Are you a coffee lover who’s heard it all? From the dangers of caffeine to the supposed benefits of drinking coffee, there are a lot of myths surrounding this beloved beverage. But don’t let these misconceptions keep you from enjoying your morning cup.
In this article, we’ll debunk seven of the most common coffee myths and set the record straight once and for all.
7 Coffee Myths
Prepare to have some of your long-held beliefs about coffee challenged as we spill the beans on what’s true and what’s merely a brew of myths.
Myth 1: Drinking coffee can sober you up after drinking alcohol.
Truth: While it used to be a custom for barkeeps to make a cup of coffee to help sober up their patrons, the truth is that although drinking coffee may make you feel sober, only time will sober you up.
Myth 2: Decaf coffee has no caffeine.
Truth: Industry standard requires that at least 97% of caffeine should be removed from coffee beans to be called decaffeinated, but that still leaves about 7mg of caffeine in each 8-ounce cup. So yes, decaf coffee does contain caffeine.
Myth 3: Coffee causes dehydration.
Truth: While caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it can increase urine output, the amount of fluid in a cup of coffee is enough to offset the diuretic effect. So, coffee does not cause dehydration.
Myth 4: Coffee makes you lose weight.
Truth: While some studies have suggested that caffeine can boost metabolism and help with weight loss, the effect is minimal and short-term. Drinking coffee alone is not a weight loss solution.
Myth 5: Dark roast coffee has more caffeine than light roast coffee.
Truth: Dark roast coffee beans are roasted longer than light roast coffee beans, which means they lose more caffeine during the roasting process. So, light roast coffee has slightly more caffeine than dark roast coffee.
Myth 6: Coffee stunts your growth.
Truth: This myth is not true. There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that coffee stunts growth. Coffee contains several nutrients that are essential for healthy growth and development.
Myth 7: Coffee is addictive.
Truth: While caffeine is a stimulant that can create dependence, it is not addictive in the same way that drugs like nicotine or heroin are. The withdrawal symptoms from caffeine are mild and short-lived, and most people can quit caffeine without any serious side effects.
Debunking Other Caffeine Myths
Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed stimulants in the world, found in various beverages and foods like coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks. However, there are several myths and misconceptions surrounding caffeine that need to be debunked.
Caffeine Content in Different Roasts
One of the most persistent myths about caffeine is that darker roasts contain more caffeine than lighter roasts. However, this is not true. The caffeine content of coffee is determined by the type of bean, the brewing method, and the serving size, rather than the roast level.
According to the USDA, an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains an average of 95 mg of caffeine, regardless of the roast level.
Decaf Coffee Myths
Another common myth about caffeine is that decaf coffee is completely caffeine-free. While it is true that decaf coffee contains less caffeine than regular coffee, it still contains some caffeine.
Industry standards require that at least 97% of caffeine should be removed from coffee beans to be called decaffeinated, but that still leaves about 7mg of caffeine in each 8-ounce cup. So, decaf coffee is not completely caffeine-free, but it does contain significantly less caffeine than regular coffee.
Caffeine and Sleep
Many people believe that caffeine consumption can cause insomnia or disrupt sleep patterns. While this is true for some individuals, it is not true for everyone. Caffeine affects the central nervous system and can increase alertness and energy levels.
However, caffeine tolerance varies from person to person, and some people may be more sensitive to its effects than others. It is generally recommended that individuals limit their caffeine consumption in the evening to avoid disrupting their sleep patterns.
Coffee and Hydration Myths
Coffee as a Diuretic
One of the most common coffee myths is that it is a diuretic, which means that it increases urine production and leads to dehydration. While caffeine is a mild diuretic, the amount of fluid lost through urine is not significant enough to cause dehydration.
Studies have shown that regular coffee consumption does not lead to dehydration or a decrease in total body water.
However, it is important to note that if someone drinks excessive amounts of coffee, it can lead to dehydration. This is because caffeine can cause a person to urinate more frequently, which can result in a loss of fluids. Therefore, it is recommended to drink coffee in moderation and balance it with adequate water intake.
Coffee and Dehydration
Another hydration myth related to coffee is that it causes dehydration. This is not entirely accurate as coffee alone does not cause dehydration. However, it is important to consider the overall fluid intake throughout the day. If someone drinks only coffee and does not consume enough water, they may become dehydrated.
Furthermore, drinking coffee with high amounts of sugar and cream can also contribute to dehydration. This is because sugar and cream can increase the osmotic pressure of the coffee, making it more difficult for the body to absorb water. Therefore, it is important to drink coffee in moderation and balance it with adequate water intake.
