Can You Eat Coffee Beans: 4 Advantages & Disadvantages

Coffee is a global industry and a large part of why people get up in the morning. Some coffee lovers consume a brewed cup1 of coffee twice or thrice daily. But have you noticed chocolate-covered coffee beans on the shelf of your local grocery store? If yes, you must be wondering- can you eat coffee beans?

A single cup of coffee can give you many health benefits. Be it black, without sugar, or with extra sugar, people love the quick boost of energy the highly caffeinated drink2 gives.

For a coffee drinker, the only reason to buy roasted coffee beans is to crush them to brew a nice cup of coffee. 

Can You Eat Coffee Beans
By Pixabay/Pexels Copyright 2022

1. Can You Eat Coffee Beans?

Yes, you can eat coffee beans!

In fact, directly consuming the coffee beans gives you more health benefits than diluting it into a drink as you are eating the entire bean itself.

When you crush the beans to make delicious coffee, you unknowingly leave behind the healthy vitamins and antioxidants 3you find in the raw beans. So, coffee beans are safe to consume, and to your surprise, people have been eating raw coffee beans for many years.

Rather than drinking the coffee, eating raw coffee beans tend to absorb rapidly into your mouth and amplify the taste and the caffeine rush compared to a cup of coffee.

Coffee beans contain various highly concentrated compounds, mainly caffeine. So moderation on a personal level is important. Some may choose not to eat coffee beans because of caffeine sensitivity, pregnancy, or even a sensitive digestive system.

On the other hand, some Coffee Lovers eat coffee beans as a snack almost daily. The consumption of coffee beans depends upon your capacity to intake caffeine, and you must decide the number of beans you snack on.

2. How Many Coffee Beans Can You Eat Safely?

Raw coffee beans are usually really acidic and dense and hence must be consumed responsibly to avoid the side effects such as indigestion and an upset stomach.

On average, 400 mg of caffeine consumption is considered safe for normal and healthy individuals, depending on your sensitivity and tolerance. One Arabica coffee4 bean contains approximately 5 to 10 mg of caffeine, which means you can consume up to 40-50 beans daily. But again, you must set a daily limit for yourself.

Coffee beans contain antioxidants and caffeine, which can significantly impact your body if you don’t monitor your coffee bean consumption.

For example, eating too many coffee beans can lead to increased heartburn, heart rate, and other unpleasant side effects. Not only this, but over-eating coffee beans can also have a laxative effect on your body, leading to high cholesterol over time if consumed continuously at a high rate. We will look into the side effects of eating coffee later in this article. Keep reading!

3. Do You Get Caffeine From Eating Coffee Beans?

To begin with, a bean is extracted from the coffee plant. It is known as the coffee cherry, the seed of the coffee fruit. Then it is processed, roasted, packed, and sold to you for consumption.

Eating coffee beans is the best way to go if you want an energy and attention boost! The caffeine intake from coffee beans depends on how the beans are roasted. Be it dark or medium roast, you get the high caffeine intake you desire.

Eating coffee beans provides more caffeine than a brewed cup of coffee. This is why most coffee lovers eat coffee beans to start the day quickly.

4. What do Coffee Beans Taste Like?

Describing it in one word- Bitter. Well, it’s not news that coffee beans have a strong and bitter taste. They are known to have this crunchy texture and are also chewy.

Some people like to eat coffee beans, mainly roasted ones, as they enjoy the bitterness and the heightened and magnified caffeine effects compared to simply drinking a brewed cup of coffee.

People are more intrigued by how you can eat and munch on coffee than by drinking coffee every morning.

Some may say they taste unpleasant due to the woody texture and are popularly paired with chocolate to cover up the bitterness and grit of the beans.

5. Which Coffee Beans Should You Eat?

If you prefer to eat coffee beans in the morning rather than drink a cup, make sure you do it perfectly right! Let’s take a look at which coffee beans you should eat.

5.1. Roasted coffee beans

The first type of coffee beans that the majority like to eat is roasted coffee beans. Roasting coffee beans generally helps to bring out the rich and deep flavor of the coffee bean.

