San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Coffee ‘wine’ to be produced in Costa Rica


A researcher from the Costa Rica Institute of Technology (TEC) is working on a project to produce fermented wine from coffee beans.
Over the past five years, Patricia Arguedas, a researcher at TEC, has worked to brew a fermented, wine-like beverage from the red fruit of the coffee plant. On Monday, Arguedas, who has also found ways to make candies and energy bars from the fruit, is being assisted in her efforts to create the beverage by a grant of ¢ 86 million ($160,000) from the National Center for Biotechnological Innovation (Cenibiot). The donation by Cenibiot, which also granted funds to 24 other TEC researchers for their work, will help Arguedas complete her work on the beverage, which she said was a project that was “just scraping by.”
“People didn’t understand that it was a fermented drink, like a wine,” she said. “I couldn’t say that it was a wine because it was made from grapes. So, I didn’t call it a wine and that confused many people.”    
Arguedas, who says the creation process is “rather complicated,” will now have research materials and her salary paid for by Cenibiot, which will give her an additional 18 months to complete the project. The fermented wine is said to have more antioxidants than wine from grapes as well as other organic compounds from the coffee plant.
In all, Cenibiot has granted the equivalent of $18.4 million to 25 projects at TEC.  

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