What are Chlorogenic Acids in Coffee

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 26th, 2023

Do you love coffee but don’t know much about it? Are you curious to learn more about the ingredients in your favorite cup of joe?

If so, this blog post is for you! We’ll be looking at chlorogenic acids found in coffee beans which can have several beneficial health effects.

What is Chlorogenic Acid?

Chlorogenic Acid (CGA) is a predominant phenolic acid in green coffee beans and other plants such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. It is an ester of caffeic acid and (−)-quinic acid, which functions as an intermediate in lignin biosynthesis.

CGA has been linked to many health benefits associated with coffee, such as reducing blood sugar levels and providing antioxidant protection. It has also been suggested that CGAs may be responsible for the bitterness of coffee during roasting due to their decomposition into other phenolic compounds.

As such, CGA plays an important role in the overall flavor profile of coffee.

Health Benefits of Chlorogenic Acids

Chlorogenic acid (CGA) has various health benefits, including supporting healthy brain function and disease prevention. They have substantial biological activities and are important antioxidants. CGA is a natural antioxidant found in coffee beans and can help with weight loss and lower blood pressure.

CGAs have been linked to many potential health benefits, including improving blood sugar levels, as well as improve cardiovascular health, decreasing the amount of caffeine absorbed by the body, and even reducing the bitterness of coffee.

Studies have also suggested that CGA may help reduce inflammation, reduce cholesterol levels, and even protect against certain types of cancer. While more research is needed to understand the effects of CGA on human health fully, current evidence suggests that it may benefit overall health.

It has also modulated lipid metabolism, reducing obesity in rats fed a high-fat diet. This shows that CGA can be beneficial for overall health and well-being.

Origin and History

Chlorogenic acid (CGA) was first isolated from coffee beans in 1920 by K. Freudenberg. In 1932, CGAs were identified as a large family of esters of quinic acid and trans-cinnamic acids. Since then, at least 71 different chemical compounds have been identified.

CGA is a major factor in plant metabolism, breaking down slowly and playing a particularly vital role as a powerful antioxidant in vitro. It is also one of the main antioxidant compounds in the Western diet due to its high concentrations in coffee associated with the high content of chlorogenic acids in green and roasted beans.

Chlorogenic Acid as a Coffee Antioxidant

Chlorogenic acids (CGA) are the main antioxidant compounds in coffee beans, responsible for many of their beneficial health effects.

CGAs are esters of trans-cinamic acid and are involved in the bitterness of coffee due to their decomposition in phenolic compounds during roasting.

Studies have shown that CGA has substantial biological activities and may be responsible for coffee’s powerful health benefits, as well as its taste and aroma.

Furthermore, CGA has been found to protect against oxidative damage caused by free radicals. As such, CGA is an essential component of coffee and contributes to its overall health benefits.

Relationship Between CGA and Caffeine

Chlorogenic acid (CGA) is an important constituent of coffee beans, and its content can differ from one coffee bean variety to another.

The amount of CGA in coffee beans is typically much higher than that of caffeine, with CGA accounting for about 5-10% of beans and caffeine for only 1-2%. However, the relationship between CGA and caffeine is not straightforward.

Research shows that the roasting process can significantly reduce the concentration of CGA in coffee and increase the caffeine content. Further extraction of ground coffee with hot pressurized water can also affect the concentrations of both compounds.

The relationship between CGA and caffeine in coffee is further complicated because these compounds can interact, potentially modulating their effects on taste, aroma, and health benefits.

Effects on Blood Sugar Levels

Chlorogenic acid is beneficial in reducing the risk of diabetes, as mentioned earlier. Studies have shown that consuming decaffeinated coffee enriched with chlorogenic acid (CGA) can help reduce postprandial glucose levels, meaning that the glucose from food is absorbed and used more efficiently in the body.

CGA also helps prevent complications arising from diabetes mellitus (DM) and may help reduce blood sugar levels overall. It is important to note that while CGA can positively affect blood sugar levels, it should not be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatments.


Role of CGAs in Coffee’s Bitterness

Chlorogenic acids (CGAs) are important in coffee flavor and can contribute to flavor when present in the right balance and level. It has been suggested that the “di-CGA” form of the acid may be responsible for certain coffees’ bitter/metallic taste notes.

CGAs have been associated with sensory attributes of coffee beverages, such as acidity, astringency, and bitterness. Robusta coffees tend to be more bitter than Arabica coffees since they contain higher levels of CGAs and caffeine. As such, CGAs are known to produce the bitter/metallic taste found in certain coffees, further contributing to their unique flavor profile.

Potential Side Effects of CGA

Although CGA has many potential health benefits, it can also have some side effects. While moderate amounts of CGA are generally safe, high doses may cause headaches, irritability, and restlessness. Additionally, CGA may interact with certain medications, including diabetes and aspirin.

Talking to a doctor before consuming large amounts of coffee or taking any supplements containing CGA is important. Also, it is important to remember that the amount of CGA in coffee can vary depending on the brewing method and other factors.

Finally, while CGA can help to reduce the risk of metabolic disorders, it is still important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.


In conclusion, chlorogenic acids (CGA) are a class of phenolic acids found in coffee and have substantial biological activities. CGA is the main ingredient in green coffee, the most abundant source of CGA and other phenolic compounds such as caffeine and trigonelline.

Studies have shown that CGA has many health benefits, including being a powerful antioxidant, regulating blood sugar levels, and providing bitterness to the taste of coffee. Although some potential side effects are associated with high levels of CGA consumption, the benefits far outweigh the risks. Therefore, incorporating coffee into your diet can benefit your overall health.


All of the information provided was based on several studies. Since these sources were used in multiple sections of this article, we decided to add these sources here for further reading.

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.