03 May Is coffee good for you?
Coffee is the most popular drink in the world. There are 7.5 billion people on earth and around 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed on a daily basis.
There have been so many studies over the years on the effects of coffee and whether or not it helps to extend your life and whether it harms or benefits your overall health that is almost impossible to know who or what to believe.
As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the sample of people studied, the more likely that you will be able to judge for yourself and know the answer to: Is coffee good for you or is coffee bad for you?
In 2006, 9.2 million people from the UK biobank were invited to take part in a long term study of their health based on how they life their life across a range of metrics including nutrition, lifestyle and medication.
500,000 volunteers enrolled in the process and the intention is to study them over a 30 year period.
Coffee consumption is one of the areas that has been studied and they waited 10 years before they decided that they had enough people over enough time to make a factual and scientific conclusion on what the effects of coffee have on your health.
The coffee intake of half a million people in the UK was analysed over 10 years from 2006-2016 and the results are in.
It’s a very lengthy (and boring) scientific paper which you are welcome to read if you wish but we have taken one line from the summary which tells us all we really need to know:
“Coffee drinking was inversely associated with mortality, including among those drinking 8 or more cups a day”
That is supposed to be in English but we had to read it a number of times before we were able to translate it into normal English which is:
“Drinking coffee increases the likelihood that you will live longer”
Similar studies have shown the same in North America and other parts of the world as well. One of particular interest shows results of 3.2 million years of life (the total number of years everyone in the study was studied for) and states in the conclusion “Higher consumption of coffee was associated with lower risk for death”
So half a million people were studied in the UK over 10 years and 3.2 million years of life were studied in the US and both categorically concluded that coffee consumption improves your chances of living longer.
So let’s put this one to bed once and for all. Is coffee good for you? – yes, for sure, definitely, without a doubt, scientifically proven over the long term.
We have however, found one specific aspect of coffee consumption that is very bad for your health – your financial health.
Buying coffee in a coffee shop for £3 a go is a terrible idea and is extremely detrimental to your financial health.
Does making coffee at home save money?
That will be a very huge YES. And we are not talking about the instant freeze dried coffee that comes in jars and you add boiling water, milk and sugar and you end up with something that is supposed to be coffee but tastes nowhere near as good as what they serve up in Costa or Starbucks or Café Nero.
Contrary to popular belief you do not need to take out a loan to make coffee that is equal to or better than what you will get in a high street coffee shop.
There are many different methods to brew coffee and regardless of your budget you should definitely consider buying some kind of coffee maker. It tastes miles better than instant coffee, takes hardly any time to prepare and will save you a shed load of money compared to the cost of a coffee shop.
If you are on a super tight budget you can opt for a stove top or cafetiere coffee maker.
With a cafetiere you just add coffee and boiling water, leave the ground coffee to brew and 4 minutes later you have a delicious coffee that tastes miles better than instant and can easily rival the £3 a cup that you pay in Costa for a fraction of that price.
The Rayett stainless steel cafetiere brews up to 1 litre of coffee at a time and will set you back the price of a couple of glasses of wine in a wine bar.
The most famous stove top espresso maker is the Bialetti Moka Express which has not changed in the last 70 years so you know that they must be doing something right.
Add water to the base, add ground coffee to a basket, screw the top on, stick it on the cooker and your coffee will be delivered to the jug within a few minutes.
If the Bialetti design is a little too traditional for you this Godmorn Espresso maker is more modern and will also do a great job.
Cafetieres and stove top coffee makers will do a much better job than instant coffee but if you want to recreate a coffee shop coffee then you may be surprised at how cost effective that can be.
Its easy to get fooled by the alien looking equipment you see when you visit one of the high street coffee chains and think that doing it yourself is out of reach of both your budget and technical ability.
Not true! The best cheap espresso machines are cheaper than you think and are very easy to use.
You can pick up an entry level “proper” espresso machine for under £100. This Aevobas pump espresso machine is a great place to start if you want to replicate the process they use in Costa without breaking the bank.
Don’t be tempted to spend less than this on a pump espresso machine because you will get inferior coffee quality and the machine will likely not last that long before it develops faults or issues.
If you want to try something that is a proven winner over time then the Delonghi Dedica style EC685bk has thousands of happy owners and is manufactured by the world leader in coffee machines.
For something a little more extravagant, bean to cup coffee machines are where it is at right now. These are for people that want to grind their own coffee beans and have it delivered straight into the cup without any manual intervention.
If you decide to go down this road then you need to choose wisely because is easy to pay too much for a machine that will deliver the same quality of coffee as another one that costs a lot less.
We have reviewed hundreds of bean to cup coffee machines and only the best make it on to our list for you to consider.
The Delonghi Autentica ETAM 29.510 is an ultra compact bean to cup machine that provides excellent default coffee settings and a full range of personalisation features that you would normally pay a lot more for.
If you want to achieve a coffee that is BETTER than a coffee shop coffee and allows you to control all of the variables that enable you to create the perfect cappuccino or Latte then the Sage Barista Express is hard to beat for quality and value.
Coffee is good for you and there are endless ways to turn simple coffee drinking into an extremely satisfying experience that is all the more enjoyable (and cheaper!) if you do it yourself.