Have you ever heard of green coffee beans? You may think that’s a weird term when you hear it for the first time since the coffee beans we see are usually light brown to dark brown in color.
The color green is only appreciated when it is in nature. Otherwise, terms like “green meat” that signify rotten meat or “green with envy” to signify jealousy” may have you thinking the wrong thoughts about green coffee.
That may lead you to ask a question that is often asked by curious coffee drinkers ” are coffee beans green?” Here is some information to answer that question.
What is Green Coffee?
Yes, there is something like green coffee beans. It is a term used to refer to unroasted, freshly processed coffee beans after they are extracted from coffee cherries. These beans are usually green in color with a grass-like taste which is why they are referred to as green coffee.
Coffee producers preserve green coffee beans as they are instead of roasting them. These types of coffee beans are in high demand due to the many health benefits associated with them.
Some of the best green coffee beans in the market are;
- Mundo Novo Cerrado Mineiro green coffee beans from Brazil
- Bourbon green coffee beans from Guatemala
- Heirloom Yirgacheffe Kochere Green coffee beans from Ethiopia
- Caturra Supremo Green Coffee Beans from Colombia
- Caturra Jinotega green coffee beans from Nicaragua
- Monsoon Malabar green coffee beans from India
- Peaberry green coffee beans from Kenya
The Process of Producing Green Coffee Beans
When you look at coffee plants during harvesting, you will notice red fruits on them. These are called cherries. They start as green fruits and ripen to a yellow or red color before being harvested.
Coffee cherries contain two seeds which we refer to as coffee beans. These cherries undergo dry or wet processing to separate the coffee beans from the skin and flesh of the cherries. It’s similar to how you remove skin and pulp around fruits such as mangoes and plums and find a seed at the center.
The dry or natural method of processing coffee involves putting them out in the sun to dry. As the sun beats down on the cherries, their skin softens making it easy for farmers to remove and get to the coffee beans underneath. These dried green coffee beans are then packaged or roasted to make different types of roasts.
The wet or washed method of processing coffee cherries is usually used in places with lots of water. It involves mechanically removing the flesh from coffee cherries and soaking them in water to remove any remaining flesh from the coffee seeds through fermentation. That reveals green coffee beans which are rinsed with clean water, dried, and packaged for roasting or for sale in their raw form.
Green coffee is usually olive or bluish-green in color based on whether it is processed using the dry or wet method. Coffee producers ensure they thoroughly dry green coffee beans, only leaving a moisture content of 11 to 12 percent to prevent moisture damage.
People who enjoy drinking coffee made from green coffee beans should store them in air-tight containers to preserve their color, aroma, and flavor.
That means keeping them away from light, humidity, and heat. Green coffee beans stored in this manner can last up to a year without going stale.
Characteristics of Green Coffee Beans
Green coffee beans have a mild flavor that may remind you of freshly cut grass or herbal tea. They are available as Arabica or Robusta coffee beans. These coffee beans create a lightly flavored brew that’s more acidic than what you get when brewing roasted coffee beans.
They contain antioxidant compounds called chlorogenic acids and caffeine that you can also find in eggplants, blueberries, strawberries, and potatoes. These compounds dramatically reduce when green coffee beans are roasted. That’s why dark roasts contain fewer antioxidants and caffeine than light roasts.
Green coffee beans are one of the coffees used to make more than beverages. They are processed into green coffee extract supplements recommended for various health purposes such as weight loss and skin improvement.
Some people prefer to buy green coffee beans and roast them at home to produce roasted coffee beans with the best flavor. Most popular coffee houses also import green coffee beans and roast them to create their own distinctly flavored coffee beans.
The best green coffee beans for roasting are;
- Coffee beans that have been harvested recently which can produce the freshest roasts possible.
- Beans of equal size without any defects that will roast evenly and produce high-quality coffee beans.
- Green coffee beans with citrus and floral flavors, such as those from South America that make sweet, light, and medium roast coffee beans.
- Coffee beans with chocolatey and nutty flavors like those from Brazil that make excellent medium to dark roast coffee beans.
- Green coffee beans with an earthy, umami flavor like those from Indonesia that make great French roast coffees.
How to Prepare Coffee From Green Coffee Beans
You can make coffee from whole green coffee beans or grind them to make green coffee grounds. Coarse green coffee grounds work best when it comes to the extraction of flavor and aroma.
Brewing coffee with green coffee grounds is as easy as steeping them in hot water boiled to 90° C for up to ten minutes. These beans can also brew flavorful Cold brew if you immerse them in filtered water for 18 -24 hours.
Green coffee cold brew can be stored in the fridge for up to three days and used as a concentrate to include in various green coffee beverages such as Green Coffee Mojitos and Green coffee smoothies.
Benefits of Green Coffee Beans
Although they are not as popular as roasted coffee beans, green coffee beans are just as good if not better than roasted coffee. They are valued for their many benefits, such as;
- Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
Green coffee beans contain compounds that improve blood glucose levels and treat metabolic syndrome reducing an individual’s chances of getting type 2 Diabetes.
- Improves the Levels of Good Cholesterol in The Body
Green coffee can lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), decreasing chances of suffering heart attacks or strokes.
- Enhances Moods and Reduces Exhaustion
The chlorogenic acid in green coffee can elevate your mood and prevent inflammatory and oxidative stress.
These coffee beans also contain caffeine, which boosts alertness and improves the brain’s cognitive functions.
- Prevents Cancers
Green coffee contains many antioxidants such as caffeic, chlorogenic, and ferulic acids that can prevent and treat different forms of cancer by stopping free radical damage.
Some examples of cancers that can be prevented by taking green coffee are skin, lung, liver, colon, and breast cancer.
- Aids in Weight Loss
Green coffee has exceptional fat-burning capabilities that aid in weight loss. That is due to its caffeine content which boosts the body’s metabolism, encouraging the body to burn excess fat.
Disadvantages of Green Coffee
Although green coffee beans provide many benefits to the body, they have certain drawbacks. These are;
- Caffeine Jitters
Green coffee beans contain high amounts of caffeine that can cause caffeine jitters in people suffering from caffeine sensitivity. These jitters are characterized by anxiety, heart palpitations, headaches, fatigue, and insomnia.
- Triggering High Blood Pressure
Due to its ability to increase the heart rate, green coffee can cause dangerous heart palpitations when taken in excess. That may lead to a spike in high blood pressure or heart attacks.
Now that you know there are green coffee beans and why they are referred to as “green,” you don’t have to drink coffee made using roast coffee beans only.
We’ve given you a few examples of excellent green coffee beans in the market that you can try. These coffee beans have the potential to improve your health in various ways.
If the idea of drinking green coffee appeals to you, try experimenting with different types of these beans to prepare various green coffee beverages.
You may find it’s an interesting coffee that you can have once in a while to benefit your health.