Hey Perky! Let’s Talk About That Coffee…


First it was the ‘paleo-fied’ desserts, then went the shaker bottle, next was ‘natural’ sweeteners followed closely by the artificial, and it didn’t stop there.  Nope, I even rained on your summer BBQ fun by putting a cramp in your grilling style.  Yep, that’s right!  It’s your favorite fun-hater back to make you contemplate that cup of joe.  Okay, DO NOT stop reading now – this isn’t as terrible as you may be thinking.  I am NOT going to take away your sacred coffee*; even I am not that cruel (in most cases*).  No, and as a matter fact the news on coffee has been downright ‘stimulating’.  The research suggests that black brew may have health promoting powers – everything from colon and prostate cancers to Parkinson’s and Type 2 Diabetes .

Now, I’m also not going to say that everyone SHOULD drink coffee.  In fact, there are a lot of us that are better off abstaining.  This is where the * comes in.  If you are under a great deal of stress, aren’t sleeping well, have adrenal , gut or other major health issues that contraindicate getting ‘leaded’, then you should definitely avoid hitting the java juice.  Also, if you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant take note: there’s talk, (no peer reviewed research), that coffee may be cross reactive with gluten antibodies.   Also, if you regularly use coffee as a substitute for sleep, or drink it all day long to ‘stay awake’ it might be a good idea to give it a rest – your adrenals and cortisol levels will thank you…  Regardless of who you are I highly encourage you to take a ‘coffee vacation’ for at least 30 days – even the most hardcore caffeinaters do it from time to time.  Give your body and mind a break from the ‘artificial’ kick start.  I promise it won’t kill you!

Okay, now here comes the ‘tough-love’ (READ: buzz kill).  There are two types of coffee drinkers (well probably more, but for our purposes today – two).  There are those that truly enjoy coffee – its smell, its taste, and the entire experience.  These are the people at the Starbucks counter that ‘take it black’.  And then, there’s the other side.  These folks only drink coffee with cream, coconut milk, sugar, coffee mate, raw milk, honey, coconut creamer, artificial sweeteners, whipped cream, squirts of flavored syrups, ice cream, sprinkles and/or it’s a ‘mochafrappalatte’ type thing and is served with a straw and a spoon.  If you fall into this category I need you to sit down, you are not going to like this next part.  NEWS FLASH: YOU DO NOT REALLY LIKE COFFEE!!  You like cream, sugar, honey, whipped cream, etc.  Calling your drink concoction ‘coffee’ is a very clever to justify the additives.  “Yeah, let’s just call it ‘coffee’” – You guys are SNEAKY!!  It’s kind of like calling French Fries, onion rings, pizza (thank you USDA), cheese covered broccoli, or ranch dressing soaked salad vegetables…

So many people say that they NEED and LOVE their morning coffee, until they hear that they need to drink it black (this is based on goals and individual situations).   Let me just tell you, some people would fight to the death for coffee mate – the loyalty is INSANE!  If you have to ask, “If I can’t have sugar, coffee mate, cream, etc. in my morning cup, what can I do to make it taste good?”, then you really need to question the reasons behind your habit.  Is it replacing sleep, masking a sugar or cream fix, or do you just REALLY like that Starbucks cup?

If you truly ENJOY coffee for all of its warm, black deliciousness and you don’t have any compelling health or lifestyle reasons to avoid it, then I am not going to steal your ‘morning thunder’.  Keep on keeping on (with an occasional detox to clean things out). But, if on the other hand your coffee needs a mate(s), or you’re using it as a means to function in the AM; take the time to conduct a CSI (Coffee Scene Investigation).  Question if you truly enjoy coffee, or just what it does for you and/or allows you to ‘justify’.  This might give you the ‘grounds’ you need to kick the ‘beans’ where it counts.

What’s in your cup?

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  1. Gene
    September 12, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Yeah, but a “spoonful of sugar (grass-fed heavy cream) helps the medicine go down.”

    • crazy for my cows.
      April 1, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Gene, but be careful…They now send our cows out to eat GMO grass! If its not one thing, its another.

