The caffeine in coffee “beans” is a natural plant defense against herbivory, i.e., a toxic substance that protects the seeds of the plant. Fruits and leaves are both sources of caffeine as well and a tea can be made of the leaves, but neither are used commercially.
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Me, eating the beans straight;
The joys of being descended from generalist omnivores–our liver and kidneys are the envy of the animal kingdom. Poisons become flavors and drugs.
Yeah, various plants are spicy or sour in order to deter animals from eating them.
We come across that shit and are like “Hey! This stuff burns the shit out of my mouth! THAT’S AWESOME, MORE PLEASE.”
[terrified alien noises in the distance]