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An Introduction to Eating Coffee Beans

Dave Carter

September 17, 2020

Although sipping a cup of coffee is blissful, it can also be a tasty snack to eat! Drinking coffee has been proven to be linked to several health benefits, like reduced risk of liver disease and type 2 diabetes. You may wonder if you can get the same nutrition in coffee beans. Eating coffee beans is becoming more popular because of its massive benefits, and it provides people a quick way to get a much-needed caffeine boost.

Coffee beans are usually dried, roasted, and brewed to make a fresh cup of coffee. But what if you cover them in chocolate or straight up munch on them instead of brewing them? You may get a similar tasty treat. But is it safe to eat?

To help you out, here's a guide to everything you need to know about eating coffee beans, from its health benefits to caffeine content.

Enjoying Eating Coffee Beans​

After learning how to use a french press for coffee, you may want to explore more coffee possibilities. Another great way to enjoy coffee more is to eat coffee beans. Coffee beans offer the same nutrients as brewed coffee but in a more concentrated form, giving people a faster caffeine boost. From chocolate-covered roasted coffee beans to plain coffee beans, there are now plenty of variations of this popular treat for everyone to enjoy!

But you may wonder, what exactly are these coffee beans? These delicious caffeinated nuggets come from the coffee plant (Coffea). They grow in coffee cherries, harvested, processed in various ways, stored as a green raw coffee bean, roasted, packaged, and sent to coffee shops, supermarkets, and homes.

You can choose to eat roasted or raw green coffee beans. Besides being delicious energizing treats, consuming a coffee bean provides a handful of benefits, including:

High Fiber Content ​

A coffee bean contains high amounts of fiber, with thirty whole beans providing individuals with 3 grams of 10% of the daily recommended intake. For comparison, brewed coffee contains 0 grams of fiber. Fiber can benefit your body in several ways, including preventing constipation, improving digestion, and promoting fullness. Munch on a bean or two if you're looking to get your daily caffeine fix minus the calories.

Rich in Antioxidants ​

One of the most significant benefits of coffee is the high concentration of antioxidants found in forms of chlorogenic acids. You get even more antioxidants when you eat coffee beans by themselves. You get a more concentrated form of chlorogenic acid when you munch on whole coffee beans, which has been scientifically proven to fight off heart-related diseases and significantly reduce inflammation.

When you indulge in your morning cup of coffee or munch on a bean or two, you may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and old age-related diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease levels of antioxidants.

Higher Caffeine Content ​

If you're looking for a quick but effective caffeine fix, eating coffee beans is a great way to achieve that. When compared to drinking coffee, eating whole beans provides you with more caffeine, and when you chew it, the mucous membranes in your mouth absorbs it better. Research has proved that eating coffee beans can improve memory and mental functioning, battling against old age-related diseases because of its high caffeine content. It can also decrease fatigue and prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

Improves Memory​

According to a research study conducted at John Hopkins University in Maryland, USA, students that were given 200 milligrams of caffeine after each study period helped them study better. As it turned out, the caffeine content helped them strengthen their memories until about a day after drinking the caffeinated drink.

Reduced Muscle Pains After Exercising​

According to a study in 2017, scientists proved that coffee could reduce muscle pain after an intense exercise regime for over 50%. For instance, aspirin, the popular everyday painkiller, only alleviated pain for only 25%. The next time you start your workout, don't forget to bring a handful of coffee beans to help you out.

When you eat coffee beans, you achieve delicious enjoyment, several coffee beans nutrition benefits. However, although there are many nutrients in coffee beans, it's essential to eat them in moderation. These whole beans may cause adverse side effects to specific individuals because of their high caffeine content.

These side effects include heartburn, high blood pressure, laxative effect, and difficulty sleeping because of its high caffeine content. It's best to enjoy coffee beans in moderation to avoid having too much caffeine and the risk of attaining the conditions mentioned.

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Edible coffee beans​

Coffee is a versatile beverage or snack that you can enjoy in several ways, and with it being so flexible, you may wonder, can you make coffee without a coffee maker? Should I get a Cuisinart coffee maker for my home? Is coffee beans edible? The answer to all of these is a resounding yes!

With coffee being so versatile, you can eat its beans in its rawest form, roasted, or covered in chocolate. Eating unroasted coffee beans is an unpopular choice, but it can also be an option, though not many people will enjoy its taste. Most individuals describe green coffee beans to taste grassy, woody, or highly acidic, and it doesn't contain the sweet caramelized flavors that emerge during the roasting process.

On the other hand, roasted coffee beans have a more pleasant and delicious flavor, and are usually softer than its raw variation. The most popular edible bean variation is the chocolate-covered coffee beans. It adds more flavor and deliciousness, making it a perfect energizing snack for avid coffee lovers with a sweet tooth.

Can you eat coffee beans?​

A common question regarding these beans is if you can eat coffee beans raw. The short answer to this is yes, you can eat unroasted, roasted to chocolate-covered beans. Although eating beans' views vary, many people are still debating whether it's good or bad for us. Currently, it seems that most agree that its numerous benefits outweigh the negatives.

One of the main reasons eating these beans is becoming a popular trend is because, like coffee, it's rich in antioxidants, which can protect individuals against heart-related diseases, inflammation, memory, and old age-related conditions. However, despite it being safe to eat and a great way to get your caffeine fix or much-needed energy boost, it's best to consume it in moderation to avoid adverse side effects.

