What is black coffee and is it healthy?

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What is actually black coffee? Isn’t every coffee black by default? Through your years you must have met a few persons that only drink their coffee strong and black. Also, you have already met coffee purists that scoff whenever someone adds sugar or creamer into a cup of joe. Heresy!  So, we will introduce you to the black coffee cult. Starting now.

multiple cups of coffee

What is the difference between coffee and black coffee?

Let’s break down a few terms. Coffee doesn’t usually mean the coffee bush, but any coffee-based drink. Whether it is a pumpkin spiced latte, a double shot of espresso, or iced coffee, they are all referred to as coffee.

Black coffee is different.

It’s just a way of preparing and drinking your coffee beverage. So, what exactly is black coffee? It’s a cup of coffee with no sweeteners, creamers or spices added. Just coffee. Nothing more.

Who drinks black coffee?

Psychopaths, obviously, according to the recent Austrian study that went viral. Everyone talked about it, from The Huffington Post to your local newspaper.

One thing they all failed to mention is the research wasn’t about the coffee. The research studied the connection between Machiavellianism and bitter food. The ending results claimed that psychopaths prefer a bitter taste.

Black coffee was just partly mentioned, just as tonic and radish. It was light research, with only 1000 participants. The other thing everyone forgets is that 1 of every 3 Americans drinks their coffee black. That’s a lot of psychos, don’t you think?

Black coffee is the favorite drink of heavy workers, gym-goers, students, and everyone else who wants to stay sharp during the day. It’s also a favorite drink for those trying to lose weight. So, you are not a psycho for drinking a black cuppa.

How do you make black coffee?

Choose your preferred method. The only condition is: nothing goes into the cup except grounds extracted in water.

So, espresso can be back coffee. Cold-brew, drip coffee,  and French press coffee also. Americano, long-dark, cold brew, they are all black coffees.

At least until you put some sugar and creamer inside. 

cup of coffee, cream and brown sugar on wooden tray

Latte, mocha, and Cappucino can’t be black coffees as they have the milk part added. You get the picture.

However, some world regions have specific terms. For the USA, the usual black coffee is drip coffee. In Europe, you just might be served a strong Turkish coffee instead. So, when ordering, it’s easier to order your usual cup of joe with the “no sugar and creamer” part. 

Learn all about the different types of coffee grinds in this post.

Why is black coffee healthy?

Our favorite drink isn’t just tasty. It also does wonders to your body and mind. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous benefits.

Memory boost

When reaching a certain age, people have an increased risk of dementia, Parkison’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. But, if you were a coffee drinker throughout your life, you will have a much lower risk of getting these diseases. The caffeine content helps the brain stay sharp and healthy, and boosts your memory. Recent studies have confirmed that consumption of a black cup of joe can reduce the risk of getting Parkison’s by 60% and Alzheimer’s by up to 65%. 

two modern espresso cups

Improved physical performance

Black coffee is one of the favorite drinks for people who do heavy physical work and gym-goers. Your fitness trainer will always recommend you to drink a cup of black or Nitro coffee before the workout. But how does it work? It raises the levels of adrenaline in your blood, thus preparing your body for heavy physical effort. 

A healthier liver

Your liver simply adores your coffee drinking habits. Regularly drinking four cups of black coffee lowers the chance of getting any liver disease by up to 80% percent. It’s miraculous and works by lowering the percentage of bad liver enzymes in your blood. 

Faster metabolism

Black coffee is one of the diuretic beverages and also a mild laxative. Meaning, it will help you clean your body from toxins, especially the stomach, liver, and kidneys. Also, caffeine helps your body burn fat, especially belly fat. Yes, you can lose a portion of your weight just by drinking your favorite hot drink.

Rich source of antioxidants

Drinking black coffee will make you look healthier and younger. Even the smallest cup is full of antioxidants, such as:

  • Magnesium 
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • B2 vitamin
  • B3 vitamin
  • B5 vitamin

That intoxicating smell

Scientists have proven that even smelling a good black coffee will calm your nerves. Of course, the conditioned reflex also plays a major role here.

But the smell of the coffee also alters the protein in the brain, responsible for stress. So, just by smelling your cuppa, you will already feel better in the morning.   

Why should you avoid drinking black coffee?

Black coffee has many health benefits and is one of the most favorite drinks in human history. However, it also has a few disadvantages: 

  • Too much caffeine will release the stress hormones right into your body
  • Also, too much caffeine can disrupt your usual sleeping schedule
  • Drinking too much coffee can lead to heavier absorption of minerals
  • An empty stomach and black coffee are a bad combo and can cause cramps
Coffee cup, cinnamon, anise on coffee beans

What is the healthiest way to brew coffee?

This question was always the subject of debate and probably will always be. A recent study published by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology seems to found an answer.

After surveying more than half a million coffee drinkers aged 20 to 79, they published the results. The coffee drinkers younger than 60, who drank one to four cups of filtered coffee lived longer and had a reduced risk of artery diseases.

