The aroma and flavor of freshly-brewed coffee are undeniable delightful—and part of this appeal comes from the euphoric feeling of opening a sealed bag of beans to brew your morning cup. But has the thought of popping one of these beans in your mouth ever crossed your mind? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, some historical sources suggest that our ancestors used to mix coffee beans with animal fat and eat them whole—even before they considered coffee as a beverage. Besides, there are tons of coffee-flavored snacks, confectionaries, and even alcohol in the market.
We could blurb on and on about coffee-flavored consumables, but that’s not why we’re here. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of something—dare we say—divine! Marrying coffee and chocolate is—in our opinion—one of the best flavor synergies out there. Whether it’s a chocolate-infused Café Mocha or chocolate-covered coffee beans, these two ingredients were meant to be used together.
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Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans- in a Nutshell!
Crunchy, energy-packed, roasty, sweet, and chocolatey, chocolate-covered coffee beans encompass everything we need on the go—but in a compact, bite-sized snack. Throw a bunch in an air-tight bag and you have the perfect midday snack for a stroll in the park or a movie night. You can even keep a box on your office desk and munch on them for a burst of energy/caffeine—keeping you alert and improving your workflow.
But why chocolate? That’s easy! Chocolate ‘diffuses’ the bitterness of coffee beans. And unlike the animal fat that was used by our ancestors, chocolate is a delight to our palate. Think about it— first, you savor the deliciously sweet chocolate coating and the taste is immediately followed by the bold, rich flavor of the bean, ending with an electrifying jolt of caffeine goodness. If you’re already drooling at the thought of eating chocolate-covered espresso beans, you can purchase them at online stores such as Amazon or a local specialty coffee store. Or if you feel adventurous, follow our recipe and create a bunch!
What is the Caffeine content of Chocolate-Covered Coffee Beans?
Let’s be honest—many people drink coffee religiously to quench a thirst for caffeine. If this remotely sounds like you, then you’re also probably wondering how much caffeine is in chocolate-covered coffee beans – especially, considering both coffee and chocolate contain caffeine.
The simple (but vague and unsatisfying) answer is that caffeine content depends on the type of chocolate and coffee used. But for a more specific answer, we looked at nutritional data from The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) database. As shown below, we compared the caffeine content of dark chocolate-coated coffee beans, milk chocolate-covered coffee beans, and a standard cup of black coffee.
- Dark chocolate-coated coffee beans: According to USDA, 28 grams (an ounce) packs a caffeine content 237.9 milligrams, 12 grams sugar, 8.5 grams fat, and 153 calories.
- Milk chocolate-covered coffee beans: An ounce of milk chocolate-covered espresso bean contained 227 milligrams of caffeine, 14.4 grams sugar, 9.4 grams fat, and 156 calories.
- A standard cup of black coffee: According to the data, a single 8-ounce (237 grams) cup of black coffee contains 94.8 milligrams of caffeine.
Based on this information, it seems that chocolate-covered coffee beans pack a significantly higher dose of caffeine than a cup—with dark chocolate carrying the maximum amount. So if you’re craving for a caffeine fix, dark chocolate-covered espresso beans are the way to go.
How Many Chocolate-Covered Espresso Can You Eat at a Go?
Chocolate-coated coffee beans are high in caffeine, but delicious; they end up being a very addictive snack. For this reason, you might be wondering, “what happens if I overindulge in chocolate-covered espresso beans?” As mouth-watering as they may seem, it’s advisable to eat these beans in moderation. The U.S. National Library of Medicine suggests an average daily consumption of 400 milligrams of caffeine.
Too much caffeine can lead to undesirable side effects such as difficulty sleeping, restlessness, tremors, vomiting, and nausea. It may also increase stomach acid, leading to bloating, stomach upsets, and heartburns. And as is the case with any caffeine products, children and pregnant mothers are strongly dissuaded from the consumption of chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Are Chocolate-Covered Coffee Beans Healthy?
At first sight, chocolate-covered coffee beans look like junk food—but there’s more to this tasty snack. Aside from providing energy, the beans are low-key packed with healthful antioxidants that help fight illness and improve our general wellbeing.
