History of Roasted Soy Flour, Soy Coffee and Soy Chocolate

by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi

A Chapter from the Unpublished Manuscript, History of Soybeans and
Soyfoods, 1100 B.C. to the 1980s

©Copyright 2004 Soyfoods Center, Lafayette, Californi

For updated and greatly expanded free information on this subject,
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These three "full-fat" products, each made from roasted and ground whole soybeans, have a surprisingly long history in both East Asia and the West.


From ancient times until the late 1800s, virtually all the soy flour made in East Asia was roasted whole (full-fat) soy flour, made by dry roasting soybeans then grinding them to a fine tan flour between hand-turned millstones. Often the product was simply called "soybean flour" in various languages. This roasted flour has a nutty flavor and a tan to yellowish-brown color. It is still widely used in East Asian confections.

Etymology . In China as early as the third century BC, roasted soy flour was known as tou hsieh ("bean powder or shavings"??). By the 1700s it was also being called tou fen ("bean flour") and by the 20th century it was called huang tou in standard Chinese (Mandarin) and wong-dow in Cantonese. Both terms mean "yellow bean." It is not known when these terms originated.

In Japanese in olden times, roasted soy flour is said to have been called mame-ko ("bean flour," written with the same characters as tou fen in Chinese). Later (the date is unknown??) it came to be called kinako ("yellow flour"). Roasted soy flour is called bubuk kedele in Indonesian and konggomul in Korean.

In English, most of the early references to roasted soy flour were indirect, such as "roasted soybeans ground into a fine powder" (Piper and Morse 1923). It was also referred to as "roasted bean flour" (Horvath 1927), "kinako" (Smith 1958) and "roasted full-fat soy flour" (Harper and Lorenz 1974; Shurtleff and Aoyagi 1975). The shortened term "roasted soy flour" was first used in 1976 by Shurtleff and Aoyagi in their Book of Miso . On packaging, to emphasize the fact that the flour is not defatted, it may be labeled "Roasted Whole Soy Flour."

Roasted soy flour is called gerostetes sojamehl in German and harina de soya tostada in Spanish. No French name is known??

History of Roasted Soy Flour in China . Roasted soy flour probably originated in China, but its history is quite obscure. In the Chou li ( Rituals of Chou ), written in the third century BC, there is a note in the section "Imperial Palace Frontier Men. Ch'iu Cake Powder" which states: "The head of the department of agriculture of the state of Cheng (near Honan) said that ch'iu is made by boiling soybean with rice. Flour is bean powder ( tou hsieh char?? )." The Daikanwa Jiten ( Chinese-Japanese Historical Dictionary ; Morohashi 1955-60) states that this tou hsieh is probably roasted soy flour or flakes. The next known reference appears in the Ming-i pieh-lu , a materia medica by T'ao Hung-ching (AD 452-536). It says of the soybean: "When cooked in a powder or meal-like form, it tastes good and sweet and is a good remedy for the following diseases: gastritis, fever, tumorous swellings, paralysis, inability to digest grain foods, and abdominal dropsy." The Ho-han san-ts'ai t'u-hui (Trans?? 1711) describes the preparation of a confection called tou-i ( char?? ) resembling Japan's kinako-amé , made from roasted soy flour and mizuamé (a sweet, thick syrup extracted from rice, millet, or barley). The soft soy flour dough was sliced into thin strips, which were called hsu-po-mó . The T'u-shu shih-ch'eng (Trans?? 1728) made brief reference to roasted soy flour as being called both tou fen and tou hsieh .

