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FOOD

FigBrew, for coffee lovers who need a coffee alternative

The grinds come from roasted organic figs and look similar to coffee. Brew it the same way — in a drip, pour-over, French press, Chemex, or whatever equipment you choose.

The grinds come from roasted organic figs and look similar to coffee.Handout

If you wish to ease into the morning without a caffeine jolt, then a coffee alternative from FigBrew is an excellent option. The grinds come from roasted organic figs and look similar to coffee. Brew it the same way — in a drip, pour-over, French press, Chemex, or whatever equipment you choose (except for an espresso machine). Among the varieties offered, one called Figgee is entirely roasted figs and yields a smooth and bold cup — the flavors between a coffee and strong tea. Others blend fig grinds with matcha, beetroot, or chai. For those slowly weaning off caffeine, the company offers the half-caf Mellow Mix, roasted fig and Central American coffee — the figs mellow the coffee’s flavor. Andy Whitehead, a research scientist from Huntsville, Ala., launched the company last year after tinkering with coffee substitutes for himself. “I’ve had a lifelong love affair with coffee, but coffee doesn’t love me back,” he says. “I’ve tried most of the coffee alternatives, but, as a coffee lover, instants and herbals just don’t have the appeal.” In his research, Whitehead learned that roasted figs were used for beverages more than a century ago. Years later, the fig grinds were added to coffee in England during the Second World War to stretch the rations. “Roasted fig is almost exactly an anti-coffee in that it counteracts the physiological limitations of coffee but is curiously close to the actual taste,” says Whitehead. Rich with vitamins and antioxidants, a steaming cup is a healthy drink as well. Available in 6.5 ounce tins, $17.99 and $19,99; Mellow Mix is $15.99; single use pods, 12 for $12. To order go to, figbrew.com.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

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Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at anntrieger@gmail.com.