Does eating coffee beans give you caffeine?​

Yes, eating coffee beans does give you caffeine. Individual coffee beans contain approximately around 5 to 10 milligrams of caffeine. And your body absorbs caffeine faster when you consume whole coffee beans than drinking brewed coffee. One study showed that drinking two servings of coffee with each cup having around 200 milligrams of caffeine took between 30 and 60 minutes for the caffeine to kick in. Meanwhile, eating 17 beans gave the same result but in less than or equal to 30 minutes.

That's why if you're looking for a quick caffeine fix, eating coffee beans is a great choice. However, for those looking to limit their caffeine intake, such as pregnant women or individuals with high blood pressure, drinking caffeinated brews is a better and safer option.

How many coffee beans can you eat?​

The number of beans you can eat will largely depend on your caffeine tolerance. Most people can handle up to 200 milligrams of caffeine in a single dose, with over 400 milligrams per day being the highest. The average caffeine content is roughly equal to consuming five espresso shots daily or indulging in a double-shot espresso in one sitting.

The amount of caffeine that coffee beans have depends on their size and duration of roasting. Robusta beans contain twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans, making it more robust. On average, the popular chocolate-covered coffee beans contain around 12 milligrams of caffeine each.

These numbers mean that you can eat up to 33 pieces of chocolate-covered beans per day when you solely base it on the daily caffeine content, given you avoid consumption of other sources of caffeine, such as brewed coffee or espresso. However, if you are following the maximum caffeine limit of 400 mg, you can eat up to 40 pieces.

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Can eating coffee beans kill you?​

After indulging in the best types of coffee, with the ever-increasing popularity of eating coffee beans, it's time to add the best coffee beans in your coffee bucket list. However, you may be wondering if overeating these tasty little caffeinated nuggets can kill you. Fortunately, human bodies are resistant to caffeine's adverse effects, so you won't die when eating a caffeinated bean.

But it's best to consume these beans moderately because overeating can cause the following:


For individuals that are sensitive to acid, drinking brewed coffee alone can lead to painful acid reflux or heartburn. And it's no secret that eating coffee beans can make it even worse because it provides us with more concentrated forms of caffeine, increasing the production of acid in our guts.


Some evidence suggests that eating these caffeinated nuggets rather than drinking brewed coffee can lead to an increase in LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein), commonly known as bad cholesterol. The increased production is due to the presence of cafestol and kahweol in whole coffee beans, which are 10 to 50 times greater than regular brewed coffee. Although the link between the caffeinated treats and cholesterol production is not 100% proven, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Laxative Effect​

Coffee is known to produce laxative effects on many people and helps to prevent constipation and bloating. However, when having too much of everything, a problem may arise. Be cautious when indulging in these caffeinated nuggets to avoid any uncomfortable situations.

Sleep Disorder​

Because of its high caffeine content, indulging in these beans can lead to sleep disturbance even after several hours after ingesting the treats. These disorders can include problems in sleeping or falling asleep. The severity of the conditions will depend on how much you consume and how often you eat them.

Increased Risks for Pregnant Women​

If you're pregnant and are sensitive to caffeine or have problems with anxiety and other mental illnesses, it's best to limit your intake of these caffeinated nuggets as it can make it worse. Coffee is known to increase anxiety levels, and it can lead you to unpleasant situations.

Eating Coffee Grounds with Food​

Like with whole beans, eating coffee grounds is becoming a popular trend amongst coffee lovers worldwide. So besides asking, what is the ratio of coffee to water? It's time to explore the different coffee possibilities with coffee grounds and unusual but delicious food combinations.

Below are some of the different food combinations where you can incorporate your favorite coffee grounds.

  • A popular option of eating coffee grounds is to add them to baked goods, including cafe mocha cookies, sugar cookies, mocha muffins, and chocolate brownies.
  • You can also add them to nutrient-rich protein shakes for a caffeinated boost.
  • An unusual but delicious combination incorporates the grounds to chicken, turkey, steak, or pork chops, but you'll need to add other spices.
  • A simple way to mix your favorite coffee grounds to food is sprinkling them on top of your favorite desserts such as pudding, oatmeal, granola, or yogurt. You can also sprinkle it on plain white rice for an extra kick.
  • A combination you can try is to sprinkle grounds on sweet potato fries for that extra kick.
  • Incorporating ground coffee to homemade ice cream is also an excellent food combination.

Coffee Bean Caffeine Content​

A robusta coffee bean boasts more caffeine content than premium an arabica bean. A single robusta bean contains 2.9 milligrams of caffeine, which is around 2.2 to 2.7 grams of caffeine per 100 grams of serving raw beans or brewed coffee. In contrast, a single arabica coffee bean provides 1.9 milligrams of caffeine, which is around 1.2 to 1.5 grams of caffeine per 100 grams of serving.

If you're looking to munch on a bean that can give you a higher energy boost, opt for the robusta variation. And if you want to limit your caffeine intake, choose the arabica variant.

We hope this guide helped you learn the benefits and downsides of eating coffee beans. Remember, if you're looking for a quick fix of energy to start your day right, munch on a bean or two for the best results. Or if you're just looking for an energizing snack, bring a handful of coffee beans next time you go to the office or go out for a jog. Happy snacking!


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