Green coffee beans have become one of the latest foodie fads, promising an array of great health benefits. Yet there's also a lot of misinformation surrounding this mysterious new way of drinking coffee. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at what green coffee beans are – and why you should be adding them to your own healthy diet...
Green coffee beans are simply coffee beans which have not yet gone through the roasting process. Roasting coffee beans reduces the naturally occurring chlorogenic acid, leaving green coffee with more of this acid when compared to conventional coffee varieties.
There are many reasons why green coffee is so desirable amongst fans of healthy living, including its purported benefits for aiding weight loss and burning fat. Not only does caffeine boost metabolism, but it's thought that the chlorogenic acid in green coffee acts as an appetite depressant.
Green coffee has also been cited as a handy tool for helping to treat health conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes and even Alzheimer's disease.
Buying pure green coffee might seem a little tricky, but thankfully there are a few great places to buy green coffee beans online as well as at gourmet food stores. We recommend checking the origin and quantities carefully to ensure you get the best deal – and you'll soon be on your way to delicious fresh coffee.
The Coffee Bean Shop sells a wide range of green coffee beans – or if you'd rather get straight to brewing, Chateau Rouge has a delicious selection of gourmet coffees from around the world to choose from.
Roasting your own coffee requires that you get your hands on some tasty green coffee beans. The finished cup promises to be every bit as delicious as the beans you begin with, so aim for a quality brew right from the very start for the best results. For a yield of a pound of roasted coffee, you'll need to start with around two pounds of unroasted green beans - it looses about 50% of its weight during roasting.
What you don't need to invest in, however, is high-end industrial equipment. All you need is a simple popcorn maker which will allow you to let the beans to reach the necessary temperature. There are also a variety of at-home coffee roasters on the market, perfect for cooking up small batches as and when they're needed.
To get roasting, place your raw beans in your heating kit, and watch as they begin to change colour. You'll observe the beans go from green to yellow, to light brown – by which point you should also begin hearing a cracking noise a little like the sound of popcorn popping.
This initial crack indicates the chaff is separating from the raw bean; these can be removed from the top of your mixture. Once the beans have stopped roasting, it's time to stop.
The point at which you finish the roasting process depends on your flavour preference. If you light a lighter coffee, stop early. If you prefer a darker cup, leave it a while – but be careful not to let the coffee darken too much, as not only will it lose all taste, but you could risk fire in your mixing machine.
To cool the beans, you'll need to place them on a sheet of baking paper for a few hours. Be careful not to burn yourself – and once they're ready, store them in an airtight container before you're ready to brew.
A great way to glean the benefits of green coffee beans is to boil the beans after giving them a quick rinse. Add three cups of water for every cup of beans (3:1), and bring to the boil. Simmer on medium heat for around fifteen minutes.
Turn off the heat and strain the extract, which should now be ready to drink. Consider storing the beans ready for steeping once more by refrigerating them, but be sure to discard within a week. There are also some green coffee powders available on the market.
The health benefits of coffee have been championed and debated for many years, yet caffeine (a major component of coffee, and what draws many to indulge in a cup or two per day) is known for boosting the metabolism.
Where green coffee beans are different is that they still contain the full power of chlorogenic acid, which many believe has some antioxidant effects as well as helping to suppress appetite. A recent study showed that green coffee extract helped to improve weight-loss, though more research is required to prove the full benefits.
As with any health plan, you're unlikely to see results without also changing other habits – meaning that while green coffee may assist with achieving your weight loss goals, it's by no means the quick fix which some may believe. It is, however, a natural way to help support existing dietary and behavioural changes.
The potential side effects of green coffee are no different to those of drinking 'regular' coffee since the main irritant to those with sensitivity to coffee products is the same – caffeine. These raw coffee beans are no more or less of an irritant, though side effects of caffeine include:
Thankfully, however, these are rare symptoms when coffee is consumed in manageable doses. It's certainly best not to go on a marathon of coffee drinking, or you could find yourself feeling very ill indeed.
There's no need to go into coffee overload to get the benefits that green coffee brings. Just a couple of cups a day is perfect for helping to suppress your appetite and unleash all that antioxidant power!
Green coffee makes for a great breakfast drink but is not recommended for consumption at mealtimes if you want to get the best results. To really boost weight-loss efforts, it's also recommended you stay clear of sweeteners like sugar and honey as well as an artificial sweetener. The standard recommended consumption for green coffee is 2-3 times a day.
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Seán Farrell – Founder, Chateau Rouge