What Is Black Coffee? Fundamentals of The Wake Up Drink

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What is black coffee? We will give you an overview of the effects of black coffee on your body and a guide on making it.

What Is Black Coffee?

Well, it is just coffee that is brewed with hot water and served without any additives. So there is no sugar, cream, or milk.

And that means white coffee is coffee with substitutes, such as milk, cream, or sugar. You can turn black coffee into white coffee, but you can’t vice versa.

Black Coffee Beans & White Coffee Beans

However, in terms of roasting, there are different definitions of black versus white coffee beans. Regarding the roasting process, black coffee is coffee beans that went through a prolonged roast at high temperatures.

Meanwhile, white coffee is lightly roasted in lower-temperature coffee beans. But today, we are discussing coffee – the drink, so let’s stick to the first pair of definitions.

Now we have gotten the terminologies out of the way, keep scrolling down to better understand the effects of black coffee.

Nutrients In Black Coffee

As we said, black coffee is plain coffee beans brewed with water, so there is not much nutritional value. Usually, an 8-ounce cup of this kind of beverage contains:

  • 0% carbohydrates
  • 0% cholesterol
  • 0% fat
  • 4% potassium
  • 0% sodium
  • 0% sugar

When unaccompanied by additives, black coffee doesn’t give you very many nutrients. A cup of coffee can only give less than one-third the amount of potassium that you can get from a banana.

The amount of calories from a cup of black coffee is also insignificant. If your breakfast solely consists of coffee, you may want to add a little bit of sugar to get a bit of calories into the day.

The upside of this is people with diabetes or high cholesterol can drink black coffee without worrying about sugar and fat. But they still need to be careful because black coffee can still affect the body in other ways.

Health Benefits Of Black Coffee

First, we will discuss the advantages of black coffee. To put it briefly, it can help you improve your memory, cardiovascular and digestive health, and prevent liver diseases and cancer.

Enhances Memory

Caffeine consumption may or may not enhance your long-term memory. Some studies show connections between caffeine and a reduced risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or dementia.

But immediate cognitive performances surely can go up by drinking coffee. This statement is especially true when you drink coffee in the morning.

Even a low dose of caffeine can amplify cortical activities that increase alertness and reaction speed, as well as sustain attention. That’s why you can suddenly understand what seems like a puzzle minutes before a sip of coffee.

Promotes Cardiovascular Health

At the right amount, black coffee can help reduce the long-term risk of heart failure. It also helps you keep your blood pressure in check.

But remember that caffeine overdose can spike blood pressure and cause jitteriness and sleep problems. The rule of thumb: moderation is key.

Helps Cleansing Your Stomach

The mechanism of this is pretty straightforward. Coffee is a diuretic drink. The more you drink it, the more you urinate.

During the excretion process, your body gets rid of bacterias and toxins. That leaves you a clean and healthy stomach.

Keeps Your Liver Strong

Your body produces paraxanthine while digesting coffee. The contents of black coffee also reduce harmful enzymes in your liver.

Those reactions may protect you from hepatitis C, alcohol-related cirrhosis, and non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease.

Rich In Antioxidants

Many antioxidants are found in black coffee, including Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin B2, B3, and B5. These chemicals help stop or reduce damage caused by free radicals and unstable molecules.

Free radicals are reactive oxygen species. Oxidative stress is a cause of heart disease, arthritis, stroke, respiratory diseases, immune deficiency, and Parkinson’s.

Your body needs antioxidants to neutralize free radicals and maintain good conditions.

Helps Prevent Cancer

Because of kahweol, cafestol, aforementioned paraxanthine, and antioxidants, black coffee may help prevent cancer.

Scientists are still working on a method to optimize the effects of coffee in fighting cancer. Until they find a result, frequent coffee consumption is believed to offer you the benefits.

Aids Weight Loss

Knowing all the above effects of black coffee on human bodies, many people utilize it to lose weight. Let it be clear that unsafe weight loss can be very harmful to your body, so please consult healthcare experts and dietitians before applying any drastic measures.

Black coffee can help you lose weight in the following ways:

  • The diuretic beverage promotes urination, which leads to contemporary weight loss.
  • Black coffee is low on calories and contains no fat or sugar.
  • Chlorogenic acid in black coffee slows down glucose and fat cells production.
  • Caffeine can help suppress hunger by increasing energy levels.
  • Caffeine enhances workout performance by boosting metabolism

Side Effects Of Black Coffee

After hearing about the great benefits of black coffee, please don’t knock yourself out with a whole pot. Black coffee has some serious side effects when consumed excessively.

You should drink black coffee in moderation to avoid these negative effects:

  • The feeling of nervousness and inability to relax. Feeling jittery is a symptom of caffeine overdose.
  • Disturbance of sleeping schedule. If you drink coffee too close to your bedtime, you might as well find something to do and pull an all-nighter.

The minimum cut-off time for caffeine use is six hours before going to sleep.

  • Increase in stomach acidity. This issue can lead to cramps and abdominal spasms.
  • Decrease in minerals. An excessive amount of coffee hinders the ability to absorb minerals, such as zinc, iron, and calcium, from the daily diet.

How To Make Black Coffee?

We have shown you what is black coffee. Now let’s talk about how to make some.

There are many ways to brew a cup of coffee. Below are some of the most common methods to do so.

Blade Grinder vs Burr Grinder

The first step to making a decent cup of black coffee is to have good ground coffee. For home use, you can choose between a blade grinder and a burr grinder.

If your coffee maker has a built-in grinder, you will not need to worry about this selection. But if it hasn’t, these are some of the basics.

