Not a lot of people know the fact that coffee beans come from fruit of the coffee plant/tree. When they realize that, all they can think of is one question. We too shared the same thought process.
Is coffee fruit edible? Yes, the coffee fruit is edible. It is not toxic to human beings and animals. There is not a lot of pulp surrounding the coffee beans but you will get a refreshing taste when you eat the coffee fruit. You will also get a dash of caffeine which is why most people chug on coffee.
Can You Eat A Coffee Fruit?
As we said above, you can eat coffee berries.
Coffee berry is another popular name for the coffee fruit, so don’t get confused if you are new to the coffee universe.
Some people even call it the coffee cherry because of its small size. We’ll use these terms interchangeably throughout this post.
Coming back to the topic at hand, you can eat the coffee cherry without any problems. Be sure to spit out the coffee bean as it can be too hard for you to bite through it.
There is a concern that the coffee fruit is toxic to humans and animals. That assumption is simply not true. You will not have any problems if you ate a coffee cherry or a few at a time.
The legend says that Kaldi found the coffee tree in the Ethiopian plateau when his goats chewed on a coffee cherry and became hyperactive. Later, people ate coffee and were able to stay awake for longer periods. This story comes up whenever the origin of coffee is discussed.
If you’re not a fan of myths and legends, that’s okay. The reality is that you can gladly chew a coffee cherry without any issues. Unless you have a specific allergy to coffee fruit, you will be fine.
How Does Coffee Fruit Taste?
Does coffee fruit taste good? Or is it bitter?
A perfectly ripe coffee cherry comes with a pleasant flavor in it. it is not going to replace your favorite fruits anytime soon, but you’ll enjoy the flavor and also the jolt of caffeine you get along with it.
The taste profile of the coffee fruit is similar to that of watermelon and apricot. You can even say that it’s a combination of these two tastes.
We can say that there can be a difference in taste between arabica coffee bean fruit and the robusta coffee bean fruit.
Coffea arabica (arabica) and Coffea canephora (robusta) variants account for more than 97% of the world’s coffee beans and they grow in completely different conditions and as a result, we can expect a slightly different taste profile from each of them.
But the difference would be very little. We are sure you wouldn’t know the uniqueness of taste if you plucked and ate a cherry from a wild coffee tree.
Also Read: Is Coffee A Legume?
Is Coffee Fruit Healthy?
The coffee fruit is often discarded once you’ve gotten the bean from the cherry.
But did you know that the coffee fruit itself comes with a lot of health benefits? Is the coffee fruit healthier than coffee? Let’s find out.
The coffee cherry comes with abundant quantities of antioxidants and polyphenols.
Antioxidants are great when it comes to fighting free radicals. They can help prevent cell damage and will also help your aging problems and even protect brain function.
The chlorogenic acid present in coffee fruits can help you when it comes to weight loss and fat loss. A study shows that coffee fruit extract breaks down fat cells which is great for fat loss.
One thing to note is that the coffee cherry comes with small quantities of caffeine. So you should be wary of this before you start eating coffee fruit for its benefit.
You can also get the same benefits from drinking roasted coffee brew without adding too much caffeine into your system. Over a long period, this would be ideal.
What Is Done With The Coffee Fruit?
Usually, once the coffee beans are taken out of the fruit, the coffee cherry is discarded. The general view of the leftover coffee fruit is that it is unusable or of negligible value.
Having said that, the coffee fruit is being used in a few different ways and not all of them involve consumption by humans.
A fraction of the coffee fruit leftovers is turned into compost by using vermiculture. This can be used as an organic fertilizer for coffee plantations.
The downside with this method is that you’re going to need a lot of land and labor to handle this. This is the main reason composting is not done with the majority of the coffee fruit waste and makes its way to disposal sites.
You can also make a tea-like drink with the leftover coffee fruit called the Cascara.
You have to dry the pulp of the fruit that is left, and later steep them like tea to make a sweet drink. This is nothing but tea that is made from coffee. Though this is relatively new to the market, patronage to this coffee cherry tea is on the uptrend.
You can also find coffee fruit on the market in the form of coffee fruit extract, capsules, and many other forms. Do proper research before buying any over-the-counter coffee fruit products.
Do Coffee Berries Have Caffeine?
Yes, coffee berries contain caffeine.
The amount of caffeine in coffee fruit is lower than what you’d find in the coffee beans. So when you eat a coffee berry, you will get less caffeine than from a cup of coffee.
The health benefits of coffee fruit are not the reason why people consume people. It is usually because of curiosity and nothing more. We rarely see people who easy coffee fruits regularly.
But if you’re looking for a light dash of caffeine without drinking a cup of coffee, then a coffee fruit might not be a bad idea at all.
Can You Buy Coffee Fruit?
Yes, you can buy coffee fruit online when it is in season (why we aren’t linking the source). Some websites will allow you to pre-order so that you can get your coffee cherries on time.
You can also get coffee fruit extract online as well as in your local pharmacies.
Is Coffee Fruit Edible? – Wrap Up
The coffee fruit is perfectly safe for human consumption. More than just that, you also get a horde of health benefits.
With a refreshing taste, you will like coffee fruit just like any other fruit. But the fact that you may not get your hands on many might make your new obsession suffer.
Even if you’re interested, eating coffee fruit should be in moderation. You can get the same health benefits from other fruits without having to spend a lot of money as well.