Unraveling Common Misunderstandings About Coffee

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on May 13th, 2023

Coffee, a beverage embraced by cultures worldwide, often finds itself at the center of misconceptions and myths. As a seasoned coffee connoisseur, I’m here to guide you through the maze of misinformation.

Let’s debunk some of the most persistent coffee myths, replacing them with facts to help you better appreciate this universally loved brew.

Dispelling Coffee Myths and Misconceptions

Myth #1: Lattes Have More Caffeine than Brewed Coffee

Vanilla Latte

A common belief held by many is that lattes and other espresso-based beverages contain more caffeine than their brewed counterparts, making them responsible for sleepless nights or caffeine jitters. However, this myth doesn’t withstand scrutiny.

The Mayo Clinic confirms that while an ounce of espresso does contain more caffeine (64mg) than an ounce of brewed coffee (12mg), the actual caffeine content in a typical latte is less than that in a brewed coffee of the same volume. A standard 16-ounce latte includes approximately 2 ounces of espresso, providing around 128mg of caffeine. The rest is steamed milk. In contrast, a 16-ounce brewed coffee delivers about 190mg of caffeine. So, feel free to enjoy your latte without the caffeine-overload worries!

Myth #2: Coffee Should be Stored in the Freezer

blue refrigerator beside green-leafed plant

Maintaining coffee freshness is key to a flavorful cup. It’s best to keep beans whole, grind as required, and use them within two weeks of roasting. However, life’s demands might not always make this feasible.

To retain the aromatic oils that define coffee’s flavor, we need to minimize the beans’ exposure to air without suffocating them. Today’s coffee often comes in one-way air valve packaging, allowing the beans to breathe without letting excess air in. These bags, or other specially designed containers, are perfect for coffee storage in a cool, dry location.

Now, don’t confuse “cool” with “cold.” While it might seem logical to store coffee in your refrigerator or freezer to preserve freshness, these low temperatures can, in fact, harm the coffee beans and their oils. The cold can dry out the beans while heat, light, and moisture accelerate oil degradation. Your best bet is to store coffee in a pantry or cupboard, using an airtight container.

Myth #3: Drinking Coffee is Unhealthy

A prevalent notion is that coffee drinking is detrimental to health. However, the culprit is not coffee per se, but the excessive intake of caffeine. Overconsumption of caffeine can lead to insomnia, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, and other discomforting side effects. Individuals with heart conditions, anxiety disorders, or mood instability might want to regulate their caffeine intake.

Despite the potential downside of excessive caffeine, coffee is rich in compounds beneficial to health. Research has demonstrated numerous health advantages associated with coffee consumption. WebMD reveals that regular coffee drinkers are less likely to develop diabetes—especially those consuming six or more cups daily.

Coffee enthusiasts also have an 80% lower risk of Parkinson’s Disease and liver cirrhosis and a 25% lower likelihood of colon cancer. Moreover, coffee is known to help prevent cavities, elevate moods, alleviate headaches, and even curb asthma attacks!

Dispelling Myth #4: Dark Roast Coffee Has More Caffeine

Many coffee drinkers believe that dark roast coffee contains more caffeine because of its bold, robust flavor. However, this is another misconception. The caffeine content of coffee beans doesn’t significantly change during the roasting process. In fact, a scoop of light roast beans may contain slightly more caffeine than a scoop of dark roast, simply because light roast beans are denser. However, when measuring by volume, the difference is negligible.

Unraveling Myth #5: Coffee Dehydrates You

Many people think that because coffee is a diuretic (increases urine production), it will dehydrate you. While it’s true that coffee has a mild diuretic effect, it doesn’t lead to dehydration. According to a study published in PLOS ONE, coffee, when consumed in moderation, provides similar hydrating qualities to water. Therefore, your morning cup won’t leave you high and dry!

Debunking Myth #6: Coffee Helps You Sober Up

A popular belief is that coffee can help sober you up after drinking alcohol. While coffee may help alleviate the drowsy feeling associated with alcohol consumption, it doesn’t actually reduce the level of alcohol in your bloodstream. The only thing that sobers you up is time, allowing your body to metabolize the alcohol.

Clearing Myth #7: Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Drink Coffee

While it’s true that pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake, it’s not necessary to eliminate coffee entirely. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that moderate caffeine consumption (less than 200 mg per day) doesn’t appear to be a major contributing factor in miscarriage or preterm birth. As always, pregnant women should consult with their healthcare provider about their caffeine intake.

Busting Myth #8: Coffee Stunts Your Growth

One of the most enduring myths is that coffee can stunt growth, particularly in young people. This misconception might have arisen from studies showing that caffeine can negatively affect bone health. However, these effects are only observed with inadequate calcium intake. Numerous scientific studies have found no direct link between caffeine consumption and stunted growth. So, rest assured, your coffee habit won’t affect your height.

Unraveling Myth #9: Decaf Coffee is Caffeine-Free

While decaf coffee has significantly less caffeine than regular coffee, it’s not completely caffeine-free. According to the USDA, an average 8-ounce cup of decaf coffee still contains around 2 to 7 milligrams of caffeine. If you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine or have been advised to avoid it for health reasons, it’s important to keep this in mind.

Debunking Myth #10: Coffee Causes Heart Disease

There’s a long-standing belief that drinking coffee can increase the risk of heart disease. However, this has been largely debunked by recent scientific research. A meta-analysis published in the journal Circulation found no significant association between moderate coffee consumption (3-5 cups per day) and increased risk of heart disease. In fact, they found a potential protective effect. As always, moderation is key, and individuals with specific health concerns should consult their doctor.


By debunking these myths, we can better understand coffee and its effects on our bodies, leading to a more informed and enjoyable coffee-drinking experience.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.