The Ultimate Guide To Understanding Coffee - 53 Things You Need To Know


Do you have a question about coffee? This is the place to get your answer.

What you are going to glean here is a variety of coffee & health tidbits, some interesting ways that used coffee can have a second life, and a TON of myths about coffee are going to get busted.

Let it begin.



1. A recent Japanese study showed how our brain can be tricked, simply by smelling coffee.

For example, smelling Guatemalan & Jamaica Mountain Blue coffee brought on relaxed feelings among study participants, whereas Kona and Sumatra coffees resulted in increased mental focus. That's just from smelling coffee, folks!

2. Coffee is good for gut health.

New study showed drinking tea, wine, coffee and buttermilk encourages the same diversity of microbes in your gut as eating fruits and vegetables. We already know how coffee can improve other parts of our health, now we know that coffee has the power to give us the healthy gut we need, unfortunately not the six-pack we want. Still have to do abs crunches.

3. Coffee can help with anxiety.

How? The answer is dopamine. The caffeine in coffee helps the brain release dopamine into the pre-frontal cortex which is responsible for mood regulation. That dopamine is what gives you those happy feelings. 

4. Reduce risk of dementia

This study suggests that moderate daily consumption of coffee will help prevent mild cognitive impairment or MCI. Cognitively normal older individuals who habitually consumed moderate amount of coffee (from 1 to 2 cups of coffee/day) had a lower rate of the incidence of MCI than those who never or rarely consumed coffee.

5. Reduce risk of melanoma cancer

Higher coffee intake was associated with a modest decrease in risk of melanoma in this large US cohort study. The study focused on 447,000 people, gathering baseline data from an AARP Diet & Health food frequency questionnaire. Interestingly, over a median 10 year follow-up period, an inverse relationship was shown between the presence of cancer and consumption of 4 cups of coffee a day. (less diagnosis of cancer among those folks drinking 4 cups a day)

6. Increase in blood flow -

According to new research from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, men who drink the caffeine equivalent of two to three cups of coffee per day are less likely to have erectile dysfunction.

"The study, which was published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that men who consumed between 85 and 170 milligrams of caffeine a day were 42 percent less likely to suffer from ED, while those who consumed between 171 and 303 milligrams were 39 percent less likely." - Huffington Post

7. Cold Brew is Better for the gut -

Reducing acid reflux caused by coffee is easy. Many folks complain about coffee causing acid reflux or other stomach acid related issues. Apparently, the process of cold-brewing leaves your morning brew two-thirds less acidic. Which will ease the gut pain & is very tasty.


All the science currently says, it's just fine to have up to 200 mg a day of caffeine or the typical equivalent of 1 eight ounce cup of coffee while pregnant.

9. Drink Coffee. Live Longer

"Coffee consumption was associated with reduced risk of total mortality (3-4% lower mortality with 1 cup/day), especially cardiovascular mortality." and "Consumption of coffee within the moderate range (3 to 5 cups/d or up to 400 mg/d caffeine) is not associated with increased risk of major chronic disease..."

10. Coffee and your bad breath

The reason why coffee gives you bad breath is because caffeine temporarily reduces saliva which causes dry mouth. Saliva has many jobs, one of them is to kill bacteria in your mouth. No saliva? Then bacteria breeds, and that makes for a stinky situation.

11. Coffee and your sensitive stomach

Some folks have a more sensitive GI tract than others which means 4 cups for you causes major problems, but 4 cups for me has no effect.

12. Coffee can heal your body

According to studies, the byproducts of coffee have the power to heal & to be used as a preventive tool against pathogens that grow on our food.

13. Lower your risk of Parkinson's

"Research has already shown that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease, but until now no study had looked at the immediate clinical implications of this finding." A study involving Parkinson's patients led by Dr. Ronald Postuma has shown evidence that drinking coffee (two to four cups per day) can ease some of the symptoms caused by Parkinson's Disease including: improved speed of movement, reduction of stiffness and reduction in daytime sleepiness.

14. Fighting Skin Cancer - 

Basal Cell Carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, may have found an enemy in coffee. Studies were recently released, including one published in a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, shows that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of developing this type of skin cancer.

