Are there mycotoxins in coffee?

roasted coffee beans

by Matt Gibson

Mycotoxins are toxic compounds that are present on coffee and other dried goods that come from mold. Mycotoxins are present in lots of different foods, but are especially significant in dry goods, such as grains, nuts, cereals, and coffee. Mycotoxins are responsible for causing all kinds of health problems, including cardiomyopathy, brain damage, kidney disease, cancer, and hypertension. Coffee with high levels of mycotoxins can often taste bitter, causing drinkers to add flavoring agents to their coffee to offset the bitterness, such as sugars and creamers. 

Mycotoxins are mostly found in low quality coffee brands. Cheap coffees are available at cut rate prices because they are made with low quality beans. Many budget priced coffee brands make blends which are composed of different kinds of coffee beans, sometimes mixing beans that are grown in many different parts of the world. When companies are sourcing their coffee beans from a variety of different countries, there is a much greater chance that some of the beans they are using contain mold. When coffee is stored in damp conditions, especially in buildings with poor ventilation, it is much more susceptible to mold formation. 

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What are the cleanest coffee brands?

coffee beans in a canister

QUESTION: What are the cleanest coffee brands? I am looking for coffee that’s free of pesticides, but also free of mycotoxins. – Jules F

ANSWER: People choose clean and/or organic coffee brands for many different reasons. Perhaps they want to know that their money is going towards a sustainable and environmentally friendly product. Maybe they just enjoy the taste of organic coffees more than big corporate coffee. Or maybe it’s all about getting a clean, unadulterated product that you can trust. In your case we know you’re looking for organic and mycotoxin free.

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Why does my coffee taste sour?

cup of sour coffee

QUESTION: Why does my coffee taste sour? I’ve been sampling expensive coffee brands lately and buying high end beans. I’ve noticed that several of them have a kind of sour taste to them. Is that correct? – Matthew S

ANSWER: An overly sour cup of coffee is a terrible thing to taste. If you can manage to stomach it just for the caffeine boost, sour coffee is an awful way to start out your day and it might not sit too well on your stomach either. There are several causes for sour coffee, including improper brewing techniques, under-extraction, bad grinding consistency, overly coarse grounds, and bad coffee beans.

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Are year old coffee beans still good?

year old coffee beans in a container

QUESTION: Are year old coffee beans still good? I have an old can that I opened up and only used half of. –William G

ANSWER: Year old coffee beans may still be good if they were kept in an airtight package and stored in a cool, dry location. Coffee beans don’t typically go bad in the traditional sense. Coffee beans do not typically rot, deteriorate, or become spoiled when stored correctly. However, when stored incorrectly, or when exposed to oxygen, moisture, or humidity, coffee beans can deteriorate rather quickly.

If your coffee beans have been exposed to the elements, or have any contact with moisture or humidity, they could no longer be worth putting to use. Be sure to check your coffee beans closely, especially if they were exposed to moisture, to look for signs of mold, or other growths, and throw them out if you find any evidence of damage.

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Does old coffee make you sick?

old coffee ground

QUESTION: Does old coffee make you sick? I am staying at a cabin and I only have a bag from last year. — Edward F

ANSWER: For the most part, old coffee beans, or even old ground coffee will not make you sick. The brew that old coffee produces, however, will not taste as good as fresh coffee will, and might even taste stale, or unappealing. There are exceptions to this rule, however. Old coffee that was not stored in a well-sealed container can go rancid in certain cases. If the beans or grounds were not sealed properly, were exposed to water, or have developed mold or growths, there is a good chance that it will make you sick, even if it’s brewed with boiling hot water. 

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What is chicory coffee?

Chicory coffee and beignets at the Cafe Du Mond in New Orleans

by Matt Gibson

What the heck is chicory coffee? Chicory is the ground root of the large rooted chicory plant, known scientifically as Chicorium Intybus Sativum. The plant is also known as coffee chicory, as it is commonly used to make a coffee substitute or additive, due to the similar aroma and flavor of its roots. Chicory contains no caffeine, but the grounded root is more water soluble than coffee, so less is needed compared to coffee, to make a strongly flavored drink. 

Coffee Chicory is a close cousin to another subspecies of Chicorium Intybus which is commonly known as French Endive. Though it is viewed as an invasive weed in the US, in Europe, it’s a widely cultivated vegetable with many common uses. The roots are either used to feed livestock, or processed to create inulin, a sweetener that is commonly added to reduced-calorie foods. The blanched leafy greens can be used in salads and other fresh fare. Though related, endive and chicory each have their own unique appeal. Chicory is primarily cultivated for its roots, which are ground and used as a coffee substitute or additive.

Chicory root naturally contains no caffeine, so if you really love the taste of coffee but can’t stand the way it makes you feel because of the caffeine, give chicory a try and see if you don’t like it better. 

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Why is Folgers coffee so good?

folgers coffee canister

QUESTION: Why is Folgers coffee so good? They sell it everywhere and I think it’s way better than the other brands in the grocery store. – Olivia J

ANSWER: Folgers is the number one selling brand of pre-ground coffee in the United States, and has been for decades. Folgers found early success by being one of the first companies to offer ready-to-brew ground coffee at a very affordable price. Their flashy red canister quickly became a mainstay in kitchens across America.

With an aggressive advertising and marketing campaign that dates back to the late 1800’s, expanding in the 1960’s when the company was purchased by Procter & Gamble, Folgers became America’s go-to coffee. In 1963, Folgers became the top-selling coffee brand in America, and they have held that position ever since. The iconic Folgers TV commercial jingle is a tune which nearly every American can recite on demand, boasting that their coffee is, “the best part of waking up.”

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What’s wrong with Folgers coffee?

cannister of folgers coffee classic roast

QUESTION: What’s wrong with Folgers coffee? I think it’s good and a lot of those fancy coffees are just bitter and disgusting. – Bill B

ANSWER: There is nothing specifically wrong with Folgers coffee. Folgers is one of the best selling brands of coffee in America, and a staple at many households. Many people, especially in America, where Folgers originated and is still popular to this day, have been purchasing, brewing, and enjoying Folgers brand coffee for their entire lives. The brand’s slogan, “the best part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup,” is permanently etched into the memory of a large percentage of American families. 

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What time should you drink black coffee?

cup of black coffee

QUESTION: What time should you drink black coffee? Only in the morning, or something else? – Jared L

ANSWER: Coffee drinkers love to start their day off with a hot cup of joe. The caffeine boost that people get from coffee is, for some folks, the only way to start off their mornings. Those that depend on coffee to start off their day, however, oftentimes end up drinking coffee all day long as well. When you intake caffeine late in the day, it can adversely affect your sleep cycle.

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What coffee does McDonald’s use?

mcdonalds coffee bar

by Matt Gibson

Have you ever wondered, what kind of coffee does McDonald’s use, anyway? Coffee enthusiasts don’t usually think about fast food chains when they think of good places to get a good, gourmet cup of joe. The local, family owned coffee shops, coffee roasters, and fancy coffee spots are always the first places that seem to pop into people’s minds when someone mentions going out for coffee. That’s why it may come as a surprise to coffee lovers to learn that McDonald’s actually serves high-quality, gourmet coffee sourced from 100% arabica beans. 

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