Introduction: Acorn Coffee - Modern Take

Picture of Acorn Coffee - Modern Take

Acorns were a great staple food for Native Americans in the past, the have great medicinal properties and are packed with protein and fiber, on this Ible I will show you how to make Acorn Coffee, I made it at home in a modern way but it can be perfectly made in the bush, primitively, enjoy and as always leave feedback.

PS: I was saving up Acorns to make flour for cookies but didn't have as many (only a handful) so that's why I decided to make some coffee.

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools

Picture of Ingredients and Tools

For your ingredients and tools it´s really simple, I use modern tools but you can do it as our ancestors did it in the past.


  • Acorns (Who wants Acorn Coffee without these)
  • Water (It´s a beverage right?)


  • Kettle or boiling water mechanism.
  • Hammer, could be substituted by rocks.
  • Coffee grinder, also rocks are a substitute.
  • Filtering system, I used a flannel coffee filter.
  • Frying pan or any method to roast.
  • Sieve.
  • Spoon.

Step 2: Gathering and Making Acorn Meal

Picture of Gathering and Making Acorn Meal

When picking your acorns go for big and healthy ones, go for the brown ones, green ones are no good, any cracked ones or acorns with holes discard them. Crack your acorns and de-meat them, go from a bright yellow to a pale brown, acorns with black spots discard them.

To make your meal just pulse the meat in your grinder until a fine flour forms, sieve and re pulse if necessary.

Step 3: Roasting

Picture of Roasting

I didn't really take enough pictures of this process because it happened so quickly specially with the small amount of acorn meal I had.

To roast use a your pan and use medium to high heat, stirring constantly with a metal spoon to avoid any moisture from wooden implements to transfer, acorns will start turning a dark yellow to brown and when starting to go to a dark brown turn of the heat to continue roasting on the hot pan, stir rapidly to avoid burning, a great smell will come of your creation.

Step 4: Brewing and Final Product

Picture of Brewing and Final Product

To brew, grab some boiling water and your filtering system, you can make coffee bags with filters also, add 1 1/2 spoons of coffee per cup of water for a great taste, add sweetener if needed, mine was just an experiment because of the little acorns I had and tasted great, but hopefully I will find more soon and publish more photos. Thanks for reading up to here.

Enjoy your cup of Acorn Coffee!

PS: If I gather enough I could make some flour for cookies!


jsrubianoch (author)2014-09-26

Those sort of pages where the base of my Instructable, Thank you!

dmadam (author)2014-09-26

Here is a link all about acorns. Leaching, choosing etc along with a little trivia. Any questions this will answer them.

ldmorgan (author)2014-09-25

Great 'ible. A small detail: Boiling the acorns in the shell for 20 minutes helps with the tannin issue, and also makes the acorns easier to open. Then just grind & air-dry the acorn meal in a warm place before roasting. 3 table spoons makes a great cuppa.

mworrall (author)ldmorgan2014-09-26

I doubt that acorns unboiled would kill you,but the taste is pretty horrible.

Benjamin K (author)2014-09-25

Be careful when eating acorns, some species of oak the acorns can be eaten raw while other species need processing to remove the harmful chemicals (tannins). The process for removing the tannins from acorns is to soak or boil in water, this leaches the tannins into the water that is then discarded (sounds a lot like making coffee). I can find no information on roasting and its effectiveness on removing tannins.

For anyone eating any wild edible I would highly suggest you do some research before eating anything.

