[Updated 9/2/23] The concept of healthy coffee may sound strange to most coffee drinkers at first. I mean, the world’s greatest drink is already known to confer many health benefits. So how can coffee be healthier, aside from removing sugar and cream? In this article we’ll take a closer look at this question in order to help you maximize the health benefits of the world’s most magical brew. Additionally, we’ll provide you with our picks for the healthiest coffee of 2023 so you can get even more out of your coffee experience.
Volcanica Half Caff
Lifeboost Half Caff
Fabua Half Caff
What is Healthy Coffee?
Healthy Coffee is a general term used to describe coffee that’s curated, processed, formulated and/or roasted in a manner to maximize health benefits. This definition is admittedly broad, so let’s narrow it down some.
There are two main types of healthy coffees as they are generally defined.
The most basic type of healthy coffee is one that focuses on fully maximizing coffee’s already existing benefits. Some people refer to this as “clean coffee”. Coffee on its own is known to be high in antioxidants and its health benefits are well documented. As such, a number of coffee brands focus on preserving the purity of the coffee bean throughout its entire life cycle. The healthiest coffee of this type will typically be organic, chemical-free, pesticide-free, and mycotoxin-free, as well as being selected for its superior antioxidant properties.
The healthiest coffee beans will be sourced for their high levels of antioxidants. One cup of coffee can contain anywhere between 200 – 550 milligrams of antioxidants. The benefits of antioxidants are countless. From lowering inflammation to protecting your cells against free radicals, they are a core component of a healthy immune system.
Nootropic or Vitamin Coffee
Another type of healthy coffee is one that is infused with vitamins and natural supplements. The health benefits conferred by these healthy coffees include everything from boosting the immune system and improving hair, nails, skin to enhancing cognitive function and memory. There are also many coffees formulated to help with weight loss and increased metabolism. This list goes on. There’s actually a true artform and science to the process in order to maximize efficacy and absorption while ensuring the coffee still tastes good. This coffee is frequently referred to as vitamin coffee or nootropic coffee.
In this article, we’ll cover both types of healthy coffee in greater detail.
Definition of Health Coffee:
Pure Coffee Makes the Healthiest Coffee
Many hold the belief that healthy coffee is defined by the high standards of its lifecycle. This includes things such as growing practices, attention to detail during harvesting, roasting, and packaging. This definition is based on the premise that the purest coffee is the best coffee.
Choose Organic Coffee Beans
For example, one crucial factor in determining the healthiest coffee is whether the beans are organic. Why organic? Well probably the first reason to buy organic coffee is that conventional coffee is often grown using a large number of pesticides and fertilizers.
Coffee is actually one of the most sprayed crops in the world. These chemicals can end up as residue on your coffee beans and are ultimately ingested by the coffee drinker. If you are one that drinks coffee every day, limiting your chemical exposure is obviously important to your long-term health.
Another reason why organic coffee is beneficial to your health is that organic coffee beans typically have larger quantities of antioxidants in them. Antioxidants are very healthy for your body and help your immune system fight off and cleanse the body of toxins.
Last but not least, let’s not forget that organic coffee tends to have a much cleaner or more pure flavor than it’s standard counterpart.
Do the Coffee Beans Contain Mold?
Another factor many use to define how healthy a coffee might be, is to evaluate how much mold (mycotoxins) are in the coffee. You might thinking, “Mold?!?”
Yes, it might surprise you to know that many coffees contain mold in them and these mycotoxins are not unsurprisingly toxic to the body. Mycotoxins are formulated by mold which grow on crops like coffee beans when not properly stored. If you ingest too many of these toxins, it can be poisonous to your body.
The most common mycotoxins in coffee are aflatoxin B1 and ochratoxin A. Both are carcinogens and are believed to be harmful to the brain and kidneys. So how common are these toxins? Well, they are actually quite common, but often in very trace amounts. A recent study showed that 45% of all coffee from commercially grown coffee beans contained ochratoxin A. That is a large number of mycotoxins!
So, what do you do to avoid these mycotoxins and ensure the healthiest coffee experience possible? Well, if you are really concerned about them, you can purchase mycotoxin free coffee which is certified mold free.
Related Article: Best Mold Free Coffee
What’s the Healthiest Processing for Coffee
However, even if you don’t buy mold-free and mycotoxin-free coffee, you can still at least limit the amount of mycotoxins in your coffee.
