Roasted grain beverage

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A roasted grain beverage (also grain coffee) is a hot beverage made from one or more cereal grains roasted and commercially processed into crystal or powder form to be reconstituted later in hot water. The product is often marketed as a caffeine-free alternative to coffee and tea.

Several well-known roasted grain beverages are Nestlé Caro, Postum, and Inka. Other brands can be found at health food stores and at some grocery stores.

Some common ingredients include toasted barley, malted barley, rye, chicory, molasses, and beet root.

Asian grain infusions[edit]

Roasted grain beverages are popular in Polish (brands Inka, Krakus, Anatol, Kujawianka) and East Asian cuisines, Japan, China, and Korea each having their own versions (usually roasted grains simply steeped in hot water). Often, during the communist period in Poland the grain beverages served as substitute of coffee during perpetual shortages.

  • Genmaicha is green tea blended with roasted brown rice.
  • Hyeonmi cha is brewed, roasted brown rice.
  • Mugicha (bori cha in Korean) is an infusion made from roasted barley and usually drunk as a cool summer beverage.
  • Sobacha is an infusion made from roasted buckwheat kernels and drunk as a tea.
  • Oksusu cha is brewed roasted corn infusion; due to its sweetness it is sometimes served alongside or mixed with mugicha to soften the latter's bitterness.
  • Sungnyung is made from rice scorched while boiling.


Acrylamide, a suspected cancer-causing chemical, is found at high levels in dark-colored baked, roasted and fried high-carbohydrate foods, as well as in roasted coffee and barbecued meat. The dark-roasted grains used in roasted grain beverages would also, presumably, have high levels of acrylamide. The Heatox Project (Heat-generated Food Toxicants) is a European Union project that assessed the quantities of acrylamide in various foods. The Project recommended that people toast foods as little as possible. Acrylamide was found in Postum, a roasted grain drink, at a level of 22.3 micrograms per portion. Acrylamide was found in coffee at levels of 1.9 micrograms per portion. Both of these datapoints are FDA-presented data and can be found in an FDA report on Acrylamide in food.

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