Can you eat coffee cherries?

In the short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat coffee cherries?” with an in-depth analysis of coffee cherries, the taste of coffee cherries, the nutritional composition of coffee cherries, along with the health benefits and the risks of eating coffee cherries. 

Can you eat coffee cherries?

Yes, you can eat coffee cherries. Coffee cherries are not toxic to human beings and are completely edible. 

What are coffee cherries?

Coffee cherry, also known as coffee fruit or coffee berry, is a small, round stone, raw fruit that contains seeds. It is produced by the coffee plant and is about the size of a grape. It is green when raw and changes into a deep red, reddish-purple, or yellowish-red when ripened.

The interior of a coffee cherry has a thin covering of sugar termed as the mucilage and a slimy film that shields the bean. The skin of coffee cherry can be quite rough and sticky while the fruit’s pulp adheres to the coffee bean, just like mango or peach. 

The coffee cherries should be harvested at their ripest when they turn dark-red from the outside. This provides ample time for the fermentation of sugars in the coffee cherries, resulting in a complex and sweet cup of coffee when the beans are roasted. 

The taste of ripe coffee cherry is very sweet and fruity just like a watermelon mixed with raspberry or apricot.

The presence of caffeine in coffee cherries 

Coffee is the richest source of caffeine which is mainly consumed from beans. The coffee seed produces the most caffeine among all the other parts of the coffee plant, including its leaves. The coffee fruit also produces caffeine but in limited amounts.

The nutritional composition of coffee cherries

A 100 gram serving of coffee cherry provides: 

  • Calories: 144.9 Kcal
  • Fibre: 51 g 
  • Calcium: 425 mg 
  • Magnesium: 333 mg  
  • Iron: 49.6 mg 
  • Sodium: 15.7 mg 
  • Caffeine: 530 mg 
  • Antioxidants: 22 mmol 

The health benefits of coffee cherries 

Eating coffee cherries is not only good for the environment but also has powerful health benefits. It is enriched with antioxidants and gives you a good health boost.

Coffee cherries are abundant in antioxidants and polyphenols. Coffee cherries contain good amounts of antioxidants and polyphenols, including chlorogenic acid. They protect the body from damage from free radicals, which can cause oxidative stress to cells and result in complications.‌

Coffee cherries may protect the brain. It has been found out that coffee cherries help protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other age-related diseases. The protective effects of coffee cherries are due to the procyanidins or polyphenols. 

Coffee cherries raise the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a protein that helps to protect the brain cells from damage and improves brain function.  

Coffee cherries may lower blood pressure. It has been found out that chlorogenic acid present in the green coffee extract can potentially decrease blood pressure. Coffee cherries have the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Coffee cherries may promote weight loss. Research has shown that green coffee cherries extract can help promote weight loss due to the presence of chlorogenic acid which burns fat. 

Coffee cherries may boost immunity. The coffee cherry extract has been shown to improve immune function and stimulate immune cells, thus helping to fight diseases.

Coffee cherries possess anti-cancer properties. Coffee is known to reduce the formation and spread of cancer, especially liver and endometrial cancer. Several animal studies have shown that coffee cherries have anti-cancer properties. However, more research is needed for us to understand if coffee cherries can help protect humans from cancer.

Coffee cherries promote anti-ageing. Coffee cherries powerful antioxidants that can help your skin look youthful. Several manufacturers use coffee cherries extracts in their skincare and cosmetic products.

The health risks of eating coffee cherries

‌Coffee cherries has numerous health benefits, but they should be consumed in moderate amounts. Excessive consumption of coffee cherries may result in health risks and side effects. It has been found out that animals do not tolerate high doses of coffee cherry extracts well, hence we should consume them in moderation.

What is Cascara? 

Coffee cherries are used to make cascara, a free by-product of coffee cherries prepared from the dried skin and pulp of the coffee fruit.

It is brewed as a coffee cherry tea and has a more tea-like taste than a coffee drink due to its sweetness, body, and brewing method. It contains approximately the same amount of caffeine as a cup of black tea.


In the short article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat coffee cherries?” with an in-depth analysis of coffee cherries, the taste of coffee cherries, the nutritional composition of coffee cherries, along with the health benefits and the risks of eating coffee cherries. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.