Is Coffee a Soup? The Shocking Truth You Need to Know

Discover the truth behind whether or not coffee is considered a soup. Learn about the process of making coffee and how it differs from traditional soup recipes. Get helpful tips and advice on the differences between coffee and soup.

As a coffee enthusiast, I have heard a lot of debates about whether coffee can be considered a soup. Some people argue that because coffee is a liquid made from beans and often has other ingredients added to it, it shares some similarities with soup. Others disagree, saying that coffee is too different from traditional soups to be considered one. So which is it? Is coffee a soup or not? Let’s explore the facts and decide for ourselves.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re curious about the answer to this age-old question. While some people may ask this question in jest, others genuinely want to know if there is any scientific basis for considering coffee a soup. In this article, we will look at the definitions of coffee, soup, and other related terms to determine whether coffee qualifies as a soup. By the end, we should have a better understanding of this intriguing debate.

What is Coffee?

Before we dive into the question of whether coffee is a soup, let’s first define what coffee is. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, coffee is “a beverage made by percolation, infusion, or decoction from the roasted and ground seeds of a coffee plant.” The coffee plant, known as Coffea, produces small cherry-like fruits called coffee cherries, which contain the seeds that are used to make coffee.

In details, Coffee is a popular beverage made from the roasted and ground seeds of coffee plants, which are native to Africa. The seeds are harvested and roasted to produce the recognizable coffee bean. Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and it contains caffeine, which has a stimulating effect on humans. Coffee is also a source of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.

Coffee has been enjoyed for centuries, and today it is one of the most popular beverages worldwide. People consume coffee in various forms, including brewed, instant, and espresso. It is often enjoyed with sugar, cream, or other flavorings.

Is Coffee a Bean or Legume?

One argument for considering coffee a soup is that it comes from a bean. However, coffee is not technically a bean but rather a seed. Beans belong to the legume family, which includes plants such as peas, lentils, and peanuts. While coffee does resemble a bean in appearance, it actually belongs to the Rubiaceae family, which includes flowering plants.

So, Coffee beans are not legumes. They are the seeds of the coffee plant and are not related to legumes such as soybeans, peanuts, chickpeas, lentils, and beans, which are plants from the family Fabaceae.

The reason why coffee is often referred to as a bean is that the seeds are enclosed in a protective outer layer. During processing, this outer layer is removed, leaving behind what looks like a small, round bean.

Can Coffee Beans Be Called Seeds?

Another term that comes up in discussions about coffee is whether the seeds can be called beans or if they should be referred to as seeds. The definition of a seed is “a flowering plant’s unit of reproduction, capable of developing into another such plant.” Based on this definition, coffee seeds would indeed be considered seeds.

Yes, coffee beans can be called seeds. Coffee beans are actually the seeds of the coffee plant, which are found inside the fruit known as the coffee cherry. They can be planted and grown into a coffee tree. Although they are commonly referred to as beans, they are technically seeds.

However, the term “coffee bean” has become so ingrained in our language that it is unlikely to change anytime soon. While technically incorrect, it is still widely used and understood to refer to the seeds of the coffee plant.

Is Coffee Technically a Soup?

Is Coffee A Soup
Is Coffee a Soup?

Now we come to the heart of the matter: Is coffee a soup? To answer this question, we first need to define what soup is. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, soup is “a liquid food especially with a meat, fish, or vegetable stock as a base and often containing pieces of solid food.”

Based on this definition, coffee cannot be considered a soup. Soup requires a base made from meat, fish, or vegetables, which coffee does not have. While coffee does contain water, it cannot be classified as a soup simply based on this fact.

However, some people may argue that coffee shares some similarities with certain types of soup. For example, some soups contain beans as a primary ingredient, just as coffee is made from coffee beans. Additionally, both coffee and some soups may contain other ingredients such as spices or herbs.

Despite these similarities, coffee is still not a soup by definition. While they may share some similarities, coffee and soup are fundamentally different foods.

The Differences Between Beans and Seeds

Earlier, we discussed how coffee seeds are often incorrectly referred to as beans. But what is the difference between beans and seeds?

Beans are a type of seed that belongs to the legume family. They are often used as a source of protein in vegetarian meals and can be found in dishes such as chili, hummus, and salads.