In 1910 Li Yu-ying wrote that in China soy flour was used in making confections. Then by 1927 his China Bean Products Company in Beijing was using roasted soy flour to make a famous line of Chinese confectionery (sold in most of the big shops in the cities) and a soy coffee (Horvath 1927). In 1931 Morse reported seeing and tasting many confections made from roasted soy flour in Beijing. These included ton su tang (crisp bean candy; twisted oblong cakes of roasted soy flour and sugar), ton su ping (crisp bean cake; small round sweet cakes of soy flour, wheat flour, and sugar, pressed into molds and steamed or baked), and huang ton pin (soy macaroons; made from soy flour, wheat flour, sugar, and egg whites)(Dorsett and Morse 1928-31). Roasted soy flour is also mixed with lard and sugar, then used as a filling or coating for pastries. The earliest known scientific journal article on roasted soy flour in China was published in 1938 by Guy and Yeh. In "Roasted Soybean in Infant Feeding" they noted that since "raw soybeans cannot be ground dry in the mills in use in Peking," it was necessary to roast them first with a little sand in an iron pot for 15 minutes. They could then be ground, sifted, and reground in a hand-turned stone mill. To make a concentrated infant food they added to every 100 gm of the roasted flour, 40 gm sugar, 20 gm bean starch, 1 gm table salt, 3 gm calcium lactate, and 1,000 gm water or cabbage soup, plus in some cases cod liver oil. The resulting infant formula contained 4.15 gm of protein and 70 calories per 100 gm fluid serving. A mixture of this flour with corn or millet could also be made into a steamed bread, which was then made into a porridge called wo t'ou , for infants. This soy-based formula was fed to 49 infants, which showed good growth rates. Little is known about the use of roasted soy flour in China today, except that as a treat it is occasionally mixed with peanut butter and a sweetener and shaped into delicious little balls called ??

History of Roasted Soy Flour in Japan . It is not known when roasted whole (full-fat) soy flour ( kinako ) was introduced to Japan from China, nor are any reference to it in Japanese known. Regular kinako, though the two characters forming the word mean "yellow flour," is actually tan or beige in color. A similar product called uguisu kinako ("nightingale roasted soy flour") is light green, since it is made from dry soybeans having a green seed coat.

Although it is quite possible that roasted soy flour was introduced to Japan over 1,000 years ago by Chinese or Japanese Buddhist monks, the earliest legendary reference to the product in Japan places its origin roughly between 1050 and 1100. A famous general from Kyoto named Hachiman Taro Yoshiie, who is reputed to have been one of the first people in Japan to develop natto (see Chapter 38) is also credited with having developed Japan's first concentrated, high-energy processed food called hyoryogan ("soldiers food pellets") made from a mixture of ground roasted soybeans, buckwheat groats, and hemp seeds, shaped into lightweight little balls to be carried by soldiers on long marches. Hitler developed a similar food prior to World War II, his famous Nazi Food Pills (Ohta 1975). The Japanese Encyclopedia of Food and Drink (Motoyama 1958) states that since olden times roasted soy flour has been mixed with sugar and widely used in Japanese confections such as Ohagi no Mochi , Abekawa Mochi , Kinako Mochi , and Kinako Dango , each consisting of fresh mochi (pounded glutinous rice cakes) dusted with roasted soy flour. Kinako Amé , whose prototype was developed in China and described in Japan in the Wakan Sansai Zukai (1711), probably gradually became popular after that time. The earliest roasted soy flour in Japan was probably made in farmhouses by roasting whole dry soybeans in an unglazed earthenware pan ( horoku ) over an open fire, then grinding the roasted beans into a flour between the same hand-turned millstones used to grind the soaked soybeans for making farmhouse tofu, or to grind buckwheat for buckwheat flour or noodles. During the late 19th or early 20th century it came to be made on a small commercial scale, the soybeans eventually being roasted over an open fire in a rotating screen drum. In 1923 Piper and Morse reported that a soy coffee, made from roasted soy flour, had been introduced in Japan. During his trip to Japan in 1929-31, William Morse made frequent mention of roasted soy flour and took many photographs of confections made with it. In 1933 he noted that "In East Asia there are popular health drinks made from roasted soybeans." He was probably referring to the soy coffee (Dorsett and Morse 1928-31).

The first report in English about roasted soy flour production in Japan was by A.K. Smith in 1958. He noted that the whole (not dehulled) beans were roasted for 30 minutes or longer in a gas-fired rotating drum, cooled on straw mats, ground to a fairly fine flour, then hand packed in plastic bags. The Kinako Manufacturers Association had about 50 members nationwide, including 16 in Tokyo. The largest plant made no more than 5 tons a day. Production was seasonal, with December being the peak month, corresponding to the widespread consumption of mochi during the New Year's season. Smith recommended that the beans be dehulled before roasting. In 1969 Watanabe reported that about 12,000 tonnes (metric tons) of soybeans were used annually to make roasted soy flour and that an average plant used 200 kg of soybeans a day. Some dehulled their beans before roasting and some ground with a hammermill having a fine screen. It is difficult to know the exact size of the industry at present since the government keeps no separate statistics.