Roasted beans taste better in the mouth as they are easier to chew for the teeth and are still crunchy. The caffeine levels of lightly roasted beans are significantly more than dark roasted beans.

5.2. Green coffee beans

The pure and raw coffee bean is of the color green. And as the color suggests, the taste of green coffee beans is earthy and grassy, and they tend to be harder to chew as they have a solid structure. They do not have a pleasant taste as compared to other varieties.

Pexels Copyright 2022
By Michael Burrows/Pexels Copyright 2022

Eating raw and green coffee beans is generally not popular, as people prefer the taste of roasted coffee beans over raw ones. This is because roasted coffee beans taste better than green coffee beans and are easier to snack on.

Green coffee beans are also very acidic; hence, you need to consume them in small quantities safely.

6. Can You Eat Coffee Grounds?

Yes, you can! Coffee grounds are also edible; no, you will not get sick from eating them. Coffee grounds also provide many health benefits like antioxidants, fibers, and caffeine.

And therefore, coffee grounds are safe to consume without exceeding the caffeine limits to avoid negative health problems.

You can even use coffee grounds for cooking and baking, as coffee grounds are very versatile when consuming them.

7. The Advantages of Eating Coffee Beans

Even though eating beans is okay, you need to know all the pros and cons before deciding if it will be your new go-to snack.

So, let us look at a few advantages of directly consuming coffee beans to understand the true health benefits to your body clearly.

7.1. Easy caffeine in coffee beans

One cup of coffee is equivalent to almost eight coffee beans. So, coffee beans can help stimulate your mind and increase your alertness and energy levels.

The maximum recommended daily intake of coffee is 400 mg for an adult. Therefore it is necessary to understand the high levels of caffeine consumption directly through coffee beans.

7.2. Packed with Antioxidants

Coffee beans are known to be packed with tons of antioxidants, mainly chlorogenic acid, that helps to reduce inflammation in your body and help reduce the risk of diabetes.

Although roasted coffee beans seem to have a lesser amount of chlorogenic acid,5 it is still a rich source of antioxidants with tons of health benefits.

7.3. Rich in Fiber

From helping in the process of digestion to avoiding constipation, coffee beans become your friend throughout the process.

High in soluble Fibre content, coffee beans benefit your body in multiple ways. It helps you absorb all the vital nutrients required by your body and keeps your cholesterol in check. Now isn’t that good news?

7.4. Improves your stamina

Want to increase your stamina during exercise or workouts? Munching on coffee beans gives you the best pre-workout and helps you exercise longer and better.

The anti-inflammatory6 quality of coffee beans helps you exercise harder and boosts your stamina for better response at your training.

8. The Disadvantages of Eating Coffee Beans

When the benefits are greater, the downsides also tend to be worse. So let’s also look at the disadvantages of directly consuming coffee beans and how they negatively affect your health.

8.1. Heartburn due to eating coffee beans

Painful heartburn (a condition where you feel like something is burning in your chest) is a bad side effect of eating too many raw coffee beans. Eating raw coffee beans makes acid sensitivity worse and can give you nausea or stomach upset.

8.2. Laxative effects and Diarrhoea

If you have a sensitive stomach, avoid eating coffee beans excessively, as eating too many coffee beans in a day produces large amounts of stomach acid that may, in turn, result in diarrhea.

8.3. Texture and Taste of coffee beans

Coffee is well known for its bitter taste. But coffee beans are even more bitter to consume, and you can feel a grainy texture in your mouth when you eat them. So, not many people would like to munch on them as a snack every day, even if you are a coffee lover.

However, there are various options on how to eat coffee beans by adding certain elements like chocolates which make it taste delicious but also increase sugar consumption.

8.4. Sleep Problems

As you know, eating coffee beans gives you a quick boost of energy. But overeating coffee beans can lead to sleeping problems. You may experience trouble falling asleep or even staying asleep throughout the night.

This makes you feel exhausted for the next day and ruins a good bedtime schedule. Therefore it is advised to reduce your caffeine consumption closer to your bedtime.