Both espresso beans and chocolate are rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenols, and oxazole, among others. These compounds neutralize free radicals (harmful substances that increase the risk of illness and inflammation) in our cells. For optimal nutritional content, consider dark chocolate-covered coffee beans. They contain a higher concentration of antioxidants and fewer calories.
Chocolate-covered espresso beans are also known to improve mood. The coffee makes you happier as it interacts with dopamine and acetylcholine, while chocolate increases the level of serotonin (aka., the happy chemical) in your brain.
Disclaimer: The statements made above must not be substituted for medical advice. Always consult your doctor for professional advice.
Making your Own Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans at Home!
Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans
- A double boiler (you can use a Pyrex bowl and a pot as a substitute)
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper
- 1/3 cup coffee (whole beans)
- 100 grams chocolate (for example, a Hershey’s candy bar)
- Add water to the double boiler (or to the bottom pot if you are using a pot and pyrex substitute)
- Bring the water to a boil. After it boils, reduce temperature.
- Separate the chocolate into pieces and add to the top part of the double boiler (or to the Pyrex bowl).
- Whip the melted chocolate continuously until it melts into a smooth chocolate sauce.
- Remove the top portion or the Pyrex bowl away from the stove and add the coffee beans. Stir the chocolate and coffee beans together.
- Scoop the chocolate coffee beans one by one out of the bowl and place them separately on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Cool the beans in a refrigerator or freezer for an hour and a half
- Dust with any topping you desire (powdered sugar, cinnamon, etc.)
Which are the Best Coffee Beans to Coat with Chocolate?
Most chocolate-covered coffee beans are made from espresso beans—which is just another name for particularly dark-roasts. This is because espresso beans tend to be larger, smoother, less acidic, and have a fuller flavor – i.e., they’re more palatable for nibbling. However, the choice of beans is a personal preference.
You can also consider playing around with the unique flavors of some single-origin coffee beans. For example, you can try an earthy Sumatra or a Blueberry Bomb Ethiopian add an interesting complexity to your chocolate-flavored coffee beans. Again, this comes down to your unique taste or palate.
Word of Caution: Light roasts and Peaberries are characterized by a higher density. For the Peaberry, this is attributed to the shape of the beans. In the case of light roasts, they’re typically pulled out of the oven before they “crack.” Munching on these dense beans will take a toll on your teeth—and you may find yourself visiting your dentist sooner than you think.
Does the Type of Chocolate Matter?
The choice of chocolate depends on your taste and health consideration. For the latter, dark chocolate is often a healthier option. The general rule of thumb is that the higher the concentration of cocoa, the healthier and more bitter the chocolate due to lower sugar content (darker chocolate has more cocoa). If health is your primary concern, look for chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content. You can also use low-sugar, organic, dairy-free, and vegan-friendly chocolate brands if desired.
When it comes to taste considerations, the main consideration is between milk chocolate or dark chocolate—with the former being sweeter. You can also be adventurous and have a go at flavored chocolates such as hazelnut to compliment the tasting notes of your coffee.
Buying Guide for the Best Chocolate-Covered Coffee Beans
Although chocolate-covered coffee beans don’t enjoy the same popularity as some other coffee-based products, they do have their fair share of fanatics. Their popularity seems to fluctuate from year to year. Regardless, it’s important to be informed before you drop your cash on this treat. Always look at the type of chocolate used, the roast of the beans, additional ingredients used, and the value for money (i.e., quantity in a bag vs the price).
To simplify your buying decision, here are some of the best chocolate covered coffee beans available on Amazon.
- Dilettante Chocolate Espresso Bean Blend – A delightful mix of white and dark chocolate. Also free of fillers and preservatives.
- SweetGourmet Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans – The best option for Robusta beans
- Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans by Koppers – For a dose of delicious Costa-Rican coffee.
Chocolate and coffee are both popular pleasures in their own respect—but when combined, they’re something special! And while they’re a great pick-me-up snack on their own, but they can also make awesome toppings on your dessert. The best news is that with the help of this recipe, you can make a bunch of these great snacks at the comfort of your home.