Coffee undergoes various processing methods, each impacting its flavor profile. The most common methods include the wet, natural, and honey processes. In the wet process, coffee cherries are pulped, and the beans are fermented to remove mucilage, resulting in bright and clean flavors. Conversely, the natural process involves drying the whole cherries, imparting fruity and robust notes due to extended contact with the fruit. The honey process strikes a balance, removing the skin but keeping some mucilage, producing a sweet and nuanced taste. Additionally, newer techniques like anaerobic and carbonic maceration fermentation are gaining popularity, pushing the boundaries of coffee flavor.
Wet processing is considered an effective method of getting rid of most mycotoxins. Look for coffees that are not only organic and chemical free, but also use wet processing to rid the beans of mold.
Healthy Coffee – Nootropics and Vitamin Coffee
As mentioned earlier, there is another categorization of healthy coffee.
A new wave of coffee drinkers and coffee brands has recently redefined what a healthy coffee is. Instead of the coffee just being a pure coffee, free of mold, and grown using sustainable practices – this new wave of defining healthy coffee has introduced this idea of nootropic coffee and vitamin coffee. So, what is nootropic coffee and how is it healthy for you? Let’s find out.
Nootropic coffee is a normal cup of coffee with enhanced elements added to it. Specifically, these added substances can include natural herbs, mushrooms, proteins, and other ingredients. Each of these elements are added for a specific purpose.
Nootropics are defined as supplements, and other substances that help the brain function. When you add these elements to coffee – you get nootropic coffee. A lot of the common substances added in nootropic coffee include yerba mate, green tea, ginseng, gingko biloba, and others. These substances are added to the coffee to help form a super coffee of sorts. The idea is to utilized the benefits of coffee, and enhance them to create a super healthy, mentally stimulating beverage. So, what are the main benefits of drinking nootropic coffee? Cognitive improvement. Nootropic coffee enhances your overall intelligence, memory and promotes creativity. This makes nootropic coffee an ideal drink for students, artist, or elderly people. Nootropic coffee has also been shown to improve focus and reduces stress.
Recommended Vitamin Coffees & Nootropic Coffee
Grateful Earth is a coffee gem that we recently discovered within the nootropic coffee industry. It’s made from a premium blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee and infused with a variety of cognition-enhancing adaptogens and nootropics such as turmeric, cinnamon, lion’s mane, chaga, l-theanine, and black pepper. That may sound a little intimidating or perhaps unappealing but it’s not. The taste of the coffee is very enjoyable but more importantly, the brew offers a variety health benefits that we’ve experienced ourselves after doing a Grateful Earth review.
The coffee is also instant (but don’t let that trick you into thinking that this isn’t quality of supreme quality). Just add water and you’ll be treated to a high quality nootropic coffee that offer a rich, aromatic flavor. Don’t allow the fact that it’s instant coffee to turn you off. This coffee is anything but your stereotypical instant coffee and you can truly taste the richness and robustness of this brew with each sip.
We were most impressed by this coffee and can recommend it as one of the best nootropic coffees we’ve tried to date.
Kimera Koffee has been a long-time favorite of ours when it come to quality nootropics. We did a detailed Kimera Koffee review some years back and to this day is something that we still appreciate. As an organic nootropic coffee formulated for focus and concentration, it’s a product that is delicious as it is effective. Their coffee offers a substantial vitamin boost for your brain via all-natural add ins such as Alpha GPC, DMAE, L-theanine, and Taurine. This premium nootropic coffee delivers a burst of brain energy without the crash that typically accompanies high caffeine brews. Flavor-wise, their medium and dark roast options deliver a full and robust taste that has virtually no bitter aftertaste. It’s smooth as silk.
Kimera Koffee is available in ground and K-Cup forms but unfortunately, lacks a whole bean option.
In the few years that VitaCup has been around, this healthy coffee brand has already established itself as one of the front runners of the vitamin coffee. We’ve spent a fair amount of time with this coffee and what jumps out the most is the fact that it doesn’t taste like “vitamin” coffee at all. It’s chocked full of Turmeric, Cinnamon, and Vitamins B1, B5, B6, B9, B12, and D3. But based on the flavor of this coffee, you would never guess that it was.
Their Genius Blend in particular is formulated to help improve cognitive function and sharpen your focus and concentration. This blend sources premium beans from Mexico and Brazil and is then medium roasted to perfection. I remember tasting VitaCup the first time it came out, and my response was literally, “there are vitamins in here?!”
