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You love chocolate. You love coffee. Put them together, and the result is way more than the sum of its parts! Research agrees that coffee and chocolate make a great combination.
Chocolate covered coffee beans are a great way to get a taste of this amazing pairing. They’re very portable for an anytime boost of energy. You can throw some in a backpack or briefcase or purse. And you don’t have to worry about them getting cold like you do a cup of coffee.
You’ll find many varieties of this caffeinated snack. You can even make your own! With so many options, we’ll help you choose the best chocolate covered coffee beans for you! Here, we’ll look at why chocolate and coffee make such a great couple. We’ll also look at some of the benefits you can get from this pairing.
Whether you like dark, milk, or white chocolate, you can find a chocolate covered coffee bean to suit your taste. Eating an espresso bean gives you all the benefits of coffee in a concentrated form.
Science keeps uncovering more reasons why coffee is good for you. In the short term, it can boost mental alertness. The humble coffee bean is a natural source of caffeine, which is a stimulant. As many students know, coffee can help fuel those late-night study sessions. It can also give an extra boost when you go in for a test or presentation.
But its benefits go way beyond the classroom. There’s a reason why almost every workplace breakroom has a coffee pot! Athletes also benefit from caffeine. This natural chemical can boost exercise by more than 10%. Further, caffeine can lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Did you know that coffee is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients? B vitamins in particular are plentiful in an ordinary cup of Joe. You get them in a concentrated form when you eat the whole bean. And coffee is right up there with berries when it comes to antioxidants. It’s these antioxidants that reduce the risk of diseases.
Since 2000 BC, humans have indulged in the wonders of chocolate. But is it only an indulgence? No! There are actually health benefits of chocolate.
The benefits come from natural chemicals in the cocoa beans called flavanols. These flavanols can increase blood flow and lower blood pressure. Studies also suggest that flavanols can lessen the risk of heart disease. Not bad for a sweet indulgence!
But not all chocolate is created equal. The flavanols are in the cocoa solids, and dark chocolate has two or three times the amount than milk chocolate. Sadly, white chocolate contains no solids. Cocoa butter, sugar, and milk combine to make white chocolate.
Some people don’t like the strong taste of dark chocolate. The good news is that coffee can take away the bitterness! Researchers in Denmark found that drinking coffee can reduce the sensitivity to bitterness. So, blending coffee and dark chocolate gets you all the benefits of both and makes it taste better.
You might worry that eating chocolate coffee beans will give you too much caffeine. Don’t fret. You’d have to eat a whole lot of beans!
A single chocolate espresso bean only contains about 12 mg of caffeine. An 8-ounce cup of drip coffee can give you anywhere from 95 to 165 mg of caffeine. For adults, 400 mg of caffeine per day is safe. Be sure to consider all sources of caffeine. Did you have a couple cups of coffee in the morning? What about that caffeinated soda at lunch? When you add in munching a bunch of beans in the afternoon, you may be getting more caffeine than you realize.
The type of coffee bean will affect the amount of caffeine. Most brands use arabica beans. However, some brands use the robusta bean, which may have twice the amount of caffeine. Keep in mind that the caffeine content also depends on the kind of chocolate you use. A coffee bean covered with dark chocolate has more caffeine than one covered in milk or white chocolate.
And here’s another plug for combining chocolate and coffee. A study from the University of Georgia found that dark chocolate counter-acts some of the negative effects of caffeine. While caffeine alone can increase anxiety, adding chocolate can help temper your mood.
Another factor to consider when munching on coffee beans is the calorie content. While good for you, dark chocolate can contain as much as 170 calories per ounce. If you’re calorie conscious, be sure to check the nutrition label. Some varieties will have a thicker coating of chocolate. Also, dark chocolate usually has far less sugar than milk or white chocolate. Some brands might have as few as 100 calories per 28 pieces. Others can have as much as 200 calories per 14 pieces.
Unfortunately, coffee farming and processing is very intensive. In some countries, they use child labor because it is cheap. For both chocolate and coffee products, look for the Fair-Trade label. This ensures that the company did not use child labor and that they paid a fair wage.
While dark chocolate seems to be the most common form for chocolate coffee beans, it’s not the only option. Milk chocolate, white chocolate, and marbled covered beans are all options. My personal favorite is one covered with a marbled mix of milk and white chocolate. While higher on the calorie scale, it’s oh so creamy and delicious!
Be sure to look for a product with a whole coffee bean. Some cheaper brands only include pieces or chips of a coffee bean. You won’t know how much of the bean there actually is. Most brands use arabica beans. However, some brands use the robusta bean, which may have twice the amount of caffeine as an arabica.
If you know what you like, many bags come with a single type of chocolate. However, if you like to mix it up, you can find bags that have a mix of all the chocolate types.
If you can’t make up your mind, try this blend of chocolate coffee beans. It comes in a wide-mouth jar to make it easy to share. The bulk jar includes dark, milk, white, and marbled chocolate beans. The white chocolate is the sweetest in the bunch. All varieties have a whole roasted espresso bean in the center.
With a family tradition dating back to 1898, the Dilettante Chocolates brand was founded in 1976. This brand does have a thicker layer of chocolate than many others. Their process includes applying several layers of chocolate before finishing to a smooth, shiny coat.
