Coffee, Health, and...Gut Bacteria?

Is coffee healthy? The answer to that is more confusing and controversial than it probably should be. In a series of blog posts, I’d like to present the case for the general healthfulness of coffee, dispel a few myths while hopefully not creating new ones, and discuss the interaction of my two favorite subjects: coffee and gut bacteria. (Spoiler alert: much of coffee’s health benefits may depend on your bacteria.) Please come along for the ride.  I realize most of you read this blog seeking insights into roasting and brewing, but I hope you'll take interest in this discussion, and I promise to interrupt this series with some juicy posts about roasting and brewing.

Part One

For part one, I offer a fabulous paper that examines coffee’s effects on health from a variety of viewpoints; it references numerous western, scientific studies, explains some past confusion and controversy (generally caused by not controlling for smoking), and also discusses coffee’s health effects from an eastern-medicine perspective. I recommend reading the paper a few times and diving into some of the studies it references.  This paper is a treasure trove of coffee-health information:

A new look at an old devil.  

By Paul Bergner

I hope the paper will stimulate some lively discussion here.  Please let me know your thoughts.


Latte art by Glenn Low of St. Ali, Melbourne