by Neptune Coffee  | 

Is it Healthy to Eat Coffee Beans?

Coffee devotees will jump at the opportunity to eat, drink, or indulge in coffee in any way they can. Coffee ice cream, coffee cookies, coffee spread, coffee candy, even cappuccino flavored potato chips; Nothing is off limits.

With recent studies showing that coffee consumption could help you live longer, you might be wondering if you can skip the brewing process altogether and get your caffeine kick by eating the beans right out of the bag.

Well, we have good news for all of you coffee lovers out there - you can absolutely eat coffee beans. Whether or not you should or would want to, however, might be a different story.

We’re here to take the mystery out of consuming coffee beans so you can decide whether or not you want to add coffee beans to your daily diet.

All About the Coffee Bean

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you can spot a rich, brown coffee bean from a mile away. What you might not know, however, is that the beans you use to make your favorite brew are actually the processed seeds of a fruit, aptly named the coffee cherry.

Are coffee beans a fruit? Well, sort of. However, before you start swapping apple slices for handfuls of coffee beans, you should know that the fruit part is actually stripped away and the seed inside is dried to create a raw green coffee bean.

The green coffee bean is then roasted and processed to produce the light or dark aromatic blend you know and love.

Is it Safe to Eat Coffee Beans?

Eating coffee beans, whether roasted or raw, produces the same effects as drinking coffee, with the exception that the effects are amplified. So, whether or not eating coffee beans is a healthy choice depends on whether or not you consider coffee, in general, to be healthy.

Popular opinion tends to be that coffee in moderation offers a variety of health benefits, like enhanced brain function and reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's, Type 2 Diabetes, and liver diseases.

However, on the flip side of the debate, going overboard on caffeine can also lead to raised blood pressure, insomnia, or damage your liver.

In short, it is safe to consume coffee beans in moderation, you’ll just want to make sure you know how much caffeine you’re actually consuming, so you don’t overdo it.

What is the Caffeine Content?

If you love coffee because it gives you a little extra pep in your step each morning, you might be wondering what kind of caffeine kick you can expect by eating coffee beans raw.

One of the most common coffee bean misconceptions is that a darker roast produces more caffeine. However, the amount of caffeine in a coffee bean largely depends on the size, type, and roasting method used.

Robusta beans, for example, are said to contain twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans and the National Coffee Associationagrees that a light roast actually has a higher concentration of caffeine, despite having a less robust flavor.

Although the amount of caffeine in each type of coffee bean will vary based on their size and how they are roasted, as a general rule, there is approximately 6 mg of caffeine in a roasted coffee bean and the average adult can consume up to 400 mg per day.

Possible Side Effects

Have you ever had one cup too many and found yourself staring at the ceiling fan in the middle of the night? We’ve all been there. For that reason, it’s important to keep in mind that common side-effects of caffeine consumption, like an accelerated heart rate and increased alertness, will be magnified by eating coffee beans raw.

By eating coffee beans raw and eliminating the filtering process during brewing, your body absorbs nearly the full force of both positive and negative side-effects at a much faster rate than if you sipped on your favorite brewed blend.

So, while you love coffee because it makes you feel superhuman, too much of it could result in increased heartburn, sleep disturbances, anxiety, headaches, jitters and even mood swings.

Although you may think you know your cap for caffeine tolerance, its best to play it safe by eating coffee beans in moderation and not mixing them with other caffeinated beverages.  

Best Ways to Eat Coffee Beans

No matter how much you love to indulge in a strong, dark cup of joe, eating a raw coffee bean brings new meaning to true grit. If enjoying your morning caffeine boost is important to you, there are a couple of ways to enjoy coffee beans, without worrying about chipping a tooth on a bean.

Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans

Let’s face it - everything tastes a little better dipped in chocolate and coffee beans are no exception.

Fortunately, the same process employed to coat your favorite nuts, dried fruits, or raisins in chocolate, has been adapted to coffee beans. “Panning,” a classic chocolate candy-coating process, is used to counterbalance to the bitterness found in most raw beans.

So, whether you decide to buy a carefully crafted bag of beans or exercise your DIY coffee making skills and make them yourself, you’ll be able to enjoy a rich, flavorful bite-sized boost of caffeine without the coarse consistency.

Turkish Coffee

We always knew that coffee possessed exceptional powers, but the “fortune-telling
properties found in Turkish coffee seal the deal.

Derived from the Arabica bean, Turkish coffee is a coffee brewing ritual that consists of preparing finely ground, unfiltered coffee in a small copper pot called a cezve. A small amount of water is added to the cezve, and as the coffee begins to heat, a soft foam forms at the top.

Before you pass on the foam, you should know that foam is an important component to traditional Turkish coffee and is often indicative of its authenticity.

Because the beans are ground to a very fine powder, with very little water, Turkish coffee is considered a gritty, robust cup of coffee that is comparable to eating coffee beans, raw. In fact, it’s not uncommon for Turkish coffee to be served with a small glass of water, to wash the unfiltered coffee from your throat.

Conclusion

The moral of the story – it’s perfectly safe to eat coffee beans. However, before you fill your pockets with beans, we recommend that you consider the amount of caffeine you will be consuming, the pros and cons associated with consuming caffeine, and your personal health or medical history.