Is Coffee A Legume?

Nothing could ever defeat coffee. It is a top-tier drink that everybody loves. Bitter or sweet, hot or iced, black or white, it always does the necessary work no matter what our preferences for the coffee are. Although sometimes, it could get a little bumpy on our stomach just after a while of digesting some! So what is a coffee bean? Is coffee a legume? Or is it a fruit?

Is Coffee A Legume (AKA bean)?

A lot of us may be curious as to whether coffee is a legume. Well, they are not classified as legumes. Legume are beans that are also seeds. But take note that seeds are not always beans. Beans are found inside the pod, while seeds are found inside the beans. Some example of legumes are peanuts, chickpeas, green peas, and et cetera. But we must not confuse ourselves from the difference of a “seed” and a “bean”. Though in some occasions, these two terms are used interchangeably, it wouldn’t hurt to know that their basic difference could extremely separate the two from each other, would it?

So, what is a coffee bean?

We sometimes call it “coffee bean”, but coffee is actually a seed — they can be replanted when subjected under their optimal environment conditions for those that were not processed.

What is a coffee cherry?

The Coffea plant produce coffee cherries. Roughly there are 1200 species of coffea plant which grows on tropical and native shrubs of Asia and Africa. Robusta, arabica, liberica, and excelsa are the most common types of coffee. This plant produce red cherries that contain two (2) seeds which are the ones that we harvest. Uncommonly, only one (1) seed is found in the cherries – they are called the pea berries or caracol. Anatomically speaking, the coffee cherries contain 7 layers of skin. The outer layer or skin is called the pericarp or exocarp. Underneath it is the pulp or mesocarp. Next is the slimy layer or parenchyma, which are typically rinsed before the roasting process. Endocarp is a thin, paper-like layer that covers the beans, which are often called the parchment. Then, the spermoderm or what the coffee trade calls as silver skin is a thin membrane under the parchment that separates the two beans from each other. Finally, inside the coffee cherry is the bean or the endosperm.

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Is coffee a fruit?

Now that a light is shed on whether coffee is a legume, it may push us to think that since coffee is actually a seed from cherries. Are they considered as fruit? Apparently, yes, coffee beans are fruits — a highly caffeinated one. It also contains tremendous amounts of healthy fats all the while triggering our mind and physical body to think and act sharp by stimulating certain levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine in our body.

The next time that we hear the words “coffee bean”, I know that this particular question would unknowingly pop-up of our minds as we are drinking our caffeinated beverage and we would certainly know that coffee are not beans, or a part of the legume family, but a seed.

 

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