Four Sigmatic is another excellent choice when it comes to nootropic coffee. Like some of the other products on this list, this coffee utilizes the health benefits of mushrooms. However, this coffee in no way tastes like mushrooms. Instead, it tastes like an impeccably smooth and flavorful high-end brew. Their quality mushroom coffee contains only half the caffeine of regular coffee but grants you double the mental clarity as it’s chocked full of 500mg of organic Lion’s Mane and Chaga mushroom powder. The antioxidant properties from the Chaga mushroom help support healthy immune function as well.
This coffee delivers a smooth, strong, yet crash-free experience that will satisfy even the most uncompromising connoisseurs. USDA Organic, Fair Trade, and single origin, this company sets equally high standards for its coffee as it does its nootropics
There are many benefits to nootropic coffee, and if you’re finding that a normal cup of coffee just isn’t doing it for you anymore, nootropic coffee is a solid option.
Check out our full list of the best Nootropic coffees on the market and allow the world’s best drink to also make you smarter.
As mentioned earlier, mushrooms (not the psychedelic ones) can be mixed with coffee to augment its health properties. Enter the world of mushroom coffee.
Mushroom Coffee can fall under the category of nootropic or healthy coffee. For many coffee lovers, the idea of mushrooms in coffee can be off-putting to say the least. But don’t close the doors of your coffee-loving heart just yet. The truth is, this coffee doesn’t taste like mushrooms at all. In fact, it actually tastes like very smooth and robust coffee except with more health benefits.
Mushroom Coffee is especially popular among coffee lovers who like low acid coffee. The use of mushrooms such as Lion’s Mane confers a variety of health benefits including protection against dementia and mild forms of depression. Lion’s Mane has even been shown to help with repairing nerve damage. Another common benefits of mushroom coffee is that it provides jitter-free, steady energy thanks to adaptogens.
Recommended Mushroom Coffees
Volcanica Half Caff
Lifeboost Half Caff
Fabua Half Caff
Related Article: What is Mushroom Coffee
However, if nootropic coffee isn’t your thing, but you’re still looking for a healthy coffee option, there is vitamin coffee. Vitamin coffee is exactly what is sounds like: coffee infused with vitamins. If you are a fan of killing two birds with one stone, vitamin coffee is a great option for you. Drinking a cup of vitamin coffee will fulfill your vitamin intake and give you a great cup of coffee, making vitamin coffee one of the healthiest coffees on the market.
One of the reasons vitamin coffee is considered the healthiest coffee available is because they’re formulated to target specific issues. For example, VitaCup offers a wide range of products that address everything from improving skin, hair, and nails to weight loss.
Bonus Tip: Make your coffee even healthier by using a natural sugar substitute such as Monk Fruit or Stevia. In my experience, it’s the best and healthiest way to sweeten your coffee without compromising your taste buds.
One might be wondering why CBD coffee is included in an article about the healthiest coffee. The truth is, CBD coffee has been a huge help in my personal life as well as the lives of some of family members. As such, I felt it only fitting and relevant to include it.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is derived from the Hemp plant and has proven itself to be effective for anxiety, joint pain, and other health conditions. With the rising popularity of CBD, the combination of CBD with coffee was a so called match-made-in-heaven waiting to happen. I’ve personally found it to be very beneficial on multiple fronts from relaxing the body to alleviating achy joints.
As a note, CBD will not get you “high” and it won’t have you failing any drug tests.
There’s a wealth of information on CBD itself which we won’t cover here. However, for those looking to enhance the health of their morning brews, CBD coffee or Hemp Coffee is an excellent option. It goes without saying that to ensure the healthiest coffee experience possible, make sure to buy organic CBD coffee.
For more information, check out our list of best CBD coffee brands.
Having covered the different types of available “healthy coffee” options, we now present to you our list of the best healthy coffees we’ve come across to date. This list will include a mix of pure coffee and vitamin / nootropic coffee.
List of Healthiest Coffee Beans of 2023
Lifeboost Coffee needs little introduction and is often regarded as one of the best healthiest coffee products available. It’s no secret it’s one of our favorites here at Best Quality Coffee. Reason being is that it meets all of our requirements for truly healthy and pure coffee. While this coffee is organic and mold-free, it also delivers an incredibly pure flavor that needs to be experienced to be appreciated. When we first tried this coffee, we knew it would appeal most to coffee purists…and that’s us. Additionally, all of Lifeboost’s coffees are low acid which means they are gentle on the stomach but strong on the taste buds. A bag of Lifeboost is pricier than your average coffee, but as is the case with all things, you get what you pay for. And in our opinion, this coffee is worth every penny. If you’re interested in trying out Lifeboost, use our exclusive discount code BESTQUALITY to get 20% off.
