What Food Group Does Coffee Belong To? Find Out!


What food group does coffee belong to? There are many food groups that can be eaten from to help maintain a balanced diet. The food pyramid breaks down those groups and we can allocate the number of servings that should be eaten from each of those groups during a day’s time so that we obtain the most nutritional value.

coffee beans and mug
coffee beans and mug

Following is a summary of each of the main food groups and how coffee fits into a few of those groups.

Some argue that coffee can belong to the fruit group because coffee cherries are fruit from the coffee plant, while others say that coffee belongs to the beverage food group. Let’s look at it in greater detail.

Major Food Groups

These are the major food groups in the food pyramid. Let’s look at the variety of foods while keeping in mind we want to determine what food group does coffee belong to.  

Sugar and Sweets

Sugar and sweets are at the top of the food pyramid, meaning that you should not consume them every day, or you should consume very few of them in your daily diet. As you might suspect, they’re not good for you.

Sugar and sweets are usually junk foods, candy, and sugar-based drinks.

The recommended serving per day for sugar and sweets is a maximum of 5 to 6 teaspoons, and you’re better off to skip it all together.

Fats and Oils

Fats and oils are at the top of the food pyramid. This means that you’ll want to consume as few of them as possible during the day.

Fats and oil include food items such as olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, butter, oleo, and other cooking fats or oils.

The recommended serving per day for fats and oils is a maximum of 6 to 8 teaspoons.

Fish, Shellfish, Meat and Poultry

Lean meats such as fish and poultry can be a good source of protein and are nutrient-dense foods. To balance your diet, include a few servings per day of these types of meats from the protein foods group. Red meats such as beef can be a good source of iron as well.

It’s recommended to limit processed meats that are packed with ingredients like salt and preservatives, such as bacon, sausage, pepperoni and such.

The recommended serving per day for meats is 2 ½ servings.


Eggs are another good source of protein. If you can’t eat meat, eggs might be a food that you’ll want to consider.

There are so many ways to cook eggs. We’ve listed our 32 most favorite ways to cook eggs so that you can cook one a day for a month and still not duplicate a cooking method.

The recommended serving per day for eggs is 1 piece.

Milk and Milk Products

Dairy products that contain milk such as ice cream, cheeses, yogurt, and more all fall into the milk and milk products category in the food pyramid.

The recommended serving per day for milk and milk products is 1 glass of milk or one serving from the dairy group.

Vegetable Group

The vegetable food group consists of vegetables such as green beans, lima beans, lettuce, celery and more.

The recommended servings per day for vegetables is 3 servings.

Fruit Group

Fruit is another food group that’s a part of the food pyramid. Some consider coffee to be included in this group. The argument is that coffee cherries or green coffee beans are whole fruits.

The coffee cherry grows on the coffee plant, and some would classify it as coffee fruit or round stone fruits.

Other fruits can include foods such as apples, oranges, peaches, pears, and more.

The recommend servings per day for fruits is 3 servings or 3 cups of fruit.

Whole Grains Group

The base of the food pyramid is made up of whole grains which includes foods like rice, corn, breads, noodles, and even root crops. These tend to be somewhat starchy foods.

Breakfast cereals and cereal grains are grain products that are recommended to consume several servings per day because of the potential health benefits they provide.

Foods such as white bread and whole grain breads also fall into this category.

The recommended servings per day for grains is 6 to 8 servings.

Water and Beverages

Do you know that the food pyramid has a water and beverages group? Water and beverages includes drinks on the healthy side, like water, herbal tea, green tea, and coffee.

It doesn’t include unhealthy drinks like fruit juice that’s chock full of sugar, soft drinks, or energy drinks. Those would fit better under the sugar and sweets group.

The recommended servings per day for water and beverages is 6 to 8 glasses.

Coffee belongs to food group coffee along with other beverages and drinks.

Black coffee with coffee beans on the table
Black coffee with coffee beans on the table


Coffee can qualify for either the water and beverages food group or the fruit food group, depending on the state it’s in.

A prepared cup of coffee tends to best qualify for the water and beverages group, while raw coffee in the coffee cherry state tends to fall under the fruit food group.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions that relate to what food group does coffee belong to. If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to respond.

Where is coffee on the food pyramid?

On the food pyramid, coffee belongs to the drinks group. It fits with water, and items that consist of water such as tea, herbal tea, green tea, fruit juice that doesn’t have sugar, and vegetable juice.

All of these can be consumed throughout the day in considerable quantities.

Is coffee a fruit or a cereal?

Yes, scientifically speaking coffee is considered a fruit because coffee cherries are the fruit that comes from a coffee tree and are processed into roasted beans to make coffee and coffee grounds.

What is coffee considered as?

Coffee, along with water and tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. On the food pyramid it belongs to the drinks group.  

Food nutrition groups pyramid illustration

Is coffee a fruit or a seed?

Coffee cherries are seeds from a fruit that are roasted and processed to create coffee beans that are then used to make coffee.

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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