Today in Japan roasted soy flour is used primarily to make confections ( okashi ) in either of two ways. Throughout Japan, but especially in the Kyoto area, either plain or sweetened roasted soy flour is dusted on the surface of various types of mochi; the most popular such preparation is Abekawa Mochi . In and around the city of Takayama in Gifu prefecture, various chewy, taffy-like treats or traditional natural-food candies are made with roasted soy flour as the main ingredient; favorites include Kinako Amé or Genkotsu Amé (Soynut Butter Balls), Kankanbo (Soynut Butter Sticks) or Kokusen (Strips), and Gokabo (Soynut Butter Crunchies filled with Rice Krispies).

History Elsewhere in East Asia . In Indonesia roasted soy flour ( bubuk kedele ) is a popular traditional food, which is always homemade; mixed with spices such as garlic and ground chilies, it is served on special occasions with a festive rice dish called Lontong . In Korea roasted soy flour ( konggomul ) is served with mochi or cooked rice.


Roasted soy flour was one of the first soyfoods to be used in Europe. In 1877 it was first mentioned by Haberlandt in Austria that it could be used to make a tasty soy coffee. Then in 1878 Haberlandt reported that soy coffee had long been used in parts of southern Europe, where the soybean was known as the Coffee Bean. He also first mentioned that roasted soy flour could be used to make soy chocolate. In 1877 Horvath introduced a soy coffee, made from roasted soy flour, to south Russia (Horvath 1927). In 1910 Li Yu-ying in Paris and in 1911-12 Li and Grandvoinnet described roasted soy flour in his writings and began to make it commercially, together with soy coffee and soy chocolate. The first patent for roasted soy flour was granted to LeComte in 1911 (British Patent 7,232). He ground defatted soybean meal and then roasted it. He recommended its use in breads, soy coffee and soy chocolate. A patent for a roasted soy flour made from soy sprouts was granted to Bergey in Paris in 1912 (British Patent 5,169). Thereafter, most of the work with roasted soy flour was done specifically with soy coffee, as described later.


Because most soy flour in the United States has been produced as a way of utilizing or disposing of the large quantities of defatted soy meal left over after extraction of soy oil, there has been very ?? awareness of roasted soy flour in the West, both historically and at the present time, even though its nutty flavor is generally considered much better than that of regular soy flour.

The first reference to roasted soy flour in America was in 1892, when Mr. L.D. Brown of Indiana stated that he had been enjoying soy coffee made from it since about 1875 (Plumb 1894). Plumb published a detailed report on soy coffee in 1894, described later. In 1918 Itano mentioned that in Japan, roasted soybeans were ground in a mill to make the flour, which was nice in dressings for aemono (Japanese-style salads). Also in 1918 Roberts and Miller, home economists at the University of Chicago, described how to make roasted soy flour at home by browning defatted soybean meal in a pan, then used it in a number of diabetic recipes. Piper and Morse (1923) discussed the use of roasted soy flour in sweet cookie fillings, as soy coffee, soy chocolate, or as soynut butter. Interestingly, they reported that in China and Japan the dry beans were soaked in water before being roasted, a practice that seems to have been discontinued??. Roasted soy flour was apparently being marketed as such in the US by the mid-1920s, since Horvath was able to report in 1927 that "The American `health flour' is also a roasted (soy)bean flour." As mentioned earlier, William Morse, who studied soyfoods in Japan, Korea, and China from 1929-1931, made frequent mention of roasted soy flour in his travel log (Dorsett and Morse 1928-31). He remarked on the product's "excellent nutty flavor" and took over 100 photographs of soy confections, cakes, candies, crackers, and sweets, many of which contained roasted soy flour. From 1936-45 roasted soy flour was extremely widely used in the many brands of soy coffee that became popular, especially during World War II, when real coffee was rationed. In The Useful Soybean (1945), Lager mentioned roasted soy flour and described how to prepare it on a home scale, dehulling the dry roasted soybeans using a fan, and recommending its use for adding flavor and nutrition to meatloaves and breads. Harper and Lorenz (1974) in their excellent "Production and Evaluation of Salt Bed Roasted Full-Fat Soy Flour" became the first Westerners to study new methods of producing this fine product and concluded that the flour had excellent bread making properties and that the salt bed process (in which whole soybeans were tumble-roasted in hot salt) was superior for use in Third World countries to the typical extrusion process since the technology was simpler and less expensive, and the flour was easier to grind. Jansen, Harper and O'Deen (1978) reported that whole soy flour made by salt bed roasting at 206-234*C for 15-24 seconds had an unexpectedly high nutritional value (PER of 2.11-2.31 vs. 2.50 for casein, and 75-90% of the trypsin inhibitor activity destroyed) given the fact that the cooking was not done with the usual moist heat. Apparently the key is the rapid penetration of the heat and the fact that the soybean hulls help to lock in some moisture. By comparison, a typical whole soy flour made on a low-cost extrusion cooker had a corrected PER of 2.0 with only 52% loss of anti-trypsin activity. More attention should be given to this promising process.

