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Can You Eat Coffee Beans?


Brandon Pierce
September 4, 2022

Coffee is a wildly popular drink loved by many people. However, not everyone would like to drink their coffee.

But is it safe to eat the coffee beans directly? Eating whole coffee beans has actually been around longer than brewing and drinking coffee.

You might see coffee beans referred to as coffee cherries since they are the seeds from the coffee plant. Several studies have shown that whole coffee beans are safe to eat.

Can I die if you eat coffee beans?

The short answer is no, it is highly unlikely that eating coffee beans will kill you  humans have been eating coffee beans for hundreds of years.

In the past, healers prescribed coffee beans for medicinal use. However, like most things, you would get the most benefits with the least amount of risk by eating coffee beans in moderation.

Can you eat coffee grounds?

Yes, you can eat coffee grounds. Of course, similar to eating roasted coffee beans, coffee grounds are best eaten in moderation.

Many people don't stop at just eating! Did you know that you can use coffee grounds for various purposes, from insect repellant, plant fertilizer, and even body scrubs?

But is chewing coffee beans bad for your teeth? People with sensitive teeth may not like the harsh crunching of a whole coffee bean.

However, eating ground espresso or espresso powder could be a better way to get your caffeine fix than eating espresso beans.

Suppose you dislike the texture of coffee beans or grounds. In that case, you might want to stick to just drink coffee.

coffee grounds

What are the health benefits of eating whole coffee beans? 

With the same nutrients that you can get from brewing a coffee cup.

Eating coffee beans is likely to provide some of the same health benefits!

health benefits of eating coffee beans


For example, coffee beans provide a ton of fiber. A cup of brewed coffee doesn't have any fiber, but coffee beans can give you 10% of your daily take intake for fiber, which is about 3 grams.

Fiber is suitable for your digestive system as it can prevent constipation and bloat.


Out of all the health benefits, the most notable advantage is caffeine! So it makes sense that increasing your energy level is a huge benefit of eating coffee beans.

To get the same amount of caffeine content as one cup of coffee, you will want to eat approximately eight coffee beans.

Two cups of coffee, or about 16-17 coffee beans, can net you 200 mg of caffeine.

 Just one serving of chocolate-covered coffee beans is typically around 28 beans, which can have a whopping 3.5 times the caffeine than your average cup of espresso.

With this increased energy, caffeine may improve memory, mood, attention, contentment, alertness, and performance.

But how does caffeine in coffee do all of that?! You see, the adenosine hormone, which can make us feel exhausted, tired, and give us an overall sluggish feeling.

Caffeine inhibits adenosine, which allows for these incredible benefits. Caffeine intake can also promote weight loss through increasing metabolism and exercise performance.

Did You Know? One serving of coffee beans is approximately ten calories.

 So maybe regularly choosing to eat a few coffee beans rather than a bag of chips could help you lose weight. But how much caffeine is too much? Read the following sections below to find out.


Coffee bean consumption can be a source of antioxidants, which is excellent for your health. Chlorogenic acid is a powerful polyphonic abundantly found in coffee beans.

However, it is essential to note that various roasting or bean types can impact acid amounts within the coffee beans.

For example, the roasting process can cause coffee beans to lose up to 95% of this acid, but don't worry because they are still one of the best sources for these types of antioxidants.

Decreased Risk of Inflammation and Diabetes

Other health benefits of antioxidants found in coffee beans include reducing inflammation and type 2 diabetes.

Other studies have shown coffee beans may lead to a decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and even liver illnesses such as liver fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Consuming coffee has also been linked to reducing the risk of some types of cancers. For some people, consuming beans, coffee can even lower blood pressure.

However, it is essential to note that many of these claims come from observational studies and studies on coffee consumption as a beverage.

More controlled studies with rigorous requirements, specifically eating coffee beans, are needed for more confident conclusions.

How many whole beans can you eat per day?

As with most things in life, maintaining moderation when eating coffee beans is an excellent way to avoid significant side effects.

The answer to this question is positively related to a safe amount of caffeine intake, particularly for caffeine sensitivities.

A strong cup of coffee can have as high as 200 mg of caffeine. However, this amount can vary based on roasting, the size, and even strains of the coffee beans. For example, 

Arabica coffee beans only have about half the amount of caffeine  Robusta coffee beans.

It is important to note that not enough studies have been done on the coffee bean use with teenagers and children reach conclusions regarding safety

how many coffee beans eat per day

Keep reading to find out about the potential risks and side effects of eating coffee beans that may be important to you.

Risks of Eating Coffee Beans

Keep in mind, if you brew coffee grounds, you filter them in water, so the caffeine content decreases while brewing.

By eating coffee beans, however, you are consuming a much more concentrated version as compared to drinking a cup of coffee.

The lining within your mouth will absorb the caffeine much more rapidly when eating the coffee beans, multiplying any potential risks or benefits.

Side effects of Eating Coffee

Side effects of eating coffee vary depending on the person. For some people, coffee beans contain compounds that can lead to an upset stomach, bloating and nausea.

We already know coffee beans contain caffeine.