A mere 14 pieces make a 40-gram serving. So, if you want more chocolate, then you might prefer these. However, if you’re tracking calories, you may want a bean with a thin, dark chocolate coating.
This giant 5-pound bag comes in a resealable bag. You can choose to get a bag of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, or marbled. You can also purchase a bag that has all four varieties combined. Each piece contains a whole coffee bean in the center.
Like their 3-pound jar, these chocolate covered beans include a fairly thick layer of chocolate. So, if you like a little bit of coffee with your chocolate, this is your bag.
If you like less chocolate around your espresso bean, the Madelaine Chocolate Company’s dark chocolate beans may be a good choice. These come in a resealable plastic bag. You need about 28 pieces to make a 30-gram serving, which is only 100 calories.
You’ll get intense chocolate flavor with 72% cacao. There is a thin chocolate coating and a glaze which gives a shine. The smooth chocolate is a nice contrast to the crunch of the whole espresso bean. This item is Kosher certified.
Hoosier Hill Farm has been around since 1999. Being in Indiana, they started with their premium popcorn and other farm-fresh products. Their European-style chocolate treats measure up to the same exacting standards.
Each piece contains a whole, roasted espresso bean covered in premium dark chocolate. Like M&Ms, there is a thin candy coating. This can help keep your hands clean as you munch that afternoon pick-me-up. These have a medium amount of chocolate-per-bean ratio. Twenty pieces make up a 40-gram serving. Each serving has about 170 calories.
This brand is great for people who want a little more kick. They use robusta beans instead of arabica. That means they have twice the amount of caffeine as most other beans. Keep that in mind when you’re figuring how much is too much caffeine.
These have a balance of chocolate and coffee bean. It takes 22 pieces to make a 30-gram serving, which has 140 calories. Sweet Gourmet makes their dark chocolate espresso beans available in a 1-, 2-, 3-, or 4-pound bag. They are Kosher certified. The beans have a candy coating to get that glossy shine.
Every year for Christmas, my daughter and I make chocolates together. We send them to family as Christmas presents. You can also give homemade chocolate espresso beans as a gift! Here’s a simple video about the process.
You can use almost any roasted whole bean to make these. I prefer a medium-dark roast Sumatran, as it has a deep, rich flavor with chocolate notes. It’s important to use roasted beans. The roasting process adds flavor and makes them less dense. That gives you a crispy crunch instead of a broken tooth. If you’re ambitious, you can find green coffee beans and roast them yourself.
Decide first if you want to use dark, milk, or white chocolate. Whichever type you choose, there are many ways to arrive at a melted chocolate. You can start with chocolate chips or a chocolate bar. If using chocolate chips, you may want to add a little shortening or coconut oil to get a softer bite. You can also use chocolate melts designed for this purpose. You’ll find them at craft stores and some grocery stores.
If you think you’ll be doing this often, it may be best to invest in a small chocolate melter. They’re readily available at craft stores. It prevents scorching the chocolate and keeps the chocolate warm during the process. If you don’t have one, it’s best to use a double boiler. It is very easy to burn chocolate when you cook it directly on the stove or in a microwave.
Add your roasted coffee beans to the melted chocolate and stir to coat. Then, use a fork to lift each coated bean. Hold it over the chocolate a few seconds to let the excess chocolate drip off. Place the coated bean onto a piece of waxed paper and let it cool. If you want more chocolate per coffee bean, you can repeat the process for a second or third coating. You can also add layers of different types of chocolate.
If you’re giving these as gifts, you have lots of options to dress it up. Before the chocolate is completely set, you can add a decorative coating. Sprinkle the covered beans with unsweetened cocoa, cinnamon, or powdered sugar.
How you package the beans can also make an impact. If you’re keeping it simple, you can find small zip-close plastic bags at craft stores. You’ll usually find them with the jewelry-making supplies. You can also find cellophane bags in a variety of colors. If you’re making these along with other chocolates, you can find small boxes and little paper cups designed for home candymakers.
Many coffee shops will sell bags of chocolate covered coffee beans. If your local shop doesn't, many online retailers do offer them.
Eat them just like any other chocolates. However, you'll want to be mindful of how many you eat. The caffeine can add up, especially if you're consuming other forms of caffeine such as coffee, tea, or caffeinated sodas.
Many sealed bags of chocolate covered coffee beans have a shelf-life of one year. But around us, they won't last anywhere near that long. Once opened, or if you buy them in bulk, they'll usually still be good for up to six months.
A typical chocolate covered coffee bean has about 8 calories. This will vary slightly based on the thickness of chocolate and if it's dark, milk, white, or marbled chocolate.
Each bean packs about 12 mg of caffeine. To equal an average 8-ounce cup of coffee, you would eat 10-12 beans.
Is there anything more satisfying that rich, dark chocolate and coffee combined? Chocolatey coffee beans are great for an on-the-run snack or in a bowl beside your desk to keep you going. They are also a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth. As long as you don’t over-indulge, the benefits make this guilty pleasure worthwhile.
Buy a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans or make your own. Whatever your chocolate preference, you’re sure to find a bag of beans you will love.