15. Heart Healthy Coffee - 

Contrary to previous popular belief a study released in the American Heart Association journal, Circulation Heart Failure, revealed that 2 cups of coffee per day may increase protection of heart failure by as much as 11% as compared to people who don't consume any coffee.

16. Reduce risk of cancer

Drinking two cups of caffeinated coffee daily was associated with a reduced risk for cancer recurrence and colon cancer death."

17. Drink coffee at the right time

Science has shown that our bodies have peak times for the release of cortisol AND they say we shouldn't be drinking coffee during those peak times. Our body's natural energy hormone will be competing with the caffeine and overtime that will mean you need to drink more to get the same effect.



According to Science Daily:

A number of research studies have shown that coffee helps to protect against breast cancer. A new study led by Lund University, has confirmed that coffee inhibits the growth of tumors and reduces the risk of recurrence in women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and treated with the drug tamoxifen.

19. Coffee Is The Biggest Source Of Anti-Oxidants In U.S. 

According to, "Coffee, believe it or not, happens to be the biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables… combined (1, 2, 3). "When you’re treating yourself with a cup of coffee, you’re not only getting caffeine but a whole bunch of other beneficial compounds, including powerful antioxidants."

20. Coffee Is Connected To Lower Risk Of Early Death By 10% 

Drinking two to three cups of coffee a day lowered the overall risk of death 10%, says the study, funded by the National Cancer Institute and AARP.

21. Drinking Coffee Makes You A Better Person -

By having a drink with about 200 milligrams of caffeine (the amount in about 16 ounces of ordinary brewed coffee), people said they experienced an improved sense of well-being, happiness, energy, alertness and sociability.


22. Drinking Coffee Can Reduce Risk Of Developing Diabetes 

And yet another review found that compared with non-coffee drinkers, people who drank four to six cups of coffee a day, with or without caffeine, had a 28 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes.


According to one study, there is a lesser known way to trick your brain into de-stressing.

The experiment provides "for the first time, clues to the potential antioxidant or stress-relaxation activities of the coffee bean aroma," the researchers wrote. (Washington Post)


And according to

Using data on more than 456,000 women from two large ongoing studies, researchers evaluated the dietary habits of more than 2,800 women diagnosed with cancer of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. Compared to women who drank less than a cup a day, those who drank about four cups daily had an 18 percent lower risk of getting this cancer, they found.


Researchers report that when compared with women with caffeine intake less than 150 milligrams/day (approximately one and a half 8-ounce cups of coffee), the incidence of reported tinnitus was 15 percent lower among those women who consumed 450 to 599 mg/day of caffeine.

26. A new study has revealed that the worst time to consume caffeine

In the day is six hours before bedtime as it can have significant, disruptive effects on sleep.

27. Lower your pain 

According to the study notes a group of people with chronic pain induced from working at a desk were tested (along with a control group) and after completing the controlled routine the coffee drinkers "exhibited significantly lower pain increase than those who abstained from coffee."

6 Myths About Coffee

28. Dehydration -

It was long thought that caffeinated beverages were diuretics, but studies reviewed last year found that people who consumed drinks with up to 550 milligrams of caffeine produced no more urine than when drinking fluids free of caffeine. Above 575 milligrams, the drug was a diuretic.

So even that Grande coffee, with 330 milligrams of caffeine, will not send you to a bathroom any sooner than 16 ounces of pure water. Drinks containing usual doses of caffeine are hydrating and, like water, contributing to the body’s daily water needs.

29.  Heart Disease - 

Heart patients, especially those with high blood pressure, are often told to avoid caffeine, a known stimulant. But an analysis of 10 studies of more than 400,000 people found no increase in heart disease among daily coffee drinkers, whether their coffee came with caffeine or not.

Cardiologists at the University of California, San Francisco concluded,

Contrary to common belief, there is little evidence that coffee and/or caffeine in typical dosages increases the risk of heart attack, sudden death or abnormal heart rhythms.
In fact, among the 27,000 women that were followed for 15 years in the Iowa Women’s Health Study, those who drank one to three cups a day reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 24 percent, although this benefit diminished as the quantity of coffee rose.