Extensive information on roasted soy flour plus 14 recipes, including one for each of the Japanese products mentioned earlier, was given in The Book of Tofu (Shurtleff and Aoyagi 1975). As of 1981, roasted soy flour was widely available as kinako at Japanese food stores in America. Only one company in America (Chinese-run GL Enterprises in Oakland, California) made the product. They called it Tiger Power Soyafood!


The great potential of roasted soy flour, which can be made with simple home, village, or small-scale commercial technology, requires little energy or water use in preparation, and is tasty, nutritious, and highly versatile, has not yet been realized in most Third World countries. By some quirk of history, however, it is popular in the highlands of Ecuador. A group living in the Sierras roasts homegrown whole soybeans, grinds them in a coffee mill, then mixes in sugar to make Matchaka or Matchika, which is eaten as a dry snack (Ref??). In Nepal, where soybeans have long been grown and eaten roasted but where water, fuel, and money are increasingly scarce, roasted soy flour, beginning in the early 1980s, started to be used in an indigenous infant formula. Research by a Harvard-MIT Technical Assistance Program showed that an infant formula porridge, equal in nutritional content to imported infant formulas, could be made by mixing 2 parts roasted soybeans with 1 part each of roasted corn and roasted wheat, grinding this to a flour, and cooking it with water. By 1982 the program to introduce this as a weaning food had become Nepalese government policy ( East West Journal , March 1982).


If soybeans are roasted then coarsely ground, they can be used to make a beverage that tastes quite similar to coffee. Soy coffee has been one of the most popular ways of using roasted soy flour or grits in the West for more than a century. Caffeine free, highly nourishing, inexpensive, and easy to make (even as part of a food self sufficiency program, from homegrown soybeans), this hearty brew with its roasted, nutlike aroma, will surprise and delight many a staunch coffee lover or addict. After all, coffee is also made from a bean.

Etymology . In the early European literature, this product was always referred to indirectly, as "roasted soybeans can be ground to make a coffee substitute." In Germany, Fuerstenberg (1917) first used the term Sojabohnenkaffe . Today this has been shortened to Soja kaffe . In France the present term cafe de soja was first used by Rouest in 1921. In Spanish the term Soyafee was first used in Mexico by Dominguez in the late 1970s.

In English the term "soy coffee" was first used by Plump as early as 1894. Later writers also called it "soy-bean coffee??" (Buer 1912) and "soybean coffee" (Piper and Morse 1923; Horvath 1927).

