20 Coffee Myths You Need To Stop Believing Right Now 2024

You love coffee, but are unsure about the effects? Don’t worry! We’re tackling Coffee Myths you might not know are wrong. Fact or fiction? Let’s find out!

20 Coffee Myths Busted!

1. Decaf coffee doesn’t have caffeine

Some people believe that decaf coffee is completely devoid of caffeine, but this is not accurate. Decaf coffee is not completely caffeine-free. It has significantly less caffeine than regular coffee, but still contains a small amount, generally around 15 milligrams per cup compared to 80-160 milligrams in regular coffee. The FDA recommends that decaf coffee should contain no more than 5% of the caffeine found in regular coffee. Therefore, while decaf coffee has less caffeine, it still contains some.

2. Drinking coffee will sober you up

While caffeine in coffee may make you feel more alert, it doesn’t assist the body in metabolizing alcohol. The perception of feeling more awake might lead to the misconception of being sober, but only time and proper hydration can help the body process alcohol effectively.

3. Coffee stunts your growth/makes you shorter

This myth originates from an old study on osteoporosis and caffeine’s potential link to bone loss. However, no conclusive evidence supports this claim. Drinking coffee won’t affect your height or growth.

4. The hole on the bag of coffee is for smelling

The hole on a coffee bag serves as a one-way valve to release built-up carbon dioxide gas produced by the coffee beans. This valve prevents the bag from expanding or exploding due to pressure buildup while keeping oxygen out, which can degrade the quality of the coffee beans. While some debate exists on whether squeezing the bag affects the valve’s function, the primary purpose remains gas release, not aroma sampling.

5. Coffee helps you lose weight

While coffee may slightly increase metabolism and act as a temporary appetite suppressant, it’s not a magic weight-loss solution. Depending solely on coffee for sustenance can lead to nutritional deficiencies and potentially the consumption of excess calories if sweeteners or high-calorie additives are used.

6. Coffee dehydrates you

While caffeine can have a diuretic effect in some individuals, moderate coffee consumption doesn’t lead to fluid loss or dehydration. Studies have shown that coffee consumption doesn’t significantly affect hydration levels, although water remains the best choice for hydration without the potential side effects of excess caffeine.

7. Tea is healthier than coffee

There is no definitive evidence to say tea is healthier than coffee or vice versa. Both beverages can be healthy depending on how they are consumed. For instance, adding a lot of sugar to either can negate health benefits. Coffee is a significant source of antioxidants for many people, and both tea and coffee have various health benefits.

8. Drinking coffee in the evening is harmless

Drinking coffee, even decaf, after dinner can lead to stomach problems and acid reflux, as it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. It’s better to avoid coffee close to bedtime.

9. Freshest coffee is the best

Fresh coffee is not always the best. Freshly roasted coffee contains high levels of carbon dioxide and certain volatile compounds like metanthiol, which can give it a gassy or unpleasant smell and affect the extraction process. Coffee usually needs time to degas and for some undesirable compounds to degrade, making it more balanced and palatable.

10. Boiling water burns coffee

Boiling water does not burn coffee. Burning flavors such as smoky or ashy notes require much higher temperatures than boiling water (180-200°C). What people often attribute to burning is actually the result of over-extraction of bitter compounds, not burning

11. Dark roast coffee is healthier than light roast

Lighter roast coffee contains more polyphenols than darker roast coffee. The darker the roast, the more polyphenols are destroyed during the roasting process.

12. A lighter roast has more caffeine than a dark roast

The caffeine content in coffee beans remains relatively constant regardless of the roast level. However, darker roasts weigh less due to moisture loss during roasting. Therefore, when measured by weight, dark roasts contain more caffeine per gram than lighter roasts.

13. Coffee increases cortisol levels and leads to weight gain

There is no direct relationship between the cortisol increase from coffee and weight gain. The cortisol produced naturally in response to coffee consumption does not contribute to weight gain, unlike the administration of cortisone drugs.

14. Having more than one cup of coffee a day is bad for you

Consuming up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day is generally safe for most people, which translates to several cups of coffee. However, this can vary depending on individual health conditions, such as pregnancy or heart issues, where doctors might recommend lower consumption.

15. Catecholamines from coffee are bad for your health

Catecholamines, such as adrenaline, are important for communication within the hormonal system, enhancing heart and brain function. Coffee-induced catecholamine production can be beneficial, especially for heart function. However, it is not advisable to overdo it.

16. The way you prepare your coffee doesn’t matter

This myth suggests that the method of preparing coffee has no impact on its caffeine content or health effects. However, the truth is that the preparation method can influence the caffeine concentration and other characteristics of coffee. Factors such as brewing time, grind size, and water temperature can affect the final product.

The longer coffee grounds are exposed to water, the more polyphenols are extracted. Thus, methods like boiling coffee (e.g., Greek or Turkish coffee) yield higher polyphenol content compared to quicker brewing methods.

17. Coffee is bad for your heart

Black coffee contains antioxidants and polyphenols that are beneficial for heart health. Drinking coffee in moderation is considered healthy. Consuming too much caffeine would not be a good idea though.

18. Coffee is just a source of caffeine

Coffee is rich in polyphenols, which have significant health benefits. These polyphenols act as prebiotics, feeding the gut microbiome, and as mitochondrial uncouplers, which protect and stimulate the production of mitochondria, enhancing overall health.

19. Over-extracted coffee loses its acidity and becomes muted

Over-extracted coffee doesn’t lose its acids; instead, the concentration of bitter compounds increases and overshadows the acidic taste. Therefore, the perception of acidity decreases, but the actual acidity in the coffee remains.

20. Tamping too hard can negatively affect the shot.

It’s not possible to tamp too hard because the pressure applied during extraction (9 bars or approximately 20-250 kg) is far greater than what can be achieved by tamping (typically around 15-25 kg). The puck is not rigid, and any additional force beyond full compression doesn’t significantly affect the shot.

💡There is more!

Explore our blog post on Caffeine Myths.

If you liked our blog post on the topic “Coffee Myths”, don’t forget to leave us a comment down and share your thoughts on this topic.

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Wadim Urbanowitsch

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