Cleavers — a Coffee Plant Relative Probably Growing Near You

You probably have this weed growing in your raised bed or around your yard. We even have it growing in our gravel driveway. But did you know that cleavers (aka goose grass our Velcro plant) is related to the coffee tree? You can even make a coffee substitute with their “fruit.”

Let them grow to be around a foot tall and they will put on tiny seeds with burrs on them. Collecting these seeds is time consuming. I would recommend gathering handfuls of them then pulling them through your fist over newspaper to catch the seeds rather than picking each one by hand.

Look for the spooky seeds on this matures and now dead plant

Once gathered, roast them very shortly in an open pan on your cook stove without burning them then run them in your coffee grinder or food processor. It should smell somewhat like coffee. Make your home grown coffee and enjoy. Some have said it is mild, so ideally make it strong by adding extra cleavers grounds if you have enough or use a coffee percolator running it a while or French press and let it sit longer than usual to get all the flavor you can.

A bag of seeds for making cleaver coffee

I have not gathered enough to brew a drink yet, but I plan to late this summer once my new patch goes to seed. Wish me luck. 😁