Blade Grinder

Blade grinders usually have two to four blades spinning around and chopping up coffee beans. It works like a blender that you often use to make a smoothie.

Some household blenders can double as a coffee grinder. But coffee enthusiasts don’t hold this kind of grinder in high regard.

It is difficult to control the texture of your ground coffee with a blade grinder. Even after turning the speed and the grinding time, not all of the beans will have an equal contact time with the blades.

Another problem with blade grinders is they heat the beans up during the grinding process. Heated beans will lose some of the oils and aromas when brewed.

Most of the blade grinders can’t reach the high temperature for this to happen. But you won’t run to this risk while using a burr grinder.

Burr Grinder

Burr grinders work like a mill. They grind your beans between two revolving abrasive surfaces separated by a distance of your choice.

In this way, you can adjust the texture of your coffee grounds to match your method of brewing and your taste. This type of grinders is trusted in coffee shops and resident coffee labs around the world.

There are both manual and electric burr grinders on the market. If you don’t have a built-in grinder in your coffee machine, an electric burr grinder with multiple settings will be a great addition to your arsenal.


This first suggestion is a very simple method of making coffee. There are not a lot of moving parts, and it doesn’t require advanced techniques.

You will need a filter, a filter holder, a carafe, a kettle with a narrow spout, and maybe an electrical kitchen scale.

These are the basic steps to make pour-over coffee:

  • Prepare hot water.
  • Ground the beans to medium or medium-fine. It should be finer than sand but not as fine as table salt.
  • Put the filter holder on the carafe, then put a filter in it.
  • Put the grounds in the filter and gently level the coffee bed.
  • Slowly and evenly pour hot water over the grounds and let it rest for half a minute.
  • Start slowly pouring water over the grounds again.
  • Let the coffee drip down to the carafe and enjoy!

Filter Coffee Machine

This second approach is the mechanized version of the above method. You only need to prepare the ingredients. The machine will take care of the rest.

A few things to remember are:

  • Read the user’s manual (don’t skip this step).
  • Plug your coffee maker in.
  • Fill the water reservoir. Put in enough water for your desired number of cups of coffee and don’t overfill it.
  • Put in the paper filter or reusable mesh filter.
  • Measure the coffee grounds according to the user’s manual.
  • Start the machine.
  • Voilà! Your black coffee is ready.
  • Shut it down after you are done.


Also known as the French press, this method requires a French press pot, a kettle, a spoon or a stirrer, and maybe a digital kitchen scale.

With this method, you should use coarsely ground coffee similar to sea salt. It is because this immersion brewing technique requires longer steeping times for the best flavor.

The basic steps are:

  • Preheat the French press with hot water. Pure out the water after you are done and only use freshwater to brew.
  • Prepare more hot water.
  • Add coffee grounds to the pot.
  • Pour hot water slowly and evenly over the coffee bed until it completely blooms. Give it 30 seconds.
  • Fill the pot with more hot water and stir gently.
  • Put the lid on and wait about 4 minutes.
  • Press down the plunger until the grounds are packed on the bottom.
  • Pour out the coffee and have yourself a cup of perfectly brewed black coffee.

Espresso Machine

The Italian way of making coffee may require some practice. An espresso machine makes coffee by running pressurized hot water through packed coffee grounds.

There are manual, semi-automatic, fully-automatic, and super-automatic espresso machines. If you know how to use a manual one, you can work the rest.

Espresso machines use coffee grounds that are fine as table salt. These are what you need to do with a manual espresso machine:

  • Fill the water reservoir and let the temperature and pressure rise to the required points.
  • Fill the portafilter with coffee grounds and lightly tamp it evenly.
  • Let some hot water run through the group head.
  • Insert the portafilter into the group head.
  • Pull the lever to let the water run through the grounds.
  • Push the lever back up once there is enough coffee pouring out.
  • Retrieve your cup of coffee and enjoy!

Bean-To-Cup Coffee Machine

Most bean-to-cup coffee machines are super-automatic espresso machines. These coffee makers have built-in grinders and computer-calculated water dispensers.

The only thing that you need to do is put coffee beans into the grinder and push a button.

Frequently Asked Questions On Black Coffee

These are some frequently asked questions on black coffee and our answers. We hope that you will find it helpful.

How much black coffee should I drink a day?

What dictates the amount of coffee a person should drink per day is the caffeine content in the said drink. It is recommended for adults to consume less than 400 mg of caffeine in a day.

Depending on your beans, your grounds, and your brewing method, the exact amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary. Generally, an 8-ounce cup of coffee has 100 mg of caffeine.

So 4 cups of black coffee per day is the safe limit.

Can I drink black coffee on an empty stomach?

As mentioned above, black coffee may increase the production of stomach acid. This rise in stomach acidity may cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

One more thing is, without food in it, the lining of your stomach is vulnerable to hydrochloric acid.

Is Black Coffee Good for Weight Loss?

Black coffee certainly can help you lose weight. It mainly does so by slowing down the production of glucose and enhancing your performance in the gym.

However, you still want to rely on a sound weight loss plan with a scientific diet and a suitable workout plan. And don’t drink black coffee on an empty stomach.


What is black coffee? The answer is grounded coffee brewed with hot water without any additives.

Black coffee has many benefits but can cause some health problems at the same time. You should consume it in moderation and consult an expert if you have any underlying health conditions.

You can make black coffee with a filter, an espresso machine, or a cafetiere following our guide. Enjoy!

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Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. Madelyn Doyle graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California and finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).