9. How to Eat Coffee Beans as a Dessert?

Still not sure if you would want to eat coffee beans by themselves? Worry not. We’ve got you.

With the right recipe, you can enjoy the taste of coffee beans with the best supplementary foods. Let’s look at the various ways you can eat coffee beans as a dessert after every meal.

9.1 Coffee Beans with Ice Cream

pexels hilal bulbul 8777146
Photo by Hilal Bülbül on Pexels

Want that quick boost of energy with a delicious treat? You can top your ice cream with some coffee beans to get the perfect amount of caffeine fix along with the amazing taste of ice cream and enjoy an indulgent treat.

You can also add coffee grounds to your vanilla ice cream to increase the flavor and texture of the ice cream.

9.2 Chocolate-covered coffee beans

In the world of coffee bean eaters, chocolate-covered beans are a popular favorite. Dip your beans to have a chocolate coating, and enjoy the bitter beans covered in chocolate.

Be it milk chocolate or dark chocolate, eating roasted coffee beans gets a level up as a beloved snack amongst people.

9.3 Coffee beans with cheesecake

Cheesecake with some whole beans crushed on the top is a perfect dessert for many coffee lovers.

The sweetness and the bitterness combine to give you the perfect blend of taste to enjoy as an evening snack. Packed with the flavors of espresso, it is a creamy and crunchy meal all at once.

10. Safety factors

The most important part of consuming coffee beans is to know the limit. To avoid any negative impact on your health, you must determine how many coffee beans your body feels comfortable consuming.

Tolerance to caffeine consumption varies from person to person. An average of 200 to 400mg daily can be safe for adults.

But again, the amount of caffeine depends on how the beans have been roasted. You can stay within the designated caffeine consumption with most coffee beans.

But when the question arises regarding the snack varieties, including chocolate-covered coffee beans readily available today, the health benefits get sidelined, and you may witness some unpleasant side effects.

11. To conclude, can you eat coffee beans?

Coffee beans are safe to eat. Eating and drinking coffee give you numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation. Not only are they tasty snacks, but they can also help you to lower the risk of a few diseases.

Munching on roasted beans gives you the coffee fix you are looking for. Coffee beans were consumed in the past and have been consumed for over a hundred years today. The increased popularity of chocolate-covered beans today gives you a wider range and variety to dive into.

So if you want a change from your daily cup of coffee and want to go ahead and try something new with the same benefits, roasted beans are the way to go. It is truly an experience worth trying.

And even if you don’t find the taste and texture appealing, you can always go back to tasty brewed coffee and enjoy the same health benefits happily.

Hope you found this article helpful and got what you were looking for. Let us know in the comment section below if you have found any new and different ways of consuming coffee beans, and tell us your experience of eating the beans.

  1. Ponte, Stefano. “Brewing a Bitter Cup? Deregulation, Quality and the Re‐organization of Coffee Marketing in East Africa.” Journal of agrarian change 2.2 (2002): 248-272. ↩︎
  2. Reissig, Chad J., Eric C. Strain, and Roland R. Griffiths. “Caffeinated energy drinks—a growing problem.” Drug and alcohol dependence 99.1-3 (2009): 1-10. ↩︎
  3. Shahidi, Fereidoon. “Antioxidants in food and food antioxidants.” Food/nahrung 44.3 (2000): 158-163. ↩︎
  4. Silvarolla, Maria B., Paulo Mazzafera, and Luiz C. Fazuoli. “A naturally decaffeinated arabica coffee.” Nature 429.6994 (2004): 826-826. ↩︎
  5. Lu, Huijie, et al. “Chlorogenic acid: A comprehensive review of the dietary sources, processing effects, bioavailability, beneficial properties, mechanisms of action, and future directions.” Comprehensive reviews in food science and food safety 19.6 (2020): 3130-3158. ↩︎
  6. Meng, Tiantian, et al. “Anti-inflammatory action and mechanisms of resveratrol.” Molecules 26.1 (2021): 229. ↩︎

Last Updated on by Suchi


Aayushi Barai

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *