The first thing we need to look at is what tannins are. Tannins are plant compounds that occur naturally in foods and beverages. Usually, the molecules in tannins bind with proteins.
The word tanning is derived from the traditional leather industry. Tan in the leather industry is used to produce leather. The animal skin was tanned using tree barks. Tannins are known for their bitter taste in beverages. Some of the beverages and foods that contain tannins are:
- Dark chocolate
- Almonds and whole nuts
- Red beans
- Whole spices
This article discusses tannins in coffee in detail. Read on to learn more.
Tannins in Coffee
The main chemical ingredients found in coffee include:
- Citric acid
- Chlorogenic acid
Coffee contains 3-5% of tannins. Green coffee contains 0.7% tannins, while roasted coffee contains 1.8% tannins. Tannins in coffee are responsible for the bitter taste and the mouth-dry feeling you have when taking or after taking coffee. This is known as astringency.
Astringency occurs when the tannins known to bind with proteins bind with the saliva proteins in your mouth. This interferes with the ability of your saliva to duplicate in the mouth leading to dryness in the mouth. Tannins in coffee are also responsible for the negative flavors you get after coffee over-extraction by grinding your coffee beans to a too fine texture. The bitter taste can also occur when you leave your coffee to steep in the French press for long.
For a compound to be a tannin, it has to have the ability to bind with proteins. However, tannins do not have a specific chemical structure like the other molecules have. This is because tannins bind with proteins in different ways. Tea has the highest concentration of tannins which is approximately 3.7%.
Effects of Tannins On Your Body
Tannins contain antioxidants and have benefits to your body which are:
- Reduce the risk of cancer
- Lowering your blood pressure
- Lowering cholesterols in your body
- Have anti-bacterial factors
- Boosting your immune system
Too much consumption of tannins has the following side effects:
- Headaches to some
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach irritation
- Liver damage
- Reduced absorption of iron by the body.
- Teeth staining.
Coffee contains tannins though they are not as many as the concentration in tea. The benefits of tannins in coffee and the side effects still need more research for clarity. To reduce the concentration of tannins in your coffee, you can use fermented coffee that has a reduced amount of tannins. As far as the research is carried out on tannins, there is no reason for you not to enjoy your cup of coffee.