Roasted grain beverage

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, or in other cases where those beverages are scarce or expensive.[1]

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.

Use worldwide


Roasted grain beverages are popular in East Asian cuisines—Korea,[2] Japan, and China each having one or more versions (usually roasted grains simply steeped in hot water).

Eastern Europe

Some Polish brands are Inka, Krakus, Anatol and Kujawianka.

Often, during the communist period in Russia and Eastern Europe hot grain beverages served as a substitute for coffee during perpetual shortages, caused by Western trade embargoes.


Acrylamide 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.[3] The substance has raised health concerns but it is not clear, as of 2013, whether acrylamide consumption affects people's risk of getting cancer.[4]

See also


  1. Yvona Fast, "Kicking the Coffee Habit: Going Caffeine-Free with Grain-Based Beverages", E–The Environmental Magazine, May 1, 2010   via HighBeam Research (subscription required) .
  2. Alex Jung, "20 delicious Korean drinks",, October 13, 2011.
  3. Jiang Zhuqing, "Cancer chemical in French fries and coffee?", China Daily, April 15, 2005   via HighBeam Research (subscription required) .
  4. "Acrylamide". American Cancer Society. 1 October 2013. Retrieved September 2014. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
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