A Yunlin farmer has found an innovative use for okra. Kuo Chi-chang roasts then grinds seeds of the okra fruit then brews them to make a beverage similar to coffee. Okra can be blanched then dipped in soy sauce for a tasty snack. While this is a typical cooking method, an unusual technique involves using the okra plant as a substitute for coffee beans. The idea came to Taiwan from farmer Kuo Chi-chang. Disappointed at seeing okra classified as inferior if the fruits are too long or too short, last year when a cold spell affected his crops Kuo began searching for new ways of preparing the plant. Online, he saw that okra can serve as a coffee bean substitute. Kuo then experimented to find the best combination of drying, peeling, seed selection and roasting.Kuo Chi-changVegetable FarmerAfter an hour or so of low-temperature roasting, the seeds are grinded then ready to be made into coffee.Compared to regular coffee from this convenience store chain, apart from a lighter color and lack of caffeine, the okra drink is similar.”I can’t taste any flavor difference.”Kuo also adds okra to starch then makes noodles and steamed buns. Dishes such as these increase demand for the crops he grows.