I used to believe that black coffee was for the hardcore coffee lovers or the people whose tastebuds no longer worked. Quality coffee is on the rise, gone are the days of bitter instant coffee. When prepared well, black coffee opens the door to a completely different taste experience.
Why black coffee and is it healthier?
The argument that black coffee has health benefits has only strengthened over time. The most common being improved cardiovascular health and a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes. Of course, these are bold claims, but they’ve been consistently researched and recognised. It’s also rich in antioxidants and Vitamins B2 & B5. Like anything we eat or drink, it’s a case of everything in moderation. Excessive consumption of caffeine can exasperate symptoms for those who suffer with certain sleep or caffeine-related anxiety disorders.
Of course, any drink without added sugar is naturally healthier and a splash of milk won’t hurt either. The problem is with the milk-based drinks containing a slew of add-ons we’ve become accustomed to. If you can forego the syrups, cream and marshmallows, you’re onto a winner. Drinking your ‘coffee’ plain, will also help black coffee to become more palatable over time.
Finally, to answer what is probably the most popular question out there “does it help me lose weight” the evidence is mixed. There’s nothing definitive out there to suggest it does support weight loss, but as black coffee is essentially calorie free, it won’t hinder you either.
How To Drink Black Coffee (And Actually Enjoy It)
When talking about coffee consumption, we try and avoid the word ‘habit’. We consider it to be part of a daily routine- whether it’s before or on your way to work, a mid-morning pick me up or at lunch time. However what is a habit, is what it is you put into each cup. You don’t have to ditch the milk and sugar all together, just learn to love black coffee as much as you do with them.
- Speaking as someone who used to drink a 16oz latte with extra vanilla syrup or nothing at all- drinking coffee without sugar is not as hard as it may initially seem. Take note of how much syrup / sugar you’re adding and start to gradually decrease it over the course of 2 weeks. The same with milk or cream.
- Adding a small pinch of salt to your coffee goes undetected and can help dampen the bitterness.
- Ditch the instant coffee, it’s not fresh (and arguably it never has been). For little additional cost you can grind your own beans or buy pre-ground. The freshness of Speciality grade coffee greatly enhances the flavour and reduces the bitter flavour, as well as outweighing any unlikeable flavours.
- Finally, find a roast profile and a country of origin that you like. Although this may not have mattered in the past, there’s now no milk or sugar to hide behind. Seek the advice of a professional (e.g us! (get in touch here) ) to find the most suitable option.
Discover new tastes
The Speciality coffee industry is always full of new flavour profiles to explore. There’s new brewing accessories on the market every week, the difficulty can be wading through the information to find out which route is best for you. Each method extracts different in a unique way, altering the taste of your coffee. Don’t like the taste of a Cafetière? Try a drip method instead.
Coffee tasting and discovering new flavours can be likened to wine tasting, your preferences will be unique to you.
To discover the best black coffee has to offer, you want freshly roasted and freshly ground beans. There will always be a minor bitterness to black coffee, however this is harmonised with the other tasting notes and becomes far from unpleasant.
Our Great Tastes of 2021 bundle has been incredibly popular, we think it’s a very good place to start if you’re wanting to try different flavours.
Another coffee we recommend is our Rwanda Kinini Microlot AA. With notes of raspberry jam, peach and rose – this can certainly be divisive. However we think it’s a Single Plantation worth shouting about as it is truly special and beautifully unique.
If you’re passionate enough, the journey towards finding the correct coffee and brew method for you can be fun to explore. Have a look at this article here where we break that down
Knocking the way you drink your coffee isn’t the intention of this article. If you like your coffee the way I used to, and like to drink your calories, by all means, drink them. The inspiration for this article came from the transition of both my career and taste buds into the world of Speciality coffee. It’s impossible to quantify the extent of the nuanced flavours you access when you drink black coffee, as you get used to them, they continue to grow in complexity- one of the greatest joys of Speciality coffee.