But caffeine has catechols, which is known to increase stomach acid, leading to these nasty side effects. This build-up of stomach acid can also crawl up your esophagus, causing heartburn.

Liquid coffee has proved to have a laxative effect on some people. Decaffeinated coffee, or even coffee with low amounts of caffeine, has increased bowel movements.

Note: Higher doses of green coffee beans might cause diarrhea in some people.

For some caffeine-sensitivities, the amount of caffeine found in coffee beans might cause sleep disturbances.

Too much caffeine can lead to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, which can further lead to daytime sleepiness.

After consumption, caffeine can impact your system for up to over 9 hours. It may be best for those who are sensitive to caffeine to avoid brewed coffee near their bedtime.

You may also want to limit how often you eat coffee brains throughout the day.

Even if you aren't sensitive to caffeine, eating too many coffee beans might cause accidental overconsumption of caffeine. Remember, just because coffee beans taste good doesn't mean they are risk-free.

Studies have shown that high caffeine levels can increase anxiety symptoms, risk of pregnancy-related issues, and withdrawal symptoms.

Anxiety symptoms can range from stress, heart palpitations, and nausea. Pregnancy issues can vary from early labor, low birth weight, and even miscarriage. 

Abruptly stopping coffee use can cause caffeine withdrawal, including anxiety, difficulty concentrating, headaches, lethargy, and tremors.

When considering these risks and side effects, people need to make sure they understand their own limitations. 

Consider avoiding coffee bean consumption or limiting how many coffee beans you eat if you tend to suffer from stomach issues or bowel conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 

These considerations are particularly crucial for those with anxiety, caffeine sensitivities, breastfeeding, or those who are or may be pregnant.

For those who want to decrease their coffee or caffeine intake without experiencing withdrawal symptoms, consider slowly and gradually reducing your use rather than quitting cold turkey.

Roasted Coffee Beans

Don't want to eat raw coffee beans? There are several ways to eat coffee beans. The experts recommended not to eat coffee beans unroasted. Edible coffee beans are typically espresso beans, which indicates an extended roasting period.

 Eating roasted coffee beans is a softer option since green coffee beans can be more challenging to chew. 

The roasted beans are also a tastier option with much more flavor, as green coffee beans have a more bitter taste.

roasted coffee beans

Roasted coffee beans have a smokier, woody flavor compared to green coffee beans. You may even taste a nutty, caramel flavor when eating roasted coffee beans.

The type of roasted beans can vary from light to dark, which will impact the flavor. This coffee bean recipe is the easiest since all you need to do is pick the roast you want to eat!

Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans

Some people don't like the taste of green coffee beans. Flavors for coffee beans range from hazelnut, pumpkin, caramel, vanilla, and even chocolate.

For a better taste full of flavor, try chocolate covered beans or beans covered in dark chocolate. Eating chocolate covered coffee beans is known as a quick and delicious way to increase your caffeine intake.

Did You Know? A single chocolate-covered coffee bean can contain up to 12 mg of caffeine, on average.

That's because chocolate also contains caffeine. With that in mind, about 33 coffee beans covered in chocolate might still be in the safe caffeine range per day for an adult. Don't test your luck though.

You may also be consuming caffeine from other foods. Yes, these coffee beans taste delicious and are full of flavor, but limiting your intake would be an excellent way to be mindful of your health.

To make chocolate-covered coffee beans, all you need is some whole roasted coffee bean.

Some chocolate (duh!), a baking tray, parchment paper, a microwave, and the fridge.

chocolate covered coffee beans

NOTE: For the best taste, use medium or dark roasted coffee beans. 

First, melt two cups of your favorite chocolate in the microwave. Allow the chocolate to cool, followed by dipping one cup of roasted coffee beans in the chocolate.

Once thoroughly drenched in chocolate, place the coffee beans directly on the parchment paper, which should be on the baking tray. You can either cool the beans for one hour in the freezer or two hours in the refrigerator.

Once they're done (you'll know when they're solidified), they are ready to eat!

Dirty Chai Chocolate-Covered Coffee Beans

This list of recipes can't be complete without a tasty treat like this one! Eating roasted coffee beans will never be the same! To make this recipe, follow all of the steps listed above.

However, you're going to add a few spices to the chocolate to give it that delicious dirty-chai taste. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom, black pepper, ground cloves, and one teaspoon of cinnamon.

 Give this combination a few stirs into the chocolate before dipping any roasted coffee beans.

Many stores sell chocolate-covered, roasted coffee beans as a tasty snack that would put a smile on your face! However, if you are trying to lose weight and monitor your health, these may not be for you.

Chocolate-covered coffee beans are likely to have added sugar and fat, which means extra calories!


The answer is yes! Eating coffee beans can be a healthy and safe treat full of flavor and good taste.

Coffee beans can even provide health benefits, such as caffeine and antioxidants.

Like with most things, however, it's best to eat coffee beans in moderation to avoid damaging side effects.

Brandon Pierce

About the author

My name is Brandon and I love cold-brew coffee. If you're a fan of everything homebrew, then we'll get along just fine. I also enjoy riding my Onewheel around town, and going on adventures with my future wife! As an online work-from-home advocate, it's important that I stay connected to the world while being able to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

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