Many people love a cup of coffee in the morning because it makes them feel energised and gets them ready for the day ahead. While a lot of people choose to buy their morning coffee from a cafe, many others prefer to prepare theirs at home. While there are so many ways of preparing and enjoying a cup of coffee, a lot of people still prefer their coffee black. If you are looking to switch from tea or another beverage to coffee or need to learn more about black coffee, this article will help explain everything you need to know about this delicious beverage.
What is Black Coffee?
So, what is black coffee? Black coffee is coffee that is brewed without any additives. These can include milk, sugar, cream and other flavours. Black coffee, when brewed properly, should be slightly bitter than coffee that has anything added to it. This is the perfect coffee for those who love a strong cup of coffee. Do note that it is perfectly okay to add some sugar to your black coffee, although it is not advisable to add too much sugar to your coffee for health reasons.
Coffee Bean Varieties
One of the best things about being an avid black coffee drinker is the sheer variety of beans and flavours you have access to. This variety means there is a wide variety of experiences to be had for those who would like to experiment with their black coffee. A great place to start is to look at the different types of coffee beans available.
The main coffee bean varieties grown around the world include arabica, robusta, Excelsa and Liberica. Of these, arabica accounts for over half of all coffee grown in the world, robusta makes up for almost all the other half, and the other two varieties make up the rest.
Arabica beans are well-balanced, without too much acidity and have a layer of enticing aromas. There are several arabica coffee varieties, each having different characteristics. Because of its taste and aromas, arabica coffee is best enjoyed black.
Robusta coffee has a higher caffeine content than arabica coffee, sometimes up to double the caffeine content. Because of the high caffeine content, it is often too bitter for most people, and you would have to seek it out or try it because many retailers and coffee packers do not carry it.
While the type of coffee and where it was grown both impact its taste, the type of coffee roast makes a huge difference, especially when you brew black coffee with water only. The four main roasts you will see on the shelf include light, medium, medium-dark and dark roasts. You might also hear terms like Italian, French or Vienna roast. These names correspond to popular roast levels, and they are used to denote a flavour profile.
Light roasted beans undergo roasting for the least amount of time. The shortened roasting period prevents chemical changes from happening which makes them have their original flavours packed within. The downside is that they can taste a lot more acidic than the other coffee roasts. These coffees can have a lemon or citrus tone that some people like.
Medium roasted coffee is roasted for a lot longer and is considered to have a better flavour body by most coffee drinkers. It also has less acidity which makes the flavour of the coffee stand out even more.
Because the temperatures are usually higher, medium-dark roasts will often glisten due to the oils coming to the surface of the beans. These coffee roasts often have a fuller body than the medium roasts and are a lot less acidic.
Dark roasts are roasted at the highest temperature and because of these chemical changes that happen at these temperatures, most, if not all the original flavour is lost in the process. These roasts will taste sweeter than the other roasts because the sugars in the beans have had time to caramelise. Dark roasts have the least acidity and the least amount of caffeine.
How to Prepare Black Coffee
Now that we know about the various coffee varieties and roasts, how do you go about preparing a cup of black coffee? There is no right or wrong way to make a cup of black coffee, although there are some things you can do to ensure your coffee tastes amazing.
If you want your coffee to taste as intended, buying the beans and grinding them yourself is the best way to go about it. For this, you can use a coffee grinder, of which there are numerous models on the market. You only need to find one that grinds the coffee to the coarseness you like.
Next, boil about 600 grams or 600 millilitres of water. Place a filter on your dripper and fill it with the coffee you ground earlier. Pour the hot water over the coffee, ensuring to cover all the coffee before the cup fills. Some people love for the coffee concentrate to fill half a mug and then filling that mug once the coffee is done dripping.
If you find this process taking too much time, you can always use a coffee machine. Just ensure it gives you enough control over temperature and coffee amount so you can make the perfect cup. Does black coffee have sugar? Many people prefer not to add any sugar to their black coffee. However, adding some sugar will depend on how the coffee tastes (acidity, flavour, etc), but adding some is a personal preference.
Health Benefits of Black Coffee
One of the main benefits of drinking coffee regularly is that it helps with weight loss. Coffee contains higher amounts of caffeine than other plants and beverages. Caffeine boosts the metabolism which is the process through which the body breaks nutrients down and utilises calories.
By increasing your basal metabolic rate, coffee also helps you lose weight even when you are not doing anything. By burning calories throughout the day and night, coffee has been proven to be a great way to lose weight and is the reason why many weight loss supplements contain various caffeine amounts.
Another way coffee helps with weight loss is that it decreases hunger pangs. Studies have shown that caffeine helps decrease the production and levels of ghrelin, a hormone that is responsible for making you feel hungry.
Coffee has been shown to help reduce the risk of developing several cardiovascular diseases. Even though coffee does increase your blood pressure and heart rate soon after taking it, the effect diminishes over time and the result is a stronger heart. Coffee also reduces inflammation which often accompanies many cardiovascular issues and complications.
Black coffee has high antioxidant amounts. Drinking black coffee provides your body with antioxidants including vitamins B5, B3 and B2, potassium and magnesium, which help reduce free radicals in the body, thereby helping reduce inflammation. Coffee also contains phenols, another class of antioxidants, which reduce damage to the skin by fighting free radicals. This can help prevent premature ageing.
Making Black Coffee Healthier
By itself, coffee is very healthy and the answer to the question, ‘is drinking black coffee good for you?’ is a resounding yes considering the many benefits that coffee has. However, there are a few things people do that make their coffee a lot less healthy for them and we are going to look at a few of these things so you can avoid them and make your coffee healthier.
Avoid loading your black coffee with heaps of sugar. Adding sugar to black coffee is okay, especially for those who may find it bitter or too acidic. However, it is always best to use a measured amount of sugar in your coffee. Sugar, especially one that contains high amounts of fructose, has been linked to numerous health conditions, issues and complications. If you want to avoid sugar altogether, there are various natural sweetener alternatives you could try out.
Next, choose an organic brand. Depending on where the coffee is grown, it might have been sprayed with harmful pesticides and other chemicals. These chemicals are not intended for consumption and can cause issues down the line. If you are worried about pesticides and other chemicals in your coffee, it is better to choose an organic brand.
Lastly, avoid drinking too much coffee, especially in the afternoon and early evening. Everybody’s sensitivity to caffeine varies, but drinking too much coffee is likely to have adverse effects. These can include restlessness, jitters, anxiety and heart palpitations. Because coffee can cause sleep disturbances, avoid taking it in the afternoon or later in the evening. To find out what your body can tolerate, you can try blends and roasts with various caffeine levels. However, ensure you do not surpass 600 mg of caffeine in a single day.
Black coffee is a tasty and delightful beverage that offers you lots of choices and variations to try out. There are various blends and roasts, and you can always try back coffee brewed from coffee from different parts of the world. Black coffee also has numerous health benefits, notably helping with weight loss, cardiovascular health and energy.