The unfiltered coffee contains a larger concentration of diterpenes. Thirty times larger than the filtered coffee, to be precise. So, they advise you to use filters, unbleached ones, if possible. Pour-overs and drip coffee makers seem to be the healthiest way.

Nobody says you should give up on your Turkish or French press coffee, just limit the intake. 

However, the disclaimer at the end of the research also says the results may vary depending on your age, coffee habits, health, and many other factors. Don’t worry too much.

What time of the day should I stop drinking black coffee?

Some people can drink an entire pot of coffee and sleep without any problem. We envy them and pity the rest. Us included. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t drink coffee at least 6 hours before your bedtime. Drinking coffee before sleep will affect your sleep quality.

However, it’s kinda hard to explain that to students and night shift workers that just need that caffeine spike. Drinking coffee in the late hours disrupts your circadian rhythm. Hence, your immune system will be weaker, your mood will have ups and downs and your cognitive abilities will be slower. If possible, try to avoid drinking black coffee as soon as night falls.


How can you make black coffee less bitter?

The bitterness of the black coffee is usually a turn off for many bean heads. So, how do we fight it? First, use lighter roasts, as they have less acidity. Second, try the fresh beans from Brazil, Colombia, Kona, or Costa Rica, as they taste sweeter.

Also, make sure your beans are fresh, as stale beans equal bitter coffee. In the end, try brewing your coffee using a cold brew method. The cold brew uses room temperature water in the process and it extracts less bitterness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we drink black coffee empty stomach?

We can, but it’s not recommended. Drinking black coffee can irritate your stomach, as caffeine helps your body digest food. Caffeine speeds up the production of stomach acid, and that’s great if you ate something already. But if you didn’t, increasing the acid level can damage your stomach lining. This is one of the reasons why people add creamers and sweeteners in their first-morning cup of coffee. 

Is black coffee good for weight loss?

Black coffee is great for weight loss, as it speeds up your metabolism. Also, it has no sugar or sweeteners added, so it has zero calories. However, it has some unexpected side-effects. If you drink black coffee too much or too late in the evening, you can disrupt your sleeping schedule. A bad night of sleep will leave you craving for food and passively can lead to increasing your body weight. Don’t let that happen.

Is black coffee bad for your teeth?

Unfortunately, it is. Black coffee stains your teeth much more than the milky alternatives. Every coffee contains tannins, just like tea and red wine. Tannins stick to your teeth and can leave a yellow trail. The second black coffee’s sin is acidity.

Drinking a lot of coffee can weaken your tooth enamel and make your teeth sensitive. But, there is a solution for that, too. Drinking a glass of water with your coffee will help your enamel, and regular visits to your dentist will take care of the rest. Remember that black coffee has no sugar added, so it’s much healthier for your teeth than the alternatives.

How much black coffee is safe?

The FDA suggests you shouldn’t drink more than 400 mg of caffeine daily. Exceeding the recommended dose won’t kill you, but it will increase your heart rate and make you nervous.

As for the black coffee, it depends on the way you make it, and the beans you are using. A standard 8 oz cup of drip coffee has around 100 mg of caffeine, more or less. One shot of espresso has around 60 mg of caffeine. So, you can drink 4 cups of drip coffee or 6-7 espressos. 

How to evaluate your black coffee?

You don’t have to be a coffee expert to evaluate the quality of your cup of joe. The main factors are acidity, sweetness, cleanliness, and the body of your beverage. The sweetness of the coffee is mainly determined by the level of the roast.

Light and medium roasts will give you a fruity sweet taste, while darker roasts will provide your taste buds with chocolate or caramel sweetness. Also, it depends on the origins of the bean, the brewing process, and much more. The cleanliness of your cuppa is determined by the level of the residue it leaves on your tongue. More residue usually means you over-extracted or over-brewed it. 

What will your black coffee taste like?

The times when Yemen had a coffee monopoly are long gone. Today, over 50 countries grow and export beans. Most of them are located around the equator or more to the south. So, different beans grow in different countries and at different altitudes. But generally speaking:

  • Colombian coffee has a sweet, caramel-like taste. Sometimes it resembles homemade maple syrup.
  • Kenyan and Rwandan coffee is more acid and has a citrusy note.
  • Central American coffee has a light, fruity taste, with the fine nuances of tropical fruit.
  • Brasilian coffee will taste like chocolate and a mixture of nuts.
  • Indonesian coffee will be either heavier or spicier, depending on the exact origin.

Is black coffee expensive?

It is the cheapest drink you can order at any bar. Well, that and the tea. Also, it’s cost-effective when you make it in your kitchen, too. The math is simple. By drinking your coffee black, you don’t put any additions inside. That means no creamers, sugar, spices, or that 50-year old Kentucky bourbon. All taste, no extra expenses. And also no calories. Ka-ching!


So, we have learned what is black coffee and why do people like or dislike it. Also, we learned it’s an extremely healthy choice for both your body and mind. However, some people just don’t like that strong, full-bodied taste. And that’s OK, too. The coffee multiverse is full of tasty coffee drinks, and everyone can find their favorite one there. But nothing will wake you up on a rainy morning as a good, strong cup of black coffee. 

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