History of Soy Coffee in Europe . Although it is not clear whether the idea of using ground roasted soybeans as a coffee substitute originated in Europe or the United States, the earliest references to soy coffee are in Europe. By the 1870s in Europe coffee was known to be detrimental to good health and essentially void of nutrients. Since the 17th century rye had been used as a coffee substitute and by the late 1800s barley, especially in its malted form, was also widely used. The world's earliest known reference to soy coffee was in 1877 when Haberlandt wrote that "Soybeans roasted at 160*C taste delicious and (when ground) surpass all other plants that have heretofore been used as coffee substitutes." In 1878 Haberlandt reported that soy coffee was already being used in southern Europe:

The soybean is already grown here and there in southern Austria, although it is not widely known. Last summer Dr. E. Mach, director of the agricultural school in southern Tirol [since 1919 in Italy, just south of Brenner pass], sent me a sample of a plant which is aid to have been long known there, and it was none other than the soybean. In that area it is known as the Coffee Bean [Kaffeebohne] and the seeds are used in the manufacture of a coffee substitute. Likewise, Mr. Josef Kristan, a headmaster in Istria [a peninsula in northwest Yugoslavia on the Adriatic Sea] told me that he discovered that soybeans are grown in Istria and their seeds are used to make a coffee substitute. A friend assured him that there was no difference between this and real coffee.

It remains a mystery when and how the soybean came to be grown in these areas and when and how the idea was developed to use them to make only one type of soyfood: soy coffee.

At about this same time, around 1877, Horvath (probably the father of Dr. A.A. Horvath (see Chapter 60) was the first to prepare soy coffee for the market in south Russia (Horvath 1927).

During the 1880s the center of interest in soy coffee shifted to France, where the Society for Acclimatization (see Chapter 48) began to experiment with this new soyfood. In 1880 Paillieux wrote:

In Les Plantes Alimentaires, Heuzé gave the soybean the name dolic a café and said that it was cultivated in all parts of Artiege and Haute Garonne, in France; we have not been able to verify this. We have roasted soybeans and found that they have an aroma like roasted coffee. They make an inferior coffee, but for all the world it is a coffee. On 26 August 1880 we presented a sample to the National Horticultural Society.

In 1884 Paillieux and Bois gave soy coffee a much more positive appraisal:

The soybean is without doubt the best of all coffee substitutes. Soy coffee alone is better than the popular coffee-chicory blend. It makes a good café au lait of which the aroma, although a bit weak, is basically that of mocha . . . A friend of mine prefers soy coffee to mocha. If gardeners would leave a little space in their gardens each year for soybeans, they would have the coffee they need for the family breakfast at no extra cost or payment of taxes.

In 1905 Pinolini in Italy stated that black soybeans were used for coffee. In 1907 Bloch in France reported the results of an analysis done by Kornauth (no citation) on the composition of a sweetened soy coffee used in Switzerland; it contained 5.3% moisture, 34.8% sugar, 18.0% oil, and 49.1% water soluble matter. In 1910, in his book written in Chinese on soyfoods, Li Yu-ying in Paris discussed soy coffee. Then in 1912 Li and Grandvoinnet discussed it in French, giving Kornauth's analysis and mentioning that it had long been used in Switzerland and America. Between 1910 and 1911 Li's soyfoods plant in Paris started making a commercial soy coffee. In 1912 the world's first patents on soy coffee were granted. That year N. Bergey in Paris received a British patent on a process for making soy coffee from sprouted soybeans, roasted while still wet, then re-ground and mixed with grape sugar (glucose), molasses, chicory, etc. Also in 1912 and 1913 H. Buer was granted patents in Britain, France, and Germany for a process and apparatus for making soy coffee. That same year, soy coffee was made commercially in Germany and also used to extend regular coffee by 33% (W. 1913). In 1913 Marschner of Prague, Czechoslovakia began to market a soybean "coffee without caffeine" under the trademark Santosa. At about the same time Fischer and Follmann of Dresden, Germany also started to make and market a soy coffee (Horvath 1927). In 1917 Fuerstenberg in Germany, after discussing the work of Haberlandt and Marschner with soy coffee stated that good soy coffee could be made by the Thunschen process requiring washing with hot water before roasting. "The aroma of soy coffee can be improved by impregnation with an extract of largely decaffeinated coffee. It has roughly twice the nutrients of regular coffee and no harmful constituents." In 1921 Rouest in France mentioned briefly the work of Heuze and Kornauth (what did they do??) with soy coffee. The last known mention of soy coffee in Europe was by Spirk (1936) who noted that in Czechoslovakia some of the native soybeans were made into Kaboul, a coffee substitute.

