Is It Bad To Drink Coffee Grounds No, And Here's Why!

Is It Bad To Drink Coffee Grounds? No, And Here’s Why!

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 22:06

Before you jump in and eat or drink coffee grounds, it’s good to know the answers to the question posed – Is it bad to drink coffee grounds?

Instead of dragging out an answer, here it is: It is not bad to drink coffee ground. It is in fact completely safe. There are no side effects of consuming a small amount of coffee grounds that make their way into your cup of coffee.

Keep reading for more information about drinking coffee grounds.

Is It Bad To Drink Coffee Grounds?

No, it is not bad to drink coffee grounds as they are safe, non-toxic and completely edible.

People have enjoyed Turkish coffee which is brewed and served with coffee with a small amount of grounds in it. Coffee has been enjoyed for centuries without adverse health effects caused by drinking a cup of coffee that has coffee grounds in it.

Many coffee lovers would debate the benefit of having a cup of coffee like a Turkish coffee with some grounds left in the brew as the grounds continue to extract as the coffee is getting brewed meaning as you drink your coffee and get to the bottom of the cup your coffee is getting stronger and more flavorful…to a point!

As long as your coffee does not sit too long, it will taste better and better. If you leave your coffee too long, the coffee grounds will eventually over extract making your coffee overtly bitter.

Coffee grounds are full of nutrients, antioxidants and phenolic compounds and thus have a number of health benefits when enjoyed in moderation. These organic compounds are known to aid in the fight with cancer, liver disease, aid your cardiovascular health to name a few very important and eye-catching health benefits.

You shouldn’t worry about consuming the small amount of coffee grounds that is in a cup of coffee as it is normally a very small and insignificant amount. I am sure that you have enjoyed the rich espresso taste of baked treats like a coffee cake or cookies baked with coffee grounds.

However, too much of a good thing can be detrimental. Coffee grounds contain caffeine and the effects of excessive caffeine consumption are well documented.

Just be careful with your coffee consumption, including how many cups of coffee you drink, how many coffee grounds you eat (yes you can eat them!) and your consumption of coffee beans.

Don’t exceed the 400 mg daily limit of caffeine as suggested by the FDA.

Is It Bad To Drink Coffee Grounds
It’s Not Bad To Drink Coffee Grounds

Read: Does eating coffee beans give you caffeine?

Can You Drink Ground Coffee Without Filtering?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to drink those tiny coffee remnants, the sediment that may appear at the bottom of your coffee.

If your drip coffee filter is not quite filtering well and needs to be renewed, don’t worry about that tiny amount of coffee that gets through. Whole coffee brewing methods like Turkish coffee are brewed in a manner where it is intentional that coffee grounds get into your cup.

The advantage of having coffee grounds in your cup is because of an oily substance called diterpenes which make your coffee have a slightly heavier body and are more flavorful.

This is also why a metal coffee filter is preferred by many coffee fans and coffee lovers, the diterpenes are not filtered out.

Note: You will get more diterpenes in your cup of coffee if you have some grounds in your cup when compared to using a metal filter.

What Happens If You Eat A Spoonful Of Coffee Grounds?

A spoonful of fresh or used coffee grounds when you eat them will most certainly not make you sick. Coffee grounds are 100% edible and non-toxic for humans.

Coffee grounds are full of antioxidants, nutrients and other healthy compounds, and thus it is nothing to worry about if you get a few coffee grounds in your cup of coffee.

I mean, if a whole spoonful consumed directly is okay then those few grinds that you may accidentally consume is not a problem.

While you can and will enjoy some great benefits of the coffee ground consumption and the consumption of coffee beans, you should be aware that there are some side effects associated with excessive caffeine in take and stick to the suggested 400 milligrams of caffeine per day.

While the average eight ounce cup of coffee has 100 milligrams of caffeine, the average coffee bean has 12 milligrams of caffeine, which means 8 coffee beans are the equivalent of a single cup of brewed coffee. A good rule of thumb to follow is not to consume any caffeine within 8 hours of bedtime.

What Happens If You Eat A Spoonful Of Coffee Grounds
It Is Safe To Eat A Spoonful Of Coffee Grounds Or Beans

Read: What happens if you eat coffee grounds?