Coffee Storage Myths
Storing Coffee in the Fridge
One common myth about coffee storage is that it should be kept in the fridge. However, this is not true. Coffee beans are porous and can easily absorb moisture and odors from the fridge. Storing coffee in the fridge can also cause the beans to lose their flavor and aroma.
To keep coffee fresh, it is best to store it in an airtight container at room temperature. This will help to prevent moisture and air from affecting the beans. It is also important to keep the container away from direct sunlight, as this can cause the coffee to spoil.
Impact of Sunlight on Coffee
Another myth is that coffee can be stored in direct sunlight. However, this is not true. Sunlight can cause coffee beans to lose their flavor and aroma, and can also cause them to spoil.
To prevent this, coffee should be stored in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight. This will help to preserve the flavor and aroma of the beans and ensure that they stay fresh for longer.
Health Myths Associated with Coffee
Coffee and Weight Loss
There is a common myth that coffee can help with weight loss. While caffeine is a natural appetite suppressant, studies have shown mixed results in terms of its effectiveness for weight loss.
One 2019 study found that drinking one cup of coffee per day was associated with a slightly lower risk of obesity, but it is not a magic solution for weight loss. Additionally, adding sugar, cream, or other high-calorie additives to coffee can negate any potential benefits for weight loss.
Coffee and Health Benefits
Contrary to popular belief, coffee can have health benefits. A 2015 study found that moderate coffee consumption (three to five cups per day) was associated with a lower risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, and suicide.
Additionally, coffee contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can have positive effects on the body.
Coffee and Pregnancy
Pregnant women are often advised to limit their caffeine intake, but the exact amount that is safe is unclear. Some studies have suggested that high caffeine intake during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage or low birth weight, while others have found no significant risks.
It is generally recommended that pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to 200 milligrams per day, which is roughly equivalent to one 12-ounce cup of coffee.
Coffee Brewing Myths
Impact of Water Temperature
One of the most common coffee brewing myths is that boiling water is the best temperature for brewing coffee. However, this is not entirely true. Brewing coffee with boiling water can lead to over-extraction, which results in a bitter taste.
The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is between 195-205°F (90-96°C). At this temperature, the coffee will extract the perfect amount of flavor and aroma, resulting in a balanced and delicious cup of coffee.
The Truth about Espresso
Another common myth is that espresso has more caffeine than drip coffee. However, this is not entirely true. While espresso is a concentrated form of coffee, it contains less caffeine than drip coffee.
A shot of espresso contains an average of 63mg of caffeine, while an 8oz cup of drip coffee contains an average of 95mg of caffeine. The reason why espresso is considered to be stronger is due to its extraction process. Espresso is brewed under high pressure, which results in a concentrated and flavorful shot with a layer of crema on top.
When it comes to brewing espresso, it is important to use the right type of coffee. Espresso requires a fine grind and a specific type of coffee bean that is roasted to perfection. The coffee used for espresso should have a rich and bold flavor profile, with a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. Using the wrong type of coffee can result in a subpar shot of espresso that lacks flavor and aroma.
Myths about Coffee Beans
Dark Roast Vs Light Roast
One of the most common coffee myths is that dark roast coffee beans contain more caffeine than lighter-roasted coffee beans. However, this is not true. The roasting process does not affect the caffeine content of the coffee beans.
The roasting process tends to decrease the caffeine content of the beans. Dark roast coffee beans are roasted for a longer time, which causes them to lose more caffeine than lighter-roasted beans.
Another myth about the roasting process is that darker roast coffee beans are stronger in taste than lighter roast coffee beans. This is also not true. The taste of coffee is not determined by the roast level, but rather by the type of coffee beans used and the freshness of the beans.
Arabica Vs Robusta
Another common myth about coffee beans is that Arabica beans are better than Robusta beans. While Arabica beans are generally considered to be of higher quality than Robusta beans, this does not mean that Robusta beans are not good. Robusta beans have a higher caffeine content and are often used in espresso blends to provide a stronger flavor.
The taste of coffee is also affected by the region where the beans are grown. For example, coffee beans grown in South America tend to have a milder flavor, while beans grown in Africa have a more complex and fruity taste.
My name is Dana Dupree and I am an avid coffee lover. Since I began college and realized what a heavy load writing majors took on, I have been a fan of the bean juice.
My job took me all over the US on book tours and press conferences, and my favorite part about the trip was exploring the best places to grab my cup of Joe.