History of Soy Coffee in the United States . It seems quite likely that the first food Americans learned to make from the soybeans was soy coffee. By 1854 at least one variety of soybean (probably the Ito San) had come to be known in the US as the "coffee berry" ( Rural New Yorker , 21 Jan. 1854. No! Can't find it. Who said this??). Although there is no specific reference to soybeans being used to make coffee prior to 1884, it seems likely that if the soybean was being called "coffee berry," it was being used to some degree to make coffee. However it is conceivable that the bean could have been imported from Europe bearing that name and never been used prior to 1884 to make soy coffee. Concerning the early use of soy coffee in America, Piper and Morse wrote in 1923: "It is recorded that during the period of the Civil War the soybean was used rather extensively in the southern states as a coffee substitute. For a considerable while seedsmen sold the Ito San variety under the names Coffee Berry and Coffee Bean." Unfortunately the authors do not cite the source of their information, which could be the first recorded use of soybeans as food in America.

The first specific US reference to the use of roasted soybeans as a coffee substitute appeared in 1892 when Mr. L.D. Brown, a farmer near Lafayette, Indiana, wrote that he had used roasted soybeans "almost exclusive of other coffee, for coffee, for many years--seven or eight, I believe." Also in 1892 a man named Cole from Missouri advertised extensively at $3.50 per pound, cash with order, what he called "Cole's Domestic Coffee Berry." its remarkable merit as a coffee substitute was set forth in a leaflet, which included testimonials. The product was later found to be nothing but soybeans, which typically sold for 15 cents a pound. In 1893 the Rural New Yorker noted that "The Soy bean is used to some extent as a coffee substitute." All of the above early uses were first discussed in 1894 by Plumb of the Purdue Agricultural Experiment Station in a bulletin on the use of roasted soybeans as a coffee substitute. Roasted soybeans, grown on the station grounds in 1892, were analyzed and found to contain 37.8% protein and 21.6% fat versus zero and 13.2% respectively for real coffee. Of the soy coffee, 17.1% became soluble when boiled. The report continued:

As tried in the family of the writer, the drink made from the Soy bean was agreeable, and enjoyed more than some of the so-called coffee served in some hotels and restaurants. I have no hesitation in recommending farmers to make a drink from roasted Soy beans, rather than buy the cheap grades of coffee sold on the market, that in so many cases are adulterated with burnt pastry beans, peas, chicory, etc. . . . A tablespoon of the ground beans makes a cup of coffee. Mr. Brown recommends using one-fourth cup of common coffee and three-fourths cup of Soy to begin with . . . (Soy coffee) is for those who desire a substitute for economy and health considerations. In view of the large amounts of highly adulterated coffee sold on the market...

After 1892 the soybean was sold at various times as "Coffee Berry and "Coffee Plant" (Morse 1931). In 1897 Langworthy repeated earlier information about the use of soy coffee in Switzerland and America.

During the first half of the twentieth century, coffee was America's most popular drink; soy coffee played a very minor role. During World War I, Morse (1915) noted that ground roasted soybeans made "an excellent coffee substitute." Williams and Park (1917) found they made "a good substitute for coffee, equal to many of the cereal preparations on the market." The latter were typically made with roasted malt, barley, or bran, plus molasses. Horvath (1927) gave the best review to date of developments with soy coffee around the world. In 1934 Henry Ford served "Roasted Soybean Coffee" to the press at a gala soyfoods luncheon at the Chicago World's Fair. By 1936 J.H. Kellogg's Battle Creek Food Company was marketing Soy Kee, a "100% soybean roasted coffee substitute,"and Madison Foods, another Seventh-day Adventist group, had introduced Soy-Koff (containing roasted soybeans, bran, and brown sugar) in regular and fine grinds. Also in 1936 a soy coffee brand-named Soyco, and in 1938 Radcliff's 100% Soya Bean Beverage (coffee substitute) were being sold in Los Angeles health food stores. The first American recipe for homemade soy coffee appeared in Jethro Kloss' Back to Eden (1939).

