TOKYO – A Japanese man has created a drink that looks and tastes just like coffee and contains no caffeine.
Yokitomo Shimotai, a 74-year-old coffee shop owner in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture, claims that his unique “garlic coffee” is the result of a cooking blunder he made over 30 years ago, when he burned a steak and garlic.
Intrigued by the scorched garlic’s aroma, he mashed it up with a spoon and mixed it with hot water. The resulting drink looked and tasted a lot like coffee.
“My drink is probably the world’s first of its kind,” the garlic coffee inventor told Kyodo News. “It contains no caffeine so it’s good for those who would like to drink coffee at night or pregnant women.”
“The bitterness of burned garlic apparently helps create the coffee-like flavor,” Shimotai adds.
The inventor claims that although his garlic coffee does give off an aroma of roasted garlic, it doesn’t cause bad breath, because the garlic is thoroughly cooked. And if you can get past the smell, the drink apparently does taste a lot like actual coffee.
You can try Yokitomo Shimotai’s garlic coffee at his shop, in the city of Ninohe, Iwate Prefecture, or buy your own dripbags for just 324 yen ($2.8).