30. Hypertension -

Caffeine induces a small, temporary rise in blood pressure. But in a study of 155,000 nurses, women who drank coffee with or without caffeine for a decade were no more likely to develop hypertension than non-coffee drinkers. However, a higher risk of hypertension was found from drinking colas. A Johns Hopkins study that followed more than 1,000 men for 33 years found that coffee drinking played little overall role in the development of hypertension.

31. Cancer -

Panic swept this coffee-dependent nation in 1981 when a Harvard study tied the drink to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. Coffee consumption temporarily plummeted, and the researchers later concluded that perhaps smoking, not coffee, was the culprit.

In an international review of 66 studies last year, scientists found coffee drinking had little if any effect on the risk of developing pancreatic or kidney cancer. In fact, another review suggested that compared with people who do not drink coffee, those who do have half the risk of developing liver cancer.

A study of 59,000 women in Sweden found no connection between coffee, tea or caffeine consumption and breast cancer.

32. Bone Loss -

Though some observational studies have linked caffeinated beverages to bone loss and fractures, human physiological studies have found only a slight reduction in calcium absorption and no effect on calcium excretion, suggesting the observations may reflect a diminished intake of milk-based beverages among coffee and tea drinkers.


Dr. Robert Heaney of Creighton University says that caffeine’s negative effect on calcium can be offset by as little as one or two tablespoons of milk. He advised that coffee and tea drinkers who consume the currently recommended amount of calcium need not worry about caffeine’s effect on their bones.

33. Weight Loss -

Here’s a bummer. Although caffeine speeds up metabolism, with 100 milligrams burning an extra 75 to 100 calories a day, no long-term benefit to weight control has been demonstrated. In fact, in a study of more than 58,000 health professionals that were followed for 12 years, both men and women who increased their caffeine consumption gained more weight than those who didn’t. (Maybe too much creamer.)

34. Darker Roasts Have More Caffeine.

NOPE! In terms of caffeine, the darker your roast the less caffeine. Not by a great margin, but enough that this myth is debunked. A light roast will have just bit extra.

Here's something else to note, according to an article by NPR;

"One study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology by researcher Bruce A. Goldberger of the University of Florida College of Medicine shed light on the variability of caffeine content. His research found that 16 ounces of caffeinated coffee from Starbucks had 100 milligrams more of caffeine than the same serving size from Dunkin' Donuts. The study also found that Starbucks' caffeinated breakfast blend, purchased at a Florida store, varied greatly in its caffeine content from day to day. One day, a 16-ounce cup had 259 milligrams of caffeine. Another day, the same size coffee contained 564 milligrams." FULL STORY HERE

35. Coffee stunts your growth. 

Those old wives' tales sure do linger. And according to the guy who literally wrote the book on coffee;

"It's 'common knowledge,' so to speak—but a lot of common knowledge doesn't turn out to be true," says Mark Pendergrast, the author of Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World. "To my knowledge, no one has ever turned up evidence that drinking coffee has any effect on how much children grow." more here

36. Coffee sobers you up.

This myth is the fault of movies and you should not believe it.

According to a study by the American Psychological Association;

“The myth about coffee’s sobering powers is particularly important to debunk because the co-use of caffeine and alcohol could actually lead to poor decisions with disastrous outcomes,” said co-author Thomas Gould, PhD, of Temple University, in extending the research to what it means for humans.

37. Coffee gives you insomnia.

Everyone is different, but for the majority of people an afternoon cup of coffee will have no effect on your sleep cycle. And by afternoon I mean around 3p.

According to;

"It has a half-life of 3 to 5 hours. The half-life is the time it takes for your body to eliminate half of the drug. The remaining caffeine can stay in your body for a long time. Effects can last from 8 to 14 hours."

Interesting Ways to reuse coffee


According to, here's how it would work;

Heat Harvest is a pad that can stand alone or be incorporated into a tabletop. The product captures heat from things like coffee cups and warm laptops and transfers it through a thermoelectric generator, which recycles it into electricity."

