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Home » Rice Coffee Recipe: Is It The Best Coffee Alternative?

Rice Coffee Recipe: Is It The Best Coffee Alternative?

Are you a die-hard coffee lover looking to kick the jitter-inducing caffeine part of your morning brew to the curb? You’re going to need a good coffee alternative. With great options like maca coffees, chicory coffees, matcha teas, turmeric lattes, and more out there, it may be daunting to know where to begin.

We recommend starting with rice coffee. All rice, no coffee. Is it the best coffee alternative? Try this recipe and find out.

What You Need

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • ¼ cup uncooked sushi rice
  • ¼ cup oat milk
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tea infuser



30 minutes

Coffee Yield:

One drink (355 ml)

What Is Rice Coffee?

Brown rice coffee, or kapeng bigas in Filipino, is one of many innovative substitutes for standard coffee. It isn’t as trendy as coffee made from maca root or mushrooms. But with a wonderful flavour and numerous health benefits, perhaps it should be.

Does Rice Coffee Have Caffeine?

No, this traditional Filipino beverage is a caffeine-free and gluten-free way of enjoying a hot drink, making it an excellent choice for anyone with difficulties falling asleep. It has a full-bodied and earthy Japanese roasted brown rice taste, like a medium roast French Press brew.

What Are The Rice Coffee Benefits?

Roasted brown rice coffee helps physical and mental health. This Japanese drink improves immune system function, aids digestion and decreases upset stomach, and has anti-inflammatory effects. It has also been shown to improve sleep quality and curb food cravings to help weight loss efforts (1).

There are also claims that it provides fast and instant energy, cleanses blood, and improves blood circulation to reduce high blood pressure. Some fans say it can boost skin health and stabilize blood sugar levels. But more research is needed on these speculations.

How To Make Rice Coffee

To make rice coffee, all you need is water, rice, milk, and sweetener. This rice coffee recipe also involves a lot of patience to cook the rice a certain way.

step 1

1. Toast The Rice

Measure ¼ cup of uncooked rice. You can use sushi rice, Japanese brown rice, jasmine rice, white rice, or any other kind of rice you have.

Add it to a pan, without using any oil, and cook it on medium-low heat from ten to thirty minutes, depending on your stovetop. Agitate the rice throughout by stirring it with a wooden spoon. This step takes a fair bit of time. Your cooked rice should become dark brown, almost black in colour, but don’t cook it so long as to overcook it.

step 2
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Pro Tip: Wash the rice before using it. We cannot stress the importance of this. Otherwise, your kitchen will be filled with the most unpleasant smell while cooking the rice and the resulting cup of mock coffee won’t taste much better. Totally not speaking from personal experience here… 

2. Steep And Strain The Roasted Rice

Put all of the cooked rice into a teapot with a built-in tea infuser and pour boiling hot water from a kettle or stove top over it. Steep the rice for about 5 minutes or longer for a fuller-bodied brew.

Even though we’re using a teapot, this rice coffee recipe differs from the cooked brown rice tea in Japanese cuisine, genmaicha, which is green tea mixed with popped Japanese roasted brown rice.

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Pro Tip: If you don’t have a teapot or a tea infuser, steep the rice and then double-brew it with a French Press. The resulting brew will be stronger, akin to a rice coffee espresso. You could make a roasted brown rice coffee latte if you added frothed milk. 

3. Sweeten The Deal With Sugar And Milk

Add 1 tbsp of brown sugar to your favourite mug. Pour your steeped roasted rice coffee over it. Stir. Add any milk, like dairy milk, oat milk, or almond milk.

Ta da! Enjoy a sweet rice coffee with all of the flavour and none of the coffee beans. It’s a perfect drink to end a long day.

Pro Tip: You can use any sweetener as an alternative to brown sugar. Try demerara sugar, Stevia, honey, maple syrup. Or you can skip the milk and sugar altogether for a sugar-free black coffee (2). 

step 8

Final Thoughts

What is the use of rice coffee? Japanese roasted brown rice coffee is one of the best coffee substitutes. It is a delicious addition to a healthy diet that aids the body’s natural defence system and ensures good quality sleep. And it’s as simple as a handful of rice, boiling water, a spoonful of sugar, and a splash of milk.


Cereal coffee is a cereal-based substitute coffee consisting of roasted cereals like chicory, rye, barley, or sugar beets. Roasted barley is behind cereal coffee’s unique aroma. Like rice coffee and Yemeni qishr, cereal coffee is a healthy yet tasty alternative to coffee.

Some benefits of black rice include its high levels of protein, antioxidants, iron, and fibre, plus its properties to decrease heart disease, boost eye health, and defend against cancer (3). Adding hot water and turning it into a mock specialty coffee maintains many of these benefits.

Yes, rice coffee for pregnant women is a safe option, as it is a naturally caffeine-free drink. Even decaf coffee retains up to 3% of its caffeine content after processing, so rice coffee makes for a great alternative to actual coffee beans when limiting caffeine intake.

  1. Japan Living Guide. (2021, November 29). 5 Benefits of Japanese Brown Rice Coffee. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from https://www.japanlivingguide.net/dailylife/food/brownrice-coffee/
  2. Cade, N. (2021, July 15). Should You Be Sweet on Demerara Sugar? Retrieved March 14, 2023, from https://greatist.com/eat/demerara-sugar
  3. McGrane, K. (2019, November 5). 11 Surprising Benefits and Uses of Black Rice. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/black-rice-benefits
Dasha Toptygina
I am a writer who delves into all manner of things related to coffee, cats, and characters. I started drinking coffee daily in university and now my entire work, life, and personality all revolve around procuring the perfect brew. I start every morning with yoga, French Press coffee, and some special creative time devoted to working on a magical cat café story... but, more on that later.

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