  2. Drew
    September 12, 2012 at 3:37 am

    As a professional barista (aka not Sbux line worker) here are five easy tips to a better cup… 1.) Buy good medium roast coffee! Intelligentsia or Counter Culture will do. 2.) Grind before brewing a cup! Get a burr grinder and don’t go too fine, ex. Baratza. Think slightly coarser than sugar. 3.) Fresh beans! Anything over two weeks from roast date will taste stale and lose much of the aroma and flavor we love in good coffee. Always check the roast date. 4.) Clean your coffee machine! Or better yet, buy a Chemex and watch some videos online that explain how to use the lovely device. 5.) Let the damn thing cool down after it has brewed. A tasty cup really wakes up around 115 degrees F, but should be very drinkable from 150 all the way to room temp. If it’s too hot then most of the sweetness and complexity is lost… and you’re palette is receiving some serious abuse.

    • Beth
      September 13, 2012 at 5:43 am

      Awesome, I just bought a pound of Intelligentsia the other day! My local coffee shop only orders as much as they think they will brew/sell in a 2 week period, so I know that I’m getting fresh beans. Drinking a cup of it now, with just a pinch of stevia. When I buy it at the coffee shop, I just drink it black and still enjoy it.
      Thanks for the tip about not grinding it too fine, I think I am guilty of that. I’ll try grinding it a bit more coarsely tomorrow morning.

    • Simon
      September 13, 2014 at 4:38 am

      Was about to write this! Main reason people drown their coffee in milk etc is that they’ve never tasted GOOD COFFEE.
      Wish these tips would get promoted for people to see. Good coffee is soo easy.

  3. Barbara
    September 12, 2012 at 4:12 am

    Black coffee for the win!

  4. Corben Thomas
    September 12, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Ok Amy, you can take my coffee, but you will never take my raw, locally sourced cheese to cover my roasted bacon fat brocolli. Stay caffeinated, stay raw, and stay local. See you at the Starbucks counter.

    • Amy Kubal
      September 12, 2012 at 4:51 am

      You can have your coffee – just keep it black and take a caffeine vacation once and a while! I’m not the devil – usually… ;)

      • Lori
        September 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm

        Aloha, new to Paleo, ok just cleaning out cupboards….while drinking my one cup of Dark Roast, Kona Coffee harvested from our farm. FYI, Dark roast has the least amount of caffeine and tastes wonderful especially when you know how its grown and processed.
        This journey as Kona Coffee Farmers has been enlightening to say the least. Things I have cultivated along the way, know how and what process your coffee goes through. What you don’t know can really hurt you.
        Currently Kona coffee farmers are battling the Coffee Bean Borer. Many are desperate to find a remedy and some are using HARSH, HARSH chemicals, (you have to wear massive protection to apply, need I say more) and those of us who are organic (farm not certified, but practices in place for our families safety & to keep costs to consumer down) are using natures gift, (in search my husband found natures insect repellent – Garlic Barrier, he’s now preaching it, no the coffee cherry does not have a garlic flavor). We comment daily, it is so scary what people don’t even know what they are ingesting. There are even farmers wanting GMO Kona Coffee, talk about ignorance and greed.
        OK, back to cleaning the cupboards I go, just please pass the word, know what’s in your cup (pure nature) and know its source and happy to say, our Kona Coffee is Hand picked, pesticide free, and slow roasted. Keeping it simple in Kona.

        • Cindy
          January 1, 2015 at 10:18 am

          Do you grow enough to market/sell? Kona coffee tastes the best. Did tour of coffee farm on Kona last year. Very interesting…

      • Randy
        September 15, 2013 at 8:52 am

        Hello Amy. I am wondering what you think about having a cup of black coffee (organic fair trade) while having Lyme Disease (me)? Alopecia (wife)? We have recently started the AIP and are confused a bit about the coffee. Also, what about Organic Decaf (swiss water method)? Thanks so much!

        • Amy Kubal
          September 15, 2013 at 9:43 am


          I would suggest eliminating it for a 30 day period and see how you feel without it. Tolerance is very individual – when in doubt take it out. When you add it back in at the end of the elimination period if you notice any changes in the way you feel or symptoms you’re having then it’s best to just keep it out of the mix all together.

    • Nicole
      September 12, 2012 at 5:59 am

      What’s this “roasted bacon fat broccoli” of which you speak?

  5. Jecka
    September 12, 2012 at 5:16 am

    Black coffee lover here! However, I did used to be the one at Starbucks getting a grande-triple-soy-peppermint-mocha-no-whip! In my darkest times (college…) I actually used to get the most ridiculous thing at Starbucks at least once a day: a grande-nonfat-caramel-macchiato… with extra caramel!!

    Not even five years later (and 35 pounds lighter) I drink coffee from freshly-ground beans, usually made in my French Press. :)

    • MichaelJohnson
      October 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      HA. My wife manages a Starbucks. Your drinks weren’t crazy. The Frappacino with half coffee and double or triple syrup…and soy…that is some crazy shit. 18 pumps of caramel to your 3-5.

  6. Burton
    September 12, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Amy, can you elaborate more on the 30 day break/detox? Are there any links on the site for how to detox?

    • Amy Kubal
      September 12, 2012 at 5:39 am

      How to detox – no caffeine for 30 days! That’s all there is to it!

      • Burton
        September 12, 2012 at 6:06 am

        Hahaha. Thanks Amy! I didn’t know if by ‘detox’ you were referring to an overall detox that coffee would hinder or a specific detox from coffee.

      • Peter McCuen
        September 12, 2012 at 7:40 am

        I do love coffee (yes, the coffee component of coffee). I usually take it black but have been considering cutting that out for a time. This gives me a little additional impetus to do so. I was however simply going to phase over to a couple of cups of tea in the morning or early afternoon. Now are you telling me that I can’t have the small amount of caffeine that’s in green and Oolong teas… It’s really gotta be caffeine-free for a proper “detox”?

        • Amy Kubal
          September 12, 2012 at 8:54 am

          Caffeine free is great if you can do it for 30 days. If not, tea is quite a bit lower on the scale so I guess I can live with that as long as you don’t have any major adrenal or gut issues.

        • MASkeans
          September 24, 2012 at 4:28 pm

          Peter…. try Red or Green Rooibos tea. It has the same taste as regular black/green tea without the caffeine! Naturally decaffenated.

  7. Todd
    September 12, 2012 at 5:42 am

    I find that if you make a paleo pancake out of whey protein and stevia and then grill it up nice and dark, it makes a great morning snack to have alongside a mochafrappalatte.

    • Amy Kubal
      September 12, 2012 at 8:58 am

      That.Was.Awesome. Way to cover all the bases!! ;)

  8. Jenna
    September 12, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Enjoying a nice black cup as I read this…

  9. Three Pipe Problem
    September 12, 2012 at 6:00 am

    You have a good point. On the other hand, by this logic, if I don’t like french fries without salt, then I don’t really like french fries (or potatoes).

    • Amy Kubal
      September 12, 2012 at 8:57 am

      If the only way you eat potatoes is in the form of French fries, then I would have to say you don’t really like potatoes – you like the fat and salt… Fair?

      • Christopher
        September 12, 2012 at 9:28 pm

        In the words of The Beastie Boys (Intergalactic) “I like my sugar with coffee and cream”

        • Nick
          September 24, 2012 at 7:22 pm

          “You know I gotta keep it going, keep it going full steam. Too sweet to be sour, to nice to be mean.”

  10. Suzanne
    September 12, 2012 at 6:16 am

    I love coffee!!!! I also love a tsp of coconut milk in it and that’s it!! I can have decaf but I love the taste of the two together…….I beg to differ that black only drinkers are the only coffee lovers that is just not so!!!

    • Mark
      September 13, 2012 at 10:37 am

      I would have to agree. You are really spliting fine hairs to say that if you don’t take it black you don’t really like coffee and you shouldn’t have it. I don’t like tomatos so I guess I shouldn’t eat salsa or chili because they have tomatos in them, even though I like them?

      • Amy Kubal
        September 13, 2012 at 11:32 am

        Not quite the same deal – Don’t over think this! If your coffee tastes more like hot chocolate than coffee you may want to address the situation…

        • Mark
          September 18, 2012 at 6:12 am

          I agree on the hot chocolate thing. In my case I only use a little cream and it still has the bitter coffe flavour, just not as bitter as black. Robb takes cream too. Maybe he has an opinion on this as well.

  11. Justin
    September 12, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Not really buying it. What’s wrong with a few teaspoons of cream to lighten up a coffee? I like bold jet fuel with a little cream, I prefer cream almost psychologically because I think my teeth won’t stain as bad if my coffee is a little lighter.

    Also, if you guys are eating bacon wrapped around a steak, I don’t see a problem with a little bit of cream.

  12. Scottc
    September 12, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Love my coffee; not black though. A little coconut milk or cream is great fat-flavor and some extra energy to burn (and pretty harmless, no?). No, I don’t like cream or coconut milk straight either. Some tastes are best combined. Take cilantro, for example. Consuming a bunch of chopped cilantro by itself would be pretty gross (might as well eat soap), but throw that bunch in some grass-feed ground beef… taco-bowl heaven. And as for sugar getting near my coffee, ABSOLUTELY NOT!

    Thanks for all you do Amy, always like reading your posts.

  13. zack
    September 12, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Up to 11 years ago, I was an avid coffee drinker… no milk/cream but sugar. Then I started noticing feeling weird after drinking it. I decided to put it down for a bit and see how I felt. I felt better. So I stopped drinking it save for 1 time in the Peruvian jungle (because, c’mon). All of a sudden, 3 weeks ago, I decided to drink it again. All I want is the darkest roast and black black black. No sweetener, no milk, or whatever….

    And I feel fine! Must have been the added sugar. I don’t NEED the stuff, but I enjoy it. The smell is intoxicating and the flavor backs it up.

    So as you can see, this article spoke directly to me.

  14. Kent Cowgill
    September 12, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I’ll say the exact same thing to coworkers I see eating oatmeal (after adding all sorts of honey, nuts, brown sugar, sweetened coconut, fruit, etc). I challenge them to tell me they still like oatmeal after eating it plain. Odd no one’s taken me up on that…

    • Alice
      October 4, 2012 at 9:50 am

      I actually used to LOVE plain oatmeal. Until I realised I felt better without it and cut it out too.

      Then again, I’m a bit of an oddball: plain coffee, raw lemons… I’m surprised I can think up enough normal things to keep my blog running! :p

  15. Amelia
    September 12, 2012 at 7:44 am

    I’m definitely one of those people who used to say I “loved” coffee. However, I always put something in it, of course. I do not like it black. Since going Paleo I’ve gone on and off the stuff a few times, making the Bulletproof variety when I was drinking it. I’ve recently come off of it again and realize that I am one of those people who are super sensitive to it and it’s just not that great for me. I become dependent and don’t feel good without it. I hate that feeling. So now, I’m off of it for good. I have to say that this is the change that I get the most push back about. People just don’t get how it could possibly be a problem. That’s OK, though. After the 3 days it takes for me to get it out of my system, I feel tons better all day – no peaks and valleys in my mood and energy level. So worth it!

    • Amy Kubal
      September 12, 2012 at 8:52 am

      Absolutely awesome!! :)

  16. PeeWee
    September 12, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Black coffee make my mouth smell like ass, so I’ll just stop for 30 days.

  17. tess
    September 12, 2012 at 7:55 am

    what’s in my cup, even as i read here? BLACK, unsweetened; “just jav, no cow” as the lady said. i used to take my morning tipple like melted coffee ice cream, but “doing an elimination” i found out i really like it best this way — which is GOOD! there are a number of different beneficial compounds in the java — it’s not just the caffeine!

  18. Jeff
    September 12, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Just a heads up. The link to the grilling article just links to the image from that page. Remove the /grill from the end to get to the actual article.

    • Amy Kubal
      September 12, 2012 at 9:03 am

      Thanks Jeff! I think I got it fixed!

  19. Rachael
    September 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I love this! “NEWS FLASH: YOU DO NOT REALLY LIKE COFFEE!! You like cream, sugar, honey, whipped cream, etc. Calling your drink concoction ‘coffee’ is a very clever to justify the additives. “Yeah, let’s just call it ‘coffee’” – You guys are SNEAKY!! It’s kind of like calling French Fries, onion rings, pizza (thank you USDA), cheese covered broccoli, or ranch dressing soaked salad vegetables…”

    Tell it like it is Amy!

  20. Ray
    September 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Coffee with coconut oil and kerrygold butter, dash of cinnamon and stevia blended. Breakfast.

  21. Greg white
    September 12, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Freaky timing. I usually take my milk and sweetner with coffee but this morning I decided I’d try just black coffee, no sweetener and I enjoyed it. T’was most liberating! This was 8 hours ago, before reading this post. It’s a sign, I tells ya!
    Amy… can ….you….read….my…mind?

    • Amy Kubal
      September 12, 2012 at 10:11 am

      I have spies… Nice work Greg!!

  22. Kyle
    September 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I agree with other posters. Saying you only truly like coffee If it’s black is not practical-do you only like salad if it has no dressing (read olive oil), or chicken breasts completely plain ( I mean completely)??? Don’t turn this into a religion with no apparent purpose. Added artificial processed sweeteners, sure. Natural hunter/gatherer things – think raw honey, coconut milk, even heavy cream – is no different than adding flavoring, spices or culinary touches to the rest of your “paleo” food. Amy, I do agree artificial ingredients and non-paleo items should be avoided.

  23. Bill Strahan
    September 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Coffee is part of my morning ritual these days, but with a few key pieces: 1st it’s black. 2nd, it’s one cup.

    In the past I’ve always spiraled out of control with caffeine consumption. I bought beans,a hand grinder and an aero-press. I put one scoop of beans in the hand grinder and grind while the water comes to a boil. I have just enough patience to crank that handle for the 3-4 minutes it takes to grind the beans. Then I take that and make my cup of coffee.

    This is self-limiting. I just don’t feel like taking the time to hand grind a scoop of beans later in the day for another cup of coffee. I think I’ve done it exactly one time in the last 3 months when a small emergency resulted in very little sleep.

    One cup, before noon, black, hand-ground. If I’m not working out and think I might not eat until dinner i’ll put in coconut oil and butter. Otherwise, it’s just coffee.

    • Amy Kubal
      September 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm


      You are a Rock Star. End of story. That is a SANE and HEALTHY way to enjoy coffee and the before noon piece is golden!

  24. Mike Healy
    September 12, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    30 days without coffee? Not a problem as long as I can spread them out over two years. You didn’t mean consecutive days did you?

  25. Dave
    September 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I’m on another attempt to abstain from coffee. But I’m now just having smaller portions of it more intermittantly. I realized that I was dependent on caffiene when I realized that I don’t even know how my body feels without that subtle buzz going through my nerves at all times.

  26. joe c
    September 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Whew! You had me scared at first! And I’m with you. I’d been a cream and sugar person my whole life (café con leche is a way of life when you grow up in a Hispanic home) but made the switch two years ago and never once looked back. I really enjoy coffee black (seriously, get an Americano sometime). The only downside is there’s no disguising the occasion bad cup of coffee.

  27. kiran
    September 12, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Drink your coffee how you like it, life is short. I can only remember the days of cream and sugar like a movie trailer of my youth. Sitting in the Diner before class with the tiny white ceramic cup shoveling spoonfull after spoonfull of sugar into it. So If you can drink it black awesome, if not just be aware of what you are adding in and what it will do to you (aso like Amy said, don’t pretend it’s better for you than it is with additives). Cheers .

  28. Kristina
    September 13, 2012 at 5:43 am

    I really do love coffee. Starbucks is a little strong for me, I always get it iced and wait for that ice to melt before I start sipping. My favorite coffees are the Green Mountain Breakfast Blend and Vermont Country Blend, which I order in the K-cups for my Keurig.

    I have been drinking it with organic heavy cream for a while now, because full-fat dairy is pretty easy on me and it’s satiating on mornings I don’t eat breakfast. I’m probably going to ditch dairy when this carton is empty and tighten up, since the last few weeks have been one excuse after another and it seems like if I don’t crack down on everything, I won’t crack down on anything.

    Also, another subset of people who shouldn’t drink coffee include people with urogenital issues like overactive bladder or conditions like interstitial cystitis, which respond well to reductions in both caffeine and acidic foods/beverages. I was on medication for OAB for a couple of years (from 21 years old) and when I asked a new urologist about a possible dietary intervention, he gave me a sheet on the IC-Smart diet, which effectively strips most grains, a fair amount of dairy, all preservatives, processed meats, several kinds of nuts, and all but the least acidic fruits, in addition to eliminating carbonated beverages, alcohol, and coffee (although there are low-acid brands that some people seem to like.) I was doing a Whole30 at the time, and I just decided to keep doing that and reduce the acidic foods in my diet. I’ve been off the medication for over six months, and as long as I don’t drink more than one or two cups o’ joe a day (never consecutively,) I stay symptom-free.

  29. Beth
    September 13, 2012 at 5:45 am

    I’ve really cut down my caffeine consumption. I was having coffee in the morning and in the afternoon, every day. I very rarely have it in the afternoon now, but I’ve been pondering if I need to cut it out altogether for awhile. I’m dealing with heavy metal toxicity and candida overgrowth. But I can’t imagine how I’ll sit in front of the computer at work for 8 hours and not fall asleep w/out caffeine!

  30. sonny
    September 13, 2012 at 6:53 am

    black all the way for me. How about eating the coffee beans themselves?
    Re decaf, Dave Asprey says that the beans produce caffeine as a defense against mold, so drinking decaf is more likely to yield more mold so he recommends to avoid it.

  31. Dr. Julia
    September 13, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I actually LOVE the taste of coffee, and can live without it if need be. My big secret is drinking a huge glass of refreshing filtered water just before I have my first cup. I get raw grass fed milk from a lady who has cows – and I skim the cream and put it in my first cup, then lay off of the cream after that.

    One thing I will say though: I LOVE coffee so much that I missed it when I would do the Dr. Bob Rakowski, CCN, DC, NP, intense detox protocols to “re-set”; he also requires coffee enemas during that process, so I guess you aren’t totally giving it up, and none of it came out. That was personal, but hey, I’m a doctor.

    Love the blog, love the podcast. You and Greg typically take up 1 1/2 hours of my day on Tuesdays. Keep it up!

  32. Melissa
    September 13, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I’d like to hear more about coffee affecting the adrenals. I have adrenal and thyroid issues and my doc wants me to give up coffee. I’ll admit, I really don’t like plain black coffee. I know I should quit BUT I have reduced my consumption down quite a bit. Give me more compelling information about how coffee affects the adrenals please and I’ll give it up! I’m almost ready to give it up completely (when I finish the bag of spendy organic I just bought.)

    • Amy Kubal
      September 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

      Coffee/caffeine is a stimulant – it results in increased cortisol levels/stress. This is definitely not what you want when you’ve got adrenal issues to begin with.

      • Melissa
        September 19, 2012 at 7:40 am

        Thanks Amy – I’ll keep it in mind. Like I said before, I think the current bag I’m working on will be my last. Slowly, slowly drinking it black too.

  33. Adam
    September 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    So, going Whole30 is pretty easy, but Whole30 without caffeine might actually be a challenge. It’ll take a couple attempts but I’ll get there. Any other suggestions to go 30 days without or add to become a better human?

  34. Tina
    September 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Amy what’s your take on a cup of decaf?

    • Amy Kubal
      September 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      If you like it – I can live with it.

  35. Lpjohnson
    September 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    We are on the same wavelength! I was just explaining (lecturing) to my 17 yo son & his goofy friend that if you don’t drink coffee black, you’re not “mature” enough for it, lol.
    On a serious note, I believe the health benefits associated with coffee are in the sterol components. This is important because they are removed with a paper filter. So get a mesh filter, use a French press, or use a Chemex like the Barrista said ;).

    • xz123
      September 18, 2012 at 12:23 am

      There are even steel filters for the Aero Press and Chemex/Hario use, http://ablebrewing.com/ , or the Karlsbader Kanne, or the Espro Press if you want a French Press with less “stuff” left in the cup. Using a Chemex with the (quite thick) Chemex filters isn’t that great imho (risk of paper-taste and way too “clean” taste).

      On the general topic: I don’t even drink that much coffee 2-5 cups (black, my own roasts) a day, but if I don’t have coffee until noon I get severe headaches/migraine – which is a bit unsettling.

