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Coffee Cherry

Let's answer a few common 'Are' coffee questions.

Coffee, the aromatic elixir that topstarts our day and perks us up in our lethargic moments, is enjoyed across the globe. However, not many of us delve deeper into the nature of the beans that give us this blissful beverage. Are coffee beans edible? Are they cheaper than pods? Are they seeds, fruit or perhaps even legumes? Do they undergo fermentation? Here, we break the beans and delve into these fundamental aspects of our favorite caffeine fix.

Are Coffee Beans Edible?
Yes, coffee beans are indeed edible. In fact, they're often covered in delicious dark chocolate as a sweet treat. Being rich in antioxidants, they also come with certain health benefits. However, be cautious about consuming them in large amounts since they pack a potent caffeine punch far stronger than a usual cup of coffee.

Are Coffee Beans Cheaper Than Pods?
On the surface, a box of pods may seem more cost-effective, however, when you break it down to per cup cost, the traditional coffee beans tend to be cheaper. While the price varies based on the brand, quantity, and quality, on average, coffee beans could save you a significant sum in the long run, particularly for heavy coffee drinkers.

Are Coffee Beans Seeds?
Yes, coffee beans are actually seeds. They are the pits found within the cherry-like fruit from the Coffea plant. Each fruit typically contains two seeds, which we know as coffee beans. In certain circumstances, a fruit may produce only a single bean. This is known as a 'peaberry'.

Are Coffee Beans Fruit?
The coffee beans themselves aren't fruits, however, they are found inside a fruit. The coffee cherry, which is a small, fleshy fruit, houses the seeds or beans. Once harvested, the cherries undergo a process to remove the pulp and skin, leaving behind the coveted coffee beans.

Are Coffee Beans Legumes?
While coffee beans are seeds nestled within a fruit, they are mistakenly considered as legumes due to their visual resemblance to true legumes like lentils and peas. By botanical definitions, legumes are a group of plants that bear fruit in the form of pods enclosing the seeds, which doesn't align with the characteristics of the coffee plant.

Are Coffee Beans Fermented?
While coffee beans themselves are not fermented, they can undergo a fermentation process after harvesting, as an integral part of their processing. This fermentation can optimize their flavor when brewed. The process involves soaking the coffee cherries in water, allowing friendly microbes to consume the sugars and pulp, and subsequently influencing the taste of the coffee beans.

In essence, the humble coffee bean holds within itself a realm of remarkable richness, complexity, and diversity. Each cup of coffee tells a story of its own, bearing the hard work of farmers, the geological traits of its origin, and the intricate processes it undergoes before gracing our cups. Knowing these aspects of what makes our coffee can enhance our appreciation of the simple, comforting routine of relishing a cup of coffee.
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