Can You Eat Instant Coffee? (What! Why?!)

I once tried eating instant coffee granules at University, it tasted bitter and pretty revolting. But are there any benefits to trying this?

You can eat instant coffee powder or granules straight from the jar, but why would you want to? You’ll get the same amount of antioxidants and nutrients, and a similar energy boost to drinking a proper cup of instant, but it will taste so bitter and revolting you may feel sick.

Let’s dive down into the topic of eating instant coffee in more detail, and discover if it’s ok to do it, what happens if we do it, and what if any side effects and benefits it could give you…

Can You Eat Instant Coffee?

Is It Ok to Eat Instant Coffee Powder or Granules? (is Dry Scooping Ok?)

Yes, you can eat dry instant coffee powder, straight from the jar. The bigger question is perhaps, why on earth would you want to?

Instant coffee is actually a cooked product. It’s very different to ground coffee, which is made from beans that have been roasted and crushed.

Instant coffee has actually been brewed. The coffee brew is then freeze-dried or spray-dried, and finally powdered. So you see, instant coffee is actually a cooked and fully prepared product: all you (usually) have to do is add hot water.

What Happens When We Eat Coffee Powder?

Nothing bad will happen to you if you eat coffee powder. Arguably, it’s nowhere near as enjoyable as a hot cup of joe, but if you’re craving caffeine, a spoon of dry coffee powder will still do the job.

Instant coffee has a bit less caffeine than freshly ground coffee. However, it looks like caffeine is absorbed more quickly into your system by eating it rather than drinking it: so if you need a really quick fix, this could be the way to go.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Coffee Powder?

As well as giving you a caffeine hit, coffee powder has the same health benefits as a finished cup of coffee. 

You’re still getting those antioxidants and nutrients (such as potassium and magnesium), which instant coffee has in pretty much the same quantities as freshly ground coffee.

The only difference is that if you eat your coffee, you’re missing out on the sheer pleasure and psychological benefits that a good cup of coffee gives you. 

One additional health point: if you usually take your coffee with cream, milk, sugar, and/or syrups, eating a bit of coffee powder is far lower in calories, fats, and sugars.

What Are the Side Effects of Eating Instant Coffee?

The side effects from eating instant coffee are the same as the potential side effects from drinking instant coffee. It can create feelings of anxiety and panic, and if taken later in the day, can stop you from sleeping.

And let’s be honest: eating a spoonful of dry coffee powder can feel pretty weird, and some folks find it makes them a bit nauseous. 

But… some caffeine fans swear by this method, and happily take their coffee by the spoonful. The danger here is that you could accidentally end up consuming rather a lot of caffeine, and end up with an unpleasant case of the shakes.

Can You Eat Instant Coffee for Energy?

Instant coffee powder will give you energy, yes. A spoon of dry power is certainly a quicker way of getting caffeine into your system than boiling water and making coffee the normal way. 

If it really is the case that it’s absorbed faster this way, it’s a useful life hack to be aware of on those manic Monday mornings.

However, it’s worth remembering that instant coffee doesn’t have as much caffeine as freshly ground coffee beans.If you’re after energy, instant coffee will never be the best source, whether consumed dry or as a liquid. 

Can We Eat Raw Coffee Powder Before a Workout?

Heading for the gym and in need of a speedy caffeine fix? A spoon of instant coffee powder can be a useful and quick pick-me-up. (Just make sure you consume plenty of other liquids before and during your workout.)

However, if you’re prone to the caffeine jitters or suffer from anxiety, this really isn’t a good plan.

It’s also worth noting that coffee powder isn’t raw, because it’s already been brewed. You don’t have to worry that you’re consuming raw ingredients if you eat a spoonful of dry instant coffee powder.

What Are the Benefits & Side Effects of Eating Instant Coffee?
What Are the Benefits & Side Effects of Eating Instant Coffee?

What Does Dry Instant Coffee Taste Like?

Not eaten dry coffee powder before? Here are the Roastybrews tasting notes…

Yes, you’ll get that coffee flavor, but in a much stronger and more bitter form than you’re used to. If you normally take your coffee black, you’ll find this less of a shock than if you usually mix your coffee with cream and sugar.

The really weird thing is the texture. You put a spoon of dry granules in your mouth, and they almost instantly dissolve when they come into contact with your saliva (as they’re designed to do when they get wet). This is actually quite disconcerting until you get used to it.

A way round this is to sprinkle the granules on something like a plain cookie, so at least you have a more familiar texture in your mouth alongside the strangely dissolving powder.

Can You Eat Roasted Coffee Beans?

Yes, you can eat whole roasted beans. They can feel a bit tough and bitey, but you get a wonderfully rich and smoky flavor from them.

Chocolate-covered coffee beans are actually one of the most divine treats out there (if you’re a coffee lover, that is!). These grown-up treats are just so more-ish, and go perfectly with a cup of fine coffee.

You can even use them to decorate a cake. This short film shows you how to make your own chocolate-coated coffee beans.

Can you eat raw (unroasted) coffee beans? Yes, you can eat these green beans if you want to. Try one if you get the chance, and you’ll soon realize why they’re usually roasted!

Can You Eat Used Coffee Grounds?

Believe it or not, you can actually eat your used coffee grounds. And yes, we are talking about the stuff that you normally scrape out of your filter.

The used grounds are still packed full of antioxidants and nutrients, which is why we sprinkle them on our lawns and on our flower beds. Used grounds can also taste a bit more palatable than bitter instant coffee powder.

Just remember that moist coffee grounds attract mold very quickly, and so if you want to chow down on used grounds, you need to act fast. To be honest, we think we’ll carry on emptying the sludgy used grounds onto the compost pile…