Is Coffee A Fruit Is Coffee A Bean

Is Coffee A Fruit? Is Coffee A Bean?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 21:33

Is coffee a fruit?“, “Is coffee a bean?”…”is it a fruit or vegetable?”

These are the many questions that coffee lovers ask themselves when looking to classify what coffee is.

This article lays out the answer in a clear and well explained way.

Keep reading to find out if coffee is a fruit or a vegetable or even a bean!

Is Coffee A Fruit?

Yes, the coffee cherry is a fruit, the coffee beans inside the cherry is a seed of the cherry, is a part of that fruit. A coffee cherry has a strong and hard skin with a sweet and juicy flesh on the interior.

Below the flesh there is a slimy layer that protects the coffee bean (not technically a bean, but seed or pip).

A question that is frequently asked is, does a coffee cherry taste like coffee?

No, most certainly it doesn’t. I tried the dried version, cascara. It has a very light taste more like hibiscus or rose water, lightly fragrant. I’ve heard of claims of it being similar to watermelon, which I can understand why and mango, which I question!

It is certainly edible, but the slimy texture is what makes it a big no for most people. Despite it being a viable food product it is seldom sold and more often reused and finds its second life as a fertilizer used coffee farmers.

To be clear, coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee cherries from which they come are a fruit.

Is Coffee A Fruit
Coffee Is A Fruit

Read: Does coffee grow on trees?

Is Coffee Fruit Edible?

Yes, the cherries, which we have already discussed, are fruits and yes, they can be eaten. They have a nice sweet flavor.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat them or try and find them. I have visited coffee farms in various countries and, well, they were on hand and freshly picked. The one thing to keep in your mind if you want to search for and try the dried versions, the most commonly available form, is that they are not optimized or grown to maximize the flavor of the cherries.

They have very little flesh and the skins are leathery and tough. Similar to a mango or avocado there is a huge pit and little flesh, comparatively speaking.

You’ll need to order them online as the dried version, called cascara, be sure that it is coffee cascara as cascara refers to a natural medicine also.

Do Coffee Cherries Have Caffeine?

Yes, coffee cherries have caffeine. The very small fleshy fruit varies slightly in color depending on the variety. It can be a bright red when ripe or a very mellow yellow. The cherry contains caffeine, which is where the seed, the pip, what we call a coffee bean gets the caffeine content from.

The cherry is also high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

The coffee fruit protects the seeds as they are growing and deter insects. Caffeine, is a great insect repellant.

The pulping process separates the seeds from the cherries and when we dry and then roast the seeds we have coffee beans that we easily recognize, grind and brew coffee with.

Typically, the cherry, which is considered as a waste product, is used to create a compost that goes back to be used as an organic fertilizer.

Do Coffee Cherries Have Caffeine
Coffee Cherries Have Caffeine

How Much Caffeine Is In Coffee Cherry?

Yes, the amount of caffeine in a coffee cherry varies from 5 mg to 20 mg per serving. It’s significantly and notably less than an average cup of coffee which has approximately 100 mg of caffeine per 8 ounce 240 ml cup of coffee.

It is clean that more caffeine makes its way into the coffee bean.

Does Coffee Cherry Flour Have Caffeine?

Coffee flour is rare, hard to find. It is more commonly used in India, Indonesia and other parts of Asia. It is used in the same way as regular flour.

Coffee cherries flour does contain some caffeine but not a lot. Sure, the baked goods that you make will have some caffeine, but a minimal amount.

Frequently asked Questions About Is Coffee A Fruit

Is Coffee Considered Fruit?

Getting to the core and crux of the matter coffee beans are the seeds of a fruit and are commonly referred to as a cherry. The small flashy fruit varies in color, depending on its variety, but is mostly red or yellow when it is ripe.

The cherry is high in antioxidants and is high in caffeine, which is where coffee beans get their caffeine from.

Is Coffee A Bean Or A Fruit?

Coffee does look a lot like beans and are commonly referred to as coffee beans, but they are actually the seeds or pits of the fruit which grows on the branches of coffee trees.

The bright red fruit or mellow yellow fruit (depending on the variety) called coffee cherries.

Is Coffee A Legume Or A Fruit?

Despite being referred to as a bean coffee is not a legume. The typical coffee bean is one of two seeds or pits that are inside a bright red fruit, a coffee cherry.

When there is only one coffee pit inside the coffee cherry there it is referred to as a Peaberry coffee, a rare and natural genetic mutation. Peaberry coffee is known for being full of flavor due to all the flavor and nutrients not being shared by the “twin” seed.

Read: Is coffee a vegetable?

What Type Of Fruit Is Coffee?

Coffee is a stone fruit that is produced by the coffee plant and is frequently referred to as a coffee berry, coffee bean and coffee cherry. 

The coffee fruit often starts out a very light lime green and then changes to a light mellow yellow or a deep red color as it becomes ripe. 

Is Coffee Actually A Cherry?

The beans that we grind, roast and brew are the seeds, the pits of a fruit. The coffee plant produces coffee cherries, which inside them are the coffee seeds. The coffee plants (or coffee trees) can grow to be naturally as tall as 30 feet (9 meters) tall but are often pruned to be 5ft to 7 ft tall (1.52M to 2.12M tall).

Why Is Coffee Considered A Fruit?

Despite the name, and being called beans, coffee is actually a seed. They grow on shrubs and bushes, often called trees, producing coffee cherries. What we call coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee cherries.

Read: Where do coffee beans come from?

Final Thoughts – Is Coffee A Fruit?

Reading this far and getting the details the questions is coffee a fruit is no longer a question! The answer is yes! It is a fruit…

…and the bean is really a seed.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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