Are coffee beans actually fruit?

By Shannon Sweeney — / Death Wish Coffee Blog

We've all been witnesses to the countless debates about what constitutes a fruit or a vegetable. Scientifically speaking, yes, a tomato is a fruit, and so are cucumbers, nuts, peppers, avocados, and more — and that includes coffee. 

Yes, you read that right and it's basically the best news ever. Coffee beans, which give us life, are packed with antioxidants, and make us (generally) happier people, are considered a fruit. When we think of coffee, we often think of the dark, aromatic, roasted bean we find at the grocery store or in a coffee shop. But the coffee bean goes through a long journey before it finds its way into our cups, and more importantly, our hearts. 

Coffee beans grow inside red or purple coffee cherries on trees with green, waxy leaves. Just like regular cherries, these coffee cherries have a pit — and that pit is where we get coffee. Each cherry pit usually contains two "seeds," which are green coffee beans. From there, they're harvested, processed, dried, milled, and ultimately roasted.

Coffee plants grow in tropical and subtropical climates, so places south of the equator are great for growing coffee plants. It takes almost a full year for a coffee cherry to mature after it flowers, and it takes about five years for a coffee tree to reach full fruit production. At Death Wish Coffee, our beans are usually from India and Peru.

There you have it — coffee is a fruit, the mystery is solved. Plus, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that adults consume two servings of fruit a day. So if you're looking for a reason to pour that extra cup of coffee, go right ahead. Besides, coffee has two calories, and a banana has 105. The choice is easy.

Related: How to grow a coffee plant at home

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