Coffee Vs. Chocolate (All The Differences)

Last Updated on May 18, 2022 by John Moretti

Coffee and chocolate both have a huge following all over the world. Not only are these two fan favorites, but they go well together too. Although these two are pretty similar, they are somewhat different. They are both edible, drinkable, and come from beans, crazy similarities! So what are the differences between coffee and chocolate?

Coffee is made from beans grown in high altitudes on the Coffee tree, roasted at a high temperature, and typically consumed as a beverage. Chocolate is made from cocoa beans grown on Cacao trees in low altitudes, slow-roasted, added to additional ingredients, and consumed as a solid or beverage.

coffee vs chocolate

Now that we have a simple knowledge of some of the differences between coffee and chocolate, we can take a more comprehensive look at each of these differences. Only once we have done this will we fully understand the differences between the two.

What Are The Differences Between Coffee And Chocolate?

Even though these two products seem to be very similar, some fundamental differences set these two apart. These include their raw materials, how you cure and roast them, and their final products.

Coffee Vs. Chocolate: Raw Materials

Even though coffee and chocolate are both harvested from trees in bean form, they have very different origins. Understanding where the raw material for these two comes from helps us understand them better.


Coffee is primarily grown in what is referred to today as the Bean Belt, preferring the high altitudes of Asia, Ethiopia, Central and South America, and Oceana. The best beans grow in heights of over 3280 feet above sea level. 

Coffee beans grow on the coffee tree of which there are two primary species, the Arabica and the Canephora. The coffee tree has a shrub-like small tree appearance, and it produces clusters of flowers that are creamy-white. From these clusters, one fruit will grow, and this fruit typically produces two beans or seeds, which ultimately end up as what we know as our coffee beans.


cocoa beans

Chocolate is one of the final products produced from cocoa beans. You can find the cocoa beans hidden inside the fruit of the Theobroma Cacao tree. This tree prefers to grow in low-altitude regions and will only thrive in a narrow band of 15 deg. S or N of the Equator. This region also falls within the tropical Bean Belt.

The fruit of the Cacao Tree is referred to as pods and grows directly off their tree trunk. Each pod contains 30 – 40 beans surrounded by a sugary, fragrant pulp. 

Coffee Vs. Chocolate: The Curing And Roasting Processes

Not only do coffee and chocolate come from two entirely different plants, grown in different altitudes, but the way you cure and roast them is also very different. One similarity is that the curing and roasting processes are crucial to the end product of both coffee and chocolate.


There are several ways to cure coffee, including wet, dry, honey, anaerobic, etc. Overall each of these methods will still see you removing the beans from their pulp, and placing them in the sun for moisture reduction and drying out. After the drying out process is complete, the beans will be milled and then husked before being cleaned, polished, and graded.

After their grading, they undergo the roasting process at very high temperatures exceeding 400°F. Coffee beans prefer a fast and hot roasting process, requiring high temperatures for the sugars to caramelize inside the beans and for pyrolysis to occur for the darker roasts. 

The high heat causes the coffee bean’s flavor to develop quickly, which is why the roasting process is fast. Whether you are going for a light, medium, medium-dark, or dark roast, will depend on how long you leave the beans in the heat.


Cocoa beans have to undergo a fermentation period. The curing process includes removing the beans from their pulp and putting them inside large wooden containers. Once inside the container, the beans are covered with banana leaves and left for 2 – 10 days to ferment.

Cocoa beans require low temperatures during their roasting, and this process takes a longer time to complete than coffee beans require. Cocoa beans roast for around 30 – 90 minutes at temperatures ranging between 250°F – 275°F. During the roasting process, they need the acetic acid, which results from the fermentation process, driven off.

Coffee Vs. Chocolate: The Final Products

The ultimate difference between coffee and chocolate is the outcome and how many processes they have to go through before consuming.



When it comes to coffee, you can separate the final roasts into a few categories, each with its unique flavors, from light to medium to medium-dark to dark roasts. You can then choose what you want to do with your beans, grinding them coarsely to finely before using them in either a coffee machine, french press, or various other means. 

Depending on your preferences, you can drink coffee with milk and sugar or cream or even black. There are also a variety of drinks that you can make, ranging from lattes to cappuccinos, cold brews, and ice coffees. 

But mostly, coffee is made into a hot or cold beverage coming in both caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties. Although, you can also eat the coffee beans as is or covered in chocolate as a bit of a snack.



The roasted cocoa bean is then ground down and made into cocoa powder, which you can make into chocolate. Today, most manufacturers make their chocolate from cocoa, sugar, cocoa butter, and milk or one of its plant derivatives. 

Chocolate has even more varieties, and you can drink it in the form of hot chocolate, whether from powdered cocoa or hot chocolate beverages or solid chocolate bars melted down and added to milk. Chocolate also comes in its solid form, which has its varieties, including white, milk, or dark chocolate. There are many different chocolate flavors and extra additions, such as fruit, nuts, shortbread, etc., that manufacturers include in the chocolate slabs.

What we refer to as chocolate typically comes in the solid form and is eaten or melted down to add to baking or cooking or beverages. 


There are several fundamental differences between coffee and chocolate. You make coffee from coffee beans that grow on the coffee tree, the beans require a quick roast at high temperatures, and you mainly consume coffee as a beverage. 

You make chocolate from cocoa beans that grow on the cacao tree, and the beans need to be fermented before undergoing a slow roast at low temperatures. After roasting, the cocoa bean is crushed and added to other ingredients to make chocolate which you can consume as both a beverage and solid edible.