Bag of Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans - From Coffee Enthusiast Perspective

By Admin | 3 min read

Updated On: JUL 13 2023

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Whenever you open a bag of coffee beans and feel the aroma inside, besides how you should brew your next cup of coffee, some other questions may bubble up in your mind. Below are some of them and their answers:

Is coffee fruit or a nut?

Coffee, the world's favorite beverage, comes from the fruits of the coffee tree. The coffee plant is a fruit tree, and after it blossoms, a mature tree produces fruits. The coffee tree fruits are called cherries. They are round berry-like fruit, almost 3/4 inch (2 cm) long, and they are green at the beginning, but as they ripen, they turn yellowish and red or dark red when fully mature.

Coffee Cherry
Picking coffee cherry from coffee tree
Coffee cherry
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The insides of the coffee cherry, underneath the red outer skin (cascara), usually consist of two coffee beans that are the seeds of the coffee tree covered in mucilage and pulp.

Skins of the coffee cherry
Raw Coffee Beans
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by Michael Burrows · url: https://www.pexels.com/@michael-burrows

Can you eat coffee cherry?

Yes, you can eat coffee cherries. They are edible both for humans and animals. And if you find yourself visiting a coffee farm, you should not miss out on the opportunity to try and taste the ripened coffee cherry.

Coffee Harvest
Coffee harvest
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Does coffee cherry have caffeine?

Yes, coffee cherry contains caffeine. The caffeine in the coffee cherry protects the seeds against herbivory and attracts pollinators like bees and other insects.

Eating the coffee fruit will give you a little caffeine jolt, but the fruit without the seeds contains far less caffeine than the seeds themselves.

How does coffee cherry taste?

On taste, the skin of the coffee cherry is a bit rough, but the pulp and the mucilage are very pleasant and sweet, and the two seeds inside are just too hard to eat.

Can you eat a coffee bean?

Of course, the raw seeds (beans) are edible too, and you can eat them if you want to, but be careful not to chip a tooth while trying to crack them. If you decide to try some anyway, you should expect a woody grassy and not very pleasant acidic taste. They get that familiar caramelized flavor only when we roast the coffee seeds. Then they become dry and more brittle, and they are easier to chew or grind, for that matter.

Coffee Beans
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Cascara tea

The coffee fruit's outer skins are historically considered a by-product of coffee production and are usually discarded or turned into compost. More recently, the skins are dried and used for making tea. The coffee shop's worldwide, ever more popular Cascara tea is just that tea made of dried coffee fruit skins.

Skins of the Coffee Cherry
Cascara tea
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Unlike coffee, Cascara tea is much lower in caffeine, and it has a lovely floral, sweet honey-like note to it. One cup of Cascara tea will give you the same amount of caffeine as a cup of green tea, which is around 25 mg per cup.

Caffeine per cup
Cascara tea Green teaBlack teaCoffee
Caffeine 25 mg28 mg47 mg96 mg

Source: mayoclinic.org

How many coffee beans can you eat?

Coffee beans, historically, started to be consumed much earlier than people began to make the beverage of coffee. Back then, people mixed coffee beans with animal fat and ate them to get more energy, awareness, and the other benefits of coffee. Today, roasted coffee beans are prepared, covered with chocolate coating, and consumed as a snack.

Coffee beans consist of the same nutrients as a cup of coffee, but everything is more concentrated. So, eating coffee beans should be done in moderation.

One coffee bean usually consists, on average, between 5 to 10 mg of caffeine. The range of caffeine in a bean varies on the type of the beans and the roast. The world's two most popular varieties of coffee are Arabica with 6 mg and Robusta with 12 mg of caffeine per bean.

Considering that 200 mg to 400 mg of caffeine per day is perfectly safe for a healthy adult, eating 40 to 80 coffee beans should be your limit for one day. But, if you take any other foods or drinks containing caffeine like chocolate, tea, coffee, cola, energy drinks, or cakes made with coffee, you should limit eating coffee beans to about 35 per day.