Is Coffee A Fruit? – Good Citizen

Is Coffee A Fruit?

A simple question: "Is coffee a fruit?" with a pretty simple answer for you. Yes, coffee is a fruit. But, of course, we want to give you all some more details about our favorite fruit: coffee!

Hands picking a ripe coffee cherry from the coffee tree

When you think of coffee beans you're actually thinking about the seeds of the Coffea plant that is often known as a "coffee cherry". Coffee beans are not really beans at all but more like a pit or seed. Coffee beans just look like beans, so the name "coffee bean" has stuck around.

Coffee cherries are the fruit that protects and produces the energizing "beans" that keep us going. Coffee cherries grow on a Coffea tree in bunches that are ripened on the branch before being picked to be produced into coffee.

Coffee cherries in rucksack

Coffee cherries usually produce two "beans" per fruit. These seeds are stored within the fruit with their flat sides together. Occasionally, there are times when the coffee cherry only produces one seed. This is called "peaberry" and there is some debate whether or not they have "more flavor" than a typical coffee bean.

If you were to remove the seeds right after picking a ripe coffee cherry, the seeds wouldn't match what coffee beans look like when they arrive at your door, at your local coffee shop, or favorite roastery. The seeds within the coffee cherry are green and have a lot of processing, drying, milling, and roasting to do before they are ready to brew you a great cup of coffee. 

Coffee cherries drying on tarp

 So there you have it - Coffee is a fruit. The next time someone tries to stop you from pouring that third or fourth cup of coffee just remind them you're just drinking your fruits.


Beyond the Brew is a place for all things education, inspiration, and transparency for biodiverse farming and sustainable coffee consumption through Good Citizen. If you have any questions or requests, please reach out to hello@goodcitizen.com