What’s so special about coffee fruit? Superfood hunter, Darin Olien, tells all

You’ve heard of coffee. But coffee fruit? Coffee…whaaaaat? Yes, coffee fruit. It’s where the beloved coffee bean comes from (which is technically a seed, by the way). Chances are, not only have you NOT heard of coffee fruit, you’ve probably never tasted it. Few have. But one of the few who has is Shakeology’s own superfood hunter, Darin Olien.

Not only has Darin tasted this treasured fruit, but he has experienced the many benefits associated with this powerful superfood and has worked incredible hard with Beachbody’s vaunted R&D team to figure out a way to get this fabulous fruit into Shakeology. And when we succeeded, Shakeology 7th flavor—Café Latte—was born

Because getting coffee fruit in its entirety from farm to market is such a challenge, we wanted to share Darin’s meticulous journey with the world. Not only do we want you to know why he did it, but how he did it, and what the benefits of consuming coffee fruit in Café Latte mean for you.

So we interviewed Darin, and this is what he said…



Q: What is coffee fruit?

A: Coffee fruit isa cherry-sized, red fleshy berry that comes from the coffee plant. And not very deep inside this tiny lil’ fruit lies a seed, which the world calls a coffee bean.

Q: Why is coffee fruit so good for you?

A: By consuming both the fruit and the seed of the coffee plant your body, especially your brain, benefits from this superfood’s beneficial antioxidant properties, as well as its chlorogenic acids, polyphenols, and phytonutrients. In nature, the synergy of consuming plants and herbs in their entirety can have greater benefits for the human body than when only part of the plant is consumed.


Q: How did you discover the magical powers of coffee fruit?

A: Ten years ago I was hunting for a rare tree bark in Africa and when we stopped for a break I grabbed a handful of bright red berries off a bush alongside our hiking trail. Almost instantly I felt an incredible sensation overtake my body and knew there was something magically potent about this mysterious little find.

Q: How come the coffee bean is so famous, but its fruit is not?

A: The greatest challenge with this nutritious and delicious fruit is that within a short period of time after it’s harvested the red fleshy part starts to rot and has to be discarded as waste. Sadly, up until now, there really wasn’t a way to bring this potent powerhouse from farm to market for the masses to enjoy.


Q: What changed?

A: An ingenious company called VDF FutureCeuticals spent years developing a propriety harvesting, washing, and drying process right there on the farm and have finally mastered a way to preserve the integrity and magic of this incredibly potent superfood. The harvested coffee fruit is now at a quality level where companies like Beachbody are finally able to utilize it.

Q: What did you do on your recent trip in Mexico?

A: I went down to the coffee farm in Cotopec, Mexico to check up on the quality of the plantation as well as to make sure everything was up to Beachbody’s and Shakeology’s extremely high standards.

Q: What was so unique about this farm?

A: First of all, they’re growing extremely high quality coffee plants, according to BB standards. But most importantly, they’re harvesting and processing the entire piece of coffee fruit right there, in the field, within hours of picking. And it has to happen that way. Or else the coffee fruit will rot and has to be discarded as waste.

Q: Why didn’t we just add coffee to Shakeology to get the treasured coffee flavor?

A: For starters, anybody with a coffee pot and a bag of Shakeology could do that. And a lot of people do. However, by harvesting the entire piece of fruit , we are utilizing all of the nutrition that nature intends for us to consume. We are sticking to the Shakeology way of adding nutrition to the formula to create flavor profiles, rather than a quick fix that creates no additional nutritional value.

Q: Who do you think benefits the most from mastering this new harvesting process?

A: This is a win-win-win for everyone, including the environment! Farmers win because now they’re now able to sell more of what they grow, which financially empowers their community. Shakeology consumers win because now they’re consuming coffee fruit—a plant that contains some of the highest levels of antioxidants on the planet. And the environment wins because no longer is any part of this fruit hauled off as waste.

So there you have it. Darin’s excursion to Mexico and a little more info on the newest Shakeology superfood ingredient, found only in café latte flavor. Who else has tried this amazing fruit?


  1. How much caffeine is in this flavor, compared to other flavors?

  2. I need to know other than the coffee fruit and root. How does this affect medications for mental illness.

    It is very important that I know if it will cause medications to counter act.

    • Why do you believe it will interact with your medication? They are not chemical they are whole food. If you are concerned you can take the ingredient list to your physician

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