  36. Carol
    September 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Sitting here thinking about how I like my coffee. Drink it black most days, but once in awhile I add a little cream. Got me thinking, in the 70’s, long before Starbucks, I used to drink Nabob, perked with a bit of Pacific can milk in it. But wait… it get worse, I’d often enjoy it with a hard white peppermint and a cigarette! I’ve really cleaned things up in the last twenty years.

  37. Joe C
    September 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm


  38. Heather
    September 18, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I try to stick to one cup of black swiss water decaf a day, as a treat.

    What are your thoughts on decaf?

  39. Sarah
    September 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Aaaah, coffee. I feel like I am my own category: I LOVE coffee for coffee’s sake (smell, flavor, love it black), it’s never been sugar or creamy goodness for me, just pure coffee. I’ve gone through periods of no coffee, not even caffeine, and then something happens; one day I just can’t resist having coffee. I’ll drink it for a few weeks (just one cup a day), then I’ll realize that it’s making me feel bad, quit, only to miss it and start again. It’s got a hypnotic pull on me, for sure! When I drink it I don’t feel jittery, just “off.” Sometimes I break out, but mostly I notice that on the days I have coffee when I stand up I get light headed. My poor husband has heard me lament over and over about just wanting to be able to enjoy my coffee. I should probably kick it to the curb for good, and part of me has been scouring the Internet for an article to make a good enough case for me to. I do have a gluten intolerance, so maybe this is why coffee and I don’t get along. Someone tell me to stop (ha ha)!

    Thanks for this article, Amy! I’ve been digging for information to help me understand my relationship with coffee. I have no idea why I’m so drawn to it. It just smells so good sometimes.

  40. John
    September 21, 2012 at 5:24 am

    Is a homemade cappucino using fresh milk ok or is that a no-no too?

    • Amy Kubal
      September 21, 2012 at 8:53 am

      What are your goals?

  41. Andrea
    September 26, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I love, love, love coffee. Black and strong. Unfortunately, it gives me heart palpatations so I don’t drink it anymore.

    I miss the taste, but I feel absolutely fine without it. Once I recovered from the caffeine withdrawal headaches, my energy level without it was just fine.

  42. Shannon
    September 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Hey Amy,

    I was doing black coffee, 2-3x per week, but I recently discovered the “bulletproof coffee” through PaleoHacks and have done that 3x this week. I’m not going to lie, it has made me feel pretty amazing – grass fed butter and coconut oil first thing in the morning with fresh ground beans, then some protein and veggies an hour or so later, and I’m full well past lunch time.

    What are your thoughts about the whole bulletproof coffee thing?

    • Amy Kubal
      September 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      It really depends on your goals – it’s not a great idea for everyone.

      • Mike Ergo
        November 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm

        Hi Amy, could you say more about bulletproof coffee with butter and MCT oil? Where could I learn more about whether or not this would be helpful to my goals. I enjoy the taste, but I don’t want to drink this a lot if it isn’t going to be beneficial for maintaining my current weight and body fat percentage & helping me at the gym.

        • Amy Kubal
          November 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm

          It depends a lot on what the rest of your diet looks like. Try it and if you notice changes that you don’t like, then ditch it. I can’t say ‘good for you’ or ‘not so good for you’ without knowing more! If you’d like to talk about it let me know and we can schedule a consult.

  43. Robin
    October 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Hi, im brand new to paleo and havnt started as i just heard about it, but i have mixed feelings about this. I myself have not had caffeine in ten years, but a couple times a year i love a cup of decaf. Most of the jobs i have had in that time were as a barista. I have to say that i truly enjoy the taste and smell but i also enjoy the foofy stuff. If i order coffee

  44. Robin
    October 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I acidentally hit reply before i finished so here it is, if i order coffee it is caffeine free, sugar free and fat free. Im sorry but some of us do actually enjoy flavor in our coffee and obviously i dont drink it for the jump start, i have it as a rare treat. I do agree all that stuff cant be healthy but on rare occaision shouldnt be considered unhealthy