During World War II, coffee rationing created a tremendous demand for coffee substitutes as "victory drinks and coffee stretchers." Butlers Foods introduced Soy-Kawfee in the early 1940s and Loma Linda Foods had introduced Breakfast Cup (a roasted grin and soy coffee substitute) by 1943. The National Restaurant Association Newsletter for 9 September 1943 listed 13 companies that made or handled soy coffee; at least 8 of these were manufacturers (Ref??). By 1944 Soy-B Prep Products in New York was making Nuveco (containing soybeans, chicory, and coffee) and Victory Nuveco (with soybeans and chicory) and Cubbison Products in Los Angeles was making Soyfee. In 1945 Mildred Lager was able to report in The Useful Soybean :

Every health-food store stocks several so-called `coffee substitutes' made from soybeans, either all soy or the beans mixed with roasted grains and some fruits. Some of these preparations are made instantly with hot water, while others are in the various grinds for percolating, drip, or Silex coffee makers.

With the end of the war and of coffee rationing, soy coffee quickly fell in popularity. To try to boost sales, some companies tried adding herbs to make new "health drinks" (Morse and Cartter 1952). Some brands survived and in 1961 producers included Loma Linda (Breakfast Cup), Soy Products Co. in Iowa (Soycup), MacDowell Bros. in Ontario, Canada (Soybean Coffee), Vegetable Products Co. in New York (Bevasoy coffee substitute and Richblend coffee extender), and Madison Foods (Zoy-koff).

By the 1970s, with the growing interest in natural foods and the growing awareness of the health dangers of coffee, there was a new interest in coffee substitutes. Coffee consumption fell from 15 lb per capita coffee beans purchased in 1957 to only 10.8 lb in 1980, a decline of 28% in 13 years. Still coffee sales amounted to $4,800 million a year. Milk passed coffee to become America's most popular beverage. Medical research linked coffee consumption with heart attacks, cancer (of the pancreas, stomach, and bladder), and birth defects. In addition caffeine was well known to cause restlessness and nervousness ("the jitters"), excitement, insomnia, gastro-intestinal complaints (acid stomach), and frequent urination. Medically, the problem was called caffeinism. Moreover, coffee was one of the crops most heavily sprayed with pesticides banned for use in the US. Even decaffeinated coffee was not seen as a perfect solution, since in most brands the caffeine is removed by methylene chloride, a toxin, though little or none remains in the finished product.

In 1978 Rao and co-workers in Louisiana found that a blend of equal parts defatted, roasted soybeans and coffee produced a good-tasting beverage. In 1979, when coffee prices worldwide suddenly skyrocketed, soy coffees reappeared like mushrooms after a rain. In America, Shirbroun's Best Brew, developed by Darrel Shirbroun in Callender, Iowa, was a new favorite. Manufactured by Dadco Foods in Wisconsin under Shirbroun's 1980 patent (No. 4,187,324; Ref??), it is made from soybeans that are largely defatted, then crushed, ground, and roasted. As packaged, it contained 56% protein and 1.1% fat. An 8-ounce cup of the brewed soy coffee contained 5.0 calories but only 0.29 grams of protein. One teaspoon made a cup of coffee and a pound bag sold for about $2. Another US coffee substitute was Badger Blend, made by Northwestern Coffee Mills and containing barley, chicory, and roasted soybeans. Soy coffee was also popular in Canada (MacDowell Bros., Ontario), the Philippines, and parts of Europe. Yet many of the most popular coffee substitutes in the West, based on roasted barley, malt, and roasted chicory root, contained no soy at all.

History of Soy Coffee in East Asia . The idea of soy coffee came to East Asia from the West. Piper and Morse (1923) reported that at that time soy coffee was being marketed in small packets in Japan. In 1927 Horvath wrote that a soy coffee was being made by the Kai Cheng Bean Products Co. in Beijing (run by the French-Chinese soyfoods pioneer Li Yu-ying). It was claimed to be "a good substitute for real coffee, cures constipation, and improves appetite." When William Morse visited Dairen (then in South Manchuria, which was under Japanese control), in 1930 he found an instant coffee substitute called "Health Coffee" made from roasted soybeans, another made from half roasted soybeans and half coffee-chicory blend, and still another imported German soybean coffee. Thereafter we know of no references to soy coffee in East Asia.


