Wondering what green coffee is, or how safe it is, and even how it tastes ?
Well wonder no more, since I'm going to help you with the basics of green coffee.
It's a fairly recent phenomenon, though these beans have been on the market every since coffee was discovered. But green coffee's potential hasn't really been studies until the past few years.
So what is green coffee ?
Green coffee, or green coffee beans, is just coffee that hasn't been roasted yet. When coffee is meant to be roasted, it reaches several levels of roasting.
The first is the 'raw' stage, where the beans are still green and don't resemble what we know as coffee. It doesn't smell, look, or taste like regular espresso beans, but if you roast them they're there.
Coffee beans are actually the pits of the coffee berries. Each berry contains two beans, and that's what is harvested off the coffee tree. After the berries are picked, they are either left to dry in the sun, or are washed in water to get the pulp off the beans.
Those beans are green, and a tiny bit transparent. And they're left to dry out, which will reduce the water content and remove the transparency.
Normally green coffee beans are sold by coffee farms to coffee brands so they can roast them, but sometimes they end up on the market as an actual item. Some people prefer roasting their own coffee, and this allows them to get the exact flavor they want.
If you do with to roast your own coffee, then green beans is where you need to start, since they provide a blank canvas for you.
Is it safe to drink green coffee ?
Drinking green coffee has become a bit of a health craze days, and this attracted the attention of the medical community. So, you'll find some studies done on the safety and effects of green coffee.
Generally, green coffee is considered possibly safe to consume, in moderate amounts. There are reports of 480 mg daily doses of this extract, taken for 12 weeks, and those people were safe.
However green coffee is still coffee, and as such contains caffeine. This means you should avoid drinking too much of it, since it can trigger health concerns related to high caffeine intake, like any other coffee.
Health benefits of green coffee
The research into green coffee's health benefits isn't very extensive, but it's been shown that chlorogenic acids can affect how fast the metabolism burns fat.
Chlorogenic acid is present in all coffee, but especially so in green coffee. The roasting process reduces its levels, and this is why green coffee has been regarded as a new source of antioxidants and health benefits.
It's also been show, in a study on Japanese adults, that this natural green coffee extract can help reduce high blood pressure. The participants in the study took 50 mg to 140 mg of chlorogenic acids daily for 4 weeks to 12 weeks.
There are more studies, but many companies (like with green tea extract) claim to have a great weight loss product based on green coffee. While it may have a kernel of truth, it's important to remain realistic and check the label very carefully, especially to see if the statements have been approved by the FDA.
Green coffee side effects
In terms of side effects, again green coffee still needs more study. The side effects of high caffeine intake are present for green coffee as well, since it does contain caffeine and you should take caret o not ingest more than 480 mg of green coffee extract per day.
As with any high-caffeine products, the risks generally associated are anxiety disorder, severe IBS symptoms, raise blood pressure if taken in large quantities, glaucoma, and bleeding disorders since caffeine is a blood thinner.
Remember that these don't happen to everyone, and they're most likely to occur when you take green coffee extract in too high a dose for a prolonged time.
Studies on the topic of green coffee health benefits and side effects aren't very conclusive, and more research is needed before anyone can pronounce green coffee completely safe (or unsafe) for human consumption.
In the meantime, if you want to take this extract, make sure you keep it in a low does, and monitor your intake. Take it in the same amounts each day, and note down any symptoms (good or bad).
What does green coffee taste like ?
Green coffee doesn't taste great, let's not beat around the bush. If you're a green tea fan, then you might stomach it easier since the flavor is a bit similar.
But for most people green coffee tastes too grassy, acidic, and generally like something they need to drink but don't really want to.
Ways of making it taste better ? Aside from sweetening it I'm not sure what you could do. But this would defeat the purpose if you're looking to lose weight through green coffee.
So for best results, and so you don't compromise the antioxidants in green coffee by sweetening it, I think buckling up and drinking it quickly will have to do.
Drinking or eating something small and tasty afterwards will help wash it down, like a mozzarella ball or digestive biscuit.
Of course, this is if you want to drink actual green coffee. If you're planning on roasting it, it will taste according to the origin of the bean, and the closer to a light roast, the more of the origin you'll taste.
If you really want to try green coffee, I recommend you get the bean version (not the powdered extract). This way if you're unhappy with the results you can always just roast and grind it at home, and have your own custom coffee.
And you're also sure that you're getting green coffee bean extract, not who knows what.
For example this green coffee from Bodhi Leaf Trading Company is an Arabica bean, all the way from Costa Rica Tarazzu. It's a 3 lb bag, so you're bound to get lots of uses from this product since you only need a couple teaspoons per cup.
Since it's a Costa Rica bean, it's one of the more flavorful ones (if you ever decide to roast it). It will come pre-dried, ready for you to use it however you please.
If you do roast it, and stop at a medium roast, you'll get a very beautiful looking brew. It will have a reddish/orange tinge, slightly salty, and takes milk wonderfully.
You can check the listing on Amazon here, and read the reviews as well.
How to take green coffee
You can find green coffee either in powdered form, or in its full bean form.
If it's powdered extract, you'll find the instructions on the package and they will usually direct you to add water. Sometimes you can even add the powder to health shakes or smoothies.
If you're getting actual green coffee beans, you can steep them like tea leaves, or actual coffee.
Keep in mind that using the beans whole will mean you have to let them steep for longer, so I suggest trying to grind them, as long as they're completely dry. You probably won't get less than a coarse grind without the beans getting weird, so refrain from going for a fine grind.
So as long as your coffee beans are ground up a bit, or at least smashed into smaller pieces, add them to a French press, or a simple pot where you will add hot water.
The point is that you need a way to strain the beans. Whichever method you use you'll need to strain the coffee. But first, you need to add 90 C/194 F hot water over the beans, and let them sit there for about 5-6 minutes so they steep.
If you're using a French press you just need to pull the plunger after the time is up.
But if you're using a pot/pan, you'll need to strain the coffee. You can either use a metal strainer, or one of these paper filter replacements.
Whichever you use, your coffee won't look like coffee. It'll be a light amber/golden brew, with a greenish tinge. It won't smell like coffee and it won't taste like coffee.
I recommend you ask your doctor before taking green coffee, just to be sure. For the same purpose, and for your own personal use, make sure to note down how much extract you take each day, and how you feel afterwards.
You might not feel or notice any effects in a couple of weeks, but the studies have focused on prolonged treatments, so keep that in mind.
Green coffee isn't the most common weight loss or health enhancing product, but you'll find it on enough shelves to make it something you should really research before taking.
If you're getting green coffee for the sole purpose of roasting it at home, remember that it will do whatever you want it to do. However you can't get a good taste out of a bad bean, or try to push a certain flavor profile in another direction.
If you want to know more about coffee or tea, feel free to check the related articles below. Who knows what else you might find ?