39. Coffee repels ants -

Apparently ants hate coffee. They hate it so much that if you sprinkle some around areas of infestation those little annoying creatures will run for the hills.

40. Coffee has an exfoliation mask -

I won't be rubbing coffee on my face anytime soon, but many folks have made the claim that coffee can reduce inflammation & redness in your face and even reduce the appearance of under eye circles.

41. Deter cats from using your yard as a litter box -

Some research suggests a mixture of orange peel and used coffee grounds will keep those unwanted kitty cats outta the planter box.

42. Coffee will keep your fridge from smelling -

I can personally attest to this one. I've put a coffee filled sachet in my fridge to get rid of a funky smell and sure enough, it worked.


43. Coffee will mask scratches in your furniture - just a dab will do.

Have a scratch in a dark piece of wood, use a cotton swab, dip it into steeped grounds and rub it in. Supposedly, this will cover up that unwanted scratch. Might want to test in an inconspicuous place first.

44. Coffee will get rid of snails and slugs -

Some call it, Natural Slug Control, I call it clever reuse.

45. Clean Your Tools

According to This Old House, "Place a few teaspoons of grounds on a thin cleaning rag and use to scour away grease and grime. Finish with a thorough rinsing."


46. Don't Store Coffee In A Fridge Or Freezer -

Right out of the gate let's stop this crazy idea that a fridge or freezer will help keep your coffee fresh. The unopened bag will keep your coffee fresh for about one year, but once you open it, flavor loss starts. You do have a couple of options for keeping that coffee fresh and preserving your purchase. Keep your coffee inside a reasonably cool, dark cupboard closed with a bag clip. Or pour it into an airtight container like this one.

47. All coffee is grown within 1,000 miles of the equator

48. There are over 20 different varieties of coffee plants in the world, but Arabica and Robusta are the most common commercially purchased.

49. Coffee beans actually start as cherries.

Yep fruit. That's part of the food pyramid. Alright!!! Loophole.

50. Coffee Roasting Is Dangerous Work -

Roasting temperatures reach up too 527 degrees, for as long as 30 minutes. When the correct temperature is reached the roasted coffee is quickly poured into a cooling tray to reduce the temperature and to stop the coffee beans from any further cooking or catching fire. That's right, catching fire.

51.  After Being Picked Coffee Gets A Bath And Works On A Tan -

Before coffee starts its time in the sun, or is dried, it first needs to be “depulped” and washed. Why? Cause coffee starts as a cherry. Then after the spa day the beans head off for their time in the sun, or drying. Drying the green coffee is one of the most critical elements in producing great coffee.

52.  The Darker The Roast. The Less Caffeine.

Which has more caffeine? French Roast (dark roast) or Breakfast Blend (regular roast). The answer is Breakfast Blend.

Simply put, when you roast darker you lose more moisture and gain volume. 1 lb of French Roast is larger than 1 lb of lighter roasted. So, if you measure coffee at home with a scoop, a scoop of French roast will have less weight and less caffeine technically than a lighter roast.

53. Temperature & Timing Matters - Just made a pot? Get to drinking. You have about 30 minutes before your coffee starts to deteriorate in flavor. You can also consider pouring it in an insulated carafe, but that will only keep it good for 45 – 60 minutes.

Side note: There is no purpose in re-pouring or re-perking brewed coffee through spent grounds. Any desirable flavor elements have already been extracted. Only bitter oils remain.

Re-heating brewed coffee – even in a microwave – breaks down coffee’s many delicate components, leaving only a warm beverage with a poor flavor.

QUIZ - The Ultimate Coffee Quiz

Have something to add to the list? Tell us in the comments.


  1. Julie 2 April, 2017 at 14:09 Reply

    Can I keep the pacs of coffee in the cupboard over the summer-this is Arizona and we will not be back until Nov-thanks

    • Chris Swift 3 April, 2017 at 15:28 Reply

      It will be ok, but we wouldn’t recommend it. I’d say bring them home with you and enjoy the freshness.

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