It has been said that hot Coffee is a substitute for bleach in a seed test which can be used to measure seed coat damage which can relate to seed germination. It is sometimes referred to as the clorox Bleach Test. In this test seeds are soaked in a weak solution of bleach and water. Bleach is highly reactive and corrosive to some things. It will react with biological tissue and cause protein denaturation.
When seeds are soaked in bleach, they will quickly deteriorate. Seeds with strong intact seed coats will be protected from the harsh chemical. Seeds with weak seed coats from: disease, environment, or mechanical damage, will allow the chemical to rapidly progress to internal tissue causing swelling and dislocation of the seed coat.
Seeds can be evaluated and categorized into different levels of deterioration. Seeds with intact seed coats have little or damage and are considered high quality. Seeds with some wrinkling may have some deterioration from weathering or disease. Swollen seeds have significant damage and have a good correlation to being non-viable.
So the next time you have a cup of coffee – think about seed quality.