Coffee Quiz: 8 Coffee Myths and Truths

September 27, 2013

Coffee Quiz: 8 Coffee Myths and Truths

How savvy are you about your daily cuppa?  See if you can separate truth from myth–and get a few great ideas for making the most of your beverage–when it comes to the coffee statements below.

1. The freezer or refrigerator is the best place to store your coffee.

Myth: Contrary to popular opinion, the cool air of the refrigerator or freezer doesn’t keep coffee fresher longer. High moisture levels in this environment can actually cause coffee oils to break down faster, and the coffee soon takes on flavors from surrounding foods.

Store your coffee beans and grounds at room temperature in a dark, cool, dry place like a closed pantry. Once the bag is open, transfer the contents to an airtight glass or ceramic container and use within one to two weeks.

2. For the freshest taste, grind coffee beans immediately before brewing.

Truth: Whole beans lock in volatile oils. Once beans are ground and exposed to light and air, the coffee’s aroma and flavor dissipate quickly. Store coffee beans whole and grind them right before you brew a pot.

3. The size of the coffee grounds affects taste.

Truth: The texture of your grounds greatly affects coffee taste. Generally, bitter coffee is an indication that the beans have been ground too fine; if the coffee tastes flat, you’ve probably not ground the beans enough to extract the full flavor, according to the National Coffee Association USA.

When grinding, use quick, short bursts. Holding the button down and grinding continuously tends to create too fine of a blend and can overheat the coffee, which negatively affects taste.

4. Coffee made in a French press is best.

Myth: While the French Press method is definitely an excellent option, you can get great coffee from drippercolating, and vacuum brewing too. The most important factor in making coffee is that the water temperature reaches 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, says Coffee

5. Coffee stunts your growth.

Myth: Because of studies conducted some years ago on the elderly, whose diets were low in calcium, the myth started that coffee stunts growth. More recent studies focusing on adolescents found no direct link between coffee consumption and slow growth. According to, no connection exists between a child’s height and his or her caffeine consumption.

6. The kind of water you use to make coffee alters its taste.

Truth: Water quality greatly affects the flavor of your coffee. Heavily chlorinated tap water, for instance, creates poor-tasting coffee. Distilled and softened water are also not good choices, as they lack certain minerals that bring out coffee’s full flavor. Your best bet is filtered water or bottled water.

7. It’s important to clean your coffee machine.

Truth: Lingering residue in your coffee machine from previously brewed coffee imparts a stale or even bitter taste to your java. Wash the pot and plastic parts with soap and warm water after every use, and about every 15 pots, brew a solution of half water and half vinegar to clean out the interior of the pot, followed by a pot of plain water.

8. Caffeine is addictive.

Myth: Caffeine is a mild stimulant but doesn’t fit the addictive category, according to The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Your body may become accustomed to caffeine, so it’s best to cut down on coffee consumption gradually, rather than all at once.

Which myth or truth surprised you the most? Let’s discuss it in the comments!

Julie Bawden-Davis

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