Read our full Lifeboost review for more details.
Fabula Coffee makes this list for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it’s low acid with a supremely pure flavor. As a single origin coffee that’s also USDA Organic and tested for mold, you can be assured that you’re getting one of the most pure, cleanest, and healthiest coffee experiences money can by. All of their coffee is specialty grade coffee as well. From a flavor standpoint, this coffee is silky smooth and in our opinion, worth every penny. We recently had a chance to review their medium roast and awarded it our BQC Editor’s Choice Award. Use this Fabula Coffee discount code to get 15% off your order. Code: Promo15
Read our Fabula Coffee review for more details.
For Wellness Coffee is fittingly-named for its focus on producing high antioxidant coffee. The company was co-founded by Phil Mickelson, one of the world’s greatest golfers and Dave Phillips who is world-renowned performance coach.
They source USDA certified 100% Arabica beans specially curated for their anti-inflammatory properties. As we mentioned in this article, it’s all about the sourcing. Not only are these beans chocked-full of antioxidants, but they also deliver a very attractive flavor profile. For Wellness offers a bean that is marvelously balanced and delightfully rich in flavor with notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and a bold finish.
The company is so confident in their brew that they offer a 60-day money back guarantee.
- USDA Organic
- Fair Trade Certified
- Offered in Medium and Dark Roasts
Winner of our Best Quality Coffee Editor’s Choice award, Peak Performance Coffee delivers arguably the smoothest coffee experience we’ve ever had. Like many of the other coffees you’ll see on this list of healthiest coffee products, it’s 100% USDA organic, pesticide-free, non-GMO and especially chocked full of antioxidants. The company sources premium single origin coffee beans from the Guatemalan Highlands that deliver an exceptionally clean flavor. This coffee is also 3rd party tested as well which offers additional peace of mind to the health-conscious coffee lover. Peak Performance coffee offers a pure, unadulterated coffee experience that will likely change your standards for what qualifies as good coffee.
Read our full Peak Performance Coffee review for more details.
Spirit Animal Coffee ranks shares good company with the other premium brands on this list of the best healthy coffees. It’s Low Acid, Single origin, Fair Trade certified, USDA organic, Specialty grade, and Mycotoxin-free. But that only tells part of the story. Spirit Animal Coffee sources only the top 3% of available in the world. This fact definitely proves itself in the final cup. We had a chance to do a Spirit Animal Coffee review and it offers an unmatched purity of flavor. Their specialty-grade brews deliver the full range of both subtle and deep flavor notes you’d expect from top shelf coffee. The fact that it’s low acid is something that I can personally appreciate since it’s smooth and gentle on the stomach.
Use our exclusive Spirit Animal Coffee discount code and get 10% off your entire order: BESTQUALITY
Purity Coffee makes this list of healthiest coffee options for a number of reasons. Not surprisingly it’s mycotoxin free, mold free, and organic. As a result, it’s flavor is very clean and smooth making it one of our favorite brands for healthy coffee. Purity coffee contains twice as many antioxidants as other leading coffee brands. The manner in which their specialty-grade beans are roasted is a big reason for why their beans are so chocked full of health benefits.
Cardiology Coffee even sounds like a healthy coffee. Created by cardiologist and coffee lover Dr. Jack Wolfson this coffee bares many similarities to the other curated brands on this list. Organic and mycotoxin-free, this specialty coffee is roasted in a manner that preserves the coffee bean’s natural antioxidants. This is an incredibly well-balanced cup of coffee that will likely keep you coming back for more. One of the most surprising things about this coffee was how we could drink it multiple times throughout the day without feeling jittery or wired up. When it comes to finding the healthiest coffee for you, you’d expect it to offer a clean and sustainable source energy.
Read our full Cardiology Coffee review for more details.
VitaCup is the industry’s premiere vitamin coffee and ranks as one of the healthiest coffee products available. It’s been around for some years now and we remember reviewing it when this trailblazing product first arrived on the scene. Rest assured, this coffee does not taste like “coffee with vitamins”. Part of why the company has been so successful is that they’ve been able to create a unique coffee that’s as healthy as it is delicious. Their Genius Blend is specifically formulated for improved cognition and accordingly contains MCT oil along with vitamins such as D3, B1, B5, B9. It’s use of Tumeric and Cinnamon not only enhance the brew’s health benefits but also it’s flavor as well.
Read our full VitaCup Coffee review for more details.