Soy chocolate is typically made by mixing roasted soy flour with cocoa butter (the fat obtained from cacao beans) and sugar.

Etymology . In the early European literature, soy chocolate was usually referred to indirectly, such as "ground roasted soybeans can be used to make a chocolate substitute." In French the term chocolat de soja was first used by Li and Grandvoinnet in 1911-12. The product is now called Soja Schokolade in German and Soyalate in Spanish. In English this product was first called "soybean chocolate" by Horvath in 1927. Shurtleff (1982) coined the term "soy chocolate."

History of Soy Chocolate in Europe . The world's earliest known reference to soy chocolate was by Haberlandt, who wrote in 1878: "Mr. Franz Mark in Budapest called my attention to the possible use of the soybean as a chocolate substitute, for which it would undoubtedly serve better than the peanut . . . In Marseilles, peanuts are ground with sugar and used to make an inexpensive but still rather good chocolate." Haberlandt's statement was repeated by Wein (1881), Grimme (1914), and Fuerstenberg (1917). By late 1910 or 1911 Li Yu-ying in Paris was making a soy chocolate using roasted soybeans, cocoa butter, and sugar. In Le Soja (1912) he and Grandvoinnet described it, pointed out that unlike chocolate, it contained no toxic theobromine, and reported that the chemical composition and flavor were close to those of real chocolate. In 1912 F.G. LeComte was granted a British Patent (No. 7,232; March 23) for soy chocolate. A similar British patent was granted to N. Bergey in Paris in 1912 (No. 5,619; March 1). Both patents described a process very similar to that used in Li's plant, except that Bergey's used soy sprouts and listed vanilla as an optional ingredient; both listed defatting as an optional process. In 1927 Horvath gave a good summary of work done worldwide with soy chocolate. In 1929 in an article on "Soya Flour," Food Manufacture magazine in England wrote, "Soya is used to advantage as an ingredient in chocolate, replacing to some extent the relatively expensive cocoa-butter. . . . There can be no doubt that soya-chocolate will take its place amongst the concentrated foods used by explorers and others." The magazine found that an inexpensive chocolate, containing no cocoa butter and extended with 10% soy flour had "an extraordinarily agreeable flavor." In the early 1930s, it was stated that Berczeller's soy flour could be mixed with equal parts of cocoa to make soy cocoa, which could be prepared with either milk or water to make a tasty, nutritious drink. We know of no subsequent references to soy chocolate in Europe.

History of Soy Chocolate in the United States . The earliest known reference to soy chocolate in the US or in English was by Piper and Morse (1923) who wrote: "The manufacture of a milk chocolate of which the roasted soybean ground into a fine powder is being placed on a commercial basis in Canada and the United States." They also noted that Li Yu-ying in Paris had "prepared a chocolate from the soybean." In 1936 Burlison noted that up to 30% soy flour could be used in chocolate bars and up to 60% in cocoa. By 1938 the following products were being sold in Los Angeles health food stores: Soy Chocolates (1-cent squares), Soy Milk "Chocolate" Bars, Choklateen Malted Soya Milk, and Chocolate Soy-Malt (see Chapter 64). It is not clear in what form the soy appeared in each product. Thereafter, we know of no reference to soy chocolate in the US.

We know of no reference to soy chocolate in East Asia or the Third World.


The history of this product, which can be made from either dry roasted soy flour or oil roasted soynuts, is given in Chapter 25.


We believe that roasted soy flour has one of the greatest potentials in the West of all traditional soyfoods. It can be produced at low cost, stores very well, has an excellent flavor and nutritional value, and could become the key ingredient in an entire line of natural-food treats and confections, of which we find those related to the Japanese Kinako Amé to be the most promising. With the increasing interest in natural and low-cost foods, it might also be revived for use in soy chocolate, soy coffee, and soynut butter. The work of Harper and Lorenz shows that it also has great potential in Third World countries.