Seeds, on the other hand, come from a variety of plants and serve different purposes. Some seeds are used as food sources, while others are grown to produce new plants. In the case of coffee, the seeds are used to make the beverage we all know and love.

Is Coffee Just Bean Water?

Another argument for considering coffee a soup is that it is simply bean water, much like a broth-based soup. However, this argument overlooks the fact that coffee also contains oils, acids, and other compounds that give it its unique flavor and aroma.

Additionally, calling coffee “bean water” ignores the fact that the liquid component of coffee is derived from the seeds and not the flesh of the coffee cherry. While it is true that water is used to extract the flavor and compounds from the coffee seeds, the resulting liquid cannot simply be called “bean water.”

Can You Add Coffee to Soup?

While coffee may not be a soup on its own, could it be used as an ingredient in soup? It’s certainly possible, although it may not be the most common use for coffee.

Adding coffee to a soup could add a unique depth of flavor, especially if the soup contains other ingredients that complement the flavors of coffee. For example, coffee could be added to a chili recipe to enhance the smoky, earthy flavors of the dish.

However, adding coffee to certain types of soup may not work well. For example, coffee may not pair well with lighter, broth-based soups. Ultimately, whether or not to add coffee to your soup is a matter of personal preference and experimentation.

Are Coffee Beans a Vegetable or Grain?

Another question that often comes up in discussions about coffee is whether coffee beans are considered a vegetable or a grain. In reality, coffee beans are neither. As we discussed earlier, coffee seeds are technically seeds and come from a plant in the Rubiaceae family.

Vegetables, on the other hand, are parts of plants that are typically consumed as food. Examples include leafy greens, root vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Meanwhile, grains are small, hard, edible seeds that belong to the grass family. Examples include wheat, rice, and oats.

While coffee may not fit neatly into either of these categories, it is still a beloved beverage enjoyed by many around the world.

Are the Effects of Coffee and Soup Similar?

One final consideration when discussing whether coffee is a soup is whether the two have similar effects on the body. While they are different foods, both coffee and soup can have various effects on our health and well-being.

For example, coffee is known for its caffeine content, which can provide a boost of energy and improve focus. However, excessive caffeine consumption can lead to jitteriness, anxiety, and other negative side effects.

Soup, on the other hand, can be a healthy and nourishing food that provides important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Some soups may also contain protein, depending on their ingredients.

While there are some similarities between the effects of coffee and soup, they are ultimately different foods with unique properties.

How to Grind Coffee Beans

If you’re a coffee enthusiast, chances are you prefer to grind your own beans rather than using pre-ground coffee. Here are some tips for grinding coffee beans:

  • Use a burr grinder rather than a blade grinder for more consistent results.
  • Experiment with different grind sizes to find the perfect grind for your brewing method.
  • Grind your beans just before brewing for the freshest flavor.
  • Store your beans in an airtight container away from light and heat to preserve freshness.


While coffee and soup may share some similarities, coffee cannot be considered a soup based on its definition. Coffee is a beloved beverage made from processed seeds, while soup is typically made from meat, fish, or vegetables.

Whether you enjoy coffee, soup, or both, it’s important to appreciate each food for its unique properties and flavors. By understanding the definitions and differences between these foods, we can gain a greater appreciation for the world of culinary delights around us.


Is coffee a soup or a drink?

Coffee is not considered a soup. A soup is a liquid food that is usually made from poultry, meat, fish, and vegetables. Coffee is made from roasted coffee beans, which are then ground and brewed with water. Coffee is generally considered a drink.

Why is coffee considered a soup?

Coffee is not generally considered a soup. While coffee beans are technically a type of seed found in the coffee plant, and the resulting beverage is made by extracting alkaloids and flavor compounds from the beans, coffee is not typically prepared or consumed in a way that would make it a soup. Soup is generally defined as a primarily liquid food, often served warm or hot, that contains a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, meat, or grains.

Is coffee a fruit seed soup?

No, coffee is not a fruit seed soup. While coffee is made from the seeds of the coffee fruit, it is not a soup. A soup is a liquid food that is usually sourced from poultry, meat, fish, and vegetables. Coffee is a beverage made by brewing the seeds of the coffee fruit.

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Nick Cho
Nick Cho

Nick Cho is a Korean-American entrepreneur and specialty coffee expert. Cho is a writer, speaker, and social media influencer, inspiring excellence in the specialty coffee industry.

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