Very few people know that the coffee bean is a seed contained in a coffee cherry. The coffee fruit is actually so sweet we consider it to be a cherry. Ever curious about how it tastes like? And is it safe to eat the fruit? Maybe it tastes like coffee, right? Well, in this article, we will tell you everything there is to know about the coffee fruit and how it behaves on our taste buds.
The coffee plant is categorized as a fruit tree, and its fruits closely resemble berries. They are green when raw and turn redder as they ripen. After picking, the skin and pulp are removed, and seeds are left. The seeds are what is useful to us and when roasted, become “coffee beans.”
Can you eat Coffee Fruit?
A lot of the fruits we enjoy are loved because of their sweet taste and their applicability in making a great glass of fruit juice or a plate of salad. So, how delicious are coffee cherries?
To start with, there is no nutritional value in the fruit. When you bite into it, you will realize that the cherry is mostly skin and seeds. Its skin is a lot rough, and beneath it is a pulp that sticks to the seeds, sort of like a peach stone that has slimy parts that won’t come off.
The ripe coffee cherry is, however, delicious. In fact, it tastes better than a ripe mango, and when fresh, it is a fusion of apricot and watermelon. Sweet, right? It is just that there isn’t much flesh to enjoy. But they are totally safe to eat. Some animals enjoy these cherries a lot. According to legend, that is also how they were discovered.
Kaldi, an Ethiopian goat herder, noticed that his goats got a lot of energy after eating these wild cherries that he got his village mates to try it and voila, we got the number one popular beverage the world over.
Many People prefer the Caffeine
While the fruit, or what little of it is there, might be delicious, humanity fell in love with coffee not because of how good it might taste, rather the stimulating effect of drinking it.
When the coffee seeds are depulped, they are extremely dense and not viable for grinding, but roasting will brittle it, and suddenly, it will be possible to grind and brew it.
Roasting coffee is what gives it that great taste it is famed for. While it started out as a necessity, it has gone on to give it that familiar flavor we all like to feel on our tongue.
Eating the fruit is like eating raw sausage and expecting it to have that juicy richness of a cooked one. See?
You can drink it though
If you are hell-bent on savoring the coffee taste minus the brewed beverage, you could try out cascara. Cascara is a byproduct of coffee that has, for years, been popular with Latin American farmers. Once the cherries have been depulped and the skin dried, coffee cherry tea or cascara is made.
While it is more similar to tea than coffee, cascara manages to hold that unique coffee cherry flavor and has the same caffeine level as black tea. If you trust the producer, it is totally okay to eat cascara. It tastes a bit like raisins and cranberries (dried).
While it is still subject to speculation, there hasn’t been enough research on it to credit nor to discredit it, and as a result, the European Union has banned its sale in its territories till enough studies have been conducted.
Coffee cherries are, however, safe to eat. They are a fruit!