Rice Coffee and Corn Coffee – When Coffee isn’t Coffee

rice coffee There’s one thing about coffee that doesn’t sit well with people who don’t make a lot of money. It’s expensive. It’s always going to be expensive. My wife, Josie, once told me about how she had rice coffee (kapeng bigas) in the Philippines when she was young because her family was too poor to buy real coffee.

So I knew about rice coffee, but I didn’t know about corn coffee.

It’s Not Coffee

I don’t know why people insist on calling it rice coffee or corn coffee. Unlike teas that are called teas even when they’re not made from a tea plant, rice and corn coffee isn’t even brewed like coffee.

Perhaps it’s due to the way it looks as opposed to how it’s made. Both rice coffee and corn coffees are as dark as black coffee after the ingredients are boiled. Josie swears the rice coffee tastes like regular coffee. I don’t think so, but I can’t argue the point since I’ve never tasted it.

Making Rice Coffee

Josie said all they did to make rice coffee was to take raw, white rice and roast it in a skillet until it was almost burnt. Then they would add it to water and boil it. After they poured the liquid into cups, they would discard the rice sediment at the bottom of the pot.

I read somewhere else that the rice was to be ground (with a mortar and pestle) before boiling, but Josie said it wasn’t necessary.

Making Corn Coffee

I haven’t read a description of how corn coffee is made, but it’s supposed to taste like coffee too. From what I’ve read, though, Native Americans in the United States and Canada were drinking corn coffee more than a century ago.

I’m not even going to consider it. It probably tastes worse than Postum does.

No Coffee Means No Coffee

Josie said she’d make rice coffee when she gets back to the Philippines, just so that I can taste it for myself. I’m sorry, but coffee is coffee and there isn’t a substitute for me. If I can’t get the real stuff then I don’t want any kind of “make-believe” coffee. I’d rather do without coffee than to try to fool my taste buds and my stomach into believing that something else could be just as good as real coffee.

I’m not faulting those who like rice coffee or corn coffee. If you like it, you can drink it. Just don’t ask me to do the same.

Photo Attribution: Rice Coffee aka Kapeng Bigas

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