How Much Caffeine is in a Chocolate-Covered Espresso Bean?
In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how much caffeine is in a chocolate-covered espresso bean”, how to determine the caffeine content of chocolate-covered espresso beans, and are they safe to consume.
How Much Caffeine is in a Chocolate-Covered Espresso Bean?
A chocolate-covered espresso bean contains 6 to 13 milligrams of caffeine. The coffee bean itself contains around 6 milligrams, while the remaining is from the chocolate coating.
If every coffee bean covered with chocolate weighs around 2.85 grams, then a serving of chocolate-covered espresso beans (40 grams) will contain 84 to 182 milligrams of caffeine. (According to the USDA, a portion of 40 g is equal to 28 pieces, that is, one piece is equal to 1.42 g, but that may vary, depending on the producer) (1).
However, a study investigated the amount of caffeine in roasted coffee beans from different origins and also the weight variation of a single bean. The variation found for caffeine was between 15 mg/g and 20 mg/g while the weight of a single coffee bean ranged between 130 mg and 180 mg, with an average of 160 mg. This means that a single coffee bean contains between 2 and 3 mg of caffeine (2). There is no difference between coffee beans and espresso beans. The difference is in the brewing method, which increases the caffeine content of espresso, due to the use of pressurized infusion (3).
A serving of chocolate covered coffee beans weighs 40 g and contains 28 units. This means that each coffee bean is covered in 1.27 g of chocolate (as the bean alone weighs an average of 0.16 g). This adds 1 mg of caffeine, because dark chocolate has 80 mg of caffeine per 100 g. It can be concluded that, according to this study, a roasted coffee bean covered in chocolate can contain a maximum of 4 mg of caffeine and a serving of 40 g or 28 units can contain a maximum of 112 mg of caffeine, which is a third of the indicated by the USDA.
Roasted coffee beans covered in the goodness of rich chocolate are undoubtedly hearty mid-day snacks. Since both chocolate and coffee contain caffeine, these small delicious beans also provide a surge of energy, which is why they must be eaten in moderation.
How are Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans Prepared?
Chocolate-covered espresso beans are prepared by roasted and coating the beans in chocolate. Various kinds of small and round candies are glazed by coating centers with sugar or chocolate. This is done by a process known as panning. The centers are placed in revolving heated pans and melted chocolate is sprayed into the pan. As the centers gently tumble, they become uniformly coated with chocolate, which dries as water is evaporated from the heated pan and the pans are chilled with cool air to solidify the chocolate coating. Chocolate-panned items frequently are further polished or glazed by spraying a solution of gum arabic or zein into the pan after the chocolate coating is applied (4).
Coffee beans are actually the fruit of the coffee plant. Generally, no one wants to eat a green coffee bean due to its bitter taste and tough texture.
Upon roasting, however, the beans become soft and develop a tangy and delightful flavor.
Also, the beans turn brown and are typically ground and brewed to prepare coffee with its distinct color and aroma that coffee lovers everywhere love.
But instead of grinding, roasted coffee beans can be consumed whole as well. Actually, roasted coffee beans contain the same amounts of nutrients and feature the same health benefits that are in a cup of coffee, but in a slightly more concentrated form.
However, everyone doesn’t prefer the strong flavor of roasted whole coffee beans, and that’s why the chocolate-covered kind is extremely popular – the chocolate somewhat tempers the taste, adds a hint of sweetness, and softens the crunch!
What Determines the Caffeine Content of Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans?
The caffeine content of coffee beans depends on two things: the type of chocolate they are coated in, and the bean itself. Coffee origin and species, as well as roasting grade and storage conditions are determinant for the caffeine concentration of the coffee bean (3).
In order to consume these treats carefully, you must know what determines the caffeine content of a chocolate-covered espresso bean.
Type of Chocolate
There are many types of chocolate that differ in the amounts of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar, milk, and other ingredients they contain. In the United States, “sweet chocolate” or “sweet chocolate coating” must contain at least 15% of chocolate liquor, “milk chocolate” at least 10%, and ”bittersweet chocolate” at least 35%. Dark chocolate contains about 85% more cocoa as compared to milk chocolate (4).
