Coffee fruit: What is it?

by Shopify API

By now you may have guessed that coffee is actually a fruit! This juicy red fruit doesn't taste like coffee instead resembles a berry-like flavour. The cherry is picked, washed, sorted, and de-pulped in order to retrieve the small seeds it encompasses. The seeds will eventually make their way down the coffee chain ending up in your home country either roasted or as green beans, and eventually brewed.

Meanwhile at origin, when not upcycled the remaining pulp and skin of the coffee fruit, is thrown into a pile of other cherries, breaking down and leeching into the surrounding environment. 


Leeches into & contaminates river systems. Coffee fruit is a necessary byproduct of growing coffee. As the fruit is discarded and the seeds continue their lifecycle, the fruit is thrown into stone/concrete pitting stations where the fruit starts to breakdown and decompose. The decomposing fruit creates a leachate (soluble liquid from the decomposing fruit), that eventually makes its way into surrounding river-systems through rain or dumping. Now, normally a little bit is good because it's rich in nutrients and minerals that animals, soil and aquatic life use. It starts to become a problem, when you times the dumping and leeching of the decomposed cherries by hundreds of coffee farms producing thousands of tonnes of coffee. Then you start to get the picture. The resulting leachate starves oxygen from aquatic life, acidifies the water and creates mycotoxins that destroy the soil in farming communities. 

Disempowers farmers and contributing to global food waste issue. This further represents a loss of productive land for farmers and a missed economic opportunity to utilise this resource. Furthermore, the coffee fruit's superfruit properties are being deprived in a world where people are under-fed, malnourished or living incredibly stressful lives. With a huge food waste issue across the world  with roughly 40% of the world's food never making it past farm, we must look towards innovation in food systems and alternative methods to bring to light byproducts.

In numbers. Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. An estimated 3 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day! This massive demand results in approximately 20 billion kilos of coffee fruit waste created, each year! These piles of byproduct decay and result in over 16.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. Additionally, contaminated water flows into river systems, harming delicate ecosystems and farmers suffer from waste management fees and unusable land. Upcycling this into our products has a tangible impact, which we track on a per product sold basis


I am Grounded products are powered by the coffee fruit, a superfruit that hardly anyone knows is a fruit and is beloved the world over for its seeds. 

Antioxidants: ⁠

Coffee fruit is rich in antioxidants, which are powerful compounds present in a variety of fruits, vegetables and superfoods that help fight free radicals to protect against oxidative stress and damage to cells.⁠

Coffee fruit is rich in Flavonoids, which are a diverse group of those phytochemicals found in several fruits and vegetables.⁠

Flavonoids are often responsible for the amazing array of colours in most fruits and veggies. Not only that, but flavonoids are also potent antioxidants. They’ve even been known to help support your immune system as it functions properly. ⁠

Chlorogenic acid: One specific polyphenol compound found in coffee fruit is chlorogenic acid, which helps to lower blood pressure and improve heart health.⁠

Promotes brain health: ⁠

Coffee fruit is also somewhat powerful when it comes to supporting healthy cognitive function. Turns out, coffee fruit may support the production of the compound known as a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (or simply BDNF). This compound is a type of protein that is crucial to neuronal health, helping encourage the growth of new neurons in the brain and support the survival of existing brain cells. ⁠

Caffeine: ⁠

Coffee fruit is significantly lower in caffeine than the coffee bean. Our Lemon and Cocoa bars contain 35mg of natural caffeine which is the equivalent to a green tea and our pick me up (Espresso) contains 85mg which is 1 espresso. ⁠