can you eat coffee beans

Can You Eat Coffee Beans? 5 Top Reasons Why You Should Start Now.

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Coffee is a very important and essential part of our routines.
For most of us, our day would not start without having a cup of coffee, am I right?
Coffee has a lot of benefits, which makes us
Wonder – can you eat coffee beans? They are the purest and original form of coffee, but does eating them bring more benefits for our bodies, health and minds?

In this article, we will discuss some advantages and disadvantages associated with eating coffee beans.
However, before we try to answer if you can eat coffee beans or not, let’s have a look at what coffee beans actually are:

In nature, coffee beans are a seed that comes from the Coffea [1] plant as well as being the ultimate source of coffee. Coffee beans are usually found at the core of a red/purple ish fruit commonly referred to as a cherry. 
Every cherry contains 2 of these beans which, surprise surprise, aren’t actual beans, they are just seeds with a shape resembling a bean. Go figure!

Now that we have clarified this, let’s dive right into our original question! Can you eat coffee beans?

In short, YES. You can eat coffee beans.

Let’s have a look at the advantages that come with it.



First of all, let’s get our basics right.
Coffee beans are safe to eat and have been eaten by masses for a very long period of time.
You’d be surprised to know that before, when coffee (as we know it) was not even a concept, people used to eat coffee beans in order to get active and boost their energy level.

Although, there have not been many studies looking into the potential benefits of eating coffee beans we do know that when we drink coffee, the amount of caffeine that our body gets is diluted with the water and milk it comes with.

Quite the opposite happens when we can eat coffee beans. As a matter of fact, coffee beans are capable of releasing the whole amount of caffeine to our bodies.

Where do we find eatable coffee beans?

Roasted coffee beans are readily available in any retail store as well as online. They come in different aromas and toasting technique. (Ever had an Espresso Martini before?)

Furthermore, chocolate covered coffee beans are quite popular these days and have become a very common treat, pretty much present in every household.

Green beans are also readily available in most major retail stores. However, their taste is often described as “woody” or “grassy” and let’s be honest, these aren’t traits that would make a compelling case for top menu pick anywhere in the world.

Fewer Calories

Here’s one hell of a statement that will make all the gym bunnies out there happy: 
If you eat highly roasted coffee beans, like espresso coffee beans, then you are likely to have only three calories from eating those.

If the thought of having your daily coffee boost without having to deal with your calories count has crossed your mind before, then look no further.
Eating coffee beans can in fact be the solution you were looking for.

According to a study conducted by the European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology coffee consumption is in fact considered a positive habit for those affected by fatty liver disease [2] while another study conducted at Harvard University reveals how coffee consumption is good for those at risk of Type 2 Diabetes. [3]

coffee meme

More Caffeine, Better Absorption

By now we should have established that caffeine has numerous advantages, which are hugely beneficial to both our bodies and minds. (Is the fact that you’ve just had a coffee the reason why you made it this far in the article?)

However, if we go back to our original question “can you eat coffee beans?” and also “are coffee beans good for you”?

Research has shown that 2 cups of coffee release roughly about 200 mg of caffeine. That is the same quantity you would get by eating 17 coffee beans. [4] To put that into perspective, the same study estimated that that was as effective in reducing driving mistakes as a 30 minutes nap would be.

One more important thing we have to say is that by eating coffee beans, you will get more caffeine as your body absorbs coffee beans-released caffeine very easily (if compared to a coffee cup).

Imagine substituting your morning rush to the café with eating 8 coffee beans. Doesn’t sound so crazy anymore, does it?

Rich in Antioxidants

Coffee is estimated to generate more antioxidant activity than cocoa or green tea. Years of research have estimated that there are at least 1000 antioxidant elements in unprocessed coffees while hundreds more come in the picture when the beans get roasted. [5]

So yes, coffee beans are rich with anti-oxidants. Chlorogenic acid being the best one out of them all. Research has shown that this antioxidant has properties that help with the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

On top of that, antioxidants happen to fight inflammations that are said to be underlying causes in the development of many diseases.

Memory Boost

Your coffee doesn’t just keep you awake. In fact, a study has shown that when a random group of people received the amount of caffeine present in a coffee cup (about 100 milligrams/ 8 beans) their brain activity spiked, particularly in areas of the brain responsible for memory and concentration.

Can you eat coffee beans? If you’re going to need to concentrate and have no time for a coffee run, then definitely YES!


Since we’ve just examined the advantages in eating coffee beans. Let us now discuss the risks associated with eating coffee beans:

Disturbance in the Sleeping Cycle

If you eat coffee beans directly, that can give an instant boost in the energy levels but at the same time, the amount of caffeine intake can create disturbance in the sleeping cycle.

Have you ever had a cuppa a little too late and struggled to sleep?

If it can happen when your caffeine is delivered to you diluted in water, imagine what happens when you choose to go for the fast and furious way of getting caffeine inside you!

It is estimated that it takes an average of 10 hours for our body to expel caffeine so you’ll have to do some simple maths here. Our rule of thumb is not to drink or eat coffee beans past 3 PM.

Bottom line: eating coffee beans should be a way for you to stay awake during the day, not a way to develop insomnia!

Too Much Coffee Leads to Stomach-ache

Catechol is a compound present in coffee beans which is said to increase the acidity levels in the stomach. So, if you happen to eat coffee beans, make sure you won’t do that on an empty stomach because you might end up with a bad a stomach-ache or an upset the stomach in general.

I usually recommend to eat your coffee beans after breakfast or after lunch just to be sure.

Unfortunately, a lot of acidity in the stomach can cause chest burn.

Are some beans better than others?

Research has shown that green beans specifically might diarrhoea and nausea, which can also lead to a bloated stomach. This might be due to the fact that they come unprocessed and not roasted.


The right question you should ask yourself should rather be: “How much coffee should I drink or eat?”.

The average adult should consume no more than 24 beans a day (or 3 cups) and should do so rather in the earlier part of the day.

This article was written with the intention of highlighting the benefits of coffee beans consumption and with the confidence that coffee does indeed bring benefits to our physical and mental wellbeing.

With that in mind, we invite our readers to draw their own conclusions as well as doing their own research.

Remember, when it comes to our body no solution ever works exactly the same way for two different people, so know what works for you and enjoy your morning beans! I can smell them from here.

Looking for more articles about coffee? Check our blog here.

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