When it comes to coffee, the options are seemingly endless. From fruity funky filter coffees to chocolately bold espresso's all the way through to creamy lattes, sweet mochas, the coffee industry has managed to transform a simple bean into a range of delightful caffeine based drinks. However, amidst this array of choices, the simplicity of black coffee often gets overlooked. It's time to shed some light on this unsung hero of the coffee world and explore whether black coffee is good for you.
How to make black coffee
The only two things you need to make black coffee are ground coffee and water. We recommend grinding your own coffee and weighing it out with scales such as The Felicita Arc - If you need a hand knowing how much to grind check out our blog post on 'How much ground coffee per cup'
At RiSE coffee box we offer our subscription in either whole bean (recommended or pre ground). Remember to experiment to find what works best for you!
The most common ways to grind your coffee and make a black coffee are:
- Pour-over or drip filter coffee. Hot water is slowly poured over ground coffee which filters through a paper (or ceramic) filter, and brewed coffee drips into the pot below it. There a variety of options for this method such as the chemex, electric filter, V60 or you can also check out our AeroPress guide here
- French press. Hot water and ground coffee steep in a pitcher for a few minutes. Then, a plunger is slowly pushed down into the pitcher, forcing brewed coffee up while keeping the grounds trapped below. Many people claim this method releases the most flavour. Read our French Press guide here
- Moka Pot. The moka pot is a traditional Italian coffee style. Water is placed in the bottom chamber and finely ground coffee is placed in the upper chamber of a specialised two-chamber pot which sits on the stove. As the water boils, the pressure forces the water up through the coffee grinds, and the brewed coffee pours into the upper chamber. This method is commonly used for espresso. Learn how to make the perfect Moka Pot here
- Instant coffee. The enemy of the specialty coffee world. Instant coffee is coffee that has been crystallised to form coffee granules that can be mixed into hot water. Super convenient but not the highest quality. Often bitter served as black coffee, hence why most people add milk and sugar. It’s made by drying brewed ground coffee.
- Iced. A summer special. Iced coffee can be made from specialty coffee brewed with any of these methods. A RISE coffee favourite is a simple double espresso poured over ice. As long as the black coffee is chilled and typically served over ice, you are good to go. Learn how to make the perfect iced coffee here
- Cold brew. Cold water and ground coffee is left to brew or 'steep' in the refrigerator. We usually do this overnight (as it takes around 12 hours). You can strain it using a filter, or a French press. Cold brew is often higher in caffeine content as it takes longer to brew. We find cold brew to be much smoother to drink than ice coffee.
The Benefits of Black Coffee
Black coffee is essentially coffee brewed from ground coffee beans and water, with no additives like sugar, cream, or flavourings. It's a pure, unadulterated form of the beverage, and its health benefits can be quite impressive.
Rich in Antioxidants
One of the most compelling reasons to embrace black coffee is its high antioxidant content. Antioxidants are compounds that help combat the harmful effects of free radicals in your body. Free radicals can lead to oxidative stress and various diseases. Coffee, in general, is one of the richest sources of antioxidants in the Western diet. Black coffee, without any added ingredients, contains a significant amount of these health-boosting compounds.
Enhanced Mental Alertness
If you're looking for a morning pick-me-up without the added calories of sugary coffee drinks, black coffee might be your best bet. The caffeine in black coffee can stimulate your central nervous system, improving alertness, concentration, and even mood. It's no wonder so many people turn to a cup of black coffee to kickstart their day.
If you're trying to maintain or lose weight, black coffee can be your ally. It is virtually calorie-free and can help boost your metabolism. Caffeine is known to enhance fat oxidation and increase the metabolic rate, making it a potential aid in weight loss efforts.
Reduced Risk of Certain Diseases
Research has suggested that moderate coffee consumption, including black coffee, may be associated with a lower risk of certain diseases. For instance, some studies have shown that regular coffee consumption may be linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and even certain types of cancer. The antioxidants in coffee may play a role in these potential health benefits.
Improved Physical Performance
If you're an active individual, black coffee can be an excellent pre-workout beverage. The caffeine in black coffee can enhance physical performance by increasing adrenaline levels, which can help you push harder during your workouts. This boost in energy can be especially beneficial for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
Nutrition in a cup of black coffee
One cup of black coffee provides:
- Calories: 2
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbs: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Caffeine: 96 mg
- Riboflavin: 14% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Niacin: 3% of the DV
- Thiamin: 3% of the DV
- Potassium: 3% of the DV
We used Healthline as our source of information for the above.
Moderation is Key
While there are numerous potential health benefits to enjoying black coffee, it's essential to consume it in moderation. Excessive caffeine intake can lead to side effects like increased heart rate, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Moreover, not everyone tolerates caffeine the same way, so it's crucial to listen to your body and adjust your intake accordingly.
James Hoffman recently spoke about this on Steven Bartletts Diary of A CEO episode. There are some great health benefits of coffee, and its important to understand your own body and how it affects you, adjusting your consumption depending on how you feel. Ben for example, drinks 7-8 cups a day as this helps with his ADHD (read more here) however this wouldn't be recommended for everyone!
Black coffee can be a healthy addition to your daily routine, provided you enjoy it in moderation. Its high antioxidant content, potential to enhance mental alertness, aid in weight management, and reduce the risk of certain diseases make it a compelling choice for many. So, the next time you're faced with the coffee shop menu, consider going back to basics and savouring a cup of black coffee for its simple yet robust health benefits.