Why it Works: Coffee Perks
When harvested, coffee beans (actually seeds taken from the coffee fruit called a coffee cherry) have very little flavor. Their seductive aroma and taste come after the beans have been fermented and roasted. Once brewed, coffee is useful in many aspects of cooking. It makes a great marinade and braising liquid because its natural acids tenderize meat (try adding a cup to your next pot roast before cooking). Coffee-tasting experts claim coffee contains hints of cinnamon, chocolate, wine, fruit and even caramel flavors. For this reason, coffee enhances and balances the flavor of a number of savory dishes, including this mole sauce. Try replacing some of the water with coffee the next time you make beef gravy, stew or soup.