How Coffee Fruit Upcycling is Brewing a Sustainable Future

Patrick Celaya

Coffee, the world's beloved morning fuel, hides a hidden secret: the vibrant red coffee cherry that houses the precious beans we roast and grind. But what happens to the rest of the fruit? Traditionally, it's discarded as waste. However, innovative companies like The Other Side of Coffee are brewing a revolution in sustainability by upcycling this forgotten fruit into delicious and nutritious beverages.

What is Coffee Fruit?

Coffee fruit, also known as a coffee cherry or coffee berry, is a small, round stone fruit produced by the coffee plant. It's about the size of a grape and grows in bunches on the coffee tree. When raw, it's green, ripening to a deep red, reddish-purple, or yellowish-red color. Inside the fleshy fruit lies the pit, which contains the two coffee beans we're familiar with. While the beans are what's processed and roasted for coffee, the surrounding fruit has often been discarded.

However, as we'll explore, the coffee cherry holds immense potential for creating a more sustainable and delicious coffee experience.

Coffee Fruit

Reducing Waste, One Cherry at a Time

Coffee production generates a staggering amount of waste. Billions of pounds of coffee fruit are discarded annually, often ending up in landfills or polluting waterways. The Other Side of Coffee tackles this issue head-on. Their unique process utilizes 3.5 pounds of coffee fruit per can, transforming what was once waste into a refreshing and healthy drink. This not only minimizes environmental impact but also promotes a more responsible and sustainable coffee industry.

Unveiling the Benefits of Coffee Fruit

Coffee fruit goes beyond its vibrant color and pleasant taste. It's a treasure trove of health-promoting nutrients, making it a true nutritional powerhouse. Here's a glimpse of what this forgotten fruit packs:

  • Antioxidants Galore: Coffee fruit boasts a high concentration of antioxidants, even exceeding the levels found in many fruits and vegetables. These antioxidants help combat free radicals in the body, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Vitamin and Mineral Rich: Coffee fruit is a natural source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B2 (riboflavin), magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients play crucial roles in various bodily functions, contributing to overall health and well-being.
  • Brain Booster: Coffee fruit shows promise in promoting brain health. Studies suggest it may raise levels of BDNF (Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor), a protein that protects brain cells and enhances cognitive function.
  • Potential Health Benefits: Research is ongoing to explore the full potential of coffee fruit. WebMD even considers it a "superfood" due to its wealth of nutrients. However, a staggering 46 billion pounds of coffee fruit are discarded annually, highlighting the immense opportunity for sustainable practices like upcycling.

Empowering Farmers, Enriching Lives

Coffee farmers are the backbone of the industry, yet they often face economic hardship due to fluctuating bean prices. By creating a market for coffee fruit, this empowers farmers to generate additional income. This not only improves their livelihoods but also fosters a more resilient and equitable coffee supply chain.

Sustainable Sipping: How You Can Make a Difference

As a conscious consumer, you can contribute to a more sustainable coffee future. Look for brands like The Other Side of Coffee that prioritize responsible sourcing and upcycling practices. By choosing these options, you're not just enjoying a delicious drink; you're supporting a movement that benefits the environment, empowers farmers, and reduces waste.

Beyond the environmental and social benefits, The Other Side of Coffee offers a unique and flavorful beverage experience. Explore the exciting world of coffee fruit upcycling and discover a sustainable way to elevate your daily routine.

You can purchase The Other Side of Coffee here:

The Other Side of Coffee