When it comes to coffee enthusiasts, black coffee is eager to please. As it turns out, this everyday brew does more than most coffee lovers have stopped to think.
Regardless, their morning is probably not complete without a strong cup (or two) of their favorite brew. To some, it’s the taste and the motivation black coffee brings to their energy, while to others, it’s obviously for personal experiences associated with the brew.
Let’s discuss more in detail why you’re so attracted to your black coffee drink, what benefits it comes with, some potential side effects to be on the lookout for, and the optimal daily intake of this popular brew.
But if all this is new to you, let’s get you started here. We discuss what black coffee is (and is not) and how you, too, can make and enjoy a cup of this craved beverage.
What is black coffee?
Black coffee is brewed coffee beans with nothing added to it other than water. Once anything else is added to the concoction, say sugar, milk, cream, or any other additives, the coffee ceases to be black. Often, black coffee will have a spicy taste, fruity tinge, or a chocolate tone, elements that come naturally (or are added during roasting).
The mixture is the purest form of coffee since no other elements have been added to manipulate the flavor or taste. As a result, it may be slightly bitter than other flavored coffee as it brings out the true components of coffee just as they are. To some people, it’s this bitterness that brings out the experience of coffee to their highly sensitive taste buds. To an average coffee drinker or someone just getting started in this experience, the bitter taste may not be appealing – to some, it may even be disgusting. But only true coffee lovers truly understand the experience.
How much caffeine is in black coffee?
An average cup of brewed black coffee (8 oz) contains 90-100 mg of caffeine. Although the exact portion varies across different coffee beans, varieties, and the brew, you can expect around 95 mg of caffeine in a cup of coffee.
Nutritional value of black coffee
The pre-eminent nutrition value of black coffee is that it’s rich in antioxidants, which come with numerous health benefits. The brew is a major source of antioxidants than other everyday diets. Apart from the antioxidants, there’s no significant nutritional or healthy value.
An 8 oz cup of black coffee will usually contain 0% content fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates and sugars, sodium, and 4% potassium. Even though coffee adds no calories, fats, or cholesterol, the beverage can’t be considered healthy or nutritional. These elements become a point of concern when the drink contains milk, sugar, cream, and other additives, which can contain many unhealthy components.
The benefit of no added calories is a vital serving point for those who’d like to enjoy their brew without worrying about their health. But for ones who want to obtain the highest nutrition value from coffee, the best option is other coffee drinks.
Benefits of black coffee
If you’re a lover of black coffee, you’ll be excited to learn about the benefits the brew offers for your health, body, and mind.
- Black coffee helps you focus and stay alert
Depending on the level of consumption, black coffee can help your mental performance, especially alertness, concentration, and attention. Caffeine positively stimulates the central nervous system. It can help improve wakefulness in times or situations of reduced alertness. However, higher intake may reduce the effectiveness due to overstimulation.
- Black coffee cleanses your stomach
Since coffee is a diuretic beverage, it’ll make you want to urinate more often. When this is happening, all toxins and harmful bacteria are easily flushed out as urine.
- Black coffee and weight loss
You may not realize it, but the black coffee further helps shed off some weight. It contains chlorogenic acid that slows down glucose production in the body. The process results in the breaking of fat cells and fatty acids. Again, as mentioned earlier, black coffee contains low calories, which are present in the additives in other coffees.
Besides, black coffee comes in handy in drastically improving physical performance. As such, most people looking to lose weight will take the beverage just before hitting the gym, which helps them give the workout sessions their 100 percent. The brew also stimulates metabolic activity and increases the energy level, which suppresses hunger, a plus for someone looking to lose weight.
- Black coffee reduces the risks of disease
Black coffee may help prevent various cancers like liver, prostate, oral, colorectal cancers. Besides, even though more studies are being performed to confirm this, coffee drinkers have 16% lower chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease than non-coffee drinkers. It enhances brain function and helps the brain remain active hence boosting its memory power. Similarly, scientists believe that caffeine is the reason why the more you drink coffee, the less likely you are to show symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
In other multiple studies, coffee seems to play in part in reducing the risk of diabetes. One research found that those who take six or more cups of coffee daily had a 35% lower risk of diabetes. While more studies are underway to prove the impact of black coffee on these and other diseases, evidence shows that coffee (in part) is very influential in reducing the risks of many diseases. Part of the reason for coffee’s ability to reduce these risks is because of the high antioxidants contained in it.
- Black coffee reduces the risk of stroke
Coffee is known to slightly increase blood pressure, though this shouldn’t cause worry as the rise is usually mild and dissipates over time after consumption. However, taking black coffee when your blood pressure is elevated may cause it to persist further. While there’s a close relation between black coffee intake and blood pressure, no evidence shows that its consumption can increase the risk of heart disease. Evidence shows drinking a cup (or two) of coffee daily can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Black coffee keeps your liver in check
Your liver, being a vital organ in your body, needs to be always healthy to function optimally. Unfortunately, it’s highly susceptible to cirrhosis from diseases, such as hepatitis, and excessive consumption of alcohol. Thankfully, black coffee is one of the several ways you can protect your liver. Studies show that people who drink 4 cups of coffee (or more) are less likely to get cirrhosis.