According to the USDA, the typical caffeine content of dark chocolate is about 22.7mg/oz., while that of milk chocolate is 5mg/oz. White chocolate contains zero caffeine.
This means that coffee beans covered in dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate will have significantly higher caffeine content.
So remember the general rule: as the chocolate gets darker, its cocoa content rises, in turn increasing its caffeine content.
Type of Coffee Bean
There are many different kinds of coffee beans, but the most commonly preferred are Arabica and Robusta beans.
Arabica beans are what coffee shops and cafés use to prepare their delicious beverages, whereas Robusta is generally found in luxury coffee brands and is stronger and bitter. Arabica is described by a roasty, fruity and malted note, while Robusta has burnt, musty and earthy notes. Preferred flavor of coffee is obtained by blending these two varieties (5).
One Arabica bean contains about 6 mg of caffeine, while a single Robusta bean contains about double that amount, with 10mg (3).
What is the Difference between Regular and Espresso Chocolate-Covered Beans?
The basic difference between regular beans and espresso beans is how the two are roasted. Roasted for much longer than regular beans, espresso beans have a distinctive dark brown color.
Most people assume that espresso beans are stronger than regular beans, but this is not true.
Prolonged roasting reduces the caffeine content of coffee beans. So even though espresso signifies ‘concentrated coffee’, that just refers to its taste and not its caffeine content. However, what is more important to determine that the Espresso coffee is a special coffee is the brewing method and not the roasting grade (temperature and intensity), because espresso coffee can be brewed out of regular coffee beans (3).
Hence, if you’re looking for chocolate-covered coffee beans with less caffeine, buy a product that features espresso beans.
Plus, they’re better tasting and crunchier as well due to longer roasting!
Is it Safe to Eat Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans?
As long as you know the amount of caffeine you’re consuming in a serving, and you monitor the quantity of beans you eat, you’ll be just fine.
Whole coffee beans contain higher concentrations of caffeine as compared to a brew.
This is because coffee is diluted with water, milk, sugar, and cream, but the beans are consumed as a whole, providing a more concentrated effect of the caffeine.-covered coffee beans. Whereas consuming whole beans causes faster absorption of caffeine via the lining of the mouth. Some people who metabolize caffeine slowly may experience nausea, weakness, palpitations, or anxiety after consumption, which will not be experienced by people with rapid metabolism of this substance (3).
The FDA recommends adults restrict their caffeine intake to 400 mg per day. This means that consuming about 30 beans a day should comply with these recommendations.
Other FAQs about Chocolate that you may be interested in.
Can melted chocolate go in the fridge?
Can modeling chocolate go in the fridge?
In this brief guide, we answered the question “how much caffeine is in a chocolate-covered espresso bean”, how to determine the caffeine content of chocolate-covered espresso beans, and are they safe to consume.
Chocolate and caffeine share various health benefits that make them good for health, including increased alertness, providing an energy boost, and being rich in antioxidants.
However, too much caffeine intake can result in unpleasant symptoms such as jitters, increased heart rate, and sleep disturbances.
Hence, the serving range mentioned in the article – 84 to 182 milligrams – is important to remember, particularly if you also consume caffeinated tea, coffee, or soda. So you must enjoy these chocolate-covered espresso beans in moderation, and preferably avoid them as a bedtime snack!
If you have any questions or comments please let us know.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Dark chocolate covered espresso bean.
- Fox, Glen P., et al. Variation in caffeine concentration in single coffee beans. J agri food chem, 2013, 61, 10772-10778.
- Olechno, Ewa, et al. Influence of Various Factors on Caffeine Content in Coffee Brews. Foods, 2021, 10, 1208.
- Potter, Norman N., and Joseph H. Hotchkiss. Confectionery and chocolate products. Food science. Springer, Boston, MA, 1995. 464-477.
- Sanz, Cristina, et al. Profiles of volatile compounds and sensory analysis of three blends of coffee: influence of different proportions of Arabica and Robusta and influence of roasting coffee with sugar. J Sci Food Agri, 82, 2002,.8, 840-847.