I just ate a protein bar with coffee beans in it. I get that it is a good energy source and it tastes like coffee but is the coffee beans prepared in a certain way. I'm not quite sure if they are edible raw or what the beans have to go through. So how does raw coffee beans become edible coffee beans that can be put into all sorts of foods? Or are coffee beans left raw or even both? Please use reliable sources and all help is appreciated!

  • With the edit I think I'm even more confused. You seem to know they're roasted, then you ask how they were prepared. Are you still just trying to ask if it's possible/safe to eat unroasted beans? Or are you trying to ask how roasting makes them safe?
    – Cascabel
    Feb 20, 2015 at 1:46
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    You might want to post two separate questions, then. "Can you eat them raw?" is very different from "How does roasting work?" and right now the question is a sort of jumble of both, making it unlikely that you'll get thorough answers to both. ("How does roasting work?" also might be worth clarifying - what is it about roasting that you want to know? Are you asking what kind of equipment is used? What effect it has on the beans?)
    – Cascabel
    Feb 20, 2015 at 1:48

2 Answers 2


Roasted coffee beans (from which you'd brew coffee as usual) are certainly edible -- chocolate-covered coffee beans are an example. They don't need any different or additional processing beyond ordinary roasting; I'm guessing that was what was in your bar. Chew a whole roasted coffee bean; does it taste similar?

If you're asking about green beans, a quick search suggests that raw coffee beans contain some questionable chemicals; however, this question about the edibility of coffee cherries seems to indicate that they're not harmful...

  • There is actually a whole group of people in the US who eat green beans as part of a weight-loss program because "Dr" Oz said they should.
    – Justin C
    Feb 18, 2015 at 13:27
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    You know I mean green coffee beans, right? Feb 18, 2015 at 21:58
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    @PythonMaster - I have never seen a bar with whole, green beans (and couldn't find such a product with a quick search); I have seen a bar with roasted beans and I don't think raw beans taste like coffee, so I apologise if I misunderstood your question. Your title was "Making Coffee Beans Edible", and your first sentence mentioned a "bar with coffee beans", so I answered in that frame: roasted beans in food products. You later discuss raw/green beans, so the later sentences of my answer pointed at topic/previous-question on the edibility green/raw/unroasted beans and coffee cherry.
    – hoc_age
    Feb 19, 2015 at 13:03
  • @JustinC - There's plenty more room for another answer here; do you know more about eating green coffee beans? Please consider expanding to an answer.
    – hoc_age
    Feb 19, 2015 at 13:04
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    @PythonMaster - Come to think of it: if your question is "Are unroasted, green coffee beans edible?" with subtext of, do they undergo additional processing to make them edible? To the extent that raw, whole coffee cherry are different from green/un-roasted coffee beans, I submit this would be a clearer question (and one that would be good to have!)
    – hoc_age
    Feb 19, 2015 at 13:09

You can eat coffee cherries, but they don't taste like coffee and have some laxative properties, so you may not want to eat very many.

You have encountered some snacky treats with coffee as a dry ingredient. Those are delicious. They are generally made with coffee beans rather than the coffee cherries; the coffee bean, already roasted, is ground to a fine powder and mixed in.

Coffee processing includes picking, drying, pulping, washing, roasting, and then the parts we're familiar with-- grinding and brewing. You can read more on the process here: http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/coffee5.htm

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