At the present time, there has been a lot of research about the benefits of drinking coffee. Almost everyone is aware that coffee comes from roasted coffee beans. However, most are not very familiar with the coffee fruit, or what is called coffeeberry. It comes from the same plant as the coffee bean. Though, it is traditionally discarded during the coffee-making process.
Recently, coffeeberry reemerged in the world of health and wellness. It has been advertised as a trendy new superfood that is included in juices, herbal teas, and supplements. In fact, the coffeeberry extract is also being used on the skin. If it is your first time to hear about coffeeberry and you’re curious about what it is, you’re in the right place. Read on as we’re giving you more information about coffeeberry.
What is Coffeeberry?
Coffeeberries are also known as coffee cherries. They are small rounded fruits that are as big as grapes. They grow in clusters along the branches of the coffee plant. They have a green color, and they mature to a deep red or sometimes yellowish-red color. It has a smooth skin texture that is taut and shiny and has a bitter flavor. Its flesh, on the other hand, is very sweet, juicy, and tender, with some hints of cherries, watermelon, hibiscus, cranberries, and raspberries. At its center, it has two blue-green seeds, which are fresh forms of coffee beans. But there are also natural mutations wherein some coffeeberries only have one bean inside, which is called a peaberry. It is believed to produce a sweeter and more flavorful coffee.
Mostly, coffeeberries are available during spring and summer. They belong to the Rubiaceae family, and in the class, Coffea. There are also many different species of the coffeeberry plant, but two of the main ones that are cultivated commercially are Coffea arabica or arabica coffee and Coffea canephora, which is also known as Robusta coffee.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, during processing, coffee beans are removed from the pit, and the coffee fruit is usually discarded. But today, since research is suggesting that there are many potential health benefits from consuming coffeeberry, the fruit is being used more and more. This is actually good, as it allows consumers to reap the healthy benefits of coffeeberry and as well as minimize waste.
Brief History of Coffeeberry
The coffeeberry originated in ancient Ethiopia. It was mentioned in one of the earliest writings from a Persian physician and philosopher back in the 10th century, who described it as a drink prepared with an infusion of a fruit called “bunn,” which was the Ethiopian name for coffeeberry.
When the 15th century came, the coffeeberry plant was being grown in Arabia, and it spread to other countries, such as Egypt, Syria, Persia, and Turkey. By the 17th century, coffee reached Europe and became popular across the continent. With this, the very first successful European-run coffee plantation was founded by the Dutch and was located in their colony of Java, Indonesia, later establishing plantations on Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia.
In the 18th century, coffeeberry plants finally reached the New World. At the present time, coffeeberry plants are grown commercially in a region of the world called the “coffee belt” along both sides of the equator in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Today, the majority of coffee export comes from Colombia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
How to Use Coffeeberry and Where to Find It
You can easily find coffeeberry products today. You can spot them in health and supplement stores and as well as in pharmacies, which offer many variations of these products. Coffeeberry products come in different forms, such as powders, liquid extracts, capsules, and tablets.
Among the many different products available, you can also find coffee flour, which is another form of coffeeberry. It is made from dried coffeeberries that are ground into powder. It features a fruity flavor and is usually used in baking to boost the antioxidant, fiber, and mineral content of the recipes. However, you need to keep in mind that it can’t be used with a 1:1 ratio to regular flour.
Consuming up to 800mg of coffeeberry is considered to be safe. Though, it is still important to always pay attention to the dosage listed on the product’s label that contains coffee fruit to ensure that you are not overconsuming coffeeberries.
Coffeeberry can also be found as an ingredient in other health products, such as in antioxidant blends and products that are marketed to benefit brain health or energy levels. On top of that, you can also add some coffeeberries to healthy beverages and tea blends.
Is It Good to Add Coffeeberry to Your Diet?
Coffeeberry has many health benefits. Some of these include being rich in antioxidants, lower blood sugar, improve heart health, improve brain and cognitive health, and help in losing weight. Due to these benefits, many people are becoming motivated to jump into the trend. While coffeeberry has been deemed safe to consume and does not have any adverse effects, it is still important to consume it in moderation.
Keep in mind that coffeeberry still has caffeine, but the levels are smaller compared to a cup of coffee. Therefore, if you consume other forms of caffeine, it is better to monitor your daily caffeine intake. Ensure that you check the dosage for the specific product and note the amount of caffeine each does has to make sure that you are not consuming too much.
People who have diabetes may need to reduce their caffeine intake to under 200mg per day. Also, ensure that you monitor your blood sugar levels to make sure that your caffeine intake is not affecting your blood glucose levels negatively.
More research is still needed to learn more about the long-term effects of consuming coffeeberry. But based on the current research, there are already many promising health benefits of coffeeberry. Along with their health benefits, coffeeberries are also sustainable and help reduce food waste. But like any other foods it is always important to consult with your doctor or dietician before incorporating any coffeeberry supplement into your diet. We hope this helped you learn more about what coffeeberry is.