Coffee in the News

The topic of coffee and health is regularly featured in news and lifestyle titles around the world. On this page we look at the science behind some of the latest trending topics on coffee and health.

Nitro coffee is a new method of serving coffee, but are there any additional health benefits to drinking coffee this way?

Last updated September 2019

Nitro coffee is created by infusing coffee, generally cold brew coffee, with nitrogen gas under pressure. This gives it a creamy head, similar to those on stout style beers. This can be done in two ways: either by using a device similar to a beer tap or via a coffee can, placed under pressure with nitrogen. The texture of the drink is also different to a regular cup of coffee, with some describing it as thicker and creamier.

Nitro coffee is certainly an interesting way to enjoy coffee, but is it any healthier? The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded that a 75mg serving of caffeine, the amount found in approximately one regular cup of coffee, is associated with both increased attention and alertness [1]. However, there are no specific health benefits related to adding nitrogen to coffee – it retains the nutritional composition of regular coffee and its possible related health effects.

The full sensory experience of drinking coffee spans the period of preparation through to consumption. It can begin with the smell experienced when opening the container, to the visual cues seen when preparing the coffee, including the colour of the coffee and the presence of milk, or in the case of Nitro coffee, nitrogen. The sensory experience of enjoying a cup of coffee might even start upon entering a coffee shop and hearing the sound of a machine. Some research has suggested that senses play an essential role in the way we interact with products, potentially influencing our cognitive processes, emotions, and behaviour [2].

Coffee consumption, in any form, provides a variety of health benefits and increases alertness [1,3]. Nitro coffee is simply one way to enjoy coffee, and at the end of the day is down to personal taste and preference.

To learn more about coffee and nutrition, read here.

References

  1. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) (2011) Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to caffeine and increased fat oxidation leading to a reduction in body fat mass (ID 735, 1484), increased energy expenditure leading to a reduction in body weight (ID 1487), increased alertness (ID 736, 1101, 1187, 1485, 1491, 2063, 2103) and increased attention (ID 736, 1485, 1491, 2375) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/20061.EFSA Journal, 9(4):2054.
  2. Knöferle, K. M. (2012) Using customer insights to improve product sound design. Marketing Review St. Gallen, 29(2),47-53.
  3. Nehlig A. (2016) Effects of coffee/caffeine on brain health and disease: What should I tell my patients?Pract Neurol, 16(2):89-95.
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