DeanS1 (author)Benjamin K2014-09-25

Listen to Benjamin. I eat acorns-meal and flour as well as rolled in cinnamon sugar and roasted but virtually all acorns contain more tannins than humans can handle. Find a good book on the subject-there are dozens. Use a search engine. NPR did a great article on this within the last couple of years. Always research. Always.

animal lover (author)2014-09-28

Today I went to a park and there were oak trees (not suure which kind) but there were a bunch of big black acorns so I picked a few and took them home. When I boiled them though, they had gooey black insides so I threw them out. Does anyy one know why that is? My guess is that they've been on the ground for a long time.

dillon51819 (author)animal lover2014-12-12

Probably rotten and/or bugs inside.

agaribaldi (author)2014-09-28

In Houston,Texas I've found a Humongous kind of Acorns? they are the size os Walnuts but,Brown not White Acorn. Are these Species Safe to use as "A Beverage and Flour to make Cookies?
Thanks for the Info?

jsrubianoch (author)agaribaldi2014-09-28

All acorns are edible, just leach them to be safe, if you liked the Ible please vote.

agaribaldi (author)2014-09-28

How about the Squirels, Why they don't Die by Eating Acorns??

Darthorso (author)2014-09-24

Wow, it really looks good! Have to try this

Kweek (author)Darthorso2014-09-25

Says the caveman :)

Me too, I hope I'm not too late to get some good ones.

Darthorso (author)Kweek2014-09-28

Ahahahah xD

jsrubianoch (author)Darthorso2014-09-24

Thanks for the feedback and if you liked this Ible don't forget to vote.

ElmarsM (author)2014-09-26

Actually you're terribly wrong, people have been making coffee out of acorns for hundreds of years!! For example in some parts of Europe coffee beans were a big rarity(northern and eastern Europe) so people used what they had by their hands and made coffee out of acorns, it's very delicious, healthy and rich with vitamins!!

So Please, don't write dumb things if you don't know anything about it!!

webslicer (author)ElmarsM2014-09-26

I do know what I'm talking about an MOST acorns are toxic unless leeched of their harmful tannins. Which basically means soaking in water or boiling and straining through a sieve. Which would effectively make it pretty impossible to make a tea out of. And if you skip the leeching process you're gonna poison yourself. And writing this article up without giving that detailed information is irresponsible. Now STFU and stop giving people half information. It gets people killed.

ElmarsM (author)webslicer2014-09-26

Tell me, have you made it at least once? Have you drank it? With right treatment they are edible and can be made into coffee.... I believe expierience is more valuable than pure information gathered from internet. There's no need to show off how "smart" you are!!

Guns get people killed not coffee made out of 5 acorns!

jsrubianoch (author)webslicer2014-09-26

MOST acorns as you said, I'm alright and I tried it, it was just a test as mentioned so I could add more information to my Ible and also your bad language is not nice.

The_Epic_Juan (author)2014-09-26

It tastes great with milk and sugar. Thanks for the Idea

jsrubianoch (author)2014-09-26

Also if you liked it please vote.

kas227 (author)2014-09-26

What about English oak? I have two mature ones in my garden/paddock and end up with loads of acorns. The squirrels love them and I know pigs love them, but they are poisonous to horses. Where do humans come in that spectrum? :)

jbobway (author)2014-09-26

What, no caffeine? No way Jose... Nice instructable though... ;-)

skarmoury (author)2014-09-26

I'm curious. Could you describe the flavor?

omikeo (author)2014-09-25

any caffeine in those or other effects ?

sdavisrt (author)2014-09-25

have done this with White Oak acorns ( the others have to much tannin and taste awful) I chopped the nuts into small pieces. boiled them drained the water then boiled them again (to remove the excess tannin). then after drying toasted them in a pan while stirring until I got the color that I wanted. then brewed up a cup and enjoyed my "coffee". It had a pleasant nutty flavor and while it doesn't taste like coffee it would be a good alternative if camping and wanting a warm beverage

jsawyer (author)2014-09-25

Thanks for sharing! Question on use of Acorns. I have access to thousands, (CA Oak, Black oak) but I've read that you need to leech the tannins out of the acorns prior to use. Any issues with the coffee?

jsrubianoch (author)jsawyer2014-09-25

It really depends on your acorns some don't need leeching while others do, try them when you grind them and if you have a bitter taste leech them for you liking.