Is Eating Raw Coffee Powder Harmful?

Raw coffee powder is not harmful when consumed directly be they fresh and unbrewed or used coffee grounds. The only potentially harmful effect is associated with excessive caffeine consumption.

Caffeine is perfectly safe and there are many studies that indicate that caffeine is very safe when consumed at moderate levels.

Unfortunately, excessive levels are associated with detrimental health conditions such as:

  • Increased anxiety, stress, nausea, panic attacks and heart palpitations.
  • Increased pregnancy risk for mother and unborn baby. Low birth weight, premature birth and miscarriage are associated with elevated caffeine levels.
  • Sleep disturbance, insomnia and low quality sleep.

The healthy limit is 400 milligrams per day of total caffeine content for adults and 200 mg per day for pregnant women.

What Do Coffee Grounds Taste Like?

Raw coffee grounds have a strong bitter and roasted taste. You can consume them directly, coat them in chocolate or add them to oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies and baked goods for a flavor boost.

You can add them to stews and soups too.

Frequently Asked Questions About Is It Bad To Drink Coffee Grounds?

No, coffee grounds are edible, and many people do consume coffee grounds and whole coffee beans on a regular basis.

Coffee grounds are a source of antioxidants, nutrients, fiber and phenolic compounds and of course caffeine. Like brewed coffee, they are safe to consume in moderation.

If you have been drinking the coffee grounds in your Turkish coffee or any other coffee brewing method that has a small amount of grounds getting into the finished beverage you have nothing to worry about.

Coffee grounds have potent antioxidant properties and can help to protect your skin from sun damage, aid blood flow and is good for your skin health. You can eat them and enjoy the health benefits, drink them and even repurpose them into hair and skin exfoliants for your body and face.

Eating used coffee grounds has been studied and proven to be beneficial for helping to manage obesity and metabolic syndrome by just incorporating 5% of your total diet with coffee grounds.

The study was conducted on rats with no human trails or studies conducted. The indications are that coffee grounds are good for your gut health.

Read: Eating coffee beans

Pica is an eating disorder where people have a compulsive urge to eat non-food items, be it soil, clay, paint, coal, glue, starch, eggshells and yes coffee grounds. The history of Pica dates back over 2,000 years.

Coffee grounds and coffee beans have been consumed by humans for long before we were brewing coffee. Whole coffee beans were often made with animal fats for consumption as an energy food.

When you eat coffee grounds or coffee beans instead of drinking a cup of coffee, this can lead to a greater and faster absorption of the caffeine, nutrients and antioxidants and other beneficial compounds through the lining of your mouth when compared to drinking them.

The negative effects of coffee, such as excess caffeine consumption, can be amplified also and thus, like everything else, it is best to enjoy coffee grounds and coffee beans in moderation.

Studies exist that indicate that eating coffee grounds or whole coffee beans may aid your ability to lose weight via a number of pathways, including the enhancement of the metabolic rate and the suppression of hunger.

I have successfully completed various coffee fasts lasting up to 4 weeks (yes, 4 weeks of no food and only coffee) and managed the hunger with the use of coffee. I was not eating coffee but drinking it. I can say based on my own experience that it is certainly possible.

Final Thoughts – Is It Bad To Drink Coffee Grounds?

I hope that I have clarified the question, is it bad to drink coffee ground and given you clarity to the question.

It is safe to drink coffee grounds. It’s even safe to eat them directly and coffee beans are also safe to eat just as long as you stay within the caffeine limits. 

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Derek Marshall is a coffee expert and a Specialty Coffee Association Certified barista holding the professional certification for coffee brewing and barista skills. He has 20+ years experience of working in specialty coffee shops. He has several authoritative books published about coffee covering topics of specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. His experience as a barista covers 2 decades and counting of working in specialty coffee shops in the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia. Indonesia and Vietnam. He has deep knowledge of the unique coffee culture in each of these nations and specialty beverages requested and brewing techniques and equipment. As a coffee consultant he commands US$50 per hour. Learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew by checking his About Me Page. If you have any questions about coffee, give him a call on +34-639-410-375 or drop him an email Please state your name and where you are from.

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