debugging misinformation about coffee

Dear Reader,

If you have been around for a while, you know that coffee is one of my addictions. Or rather real espresso. If you are new, you can read about it here, here, and here.

And while I am at it, let me recommend a great book about the history of coffee, “The Coffee Trader” by David Liss,

You will also learn quite a bit about the history of Sephardic Jews in Europe.

When Glynsky first observed my espresso habit, he told me about meeting Mr. Illy once. Yes, the guy from that company. Here is what the guy said:

One should not drink more than four espressi a day.

Why? No clue was given.

Over the last 12 months I had the pleasure to meet various coffee experts. On my quest for more information I met roasters, importers, traders and coffee growers. No surprise, none of them had any idea, why Mr. Illy would say such a thing.

With that rumor out of the way, let’s clear up a few others. Quite often you hear:

Coffee dehydrates our body. You need to drink at lest one glass of water for every cup of coffee you consume.

That is bogus. Coffee ads to your hydration just as much as tea, juice or any other beverage.


You should not have an espresso late in the evening. That keeps you awake.

That is wrong too. Espresso actually has less caffeine than regular filter coffee. While making an espresso, the steam is in contact with the coffee powder just for split seconds. Thus, it cannot extract as much caffeine as during a regular coffee drip. Espresso has more taste, but less caffeine than regular coffee.

Most of those and other rumors about coffee were created and spread during the 16th century. Then, it was called the “Muslim drink”. Guess who was against it?

Also, coffee and coffee houses played a significant role during the enlightenment. And the rulers then thought it appropriate to condemn the coffee culture. Up until the 19th century propaganda against coffee was quite strong. Clerics even wrote nursery rhymes against it.

Off to have my next espresso,

Engine Room

2 thoughts on “debugging misinformation about coffee

  1. Did you also know:
    * Coffee protects your heart and brain
    * Coffein can help fight cancer
    * There are 4 times more antioxidants in coffee than in green tea
    * Coffein improves the metabolism in your body
    * Coffein can help those with astma, kidneystones, diabetes, Parkinson etc.

    This is if you drink quality coffee off course…. I do!!!
    I am a coffee distributer in Norway :)

    1. It also helps against many allergic shocks/reactions.
      It helps you digest, thus an espresso after a meal.

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