- Black coffee reduces the risk of depression and suicide
Black coffee is a great mood booster due to the high content of caffeine contained in it. Caffeine stimulates the production of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which elevates your mood. With improved mood, depression and suicidal thoughts stand less chance in a person. According to studies, coffee may help reduce the risk of depression, especially with the uptake of more than four cups daily.
How to make black coffee that tastes good
As it’s known to most, making black coffee takes just adding water to coffee, right? Well, that’s certainly true but making coffee that tastes good, may take a little more than that. Of course, how your coffee tastes is a matter of personal preference. However, there will be a whole lot of difference for you who takes the effort to get it right.
There are some rules to follow to ensure you experience the complex flavors and tastes of coffee in your black coffee:
- Avoid instant black coffee
While instant coffee is still popular in making black coffee, it may not offer the best experience for two reasons. First, the coffee quality is questionable. Making instant coffee involves freezing brewed coffee and then breaking it down to the granules that you add to your cup before pouring your water. You can’t be sure how long the coffee has been frozen. Second, you have limited control over the components used to make the instant coffee.
- Buy and grind coffee beans for yourself
To get the finest black coffee flavors, buy coffee beans and grind them yourself rather than getting pre-ground coffee. Here, you’ll have limitless varieties to choose from until you find an absolute delight from the world’s best selections. There are no rules to beans selection; depending on your preference, choose between dark and light roasts. Feel free to experiment with different coffee roasts and varieties.
- How you brew your coffee matters
Just as important as the coffee choice, your brewing method has a dramatic impact on the taste of your black coffee. Starting with the coffee beans allows you the pleasure to make your black coffee cup that will only be unique to you. The good thing is, the process of making your black coffee from scratch is a lot faster and affordable than you’d think, and once you hone your kick, you’ll proceed to enjoy a flavorsome Cup of Joe every morning (or whenever you need it).
Once that is in order, all you need is a coffee grinder and some beans, and within 20 seconds (or more), you’ll have your freshly grind ready to make your black coffee.
About three tablespoons of coffee, grilled as fine as sea salt, will suffice in 600 grams of water.
Proceed to put your filter into your dripper and fill it with ground coffee; tap your filter coffee machine to pour into your cup, and your black coffee is ready.
If you have a coffee machine, the process of making black coffee will be much more convenient.
Note; avoid coarse grind as it’ll take more time to extract; because of their low surface area, the final result will be highly acidic. The amount of water you add when making your black coffee will also determine the substitution of flavor and taste. Add the ratio according to what works best for you; whether you want a light or strong cup of black coffee is really your choice.
How much black coffee should you drink?
The recommended maximum daily caffeine intake is 400 mg, which is approximately 4 cups of coffee.
Side effects of black coffee
Like everything else, excessive consumption of black coffee is harmful. Here’s what you can expect with having too much of it:
Black coffee can lead to stomach acidity, constant heartburn, and acidic reflux
It contains high acidity levels since it doesn’t contain any additives to tame it. The acids in coffee are responsible for the astringent sensation in your stomach after taking coffee. Here are a few things you can do to avoid this: find less acidic coffee beans, look for darker roasts, try cold-brewing your black coffee, get your coffee extraction right by using fine grind sizes, and ensuring your brew time is optimal to produce a less acidic brew. Read more on how you can make your coffee less acidic here.
Note; it’s advisable to avoid the brew (or consume in extremely low amounts) if you’re sensitive to acidic foods, have ulcers, or other acidic issues. Alternatively, opt for decaf black coffee, which is less acidic because of its low caffeine content.
If not sourced right, black coffee can be toxic
Poor quality coffee contains a lot of impurities, which can cause adverse effects on your health. To enjoy your black coffee without this worry, ensure you source high-quality beans from a trusted manufacturer who maintains high standards of roasting and processing.
Excessive intake of black coffee can be lethal
Though extremely rare, intake of too much caffeine can affect the cardiovascular system causing death. Since it affects the blood pressure, heart rate, and nervous system, excess intake can have severe effects. Besides, too much caffeine can significantly reduce the absorption of dietary minerals such as zinc, iron, and calcium.
Black coffee should be taken with high caution for pregnant women
The effects of coffee on a fetus have remained controversial, but most caution taking more than a cup for pregnant women.
Black coffee can cause restlessness
Excessive intake of the high caffeine content will lead to stress and anxiety. It’s common to feel jittery after drinking too much black coffee. This is especially true for anyone who takes the beverage to boost productivity and takes too much of it continuously.
Excessive black coffee will cause insomnia
Black coffee, if taken in excess, like all coffees, will mess with your sleeping routine. It’s best to avoid taking a few hours to bedtime.
Nothing tops the energy boost than a hot cup of black coffee in the morning. If you’re anything like most coffee enthusiasts, it’s probably one of the best parts of your day. But other than wake you up energized, black coffee has a pool of benefits you may not have been aware of. To recoup all the benefits, ensure you take the recommended amount per day. Remember, like everything else, excessive drinking of the beverage can be much more harmful than you think.
Also read: What is White Coffee?