July 08, 2024 4 min read

Coffee, the elixir of life for many, is steeped in tradition. From its energizing effects to its dark roast secrets, coffee has been the subject of myths and misconceptions for centuries. Let's embark on a journey to separate the truth from the grounds, uncovering the fascinating facts and debunking the persistent myths that swirl around this beloved beverage.

Myth #1: The Darker the Roast, the Stronger the Coffee

Many believe the darker the roast, the higher the caffeine content. But this is a misconception based on appearance, not science. The roasting process affects the flavour profile, not the caffeine content itself. Lighter roasts tend to have a higher bean density, which can lead to a stronger-tasting cup, but the actual amount of caffeine might be similar to a dark roast. So, if you crave a bold flavour, go for our Faema Columbian Black coffee beans, but if a jolt of energy is your goal, focus on the bean itself and the brewing method. Just make sure to avoid commiting these most common home coffee brewing mistakes.

Fact: Choose your roast based on your taste preference. Want a bolder cup? Go dark! Craving a brighter flavor? Embrace the lighter roasts.

Myth #2: Your Afternoon Cup Will Cause Insomnia

It’s a common belief that an afternoon cup of coffee will lead to insomnia. However, attributing insomnia solely to coffee would be an oversimplification. While the caffeine in coffee can certainly affect sleep in some individuals, it's not a guaranteed cause for everyone. Genetics and individual metabolism play a significant role in deciding the best times of day to drink coffee. Some people process caffeine rapidly, allowing them to enjoy a cup even later in the day without sleep disruptions. 

Fact: Ultimately, factors like stress, screen time before bed, and an irregular sleep schedule can have a much bigger impact on sleep quality than your afternoon coffee habit. If you do experience insomnia after drinking coffee, you can try drinking cold brew, which is slightly lower in caffeine. This is because more caffeine is extracted when coffee is brewed with hot water.

Myth #3: Coffee Dehydrates You

Coffee does have a mild diuretic effect, meaning it increases urination. However, research suggests that moderate coffee consumption (around 400mg of caffeine per day, which is roughly 4 cups) doesn't lead to dehydration, especially if you're also drinking water throughout the day. The diuretic effect is mild, and your body readily absorbs the fluids in coffee. So, enjoy your cup of joe without worrying about getting parched.

Fact: Stay mindful of your overall hydration, especially during hot weather or with high coffee intake. This summer, why not try these refreshing cold coffee drinks instead of your regular hot coffee or espresso. 

Myth #4: Coffee is Bad for Your Heart

The relationship between coffee and heart health is complex. Coffee is often the subject of conflicting studies, constantly alternating between the good and the bad effects of its consumption. For years, coffee has been demonized for its supposed negative effects on heart health. However, recent research from Harvard University paints a more nuanced picture. Moderate coffee intake (around 3-5 cups a day) may not increase, and might even decrease, the risk of heart disease for some. However, if you have existing heart conditions, it's always best to consult with your doctor about caffeine consumption.

Fact: Listen to your body. If coffee makes you jittery or anxious, cut back or consider decaf options.

Myth #5: Coffee is Highly Addictive

Coffee's hold on us might feel powerful, but it's not quite the addictive monster some myths portray. The culprit, caffeine, does create a dependence, meaning regular coffee drinkers can experience withdrawal symptoms like headaches and fatigue when they abruptly stop. However, these symptoms are mild compared to true addictions. So, while that morning cup might feel essential, it's a dependence we can manage and even break without the severe struggles of true addiction.

Fact: While caffeine is a stimulant and can be habit-forming, it is not considered highly addictive in the same way as controlled substances. Learn more about it and get other useful information, helpful how-tos, and fascinating trivia about your beloved beverage from this book.

Myth #6: Coffee is a Treasure Trove of Antioxidants

This one is true! Coffee is brimming with antioxidants that may help protect against various health conditions. Although more research is needed, studies suggest these antioxidants may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, liver disease and certain cancers. So, raise a cup not just for the energy boost, but also for the potential health perks that come with it.

Fact: Enjoy your coffee knowing it's not just a pick-me-up, but also a source of beneficial antioxidants.

Myth #7: Coffee Can Boost Your Brainpower

Another truth! That alertness you feel after a cup of coffee isn't just your imagination. Coffee's magic ingredient, caffeine, acts as a central nervous system stimulant. It blocks adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleepiness, and increases the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, chemicals that enhance alertness, focus, and mood. The effects seem indistinguishable whether the coffee is brewed with an espresso machine or a French press coffee maker

Fact: Caffeine can indeed improve focus, alertness, and reaction time. So, that extra cup before a big presentation or a long study session might be just the brainpower boost you need.

Myth #8: Coffee is All About the Buzz

Dismissing coffee as a simple drink is a vast underestimation of its complexity. From bean to cup, coffee is a journey of flavour development influenced by factors like origin and varieties, roast profile, and brewing method. Get in depth knowledge from this excellent book by the co-founder of Square Mile Coffee Roasters, an award-winning London-based coffee roasting company. 

Fact: Coffee is more than just a caffeine kick. Explore different brewing methods, bean origins, and roasts to discover the world of flavours waiting to be savored.


By debunking the myths and embracing the facts, we can appreciate coffee for what it truly is: a delicious, stimulating, and social beverage with a rich history and the potential for health benefits. So, the next time you reach for that cup, do so with confidence, knowing you're not just indulging in a tasty drink, but also in a cultural experience backed by science (and maybe a dash of legend).