Why I Drink Coffee

I LOVE to drink delicious coffee. Drinking 16oz of coffee each morning is one of my daily rituals.

Christy drinking strong Ethiopian coffee!

Christy drinking strong Ethiopian coffee!

Technically coffee is derived from a bean and beans are known to be high in nickel. The original green coffee beans are roasted, where they actually turn brown, anywhere between  200 °C / 392 °F for a light roast to 245 °C / 473 °F for a dark roast. It’s argued when the coffee bean is processed and heated for either a medium or dark roast, the beans are vastly different from their initial state. We probably wouldn’t want to consume other types of beans if they were roasted to these hot temperatures for the same period of time.

Personally, I believe some of the nickel in the coffee beans could be roasted away during the coffee roasting process. I don’t have any evidence to support my theory, but I have read that drinking a moderate amount of coffee can reduce your body’s absorption of nickel.

Watching the coffee roasting process at Buckin Bean, a local Pendleton, Oregon coffee shop.

Watching the coffee roasting process at Buckin Bean, a Pendleton, Oregon cafe & coffee shop.

Dietitian Maggie Moon writes in her book The Elimination Diet Workbook that “Vitamin C, coffee, tea and milk all make it hard for the body to absorb nickel, research shows the amount of nickel absorbed is dampened when nickel was consumed with tea. The exact mechanism is unknown” (pg. 50)[1]. Further in her book Moon writes more about nickel and coffee stating “But be aware that tea and coffee tend to have moderate levels of nickel, so it’s good to include them sparingly, perhaps 1 to 2 cups per day” (pg. 173)[2].

Using my mostly plastic Black + Decker Auto Drip Coffee Maker, I haven’t had any eczema or skin issues when I drink my daily coffee. I have heard from many others with nickel allergies and nickel food allergies who experienced terrible reactions from the stainless steel reusable filters for some coffee makers. Beware of hidden nickel in your coffee machine or in your metal to-go mugs.

Since volcanic soils tend to have more nickel, I drink non-kona coffee, that’s from the rain forest, namely Ethiopia and Guatemala.

I’d love to hear if you can or cannot handle 1-2 cups of coffee in your diet, if you’re allergic to nickel in foods.


[1] Moon, M. (2014). The Elimination Diet Workbook: A Personal Approach to Determining Your Food Allergies. Berkley, CA. Ulysses Press, p. 50.

[2] Ibid, p. 173.