For those of us coffee lovers, we’re lucky to have plenty of roasting options to choose from. Whether you opt for light, medium, and dark, each roast has its own unique flavor and surprising health perks. This also applies to unroasted (or green) coffee beans, which have benefits for weight loss, reducing cholesterol, and protecting your immune system.
Why is it called green coffee?
The roasting process it what gives coffee beans their signature brown color. Before this step, though, they have a vibrant green hue. Coffee beans are actually the seeds found in the fruit from the coffee plant — called a “cherry” — that grows in parts of Africa, Central and South America, and Asia.
Once harvested, the cherries are washed and de-pulped, which strips the outer part of the fruit and leaves behind the coffee bean. The green coffee beans then get shipped to a roaster, which for Nora’s Nautrals, is their local Santa Barbara-based roastery.
From there, the beans are roasted at different temperatures for various types of coffee. However, you get the purest form of coffee when the beans are unroasted and green — which comes along with some amazing perks for your overall health!
What are the benefits of drinking unroasted coffee?
Drinking coffee has been linked to increasing longevity and even lowering liver cancer risk, but the roasting process slightly lessens the overall health benefits. Tobin notes that green and lighter roasted coffees tend to have more antioxidants, especially phenolic compounds, than darker roasts.
“Because you’re not stripping away the antioxidants during the roasting process, it’s going to contain more chlorogenic acid, which is that building block to those antioxidants,” she says. “It’s going to be a really great way to increase your antioxidants, which then decreases your inflammation for immune protection.”
Along with an immune system boost, drinking unroasted coffee could also allow you to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. A study published in Nutrition Journal credited the chlorogenic acid in green coffee for helping to lower participants’ cholesterol over a two week period.
Although previous research suggests that green coffee might aid with weight loss, Tobin points out that regularly drinking it with a balanced diet is the key to good health: “It’s not like if you drink coffee in general, you’re absolutely going to burn all this fat. But, it does support the metabolic rate and increases your metabolism.”
How do you prepare green coffee beans?
Tobin says that you crush these beans in a coffee grinder until it reaches your desired texture (coarse, medium, or fine). Then, use those grounds to make any type of coffee including espresso, pour over, and French press. “It’s usually a thicker bean with a thicker consistency so just be mindful that it might appear slightly different,” she says.
She mentions that the roasting process gives coffee its flavoring, which might be more citrusy for lighter roasts and nutty for medium or dark ones. Green coffee tends to have a mild, herbal taste similar to green tea. And since green coffee naturally contains caffeine, Tobin recommends sticking to a darker or decaf roast if you’re looking to avoid any jittery feelings afterwards.
Unroasted coffee beans are available to buy online (Buy on Amazon, $14.99) and it’s worth chatting with a barista from your local coffee shop to see if they’ve got a stash of these beans you can buy. You can also reach out to the team at Nora’s Naturals Coffee through their website (NorasNaturalsCoffee.com) to learn more about the benefits of coffee and ways to make a better cup of Joe at home!
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