The Ayurvedic Coffee

What is the ayurvedic view on drinking coffee? Coffee is kind of controversial in health circles. Some sources say it’s good, some say it’s bad. As always the ayurvedic answer is more nuanced: whether coffee is good for you very much depends on a number of factors. (You didn’t think I would write an anti-coffee blog post, did you? ;-) )

Ayurvedic properties of coffee

First of all the ayurvedic properties of coffee. All foods have certain effects on the body and mind. In ayurveda every food is described according to its taste, energy, aftertaste and special effects. And every one of the properties of a food is described in relation to the effect on your type (dosha). That’s very simply explained how ayurvedic nutrition works.

So what’s the deal with coffee?

Ayurvedic properties of coffee

  • Taste: pungent and bitter

  • Energy: hot

  • Post-digestive taste: pungent

  • No special effects

  • Dosha: VP+ K-

Does this sounds like Chinese to you? Read my intro on what is ayurveda and take the dosha test to know which ayurvedic type you are!

Digesting coffee

Recent research has found that there is actually a coffee gene. If you have a greater expression of this gene it is more difficult for you to digest coffee and you will experience more negative symptoms after drinking it. So as a result you will drink less coffee. If you have a lesser expression of the gene you will digest coffee more easily and probably drink more of it.

Here’s a little self test. Which situation applies to you most?

Anxious and shaky

You get anxious and jittery easily after drinking coffee (excess vata). If you have coffee in the afternoon you have difficulty falling asleep and sleeping through the night (excess vata). You may get heart palpitations or high blood pressure after drinking it (excess pita). It may cause diarrhea and/or heartburn when you drink it (excess pita). You metabolise coffee slowly.

A good kick

You can have coffee with food. Coffee without food will likely give you the above symptoms but if you have it with food you’re good. A cup of coffee will likely give you the exact kick that you need in the morning or afternoon. You digest coffee normally.

Like water

You drink coffee like water.