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Eating Coffee Beans: Good for you and sound science, or quackery?

Coffee is just such a popular drink and the enjoyment found from it is something else. It’s no surprise then that people have tried to get the caffeine jolt of coffee without watering it down by just eating coffee beans!

is eating coffee beans a good idea?

Eating Coffee Beans: what’s the deal?

Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee cherry that grows on fruit. When the fruit is processed, the fruit part is stripped away and the seed inside is dried either naturally or artificially. This leaves behind raw green coffee beans which still have to undergo further processing by being roasted on a scale that ranges from light to dark.

It is this process that eventually gives us the coffee beans that we all know and love and will continue to love fir ages to come. Once we have the roasted beans in our homes and restaurants, it is from there that we normally grind them and brew the resulting grounds to make this drink that is a favorite of many.

So can you eat coffee beans or not?

We are all used to seeing coffee brewed in our homes and this essentially is the coffee beans that are being diluted with water or milk or any other additive that one may want to include as part of their drink.

When we take coffee that has been brewed the effect of the water or the milk is to dilute the effects and taste of the coffee and thus we get only a part of the content of what we would have gotten otherwise.

In short, yes, you can eat roasted coffee beans but this needs to be done in moderation. When you eat coffee beans, you’re taking in all the content of the coffee beans without any dilution at all.

But is it healthy to eat coffee beans?

Although many opinions exist about whether it is healthy to eat coffee beans and though critics may want to write off the benefits of this habit, the dominant opinion and thought line is that eating coffee beans is a healthy practice and there’s no problem with it at all.

They key as always is moderation!

Health benefits of eating coffee beans

One of the major ways in which eating coffee beans is known to be beneficial to the human body is because it is rich in antioxidant content. Coffee beans have a high content of a group of antioxidants called dietary phenolic compounds which are known and have been proven to guard the human cardiovascular system from diseases and inflammations.

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Although these antioxidants can be found in several plant-based food and drinks that can be easily accessed in grocery shops around us, coffee beans are actually the best source and which can be relied upon as an easy mechanism to getting this antioxidants since you can just grab a few coffee beans and eat them a few times every day.

The amount of antioxidants that one gets just increases with increase in the number of coffee beans that you eat. Therefore the next time you buy coffee, ask for whole beans, yet so that aside from just brewing, you can eat a few beans when you feel like it.

Side effects of coffee bean consumption

Many a times health effects whether positive or negative especially when in referring to coffee, tend to be amplified and for this reason it is important to get the right information that will enable you know what is positive or negative.

The side effects encountered when one drinks coffee are pretty much the same that are experienced when one eats coffee beans.

If for example, if drinking coffee causes you to have heartburns due to excess acid that comes from caffeine, the situation is likely to be worsened by the eating of coffee beans since like we have said above there, when it comes to coffee beans we are taking everything without any dilution.

The quantity of coffee beans you eat needs to be checked against if one is to avoid this.

Eating too many coffee beans can also have a laxative effect and in extreme cases it can lead to high cholesterol levels.

For those that may be pregnant, already breastfeeding, or have any medical condition that necessitates that they exclude or use in limited amounts caffeinated or acidic foods and drinks, eating coffee beans is not a good idea for you.

Before making any major dietary changes, you should always consult your doctor.

Can you get too much caffeine from eating coffee beans?

When you eat coffee beans, one of the prime concerns you may have is the additional amount of caffeine that you are ingesting since it’s true to say that drinking brewed coffee means you are taking in less caffeine than if you were straight-up eating coffee beans.

Caffeine has been shown to have a number of benefits such as protection from some types of cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and enhancing memory capacity.

This should however not blind us to the fact that we all have different caffeine tolerance capacities and we should also bear in mind that we have the recommended safe level of caffeine for adults’ which is in the range of 400mg per day, which is about four cups of coffee.

In comparison, one coffee bean contains about 6mg of caffeine. So you need to keep track of how many coffee beans you are eating per day!

If you cross the safe levels of caffeine this can lead to insomnia, liver damage, and at worst one can become addicted to caffeine just as one can be addicted to alcohol.

Best coffee beans to eat?

The best coffee beans to eat are the best coffee beans to brew! Check out our suggestions for favorite coffees to learn more!

What about eating coffee grounds?

If you can eat beans, what about coffee grounds? The answer and conditions really are the same as eating coffee beans, except it will be a bit harder to swallow and eat the powder, since you’ll get a much bigger burst of intense flavor thanks to the increased surface area of the coffee now that it is ground.

With coffee beans, you’ll only taste as much as you chew, but powder is pre-chewed, so to speak, so the flavor will be much more intense.

How to enjoy eating coffee beans

You may find it quite unpleasant to just gobble plain coffee beans, so there are some neat coffee bean recipes you can try. Of course, you may enjoy just eating them directly, too, so whatever floats your boat!

Chocolate covered coffee beans

One of the best ways to eat coffee is covered in chocolate! It’s super easy to make, too. Grab your favorite chocolate(use dark chocolate for a deep, rich taste) and melt it in the microwave in intervals of 10 seconds. Don’t blast it for a minute as you’ll end up burning it.

Once the chocolate has slightly cooled but is still liquid, dip the beans in it and place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place the tray in the fridge for a couple of hours and once the chocolate has solidified, enjoy!

You can get store-bought chocolate covered coffee beans, too, but the beans will probably be stale. For best results, use freshly roasted coffee beans as always!

Conclusion

As you saw, eating coffee beans is a very enjoyable and pleasurable activity. Coffee is meant to be enjoyed in all forms, and we don’t discriminate against any way you like to enjoy your java. So whether you’re in the mood for a brew or popping a few beans in your mouth, we’re here to celebrate coffee with you.

Just watch how many you eat, that’s all!

Frequently asked questions

How many coffee beans can you eat?

We noted above that one coffee bean contains about 6 mg of caffeine. Assuming that you don’t have any other caffeine during the day and you want to hit your daily limit of 400 mg of caffeine, that works out to 66 coffee beans. 66 coffee beans weigh about 8 grams in total.
This demonstrates the stark difference in eating vs drinking coffee! 8 grams is less than the 12 grams you would use for a typical brew!

What about eating raw coffee beans?

Raw or green coffee beans are not nearly as nice-tasting as roasted coffee beans. They’re also much harder to chew. With that said, you can definitely try eating them, but you may not enjoy it as much.

Can my pet eat coffee beans?

Caffeine is very toxic to pets and you should keep your animal friends away from coffee as much as possible. If your pet likes to grab random things, tear them open, and chew them up, keep your bag of coffee beans high up on a shelf where they can’t reach. Just smelling or licking the beans is ok, but don’t let them eat any.

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About Shabbir

Shabbir is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee In My Veins. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.

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