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Most will agree that a cup of freshly brewed coffee is undeniably delicious. There is nothing quite like the scent sensation of opening up a sealed bag of coffee beans. Have you ever opened a fresh bag of coffee beans and thought to yourself: can I eat these beans?
If you have, you’re not alone. With coffee-flavored everything, chocolate bars sold with whole coffee beans on top and the fact that drinking coffee has so many benefits, nobody would blame you for wondering such a question.
The topic of today’s article will be addressing just that. Can you eat coffee beans? And if so, what are the effects of doing so?
People have been harvesting, processing, and roasting coffee beans since as early as the 15th century. Given the curious nature of our ancestors, it only makes sense that they would have tried nibbling on the beans at one point or another.
As it turns out—they were on to something in doing so. Coffee beans can in fact be eaten. But how? And is it safe for us to do so? Let’s find out.
So now that you know that you can eat coffee beans, how will you try them out for yourself? Many coffee lovers are thrilled when they discover that their favorite beans can be eaten but have no idea how to go about it. There are five main ways to eat coffee beans and we’ll be taking a close look at each one.
The purists amongst us will be happy to hear that green coffee beans can be consumed. Green coffee beans haven’t undergone any roasting at all and so they retain most of their naturally occurring antioxidants.
But in all honesty, we don’t recommend eating coffee beans this way. While they are perfectly safe to eat and won’t cause you any harm, after just one bite you probably won’t want to take another.
In terms of flavor, green coffee beans are very much an acquired taste. Green coffee beans are known for their earthy, woody and grassy flavor profile & their incredibly acidic taste. In addition to the admittedly unpleasant taste and flavor profile it is very tough to sink your teeth into a green coffee bean thanks to its hard texture & dense structure.
Eating roasted coffee beans is a far more pleasurable experience than eating green coffee beans. Thanks to the roasting process the beans are much easier to eat and make for a nice, crunchy snack.
When coffee beans are roasted, the acidity level decreases so you can expect a smoother taste. Just like with roasted coffee beans for brewing purposes, the level of roast a coffee bean undergoes will impact its overall taste.
Even though the texture is smoother, and the taste is more palatable than that of green coffee beans, it is still an incredibly intense taste that might not agree with everyone’s taste buds.
It’s no secret that chocolate and coffee are the perfect pairing. That’s why you probably won’t be surprised to discover that the most popular way of eating coffee beans is when they’re covered in chocolate.
When coffee beans are covered in chocolate the bitter taste typically associated with the beans is reduced and the beans become more palatable. In saying that, once you bite through the chocolatey exterior, you’ll still experience a much stronger coffee taste than what you’re used to.
You can purchase chocolate covered coffee beans online through retailers like Amazon or specialty coffee shops. You can even make your own chocolate covered coffee beans at home with coffee beans, cocoa powder and milk chocolate.
This method is a slight variation of eating roasted coffee beans, except they’re roughly chopped and mixed with other ingredients that complement their natural flavor.
Roughly chop roasted coffee beans up into smaller pieces and mix them with other ingredients that naturally compliment the flavor profile of coffee to create your own unique trail-mix or snack pack. Complementary ingredients include—you guessed it—chocolate as well as nuts, dried fruits and seeds.
Eating chopped roasted coffee beans accompanied by other ingredients is a great way to enjoy their unique taste and texture in small doses without being overwhelmed by their intense taste. The smaller size also helps to digest the beans better.
While you’ll technically be eating coffee grounds and not whole beans, this method is perfect for those who want to dip their toe into the waters of eating coffee beans without diving in headfirst.
Go for the coarsest grind possible to ensure you’re getting an accurate indication of coffee bean taste. Only use high quality beans and pay the same degree of attention to the level of roast as you normally would when selecting your beans.
You can eat ground coffee beans on their own or add them to foods and beverages that will enhance their flavor such as sprinkled over ice creams or included in smoothies. Another reason why you should opt for a coarse grind is to avoid the grounds turning into sludge when they come in to contact with moisture or sticking to your teeth.
Don’t think that choosing coffee beans as your midday snack is just that—a snack. There are many potential pros and cons associated with eating coffee beans.
While the act of eating coffee beans has not been sufficiently studied, it supposedly has many advantages. Some of the most prevalent ones include:
As with all things, eating coffee beans also has its potential disadvantages. Let’s take a look at them too:
If you’ve been considering eating coffee beans and making your mind up for yourself, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Here are the three main factors to consider before you take your first bite into a coffee bean:
In case you still have questions about the world of eating coffee beans, here are the in-depth answers that you seek. If your question isn’t answered here, feel free to ask it in the comments section below and we’ll address it accordingly.
In addition to the five main ways to eat coffee beans as we described at the beginning of this article there are a few other ways you can eat coffee beans.
You can slather whole roasted coffee beans in plain yoghurt, spread them out over wax paper and freeze overnight for a frozen treat. You could also include chopped coffee beans in a brownie recipe and bake them for a chocolatey coffee-brownie goodie.
While more research needs to be done, the preliminary results of studies indicate that eating coffee beans can promote weight loss. One small study revealed how overweight people consumed small amounts of ground green coffee beans lost roughly 10% of their body weight.
Weight loss products and supplements containing green coffee bean extract are becoming increasing popular & the results are apparent to those who use such weight loss tools.
Because the amount of caffeine found in a single coffee bean varies according to the size of the bean, its strain and how long it was roasted for, it is difficult to accurately answer this. The recommended daily dosage of caffeine is between 200mg to 400mg depending on your tolerance.
In the case of chocolate covered coffee beans we have more concrete recommendations. Including the caffeine found in chocolate, a single chocolate covered coffee bean contains an average amount of 12mg of caffeine. This means that adults can safely consume up to 33 chocolate covered coffee beans without worrying about excessive caffeine consumption.
In terms of flavor the best coffee beans to eat are those that have been medium to dark roasted. In addition to the more palatable taste, beans that have been exposed to more of a roasting process are easier to eat.
The general opinion is that the longer a bean has been roasted the easier it is to crunch. Bear in mind that the taste of coffee beans won’t appeal to everyone’s taste buds. So you might be better off with sticking to the chocolate covered variety.
Remember that caffeine is technically classed as a stimulant which means that there is a risk of overdosing. It is important to make sure that you don’t have too many beans and that you’re aware of the symptoms of eating too many, just in case.
The general symptoms of ingesting too much caffeine include headaches, dizziness, irritability, and diarrhea. In extremely serious cases of caffeine overdose the symptoms displayed include convulsions, vomiting, irregular heartbeat and hallucinations.
After reading this article, you should have a clear idea of what to expect should you decide to try out this trend for yourself.
Now that you know everything there is to know, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Will you be chomping on coffee beans? Or do you prefer your coffee bean consumption to be in its liquid format? Spill the beans in the comments section below!