- Caffeine suppresses your appetite.
- Caffeine depletes feel-good neurotransmitters.
- Caffeine hurts our adrenal glands.
- Caffeine makes you fat.
- Caffeine lowers your sex drive.
- Caffeine hurts fertility.
- Caffeine causes PMS.
- Caffeine causes Insomnia.
- Caffeine causes malnutrition.
- Caffeine makes you sick.
I must admit that I don’t entirely agree with all 10 of these statements. I agree with them in part but not entirely. For example, I don’t believe that caffeine ‘causes’ PMS, Insomnia or Malnutrition. I do, however, believe that caffeine is a major contributor but it doesn’t do it on its own.
So the question I am asked by patients who enjoy a coffee but are much more attached to their health and well-being is this: “Is one coffee per day too much?”. The answer …….Yes…… and No. This answer seems a little ambiguous but it comes down to this. Your constitution, the strength of the coffee and the brewing style. When we speak of constitution we are speaking of how well your body copes with toxins, how well it eliminates them, how often you get sick, how quickly and how well you recover. Think of it this way …..One person can seemingly smoke and drink their way through life and live to the ripe old age of 100 with no apparent ill-health. His best friend, trying to keep up with him, smokes the same cigarettes and drinks the same amount of alcohol but is diagnosed with lung, throat and prostate cancer at the age of 56 and never recovers. This is where your constitution dictates what your body can and cannot handle. This is a massive oversimplification but you get the idea. Don’t compare your coffee habits and health to your friend’s as there is simply no comparison.
The strength of the coffee is self-explanatory ….the more caffeine, the more damage. But let’s get to the interesting part, the Brewing style. I’m not going to go into an explanation of all the different brewing styles because if I’m honest, I’m no barista and I don’t have a clue. I do know that different brewing methods will result in higher caffeine levels and higher acidity levels. What I am most interested in when it comes to brewing methods is, HOW DO I REDUCE CAFFEINE AND REDUCE ACIDITY? Regardless of the reasons listed above, I still love my coffee. I don’t have a fabulously strong constitution so I can’t afford to have more than 2 or 3 coffees per week and I am conscious of the amount of caffeine I consume.
Whilst on holiday in Bali recently, I had the privilege of staying with a friend in Nyu Khuning, close to Ubud where I was introduced to Cold Pressed Coffee. This coffee was whipped up into delicious cold frappes using coconut milk, ice, coconut sugar and vanilla bean. Needless to say, my coffee habit increased to 1 per day temporarily. There’s a little ‘health food store’ in Ubud called Alchemy where you could buy 1 Litre bottles of Cold Pressed Coffee as well as the most amazing raw cacao treats ….pssst try the Raw Cacao Peanut Butter Cups – OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD!!!!
On returning home to Australia, I was a little concerned about the amount of coffee that I was drinking but I had noticed that these coffees had not affected me in the same way that coffee usually does. So I started to do some research and found that using a Cold Brewing method for coffee REDUCED BOTH CAFFEINE LEVELS AND ACIDITY by up to 70%. And it’s EASY.
Here’s how you do it:
You need finely ground coffee beans, a 1 Litre Coffee plunger and cold filtered water.
Place 2 heaped tablespoons of your coffee into the plunger and then fill the plunger with cold filtered water. Place the lid on the plunger but don’t ‘plunge’ yet. Leave this sitting on your bench for 6 hours. If it’s really hot weather, you can put it in the fridge. At the 6 hour mark, go ahead and ‘plunge’ your coffee. Do it carefully so you don’t get any grinds slipping past the mesh. Now leave it on your bench overnight. In the morning, pour off your cold pressed coffee into a glass bottle and store in the fridge for up to a week.
I’ve consumed this in a couple of different ways. As a ‘Bali Frappe’ or I have VERY gently heated it and consumed it warm. Heat is what brings out the acidity in the coffee so I know that if I want the acidity kept low, I need to keep the heat low too.
Serves 1 Prep time 5 minutes Cook time 5 minutes Total time 10 minutes Ingredients
- 60ml Cold Pressed Coffee
- 120ml Light Coconut Milk (Full fat in this instance isn't very nice.)
- 1 teaspoon Honey
- 1 Vanilla Beans (seeds only)
- 1 handful Ice Cubes
- Cacao Powder (Optional to make a Mocha)
Whizz it all up in the Blender and Enjoy!
Yes, the caffeine is lower. Yes, the acidity is lower. BUT please still only enjoy in moderation. 1 coffee a day is plenty and you never know …..1 per day may be too much for your constitution.