No article on the healthiest coffee would be complete without a mention of Keto coffee. As someone who’s been living the keto lifestyle for over 3 years, this topic is personal relevant to me. Coffee has played a huge role in helping me reach my keto goals. Black coffee with its 0 calories is already keto friendly so I’m very thankful I didn’t have to give that up when I started Keto. However, did you know you can supercharge your coffee with MCT Oil and Ghee Butter to help you reach your Keto macros?
For additional options, check out our list of best keto coffee.
BulletProof Coffee is considered a pioneer in the keto coffee or performance coffee industry and is probably no stranger to any coffee lover on keto. Their coffee recipe which calls for MCT Oil and Ghee Butter will help deliver true satiety and a sustained feeling of fullness. It’s high quality fat content makes you feel fuller for longer. This coffee which is sometimes referred to as butter coffee is an impressive brew designed for not only those on Keto. It’s also suitable for anyone who is on Paleo, low carb, intermittent fasting, or OMAD (One Meal a Day).
Reducing Caffeine: Decaf or Half Caf
In continuing our discussion of the healthiest coffee options, let’s talk about caffeine intake.
It’s recommended by the Food and Drug Administration that the average person drink no more than 400mg of coffee per day source. That number goes down to 300mg if you are pregnant. While caffeine is the fuel that helps us get up in the morning, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
Reducing caffeine intake can be essential for overall health and wellbeing. Decaf coffee is a great option for people who want to reduce their caffeine intake without sacrificing their daily coffee fix. In decades past, drinking decaf coffee meant drinking diluted brown water (as illustrated in the meme to the right). However, with current decaffeination methods designed to preserve the natural flavors of the coffee bean, that’s no longer the case and couldn’t be further away from the truth. Today, there are plenty of great-tasting caffeine-free brews.
Here are three of our top picks for the most full flavored decaf options available:
Volcanica Half Caff
Lifeboost Half Caff
Fabua Half Caff
Related Article: Learn more about Decaf Coffee
FAQs on Decaf
- Is decaf coffee 100% caffeine-free? No, decaf coffee still contains small amounts of caffeine, but much less than regular coffee. Depending on the decaffeination method, decaf coffee can be up to 99% caffeine-free.
- Is decaf coffee tasteless? Not at all. In fact, quality decaf coffee such as those above will offer near the same taste as their caffeinated counterpart.
- How do I know if I’m consuming too much caffeine? If you experience symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, heart palpitations, or addiction, you may be consuming too much caffeine. [more]
- Can I still get an energy boost from decaf coffee? Decaf coffee contains less caffeine, so it may not provide the exact same energy boost as regular coffee, but it can still provide a slight pick-me-up.
Don’t want Decaf? Try Half Caf
If you’re not interested in decaf, then consider going with a half caf coffee option. Half caf is coffee with half the caffeine. It’s simply a 50/50 mix of regular and decaf coffee beans and serves as a great middle ground for those looking to reduce but not eliminate caffeine from their diet. The healthiest coffee for those looking to reduce their caffeine intake, will likely be a decaf or half caf brew that sources specialty-grade beans.
Volcanica Half Caff
Lifeboost Half Caff
Fabua Half Caff
Related Article: Best Half Caf Coffees
What’s the Healthiest Coffee?
As you may have already gleaned from this article, the healthiest coffee will depend on your health goals.
Whether it’s trying to lose weight, improve cognitive function, or simply drink the cleanest and purest coffee possible, the the best healthiest coffee for you will be based……well, you and the personal health goals you’ve set for yourself. The information in this article is not meant to be taken as medical advice. Please consult your medical healthcare professional for advice related to your diet and what works best for you. Hopefully, having read this article, you understand why the answer isn’t about recommending just one specific brand.
Bonus: If healthy coffee isn’t your “cup of tea”, perhaps consider trying a real cup of tea to reap health benefits. Kratom tea in specific offers a number of benefits from alleviating pain to elevating mood. This tea is made by brewing leaves from the kratom tree which is a member of the coffee plant family. It’s important to note that Kratom has pyschoactive effects so be sure to do your research on it first to see if it’s a good fit for you.
The Best Healthy Coffee: Final Thoughts
Regardless of which definition of healthy coffee you agree with, what matters is finding a brand that fits both your health goals as well as your flavor profile.
Both are equally important as a health conscious coffee lover. Whether you choose a pure coffee that’s free of chemicals and mold, or opt for a nootropic coffee to elevate your cognitive performance, both types of healthy coffee be equally beneficial in helping you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Feel free to try out each type of coffee and see which one fits your lifestyle best.
If you have any healthy coffee brands you’ve tried and recommend, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below!