What Are Green Coffee Beans – Taste, Usage And Benefits


Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of BrewCoffeeHome.com. With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe. You can reach him at [email protected].

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What do home roasters and weight loss experts have in common? It’s not a riddle, but the answer might surprise you. Green coffee beans are the foundation for your morning energy boost and a selection of weight loss supplements.

If you’re a regular coffee drinker, you’ve probably heard something about green coffee. You might even know a little about them, but you probably wonder how weight loss factors in. 

What are green coffee beans, and how are they so versatile? We’ve got the answers you seek.

What Is Green Coffee Bean?

A green coffee bean is essentially a raw coffee bean. Coffee farmers have picked the coffee cherries and processed them, but they haven’t been roasted yet, so they have a greenish hue instead of the brown color you usually use for brewing your morning cup.


Raw coffee beans can be roasted to highlight the natural aromas and flavors. It’s also possible to brew green coffee directly for a lighter flavor that you might not recognize as coffee. It’s also possible to use the green coffee extract in your weight loss supplement products.

How Green Coffee Beans are Made

The coffee process from the plant to brewing is more involved than you might think. Coffee grows from a seed, but it requires specific conditions to thrive and become a fruitful tree. A mature tree yields deep-red cherries that farmers must strip from the branches when they are ripe enough.

Once harvested, teams process the cherries. They can use the traditional dry method that involves letting the fruit dry in the sun. Workers have to turn the coffee cherries occasionally and cover them overnight.

The alternative method is known as wet processing. Workers push the coffee cherries through a machine that pulls off the skin and pulp, leaving the beans encased in a thin layer of skin. Workers then flush the beans through water, forcing the heavy, ripe ones to sink. Ripe beans move to a fermentation tank to sit for up to two days, leaving them rough and ready to dry.

Once dried, all coffee beans go through a series of stages known as milling. The process eradicates all defective beans and prepares satisfactory beans for transport. 


What Do Green Coffee Beans Taste Like?

If you relish that bold coffee flavor, you might be disappointed by a cup made from green beans. Roasting coffee beans draws out the bold flavors, so it’s no surprise that the raw beans deliver something lighter. 

Depending on how you prepare green coffee, you should notice some grassy or earthy hints. It’s reminiscent of a green tea or maybe an herbal variety, though green coffee produces a thicker-bodied drink than roasted beans.

You might want to have some milk or creamer on hand, though, as you may get a more acidic, bitter cup than any roasted beans when you drink green coffee.

How To Use Green Coffee Beans

Though you can use green coffee to produce an extract, most people choose to roast them or brew the raw version.

Roasting Coffee Beans

Most coffee beans you can buy in a store come pre-roasted by a manufacturer or small roastery. You get brown beans that could be slightly oily, depending on the roast. 

Of course, you can also buy green coffee beans and roast them at home. It’s surprisingly easy and so satisfying to roast at home. Not only can you get fresh-roasted beans for your morning cup, but you can also enjoy the incredible aroma that accompanies the roasting process. We introduced a few ways to roast coffee at home, check the guide for more detailed instructions.

The best part is that you might already have the tools you need to roast coffee beans at home. A popcorn maker can double as a coffee bean roaster, or you can invest in a home coffee roaster

There are some considerations before you roast at home, namely that the process produces a lot of smoke. However, with a proper setup, it can be a useful hobby.


Drinking Green Coffee

You don’t have to roast coffee to drink them. Though the flavor is a bit different, it’s still possible to brew unroasted coffee beans. 

Don’t start prepping your coffee pot or pour-over just yet. Brewing green coffee is a bit different from the roasted varieties. You don’t even need to grind the raw beans!

Preparing green coffee requires soaking the beans overnight. In the morning, pour the beans and water into a pan and heat it on the stove. Bring the water to boiling and set a timer for ten to fifteen minutes. 

Set a strainer over a heat-safe container and carefully pour the green coffee. The strainer should catch the used beans and any residue left behind to give you a clean cup of green coffee. You can set the beans aside and steep them once more before discarding them.

Enjoy a cup or two of green coffee and store the rest in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also choose to make iced green coffee.

