Sweet Lupin Coffee Roasting (hold your burrs)

Thanks to the editorial staff of Daily Coffee News for featuring this item on their news site!
Roasted lupin seed, photo by http://www.lupinfood.eu
Food Design
Two young product & food designers, Johanna Lundberg (SWE) en Lydeke Bosch (NL) visited me to roast sweet lupin seeds for 'coffee' preparation. Their thesis project for the HKU University of the Arts in Utrecht, The Netherlands is an exploration of the many possibilities for sweet lupin seed in the food industry.

Not Poisonous
Most lupin flowers that we find in gardens and parks carry poisonous seeds and the few people that have consumed lupin seeds only know them as pickled snacks that have been soaking in salted water for days to remove the bitter taste.

The sweet lupin variety however is quite edible and can be used as a major ingredient to bake a cake, make a salad or prepare soup.

Roast Profile
I had found some basic numbers about roast temperatures for lupin and we used my Fracino Roastilino roaster with the programmable controller connected to the computer running Artisan software, to try out several roast profiles.

Roast profile, recorded by Artisan

The above profile seemed most successful. The tiny beans did not noticeably expand in size but inside the hard husk the bean had darkened much like a coffee bean. Inside it's even two halves just like coffee beans mostly are.
Roasted lupin bean inside husk

Two halves of roasted lupin bean 
Back at the University, Johanna and Lydeke organized a tasting session with fellow students to see which roast and what preparation most students would appreciate. The light roast smelled and tasted like peanut butter but the darkest roast was found sweet and pleasant. The Aeropress was the most convenient method.

Impression of lupin coffee tasting session layout, photo by http://www.lupinfood.eu
Links at the bottom of this blog lead to several articles about lupin farming.

Fair Trade Local
One advantage of lupin coffee is that it is easier to do "fair trade" or even "direct trade" and it is not hard to travel the world to actually visit the farms (an exotic destination for traditional coffee traders), because they are often just an hour's drive away. One can look around on the farm, make selfies with kind hearted farmers in the background, maybe even visit the local school to make a donation and still be back home for dinner!

Bust my Burrs
At my place we also tried to prepare espresso. Johanna and Lydeke had brought a little electric grinder with rotating blades but I wanted to impress my guests and demonstrate how much better a big conical grinder would do the job. I started the motor of my HG One, fed just a few of the beans into the 83mm conicals and when that seemed to go well I poured in a handful. The burrs seemed to manage the hard shells well enough but there were probably too many fines because the espresso machine blocked completely once I started a flow of hot water in the brew group. We had to let that rest.

Right after this fun visit though, the grinder failed to deliver coffee grinds that gave me a normal extraction. I got the impression that grinding the lupin husks had maybe been not such a good idea of mine and I now understand better why some grinder manufacturers explicitly state that their grinder should only be used to grind roasted coffee beans.

I ordered new burrs which were delivered three days later and in the picture below you can see the difference. Before drawing any final conclusion, I would need to see similar photos of burrs that have been grinding coffee beans for two years and are stil doing an excellent job. They might show a very similar wear, or much less of it.

Well seasoned burr or ruined? Close up of inner burr.

Jagged details of cutting egde on inner burr.

New burrs arrived (top and left, outer / inner burr).

Detail of new inner burr cutting edges.
A friend who bought his HG One grinder at the same time as I did, made pictures of his burrs which look better. They are also still sharp along the entire cutting edge despite some minor use damage: https://plus.google.com/photos/103891203427503601922/albums/6131236781421165713

To end with some last visual candy by Johanna and Lydeke, a dish of unroasted lupin beans in their husks:

My friend John points out that in the past, lupins were much sought after and in fact, there is one historic scene saved on video that shows how a villain on horseback holds up a coach on gunpoint and steals all the lupins aboard:



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