Coffee beans are a concentrated source of antioxidants and caffeine. They have anti-inflammatory properties that protect against certain diseases and boost energy and mood.
Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee fruit, often known as the coffee cherry.
These bean-like seeds are usually dried, roasted, and brewed to make coffee.
Because drinking coffee has been linked to numerous health benefits — such as a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and liver disease — you may wonder if eating coffee beans has the same effect.
Munching on coffee beans — especially those covered in chocolate — is an increasingly popular way to get a caffeine fix.
Coffee beans have been eaten for hundreds of years or more.
It is thought that before coffee was developed as a beverage, its beans were often mixed with animal fat and consumed to boost energy levels (1).
Coffee beans provide the same nutrients as a cup of joe — but in a much more concentrated form.
Because regular coffee is filtered and diluted with water, you only get a portion of the caffeine and other substances found in the whole bean.
What’s more, eating coffee beans — rather than drinking the beverage — may lead to more rapid absorption of caffeine through the lining of your mouth (2,3).
Both the beneficial and negative effects of coffee are amplified when the beans are consumed whole.
As such, it is best to eat coffee beans in moderation.
That said, green coffee beans — which are raw — aren’t very pleasant to eat. They have a bitter, woody flavor and can be hard to chew. Roasted coffee beans are slightly softer.
Chocolate-covered, roasted coffee beans are often sold as a snack and are easy to find in your local store.