For some, coffee is a way of life, while others only indulge in the occasional cup. One thing most coffee drinkers have in common is the idea that some of the following myths about coffee are actually true.
1. Coffee Is Addictive
The idea that coffee is addictive is one of the most common misconceptions about coffee. However, in reality, caffeine is not considered to be a harmful addictive like other substances. A regular coffee drinker who suddenly quits may suffer a mild headache or loss of focus for a few days, but this very temporary. Soon, the body will return to normal, and there will be no lasting negative effects.
Unlike other addictive substances, like alcohol or opioids, removing caffeine from your life won't require rehabilitation and doesn't come with the risk of relapse. There also aren't any harmful drug-seeking behaviors that come with other addictions, and there are no long-term negative side effects of regularly drinking caffeine as there can be for other addictive substances.
2. Decaf Coffee Has No Caffeine
People often opt for decaf coffee, thinking it's completely without caffeine. In reality, coffee beans with zero amounts of caffeine likely do not exist. However, decaf coffee contains such small amounts of caffeine that its effects aren't felt by the body.
The decaffeination process can remove as much as 97% of the caffeine in coffee beans, which means that you'd have to drink five to 10 cups of decaf coffee to get the same amount of caffeine you'd get from a single 8-ounce cup of regular coffee.
3. Espresso Has More Caffeine Than Filter Coffee
When it comes to coffee myths and facts, this one gets a little tricky. Espresso is brewed with less water than filter coffee, so it's more concentrated. This fact often leads people to believe that espresso is inherently more caffeinated than filter coffee.
A standard cup of filter coffee will have more caffeine in it than a shot of espresso simply because there is more of the filter coffee than there is of the espresso. However, if you decided to fill a standard coffee cup with espresso, then you'll be getting way more caffeine.
4. Coffee Sobers You Up
Although coffee can make you feel more awake, it does not help you get sober faster. This can be a dangerous misconception because people sometimes think they can do certain activities while intoxicated if they just have a cup of coffee.
Coffee is not a magic elixir that immediately cleanses your body of intoxicants. Regardless of how much coffee you drink after an evening of indulgence, the amount of alcohol in your system won't change.
5. Coffee Dehydrates You
Every coffee drinker knows that a good cup of coffee is going to increase the likelihood of you needing to urinate. But, something that makes you urinate more does not mean it also dehydrates you. A new study showed that coffee does not dehydrate you, so long as you drink it in moderation.
And, in fact, the water in coffee can actually add to your daily recommended water intake.
6. Dark Roast Has More Caffeine
Dark roast coffee beans actually have the least amount of caffeine. When coffee beans are roasted, they lose water and mass. The longer they are roasted, the more mass they lose. Less mass means less caffeine, so dark roasting coffee beans is essentially taking the caffeine out of the bean.
Dark roast beans are known for their bold flavor, which people often mistake to be a sign of more caffeine. However, the less time coffee beans spend in the roaster, the more of a caffeine jolt they'll give you. This is why morning coffees are often light or medium roast — because they're great for getting you perked up and alert for the day.
Although the bold flavor and aroma of dark roast beans are heavenly to some, there's no right or wrong way to drink coffee. The amount of time coffee beans are roasted directly impacts their flavor, and your individual palette will dictate whether you like a sharp, acidic taste to your coffee or a smooth, nutty taste.
7. Coffee Stunts Your Growth
This coffee myth reveals that what our parents always claimed is not true at all. However, that doesn't mean that grade school kids should be allowed to chug cups of coffee for breakfast every day.
The myth about coffee making you short or preventing you from getting taller was likely based on early research, which revealed that caffeine may affect the body's ability to absorb calcium, which is crucial to bone health. This made it seem likely that coffee, which consists of caffeine, would be bad for the bones and prevent the body from maintaining good bone health.
It's true that caffeine, even from coffee, can negatively affect your body's ability to absorb calcium, but as little as a tablespoon of milk for every cup of coffee can offset those risks. If black coffee isn't your cup of tea (or coffee), adding some milk to it can actually help your body absorb calcium more efficiently.
8. You Can Preserve Coffee in the Freezer
Care instructions for keeping coffee beans in your home suggest keeping them in a cool, dark and dry place. Many think the fridge or freezer is ideal for storing coffee, but before you stock your freezer with gourmet beans, you should understand what makes coffee lose its spark: air, moisture and heat. These three are coffee's natural enemy, and since coffee beans are porous, they naturally absorb the air and odors around them.
In a freezer or fridge, there is always going to be some level of moisture — and constantly opening and closing the door only adds to changes in temperature, creating more moisture. Coffee beans will also end up absorbing the smell and flavors of the foods around them, and they're not safe from freezer burn, either.
If you buy a few bags of fresh coffee that you likely won't get around to using for a few months, keeping them sealed in the freezer may not do much harm. However, it's always better to store coffee beans in an airtight container and place the container away from direct heat, moisture or light.
Become a Coffee Connoisseur With Barnie's Coffee & Tea Co.
Whether you're a budding coffee drinker or a seasoned enthusiast, Barnie's Coffee & Tea Co. has got something that you're bound to love. Browse our selection of coffees and teas online or drop by for a sip of our drip at our cafe in Winter Park.
For more information about our selection or our cafe, get in touch with our customer service department between Monday and Friday, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., by calling 1-800-284-1416 or shoot us a message online.