are coffee beans legumes

are coffee beans legumes

Are Coffee Beans Legumes?

Coffee is a beloved beverage around the world, but one of the most common questions about the drink is whether or not coffee beans are legumes. Here we’ll explore this question and dispel any misconceptions about coffee beans and legumes.

What is a Legume?

First, let’s explore and define the term “legume”. A legume is a type of edible seed or seedpod (such as beans, lentils, peanuts, or peas) that is used as a food source. Legumes are classified as part of the Fabaceae family, which includes a wide range of flowering plants.

Are Coffee Beans Legumes?

The answer is not as straightforward as it may seem. While the answer lies in the taxonomy of the coffee bean, there are a few different perspectives that can help to explain the answer further.

An alternate view: Coffee Beans are Not Legumes

Coffee beans are actually the seeds of a type of flowering cherry tree. This means that coffee beans do not meet the scientific definition of a legume, since legumes are plants that produce seeds enclosed in pods.

Coffee Beans as Legumes – A Nuanced Answer

The answer can be seen in a more nuanced light when examining botanical classifications. While coffee beans may not be classified as a type of legume, they may be considered to be part of the family of leguminous plants, even though they are not seeds or traditional legumes.

Ultimately, the answer to the question of whether coffee beans are legumes depends on the context of discussion. A botanist may answer “no”, while a cook may answer “yes”.

Coffee Beans and Health Benefits

In some cases, coffees might also be labeled “Legumes” due to their health benefits. Many types of legumes are recommended for their high fiber content, protein, and vitamins & minerals.

Despite not being classified as a legume, coffee does have its own list of health benefits. Studies suggest that drinking two to four cups of coffee per day may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke.


In conclusion, coffee beans are not technically classified as a type of legume. However, they may be labeled as a legume due to their potential health benefits, similar to other legumes. Additionally, they may be classified as part of the family of leguminous plants. Ultimately, the answer to this question depends on the context of the discussion.





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