SINGAPORE: A Japanese man has invented a caffeine-free version of coffee that is made entirely from garlic.
The invention was a result of a cooking blunder 30 years ago, when Yokitomo Shimotai burned a steak and garlic while waiting tables at a coffee house in Aomori Prefecture, Kyodo News reported.
Mr Shimotai decided to mash the scorched garlic with a spoon and mixed it with hot water. When he drank it, he was surprised at its "coffee-like taste" with bitterness, the report said.
After his retirement, Mr Shimotai began researching the drink further, and after repeated trials and errors, he created a recipe he was satisfied with about five years ago. The method he used to create the unusual brew involved using an electric furnace to roast the garlic, cooling it and mashing up the garlic for dripping.
He then took out a patent on the method in 2015, and opened a workshop in neighbouring Iwate Prefecture.
"My drink is probably the world's first of its kind," said the 74-year-old. "It contains no caffeine so it's good for those who would like to drink coffee at night or pregnant women."
The drink has an aroma of roasted garlic, but will not cause bad breath because it is thoroughly grilled, according to Mr Shimotai.
The drink went on the market in January and is currently only available at two souvenir shops in Aomori Prefecture, or through phone orders. A packet containing one cup of garlic coffee for dripping costs 324 yen (S$3.90), according to the Kyodo report.