doughnut43 (author)2014-09-25

Interesting, but I read a long time ago that eating acorns can damage the kidneys over time. Do you have any info on such a possibility?

ardrhi (author)doughnut432014-09-25

Probably the tannic acid and/or oxalate content, which has been known to increase production of kidney stones. That's why they tell you not to drink a lot of iced tea if you ever have a kidney stone, since it makes them worse. (I don't know if there's oxalate in acorns, no reference I can easily find has acorns as a tested food product, but they probably do.)

dulciquilt (author)doughnut432014-09-25

most acorns, except possibly the white oak acorns, need to be boiled or at least steeped in hot water and rinsed a couple times to remove the tannin. You can taste a but in between steeping to see if the bitterness is gone. We are heading up to a farm in OK that has a ton of different varieties and I have been olanning on gathering some ti try.

antioch (author)2014-09-25

Nice idea but looking at the health aspect of this procedure and the roasting:
Roasted dark = acrylamide.
Black, starchy nut = lots of acrylamide.

eruger (author)antioch2014-09-25

Acrylamide is so far found only in baked foods. It has yet to be found in boiled foods.

antioch (author)eruger2014-09-25

That's true, so far it has only been found in baked, roasted, popped and fried foods.
(It's no coincidence that it's impossible to boil something charred but if you boil long enough it will inevitably happen even there when the food on the bottom of your pot gets burned.)

Thing is, after coffee has been roasted and is then poured over with boiling water the acrylamide is still present in your steaming cuppa.
Since higher temperatures lead to more formation of acrylamide it is assumed that it's the relatively low temperature (compared to the other methods of heating) and/or the presence of water during the heating that make the difference.

ardrhi (author)antioch2014-09-25

There is about a zero to a -5% chance that I will ever care significantly about acrylamide in my coffee enough to reduce my coffee consumption by any appreciable amount. As a corollary, any pencil-necked bureaucrat who tries to REGULATE my coffee consumption will find pieces of himself in distant counties. Just sayin'.

fasteddy999 (author)2014-09-25

Looks interesting I live in Missouri so I won't have any problem gathering acorns. I don't have an oak tree in my yard but I know where to go to get some.

dulciquilt (author)2014-09-25

from what I have read, the acorns from the white oak are about the only ones that can be eaten right from the shell. The other varieties have too much tannin which is quite bitter. Chop or grind the meat, then steep in boiling water and rinse. Taste to see if any bitterness remains and steep again as needed, then use for coffee, flour, or just eat.

shyrell (author)2014-09-25


kbc2 (author)2014-09-24

around where i live there are a few varieties of oak that produce acorns, some small and some large. Is there a preference of type?

CrystalB01 (author)2014-09-24

What if chicken little got hit with this?!

VentureScout (author)2014-09-24

Good job, looks tasty. Do you grind before or after roasting?

jsrubianoch (author)VentureScout2014-09-24

Before roasting, thanks for the feedback!

VentureScout (author)jsrubianoch2014-09-24

Thanks, I will go out foraging tomorrow!

jsrubianoch (author)VentureScout2014-09-24

Nice! Make sure you use the I Made it! button and put some pics on.

VentureScout (author)jsrubianoch2014-09-24

Thanks, I will go out foraging tomorrow!

dpizetta (author)2014-09-24

I'll try, seems good :)

jsrubianoch (author)dpizetta2014-09-24

Thanks for the feedback and if you liked this Ible don't forget to vote.

kakashibatosi (author)2014-09-24

How interesting. Out of curiosity, do acorns contain any caffeine?

They don't, the have been used in history as a coffee substitute when coffee is scarce. Thanks for the feedback and if you liked this Ible don't forget to vote.

About This Instructable




Bio: Chemical Engineering student with interest in Agroindustrial development and nature. International Baccalaureate alumnus with emphasis in Chemistry, to complement my technical knowledge I'm self-taught ... More »
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