Green coffee vs black coffee, which is better at what? Perhaps more importantly, which is best for your health? Green coffee has become a bit of a thing of late, with numerous health benefits being claimed about it. It’s particularly promoted as a weight loss aid due to certain compounds it contains. Read on to find out all about the health benefits, and other things you may be asking about green coffee.
What is Green coffee?
Your normal everyday black coffee uses coffee beans that are roasted. The subtle differences in flavor between different varieties of black coffee is often down to how heavily roasted the beans are.
Green coffee beans on the other hand can be thought of as raw coffee beans. These beans are derived from the fruit of the coffee plant. They’re raw in the sense that the coffee beans are unroasted. These raw, and unroasted beans are also green in color, hence the name. So, green coffee is just coffee made with raw, unroasted coffee beans.
What does green coffee taste like?
First off, it tastes nothing like black coffee. Green coffee is much milder in flavor. Its taste resembles herbal green tea more than regular black coffee. As with most things like this though, the taste will most likely grow on you in time.
What’s in green coffee?
Does green coffee have anything black coffee doesn’t? Green coffee is going to have pretty much everything black coffee has, it uses the same beans after all. Most of the nutrient content will be higher in green coffee however. The roasting process used for black coffee beans inevitably lowers the nutrient content vs green coffee beans.
In particular, the antioxidant content is much higher in green coffee. Antioxidants are generally good for our health. They do so by reducing the number of free radicals in our bodies. An antioxidant of particular interest, and much higher for green coffee vs black coffee, is chlorogenic acid. This antioxidant can be beneficial in weight loss terms, which will be explained in more detail shortly.
So, overall green coffee is going to have more good nutritional value vs black coffee.
Does green coffee have caffeine?
The short answer is yes, green coffee does indeed have caffeine. Generally speaking though, a cup of green coffee will have much less caffeine than a cup of black coffee.
How much caffeine does it contain?
|Average caffeine content (1 cup)|
In general terms, the caffeine content is lower for green coffee vs black coffee. That however, is an oversimplified explanation.
The caffeine content in the beans themselves is the same whether roasted or green. The roasting process doesn’t change the caffeine content or anything like that. What it does change though, is the bean volume for a particular weight.
Roasting shrinks and lightens the coffee beans down. It also enables the beans to be ground before brewing. Grinding reveals more surface area of the bean, hence more opportunity to release the caffeine contained within. The result of roasting, and grinding is more bean surface area for 100g of black coffee vs 100g of raw green coffee beans. More bean surface area in your cup means more caffeine released in your coffee.
Roughly speaking, 1 cup of the whole bean brewed green coffee is going to have 5 times less caffeine than 1 cup of black coffee. That means you need to drink 5 cups of green coffee, for the same amount of caffeine, as 1 cup of black coffee. Great if you want to lower your daily caffeine intake!
What are green coffee health benefits?
- Higher nutritional content vs black coffee.
- High in antioxidants.
- Lower caffeine content per cup vs black coffee.
- High in chlorogenic acids which may help with weight loss.
- Less processed vs black coffee.
Green coffee has several health benefits. The nutritional content is higher for green coffee vs black coffee.
Green coffee is high in antioxidants which reduce free radicals. It’s also high in chlorogenic acids. These acids have been linked to being helpful with weight loss.
Green coffee is also a natural product and far less processed than black coffee. In terms of healthy foods, the less processed something is the better.
Does it help with weight loss?
Green coffee is thought to be beneficial in helping with weight loss. It’s one of the primary reasons it’s gaining popularity. The chlorogenic acid in green coffee is the key ingredient here. These acids are thought to slow down sugar, and carb absorption within the body. This will keep you feeling fuller, for longer. A natural appetite suppressant if you will.
It’s also thought that chlorogenic acids speed up metabolism. This has the effect of your body burning more fuel, for the same time period, for the same activity level. A bit like a car becomes less fuel-efficient. Good if you think of your fat reserves as being like the fuel tank of a car.
While on the subject of weight loss, if your curious about other natural weight loss options then check out our other articles about mint, and honey and lemon water.
How to drink green coffee
The preparation methods are different for green coffee vs black coffee. Most black coffee is either mostly pre-prepared for you, or you’ll have a machine to work on the roasted beans. Making a cup of green coffee on the other hand is a pretty hands-on affair. Green coffee most often will come in one of two different forms, either whole beans, or powdered.
For the water use the best quality filtered, or spring water you can source. For the beans, try and source ones with husks already removed. It will save you a time-consuming job.
How to Prepare Green Coffee Beans
Use about a 4:1 water to bean ratio. An example being 400ml of water for 100g of beans.
- Remove any husks if present.
- Rinse the beans under cold water.
- Place the beans in a pot and add water.
- Bring water to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer gently for 12 mins.
- Stir occasionally.
- Pour the contents of the pot through a strainer to collect the extract.
- Your green coffee is ready to drink.
The beans can be reused for a second brew if so desired. Use within a week, and store refrigerated in a sealed bag.
How to prepare Green Coffee Powder
- Place a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of green coffee powder in a cup.
- Add hot water.
- Leave to brew for 5 – 6 mins.
- Filter the mixture to remove any remaining bits.
- Your green coffee is ready to drink.
How long does green coffee last?
The finished extract can also be stored for use another day. Just cover, refrigerate, and use within 4 days.
Is green coffee bean extract a stimulant?
Since green coffee beans contain caffeine, and caffeine is a stimulant, then technically it’s a stimulant. However, as previously noted, there’s going to be less caffeine in a cup of green coffee vs black coffee. For a whole bean brew that is. So, the stimulant effect will be a lot less than black coffee.
My own thoughts are that green coffee powder is probably going to release more caffeine vs brewing whole beans. This would depend on the level of the grind, with a finer grind releasing more caffeine. Obviously, though, 1 teaspoon of powder though won’t be equivalent to the number of beans used in a green bean brew. That in itself will probably even out the caffeine content between a bean or powder brew.
There is conflicting opinion as to whether roasting coffee beans actually increases, lowers, or makes any difference at all to caffeine content. This leads to another interesting question, will 1 teaspoon of powdered green coffee have the same caffeine as 1 teaspoon powdered black coffee? It’s really hard to find a definitive answer to this.
On top of all this everybody is different, and reacts to different foods in slightly different ways. Your own experience will give the best answer as to how much of a stimulant effect green coffee has on you.
Possible side effects of green coffee
As green coffee contains caffeine then this is what most of the side effects will relate to.
- Stomach upset.
- Increased heart rate.
- Increased breathing rate.
- Irregular heartbeats.
These side effects will be much more likely if green coffee is consumed in large amounts. The caffeine content per cup is generally a lot lower per cup for green coffee vs black coffee. As such, the risks of suffering caffeine side effects from green coffee should be greatly lowered when compared with black coffee.
I hope this article should answer most of the main questions about green coffee. Overall green coffee seems to be a clear winner over black coffee in terms of health benefits. In terms of taste though, green coffee is probably gonna lose out for most people. It’s a bit subjective though, and a taste that can be acquired over time.
One question that hasn’t been answered definitively, is the caffeine content of green coffee. The general consensus is that it’s lower vs black coffee. However, to me it would logically appear to depend greatly on the preparation method, and whether the beans are brewed used whole, or ground/powdered.
Probably the main reason green coffee has gained popularity is for its weight loss benefits due to its high chlorogenic acid content. However, as with everything like this, I wouldn’t rely on it as the sole method for losing weight. Combine it with a controlled diet, and/or exercise plan and it should help with your weight loss goals. It certainly can’t hurt.
So, all that’s left for you to do now is go get some green coffee beans and get brewing.
As always, feel free to leave a comment if you have any thoughts, advice, questions, or opinions related to this article.
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Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness, or exercise.
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