  45. Nancy
    October 17, 2012 at 5:03 am

    I have my 1-2 regular cups of java every morning- most of the time. I sometimes sub in organic white tea or herbal tea. But if it’s my coffee- and I really do go for the taste and smell, etc- it’s going to be organic and French roast or darker. And always black! I can’t stand the other stuff people want to add in theirs! Yuck… And the last time I visited Starbucks, I ordered 2 shots of espresso straight up, and I got some weird looks from the employees. I like mine at home better anyways. :)

  46. Laurie
    October 24, 2012 at 6:08 am

    Does coffee have any effect on adult acne? Cortisol – to testosterone – to acne? I gave up coffee for 2 months last year and my skin cleared up around the same time. I find it hardest to give it up though when I have to get up for work and it’s pitch black out still. That’s when I feel like I “need” coffee.

  47. Mark
    October 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

    People who need to add cream & sugar to their coffee simply aren’t drinking good coffee.

    Think of the roasted coffee bean like the baked loaf of bread. It’s great – when it’s fresh. But after a week or so, not so great. The same is true of coffee. If you’re not buying freshly roasted coffee and grinding it moments before brewing, you’re drinking stale coffee. Of course you need to drown it in milk and sugar to make it palatable!!

    Freshly roasted, freshly ground coffee can be sweet, all on it’s own. It can have an incredibly rich, even decadent mouth feel, without cream!

    Once you’ve had freshly roasted, freshly ground coffee, you’ll never go back. If it’s not available, I now drink water. More often, I make the effort to make it available for the times I want to have it.

  48. Ariana Grandey
    November 2, 2012 at 4:15 am

    I am a coffee lover and takes about 5 cups a day. I know, that is not a stat with an ideal coffee lover, but I love to limit it there. Nice informative post for me. I think it is specifically made for me. Anyway, thanks and keep on writing.

  49. Olney
    January 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Thank you, really loved the post!

  50. Tony
    February 2, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Great article. I’ve been Paleo for 3 years now and I’m also an elementary school music teacher. I mention my line of work because its relevant to my recent coffee discovery. Early hours, often working through lunch and staying in work until the evening…lesson planning…blah blah. I have NO time in the morning to make breakfast, unless I get up earlier and dig into my 8hrs of sleep (rather not) and for the past few months I’ve been drinking Bulletproof Coffee. I even buy Dave Asprey’s upgraded coffee beans, they taste amazing. I’m a black coffee drinker, I love the taste and the caffeine, but this Bulletproof Coffee discovery has me more than full in the morning and I’m typically not very hungry throughout the day, sometimes a light snack in the afternoon before dinner. I’m now eating, like 10TBSP of butter a week…I’ve never thought I’d ever do that in my life. Haha.

    I just wanted an opinion from some reputable paleo folks ;-)

    I use 16oz upgraded coffee (French pressed)
    2-3TBSP Kerry gold unsalted butter
    1-2TBSP Mct Oil


  51. Anita
    January 30, 2014 at 6:38 am

    If you want a healthy cup of coffee. Get rid of the plastic purcolator machines.

    Get the traditional good old stovetop coffee pot that is 100% stainless steel. Cabelas.com has them.
    No need to spend a fortune on coffee, but do purchase coffee beans instead of coffee grounds. This will ensure freshness, AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND to buy coffee beans imported from Italy, it’s the cleanest beans you’ll ever get, top quality and 100% arabica which are not burnt! I get a kilo for 20 bucks, and it lasts me a month and makes 3 cups a day. I find a lot of the north american brands I’ve tried are nearly black, and they taste burnt, and it just doesn’t go down right. I don’t know if they’re all like that, but the ones I had tried were. They must be rancid, and that can’t be good. The italian beans are roasted to perfection, the color is a rich milk chocolate color, you’ll notice that right away, and does not taste burnt. I’m italian and trust me, coffee quality is a big deal for us. Get a coffee grinder to grind your beans, and make sure you use unbleached coffee filters. And voila you have a clean cup of coffee, and one like you’ve never had. Your house will smell like an italian caffé!!

  52. Anita
    January 30, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Forgot to add, if you would like to know which brand of coffee beans I use, it’s called ‘Lavazza’. The lavazza coffee beans I use is in a big blue and silver bag, you can use it for regular filtered coffee or espresso if you like. For espresso, just adjust your grinder to a very fine ground.

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