
February 05, 2021
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white coffee cup on wood serving tray
Credit: Oscar Wong / Getty Images

Waking up in the morning usually consists of your typical routine: hitting the snooze button a couple of times, brushing your teeth, and checking social media. But among these daily tasks, the most critical part is easily your warm cup of joe.

That being said, many of us are trying to limit our caffeine intake, and as a result, are in the market for a coffee substitute (or an alternative to our hot chocolate addiction). While giving up coffee is no simple task, there are plenty of other delicious—and jitter-free—options. But if you're a peanut butter lover, we may have found the next best thing for you. Surprisingly enough, aside from a quality PB&J sandwich, peanuts (when brewed) make a great coffee bean replacement.

Thanks to the peanut farmers in Suffolk, Virginia, that made this potentially life-altering discovery, you can now buy ground peanut coffee ready to brew at home—and it's taking the world by storm. So if you are bored of drinking lattes or simply looking for something with less sugar than your typical Starbucks order, peanut coffee offers a naturally caffeine-free beverage that boasts a medley of benefits, like reduced acidity, added protein, and is non-diuretic. Best of all, this coffee-flavored drink is perfect for sipping all day long and won't give you any of the uncomfortable midday shakes or caffeine crash.

What Is Peanut Coffee?

James Harrell, owner and founder of Virginia Gold (the original creators of peanut coffee), explains that their factory makes the product during the peanut oil extraction process. "The extraction leaves behind a fine, powdery substance that closely resembles espresso in its appearance," he says. Then, they blend the fine powder with a coarser particle size to achieve a consistency similar to traditional ground coffee. 

According to the Harrell, special machinery is used to extract the maximum amount of roasted peanut oil to create the concentrated peanut coffee powder that is ready to use at home. Made with 100 percent peanuts, peanut coffee is naturally caffeine-free and acid-free, which makes it ideal for those with health concerns like acid reflux that are affected by traditional coffee. 

Do you taste the peanuts? Believe it or not, not really. Peanut coffee tastes surprisingly similar to traditional coffee—and much more so than coffee made from chicory root or other forms of coffee-free alternatives. It's smooth, and has a rich roasted, nutty, and coffee-like flavor.

Additionally, peanuts are a nitrogen-fixing crop that benefit the soil in which they are grown, which is why they're often planted in rotation with other crops. They also rely almost exclusively on rainwater (depending on where they're grown) instead of coffee plants that rely heavily on irrigation. A study conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations showed that it takes about 140 liters of water to produce a single, standard cup of coffee.

What's the Best Way to Consume Peanut Coffee?

Harrell explains that you should prepare peanut coffee the same way you would make traditional coffee. He says that the peanut coffee powder can be used "in a French press, regular drip coffee maker, or even an espresso machine." P.S. If you're still looking to get some energy and feel the buzz of regular coffee, the company sells a caffeinated version to help you get through the day.

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