Most of the coffee drinkers I know grab a cup because they enjoy the taste or the energy boost from the caffeine. Few people drink coffee solely because they think it's good for them. Yet coffee is a significant source of antioxidants for many people! It's always nice when something we enjoy anyway turns out to be good for us. So, if you're also interested in the health perks of coffee, you might want to know the roasting temperature. And you might also want to know if you're drinking first-class coffee or second-class coffee.
According to research published in Poland, the antioxidant content of coffee can change according to its quality and the roasting temperature used. For this study, the researchers evaluated the total phenol content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), flavonol content (FC), and antioxidant activity of a high-quality and a lower-quality batch of Arabica coffee roasted at a variety of temperatures.
They found that TPC was highest in unroasted (green) coffee and decreased as the roasted temperature went up. However, TFC and FC increased when the coffee was roasted. Coffee roasted at 171°C proved to have the highest antioxidant activity levels. So roasting coffee increases the health benefits when it came to antioxidant effects. But what about the class of coffee?
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Did you know that coffee can be graded according to the size of the beans and how many black beans the coffee contains? First-class coffee has larger beans and a lower number of black beans. Second-class coffee has smaller beans and more than twice as many black beans. And here's why this is important. First-class coffee has more antioxidants than second-class coffee no matter what roasting temperature you use. So, to truly maximize the benefits of your cup of joe, look for first-class beans. There are quite a few purveyors of first-class coffee online.
I also recommend that you get organic coffee when possible. Coffee is commonly heavily sprayed with pesticides, and getting a high dose of antioxidants won't do you much good if your body has to divert them all to fighting off damage from their delivery vehicle!
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD