Does Eating Coffee Beans Give You More Energy? Unpacking the Caffeine Kick

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Contemporary kitchen with coffee beans

Ever wondered if there’s a different way to get your caffeine fix?

Well, you’re in for a surprise. Besides your daily cup of Joe, eating coffee beans can also boost much-needed energy.

Yes, you heard it right!

You can safely munch on espresso beans or even raw, green coffee beans, though they might taste a little grassy and be hard to chew.

While this might seem unconventional to consume coffee, it was once a popular method before brewing took over.

But remember, just like drinking coffee, eating too many roasted beans can lead to risks due to the caffeine content.

So, next time you need a pick-me-up, why not try a coffee bean or two?

Key Takeaways

  • Coffee beans, which are seeds from the coffee fruit, can be eaten raw, roasted, or covered in chocolate, providing a substantial caffeine boost.
  • Though it may seem unconventional, eating coffee beans was quite popular before brewing methods were introduced. However, consuming too many coffee beans can cause health risks due to the high caffeine content.
  • Green coffee beans are known for their high antioxidant content. The roasting process significantly changes the taste and texture of coffee beans, making them easier to consume and more flavorful.
  • Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee beans known to ward off drowsiness and improve concentration when consumed in moderation. Overconsumption can lead to insomnia, digestive problems, and rapid heart rate.
  • Consuming coffee beans directly can yield more caffeine than brewing, as brewing only extracts about 80% of the beans’ caffeine content. The body absorbs caffeine from eating coffee beans faster than from drinking coffee.
  • As a method of caffeine consumption, coffee beans can offer a quick energy boost and are efficient for productivity as long as they are consumed in moderation to avoid any adverse effects.

What are coffee beans?

Coffee plant with ripe cherries

Coffee beans are a sublime part of our world – a morning ritual for many, an energy booster, or a means to socialize.

Definition of Coffee Beans

Firstly, let’s clear a common misconception. Even though the name is coffee beans, they aren’t actually beans!

They are seeds from the coffee fruit, often called a coffee cherry. The seeds are harvested and processed, and if not consumed raw, they’re roasted to various degrees – all to elevate the flavor profile.

Whether you drink coffee or eat coffee beans, the caffeine content remains the same.

If you were to eat coffee “beans” straight off the tree, they’d taste quite different from the dark, aromatic beans you’re accustomed to.

Raw coffee beans – green coffee beans – have a muted, somewhat woody, or grassy flavor.

Additionally, contrary to roasted coffee beans, they are harder to chew.

While they won’t harm you, your taste buds might not appreciate the experience.

Types of Coffee Beans

Speaking of roasted coffee beans, here’s a fun fact: all coffee beans start as green beans, but the taste varies immensely based on the roasting process.

Green coffee beans stand high in the popularity list among health-conscious people for their high antioxidant content and potential benefits in managing type 2 diabetes. But not everyone can cope with their hard-to-chew texture and eccentric flavor.

On the other hand, roasted coffee beans are a treat not only to your caffeine cravings but also to your taste palate. Enriched through the roasting technique, the flavor of coffee beans elicits a much more savory satisfaction.

Interestingly, the scaled roast level, from light to medium to dark roast, profoundly impacts the beans’ final color, taste, and caffeine content. Roasted espresso beans pack the most punch in terms of caffeine content.

If chocolate is more your thing, chocolate-covered coffee beans fit the bill. Combining the goodness of coffee and chocolate, these sumptuous snacks deliver antioxidants along with an efficient, enjoyable way to get your caffeine fix.

Now that you’re aware of the range of coffee bean types, you might wonder how many coffee beans one should consume. Like most things in life, balance is key.

While it’s safe to eat coffee beans, given their concentrated form, a cup of coffee’s caffeine equivalent would require fewer beans than you might think.

Further, size counts; for instance, Geisha Panama beans are larger than Brasil Catuai beans. Keep this in mind!

Brushing up on your coffee bean knowledge introduces a new dimension to your cup of Joe.

Rest assured, enjoying coffee, whether sipped or chewed, can serve fantastic, slightly different experiences, each delightful.

What is caffeine?

Cozy morning coffee scene

From coffee to chocolate, your favorite treats may owe their intense flavors and uplifting effects to a common ingredient – caffeine.

Definition of Caffeine

Simply put, caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants.

But did you know caffeine isn’t confined to your cup of coffee? That’s right.

You’re also consuming caffeine when you eat coffee beans, especially those delectable chocolate-covered coffee beans.

So, in response to the titular question, “Does eating coffee beans give you caffeine?”

The answer is a resounding yes.

From looking into the grind size or type of roast, caffeine resides inside, ready to be unlocked by brew or chew.

Effects of Caffeine on the Body

The effects of caffeine on the body are numerous and potent.

One of the primary reasons for caffeine’s popularity is its ability to ward off drowsiness and keep you alert. This is due to its decisive action on adenosine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that makes you tired.

Caffeine-inhibiting adenosine keeps you awake and alert like a trusty sentinel, warding off the onslaught of sleep.

A study has shown that a 200mg shot of caffeine, equivalent to about 17 chocolate-covered coffee beans, could function similarly to a 30-minute nap in reducing driving mistakes.

But caffeine doesn’t just stop there. Other effects on the body include enhanced mood and better concentration. According to a study, subjects consumed a 60mg shot of caffeine – equivalent to one espresso or five chocolate-covered coffee beans.

The dark side to caffeine (pun intended if you’re thinking about dark roast beans) is that, like all substances, it needs to be consumed in moderation.

Overconsumption of caffeine can lead to negative repercussions, including insomnia, digestive problems, and rapid heart rate, to name a few.

But, when consumed responsibly, caffeine from sources like coffee and dark chocolate-covered coffee beans can serve as a healthy pick-me-up, giving your taste buds a treat while providing a much-needed energy boost.

So, whether you like your coffee beans ground in a brew or whole, coated in dark chocolate as a snack, you’re in for a caffeine treat.

Continuously monitor your caffeine intake, especially if you consume high caffeine content snacks like chocolate-covered espresso beans.

Chocolates themselves also contain caffeine and may contribute significantly to your daily caffeine count.

Also, remember that some people may be more sensitive to caffeine than others, so always listen to your body and consume caffeine responsibly.

Do coffee beans contain caffeine?

Coffee beans with caffeine molecules

You’re a coffee lover, probably used to getting your caffeine fix from a cup of coffee.

But did you know coffee beans contain caffeine, and consuming them can offer the same energy boost, if not more potent?

Amount of Caffeine in Coffee Beans

There’s a common assumption that dark roasts, like espresso beans, contain more caffeine.

But the exact opposite is the case. Espresso beans don’t necessarily have more caffeine than other coffee beans. Because they are a darker roast, they sometimes might have less caffeine.

One chocolate-covered coffee bean contains around 12mg of caffeine. The caffeine kick isn’t just from the bean, though. The covering of chocolate also contributes to caffeine.

Different types of chocolate contain various amounts of caffeine:

Type of ChocolateCaffeine Per 100g
Dark Chocolate (70-85% cocoa)80mg
Milk Chocolate20mg
White ChocolateN/A

In the case of chocolate-covered coffee beans, the caffeine content is a combination of both the coffee bean and the chocolate.

How Caffeine is Extracted from Coffee Beans

The caffeine in coffee is often extracted through the brewing process.

But, eating coffee beans directly can yield more caffeine since brewed coffee only extracts about 80% of the beans’ caffeine content.

By consuming whole coffee beans, you are getting the whole of the bean’s caffeine content at a much faster rate as it absorbs directly through the lining of your mouth and gums.

Consuming coffee beans offers various excellent health benefits because you’re ingesting the entire bean, its fiber, and all beneficial compounds.

Remember moderation when you eat coffee beans, as both the benefits and side effects can be amplified because you’re inheriting the caffeine in a much more concentrated manner.

Stay tuned in our upcoming sections to understand more about the benefits and potential side effects of coffee beans.

Can you get caffeine from eating coffee beans?

Handful of coffee beans energy

Do coffee beans eaten as a snack give you a caffeine jolt, exactly like when you drink your morning espresso or cup of coffee?

Most definitely, they do, and it’s even more caffeinated.

Let’s explore how that happens.

Absorption of Caffeine from Eating Coffee Beans

When you eat coffee beans, the caffeine gets easily absorbed through the lining of your mouth and gums.

The benefit?

You’ll experience a quick energy boost much sooner than when you drink coffee. For productivity chasers, this method is incredibly efficient.

Whole coffee beans offer a much higher caffeine concentration than your go-to cup of java. To equal the caffeine content of a standard cup of coffee, you only need about 8-10 brewed coffee beans.

Here’s a quick comparison you should note:

Coffee TypeCaffeine Content
8-10 coffee beans120-150 mg
8 oz cup of brewed coffee95 mg (on average)
Espresso (1.5 oz shot)63 mg
Decaf coffee (8 oz)2-15 mg
Instant coffee (8 oz)57 mg
Starbucks coffee (16 oz)310 mg (Pike Place roast)
Starbucks espresso (1 shot)75 mg
Iced coffee (8 oz)63-118 mg
Cold brew coffee (16 oz)200 mg (Starbucks)

Remember that this also depends on the size of your coffee beans.

Larger beans like the Geisha Panama coffee beans naturally contain more caffeine than smaller beans like the Brasil Catuai. If you begin on the “eat coffee beans for caffeine” journey, be cautious and consume fewer if you have larger beans.

Here’s a quick tip for beginners: if eating whole coffee beans is brand new to you, try starting with 3-5 beans.

The high caffeine content can potentially cause discomfort if you aren’t used to it.

Side Effects of Eating Coffee Beans

Remember, having coffee beans as your caffeine source has its share of side effects, which amplify when you consume too many.

Like coffee, coffee beans increase stomach acid, which can lead to heartburn and other digestive discomforts.

Plus, not to forget, excessive caffeine intake could cause sleep problems in caffeine-sensitive individuals, often lasting up to 9.5 hours after consumption.

Side EffectDetails
HeartburnCoffee beans contain compounds like caffeine and catechols that increase stomach acid production, leading to heartburn. The high acid content can also irritate the esophagus.
Digestive DiscomfortCompounds in coffee beans can cause bloating, nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhea in some people, especially those with digestive conditions like IBS.
Sleep DisturbancesThe high caffeine content of coffee beans can lead to insomnia, trouble falling asleep, and less restful sleep in caffeine-sensitive individuals. Effects can last up to 9.5 hours.
Pregnancy IssuesHigh caffeine intake from coffee beans increases the risk of pregnancy problems like miscarriage, low birth weight, and preterm labor. Pregnant women should limit caffeine intake.
Withdrawal SymptomsConsuming very high levels of caffeine from coffee beans can lead to withdrawal symptoms like headaches, nausea, anxiety, and poor concentration when intake is stopped.
Increased Heart Rate and Blood PressureExcess caffeine from coffee beans can cause temporary increases in heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety levels, and other symptoms in sensitive individuals.

In general, moderation is key when eating coffee beans, as the concentrated caffeine and other compounds can have amplified effects compared to drinking brewed coffee.

Too much of anything is never good.

So, even as you enjoy the rich flavors of roast, dark roast, or chocolate-covered beans, you should limit your intake to around 7-10 beans at a time or no more than 20-30 a day.


So, you’ve learned that eating coffee beans gives you a caffeine kick.

Thanks to their higher caffeine concentration, they pack more punch than your regular cup of joe. But remember the size of the bean matters.

Bigger beans equal more caffeine. If you’re new to this, it’s wise to start small. Too many beans can lead to unpleasant side effects like heartburn and sleep issues.

Moderation is key here. Stick to 7-10 beans at a go, and always under 20-30 beans daily. It’s all about enjoying that energy boost without the discomfort.

Stay informed, stay safe, and enjoy your coffee in a whole new way.


How many coffee beans are equivalent to one cup of coffee?

On average, roughly 76 coffee beans are in a cup of coffee. These beans are the product of 38 coffee cherries picked by hand from coffee plants worldwide.

Do coffee beans act as a stimulant when consumed?

Yes, eating coffee beans can give you a caffeine boost. This is due to the high caffeine concentration in the beans, consumed directly, without any filtration or extraction process. However, it’s generally considered less pleasurable than drinking brewed coffee.

What is the recommended coffee intake per day?

For healthy adults, the FDA recommends a maximum of 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. This equates to about four to five cups of coffee. Higher intake amounts lead to adverse effects.

Is it healthy to consume coffee grounds?

Consuming coffee grounds is safe. They may also contain beneficial polyphenols. However, remember that consuming unfiltered coffee grounds regularly could increase your blood cholesterol.

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Lorena is a writer and coffee lover who has been researching and writing about coffee for over five years. She has a passion for learning about all aspects of coffee, from how it is grown and harvested to the different brewing methods used around the world. Lorena’s goal is to share her knowledge with as many people as possible, and she does this through her writing on the Brew Coffee Daily. In addition to articles, Lorena also writes coffee reviews, offering readers an unbiased look at different brands and roasts. Whether you’re a coffee novice or a seasoned pro, Lorena’s writing will give you a new perspective on this beloved beverage.

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