Green Coffee Beans VS Roasted Coffee Beans

It’s amazing how much the roasting process can alter coffee beans and their properties. Some of the obvious differences are color and texture, but that’s not all.


Taste and Aroma

Avid coffee drinkers can probably relay the flavor profiles of their favorite roast levels and break down the difference between light, medium, and dark. You typically get nutty, chocolatey, or even slightly spicy notes with a roasted coffee bean, to say nothing of the exquisite scent of brewing coffee.

Green beans yield a lighter beverage with a yellowish-green color. It’s typically thicker and full-bodied with earthy or grassy notes. People often compare the green coffee taste to that of herbal or green tea.

Caffeine Content

If you are looking for a caffeine boost, a morning cup of joe brewed with roasted coffee is the best option. Green coffee doesn’t pack the same punch as the roasted version.

According to a study about the quantification of caffeine and chlorogenic acid (CGAs) in green and roasted coffee samples [1], green coffee beans contain the highest amount of CGA but the lowest caffeine content, while dark roasted coffee has moderate caffeine content and the lowest CGA content.

Nutritional and Health Benefits

Coffee offers an energy boost regardless of which version you drink, and there are some similarities in terms of regulating blood sugar and supporting heart and brain health. However, because green coffee beans undergo limited processing, they retain more of their base properties and nutritional value than roasted beans. 

While researchers are still studying the long-term effects of both types, it appears that green coffee beans have the edge. 

Green coffee extract is gaining popularity as a dietary supplement. As people seek new ways to boost metabolism and shed excess pounds, they often turn to weight loss supplements for support. Green coffee bean supplements may be an effective solution for some people. 

Initial studies [2]show that green coffee extract supplementation can suppress fat accumulation and support weight loss. While more research is needed, specifically regarding how humans respond to the supplements, the data and anecdotal support remain promising.

The Health Benefits of Green Coffee

Green coffee may have some serious health benefits that make it a superior option to the roasted variety. Aside from the potential weight loss benefits noted above, you can pick up some additional health boosts if you consume green coffee.

  • Antioxidant Properties: Green coffee beans contain high levels of chlorogenic acids, which are antioxidants that support healthy bodily functions.
  • Combat High Blood Pressure: Drinking green coffee appears to help with lowering blood pressure and reducing total cholesterol levels. 
  • Regulate Blood Sugar Levels: while boosting metabolism, green coffee can also help level out blood sugar levels.

Additionally, drinking coffee may offer a range of other health benefits, including brain health. The chlorogenic acid enriched coffee also supports neurotransmitters to boost cognitive performance and fight inflammation throughout the body. 

green coffee beans

Possible Side Effects of Taking Green Coffee

There are some considerations before making green coffee a staple in your diet. 

First and foremost, even though caffeine in green coffee is lower than its roasted counterparts, you still need to be careful with how much you drink in one day. In addition, people with certain conditions, including the following, might want to avoid green coffee altogether.

  • Pregnant and nursing mothers 
  • Individuals with anxiety disorders 
  • Diabetics
  • Epileptics
  • People with bleeding disorders
  • Individuals suffering from IBS

Some medications can also interact with green coffee to create unexpected side effects. Therefore, it’s best to consult their doctor before starting any green coffee supplements if you have any chronic medical conditions or take regular medications. 


Green coffee beans are the raw or unroasted version of what you commonly grind. The lightly processed beans have a yellowish-green color and produce an earthy, tea-like drink when steeped.

In addition, green coffee beans make an extract and supplements that may support weight loss and offer additional health benefits. However, to enjoy the perks of green coffee beans, you have to give up the familiar bold taste that comes with roasting. So perhaps the sweet spot lies somewhere in a balance of the two.


[1] Quantification of Caffeine and Chlorogenic Acid in Green and Roasted Coffee Samples Using HPLC-DAD and Evaluation of the Effect of Degree of Roasting on Their Levels -https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8705492/

[2] Inhibitory effect of green coffee bean extract on fat accumulation and body weight gain in mice – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1513603/

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Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of BrewCoffeeHome.com. With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe.