Every day all over the world, billions of people begin their day religiously with a cup of coffee. From here, they would continually seek their cup of joe to get them through the day. Many would say they need their “caffeine” fix to function and keep awake. Some would even go far as to say that they are caffeine junkies. After all, caffeine is a drug much like nicotine and cocaine.
What few would know, however, is that there’s more to coffee than just caffeine. In fact, there are over 1,000 chemical compounds found in a single green coffee bean. 300 of these chemicals are responsible for the coffee’s aroma and flavor. After roasting, however, these 300 chemicals increase to over 850, resulting to the enhanced and nuanced qualities of the beans.
What’s in Your Coffee?
For years, coffee has been hailed as a super drink not just because of its stimulating and reinvigorating qualities. It has also been widely and well-loved for its antioxidant properties. After all, it is one of the richest source of naturally occurring antioxidant compounds that pack a punch in fighting cancer-causing free radicals.
But what else are there in your coffee besides caffeine and antioxidants? Let’s take a deeper dive.
- Caffeine – This is a no-brainer. This is, after all, synonymous to coffee. What many may not know, however, is that caffeine can be found more in Robusta coffee than in Arabica. Caffeine is one of the primary compounds that make Robusta coffee taste robust, or better yet, strong even burnt-tasting for some. Robusta coffee has 2.7% caffeine, compared to Arabica, which has 1.5%. Surprisingly, caffeine is such an important substance in the coffee plant. It is an alkaloid plant toxin that helps the plant kill bugs that eat at their leaves, stems, and berries—much like a natural self-defense mechanism.
- Trigonelle – Unlike caffeine, Trigonelle can be found more in Arabica beans. This is what makes Arabica more highly regarded for its flavor profile and aromas. This is because Trigonelle is the compound responsible for the development of the flavor and aroma within each bean as it is being roasted. This substance produces by-products during and after roasting, so roasted coffee beans taste different from when they were green. It also causes the caramel-ly sweet yet earthy-like aroma you get from coffee.
Furthermore, Trigonelle in your coffee helps fight tooth-eating bacteria that cause cavities. However, if you take your coffee with sweets and all those add-ons, the purpose is most likely defeated.
- Chlorogenic acids. These CGAs are the antioxidants that come naturally from coffee. They are mostly found in the green beans, accounting for a little over 10% of their dry weight. CGA levels in beans typically decrease after roasting.
Robusta beans contain more of these naturally occurring acids compared to its counterpart, Arabica. Nevertheless, coffee is the only food source that has the highest concentration of this compound, cementing its place as one of the world’s super foods. This is because CGAs have been studied and reported to help lower the risk of diabetes as well as help in weight loss.
- These are the natural, water-soluble oils, or lipids, found in each coffee bean. During roasting, the oils heat up and start its way from within the beans to the surface, resulting in the cracks in the beans. These oils are also responsible for the flavors and aromas in coffee
Even long before the first brewer spewed out a pristine cup of brew, coffee has been highly regarded as an exceptional, even mystical, potion that provides its drinkers heightened senses, alertness, and even pleasure. Today, with scientific studies to back it up, coffee has proven to be full of benefits, from jacking up your brain to helping decrease your risk for Alzheimer’s, to keeping your blood sugar low. This is thanks not only to caffeine, but also to the hundreds of other chemicals packed in every miniscule bean.
Therefore, if you’re into coffee as a habitual drinker or a self-proclaimed coffee addict, it’s so much nicer to think that your daily cup—or cups— of brew is really doing you good.
Check out our current selection of beans sourced and roasted weekly, just for your daily caffeine fix! Get productive today!