wikiHow to Choose Coffee for Health Benefits

Drinking a “cuppa joe” may be part of your morning routine but did you know you are actually drinking an antioxidant infused drink every morning? According to a study by chemistry professor Dr. Joe Vinson drinking at least one cup of coffee a day can deliver heart healthy benefits. "It's the optimum I see that has a benefit for the heart," he said. In addition to heart health, coffee drinkers may lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and certain cancers suggests Frank Hu, MD, MPH, PhD, nutrition and epidemiology professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. With all this research pointing to coffee drinking as being a great way to stay healthy, how can you glean the most benefits from drinking coffee?


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    Go for organic coffee beans. As with any food, the best way to get the cleanest product is to go for the organic brand. Numerous leading coffee companies offer an organic variety, most likely being offered in both whole bean and pre-ground varieties.
    • Check the packaging to ensure the coffee has been grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides. Typically organic beans are grown in the shade and can thrive without chemical assistance.
    • If possible, opt for whole bean organic coffee because you are more likely to receive a purer product.
    • Buying organic is not only better for the body but it is also better for the environment. Natural farming does not add synthetic or harmful compounds to the earth, making both the food you eat and the environment in which you live safer for everyone.
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    Choose darker roasted beans. Researcher Yazheng Liu and professor David Kitts found that darker roasted beans produce a higher level of antioxidants. The scientists discovered that chemicals produced during the coffee browning (or roasting) process is what delivered the shot of antioxidants. This process is referred to as the Maillard reaction. "Previous studies suggested that antioxidants in coffee could be traced to caffeine or the chlorogenic acid found in green coffee beans, but our results clearly show that the Maillard reaction is the main source of antioxidants," says Liu, an MSc student in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS).
    • Torrefacto-roasted coffee have been found to have an even higher amount of antioxidants versus regular roast. Biologist at the University of Navarra, Isabel López Galilea conducted a study concluding that antioxidant levels are influenced by preparation. Dr. Galilea found that Torrefacto roasting (the way espresso is prepared) offers the highest level of antioxidants.
    • Consider flavored beans if you don’t like the taste of darker roasted beans. Espresso or darker roasted beans have a bitter taste, which may be too much flavor for some coffee drinkers. If you still want to go for the darker beans, many coffee companies offer flavored beans, which may cut the bitterness in the coffee.
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    Drink one or two cups of coffee per day. To obtain antioxidant benefits from coffee drinkers only need one or two cups of java a day. Dr. Vinson says, "One to two cups a day appear to be beneficial.”
    • Brew fresh coffee in the morning to start your day. The tastiest and healthiest way to obtain health benefits from coffee is to grind beans immediately before preparation. Brew then drink coffee immediately.
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    • Drink homemade or coffee house prepared coffee. Coffee companies now offer special coffee drinks sold at grocery stores, however while these drinks may be delicious they may not include the same level of antioxidants as what you might find from coffee brewed at home or freshly brewed at a coffee house.
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    • Try homemade or coffee house prepared iced coffee on a hot day. You can still benefit from high antioxidant levels in homemade iced coffee as freshly brewed hot coffee.
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    Obtain the right equipment for coffee brewing. If you are serious about getting the most from your coffee have the proper tools on hand for maximum benefits.
    • Coffee machine. Purchase a reliable coffee machine that heats water to boiling and produces a hot pot of coffee. Consider buying a machine that generates up to 12 cups if you have multiple coffee drinkers at home.
    • Purified water. The water you mix with your beans make a difference too. Consider distilled or purified water for each pot to ensure you brew a clean, chemical free pot.
    • Coffee bean grinder. Freshly ground beans are the best way to obtain the freshest level of coffee. An electric grinder can crush a cup of beans in less than 10 seconds.


  • Mix coffee with organic milk instead of cream for a reduced calorie cup of coffee.
  • For an added boost of antioxidants, Dr. Vinson suggests mixing up antioxidant drinks. He recommends green tea and even red wine in moderation.


  • Dr. Vinson warns that drinking too much coffee raises blood pressure and cautions those who drink more than the standard one cup a day to spread their coffee intake throughout the day. Also, he suggest switching to decaf, which has the same antioxidant benefits as regular.

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