Every morning, coffee is the energy source that wakes us up from our slumber. For some, it's a learned habit to follow every day and for others, it's an entire lifestyle. Whether or not you're dependent on caffeine, you must have wondered at least once if coffee is actually a fruit or vegetable. While it may be easy to recall if food is classified as either a fruit or vegetable, attempting to make the same determination for coffee can get tricky.
You might think back on your days in school and still, find yourself uncertain about which category this particular product belongs. To bring some clarity into the debate of whether or not coffee is actually considered a fruit, we must examine both sides closely. To remove any confusion, let's make it clear: is coffee a fruit? Sort of. To get to the bottom of this debate, keep reading and you'll find a definitive conclusion at the end.
Looking At Coffee Closely
Before we dive into the particulars, let's take a deeper look at one of our favourite beverages--coffee. The delicious cup you adoringly sip each morning begins with seeds from the coffee plant. Coffee plants are actually evergreen trees that bear fruits resembling red or purple cherries when ripe. Unlike other fruits where the fleshy portion is consumed, coffee cherries are an exception; their outer layer is discarded and it's the inner pit that gets processed and ingested. Furthermore, each cherry pit holds two "seeds" with its flat end situated inside while its round side faces outwardly. At this point, after undergoing a series of processes and handling, the seeds are referred to as green coffee beans. As the cherries of the coffee tree ripen, they're picked and their skin is peeled away to reveal green coffee bean seeds. These are dried using natural methods before being milled and roasted into something magnificent. Finally, these scrumptious beans come packaged straight to you so that you can enjoy a delicious cup of joe.
So Is It A Bean Or A Seed?
Before delving further, it is essential to distinguish between a “bean” and a “seed” with regard to coffee; this will ensure the subsequent discussion remains effortless. Despite its customary denomination as "coffee bean," technically speaking, it is in fact a seed or pit found within the cherry fruit - making that specific piece of produce aptly named. In India specifically, they are referred to just what they are: coffee seeds.
On that note, are you familiar with the incredible history of coffee in India? If so, then you are sure to find out about some extraordinary varieties of blends that have come from this region. The previously forgotten Monsoon Malabar blend is an iconic staple which was thought to be lost with the introduction of the Suez Canal and its effect on world trade. Fortunately, it has been recreated by one of the best coffee brands in India in its Monsoon Malabar AA blend and can now once again tantalize your taste buds! So why not take a sip into history today?
Is Coffee A Fruit?
So, what is the verdict? Is coffee a fruit indeed? The answer is yes! Coffee cherries are classified as fruits because they contain seeds that are processed into roasted beans. These coffee trees generate the cherry-like fruits from which we obtain our beloved beverage's beans; in essence, this means that your regular cup of java counts as a fruity treat. Just as tomatoes are classified as fruits instead of vegetables because they develop from flowers, the same applies to coffee.
Also, though not typically eaten, the pulp of coffee cherries can be processed to create a herbal tea known as "cascara," which is exceptionally high in caffeine and full of antioxidants.
Are Coffee Beans Fruits Too?
Coffee beans and coffee are commonly mistaken for the same thing, which may explain why there is a constant dispute about the fruit debate. To clarify: The part of us that consumes it -the coffee bean-is not actually a fruit. We discard its fleshy exterior to get to it but really, this seed is just one component of an entire cherry or berry — making that the actual fruit. It's almost like throwing away the avocado and eating only its pit - except in coffee’s case, it is actually more delicious than the rest of the fruit! But hang on a moment. It gets even more complicated from here; type “is coffee a vegetable” in Google search and see what you find. You'll be surprised by your discoveries!
Confusion Regarding Coffee Being A Vegetable?
Could it be that Google is bewildered by the definition of coffee? If so, then their top search result provides an amusing response: "Beans are vegetables. Thus, we can infer that coffee must also be a vegetable." Evidently, even the leading search engine in the world has its moments of confusion!
It's true that any part of a plant consumed is classified as "vegetable", but many such foods are further broken down by their origin. Take beans for instance - they do not fall under the vegetable category, rather they belong to the legume family. Now you may wonder whether coffee beans are also legumes. No, even though they go by the name “beans”, in actuality these small seeds have nothing to do with vegetables at all! Unfortunately, this misconception has been perpetuated due to inaccurate labelling of them as "beans".
And there you have it – the truth to the question of "is coffee a fruit?" is out. Although the differentiation between the coffee seed and its fruity exterior can be confusing, we hope that this article has cleared up any doubts for you. Just remember: those purple-red berries/cherries grown on trees are actually fruits, while their seeds (coffee beans) inside them make your favourite morning beverage.