Is Brewed Coffee Good or Bad?

close up of coffee cup

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans. These coffee beans are seeds of coffee berries. Ripe coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. Dried coffee seeds, which we usually refer to as “coffee beans” are roasted to varying degrees depending on the desired flavor. Roasted beans are ground and then brewed to produce what we drink as black coffee.

Coffee is dark, bitter, acidic, and has a stimulating effect due to its caffeine content. It is one of the most popular drinks in the world and can be prepared and presented in various ways — hot, iced, espresso, black, latte, etc.

Coffee drinking dates back to the mid-15th century in Yemen and it spread from Asia to other parts of the world.

Studies show that moderate consumption of coffee is safe within usual levels of intake, is more likely to improve health, and is mildly beneficial as a stimulant in healthy adults. Some say that coffee does have antioxidant properties which could reduce the risks of some diseases. This raises the question of whether coffee is more good than bad.

There have been published studies about the benefits of drinking coffee. However, when experts say “three to five cups of coffee per day can be part of a healthy diet”, they only refer to plain black coffee.

I’m a traditionalist, so for me, black coffee is cool.

— Graham Elliot

Paper filters used in brewing remove a compound called cafestol that increases the harmful LDL cholesterol. Thus, unfiltered coffee, like using a French press, could pose a higher health risk.

Unfortunately, most people don’t know the difference between Cafe Americano and black coffee. The main difference is how they are made. Americano is made by pouring water over two espresso shots, while black coffee is made with ground coffee and water. While Americano has a dark and earthy flavor, black coffee has a floral, sweet, and delicate flavor. And finally, you can add milk, sugar, and other stuff to Americano, but you are not supposed to add anything to black coffee (Oh, no! I’m guilty of adding sugar and cream to my black coffee).

If you dress up your black coffee too much with cream and sugar, like those fancy ones you get from coffee shops, you risk negating the health benefits. Observe how much coffee, cream, milk, or syrup is in each coffee type (e.g. latte, cappuccino, frappe, etc.) by just studying their components. Remember that calories from the sugar and cream can add up and the resulting weight gain negates the health benefits of coffee.

Also, not everyone metabolizes caffeine fast. Thus, the effects of caffeine from coffee differ from one person to another. Others palpitate after drinking, while others couldn’t sleep. Not only that, caffeine is a diuretic meaning it could make you urinate every now and then. And that has a negative effect on people with a pre-existing medical condition that already places them in a mildly dehydrated state.

However, coffee is part of what we nurses call the BRAC diet. It includes bananas, rice, apple, and coffee which helps in managing diarrhea. So coffee has its benefits, too.

Ground coffee also found its way into some beauty regimens like the coffee ground facial scrubs.

Doctors advise paying attention to how you’re feeling after consuming coffee. You would know if your body had one cup too many.

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