Organic Coffee with the Most Antioxidants

We have written time and again about the health benefits of coffee and how regular and organic coffee antioxidants are central to these benefits. We have also noted that by drinking organic coffee you can avoid the many impurities too often found in regular coffee. So, organic coffee is a better choice than regular coffee but which is the organic coffee with the most antioxidants? Here are the facts about how to get the organic coffee with the most antioxidants in your cup.

Robusta versus Arabica

Robusta coffee beans not only have much more caffeine than higher quality and better tasting Arabica but green Robusta coffee beans also have double the antioxidants. Years ago the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published an article comparing antioxidant activity in coffee, tea, and cocoa.

Green coffee beans of Robusta coffee exhibited a 2-fold higher antioxidant activity than Arabica coffee, but after roasting this difference was no longer significant.

So Robusta starts out with more antioxidants but they do not survive roasting.

Roasting writes about antioxidants and light versus dark roast.

For the new study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, Korean researchers compared coffees of several different roasting levels, analyzing their caffeine content and levels of chlorogenic acid, a well-known antioxidant. They also exposed extract of each coffee to human cell cultures to test their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The results? The lighter the roast, the higher the chlorogenic acid content-and the better the coffee extract protected human cells against oxidation (cell damage) and inflammation when tested in the lab. Caffeine levels, on the other hand, did not vary significantly between samples.

This seems to make sense given the fact that the excess antioxidant levels in Robusta go away when the beans are roasted. So, excessive roasting will also reduce the level of chlorogenic acid antioxidants in coffee. However, there are also antioxidants that are produced in roasting. The so-called “Maillard reaction” produces new antioxidants when green coffee beans are browned. Your goal, if you want organic coffee with the most antioxidants, is to roast your organic coffee but not excessively.

Time and Ground Coffee Are Your Enemies

When antioxidants in coffee are exposed to air they oxidize! Because grinding coffee exposes more coffee surface area to the air ground coffee loses its flavor and its antioxidants faster than roasted whole bean coffee. Years ago we offers some tips about how to store coffee and preserve freshness.

It is because coffee starts to lose its flavor (and antioxidants) as soon as the roasting process is completed. Thus roasting takes place close to the market where coffee will be sold. You will want to store coffee and preserve freshness but you will also want to purchase small quantities of coffee, enjoy our coffee, and buy more when you run out. Coffee is not a fine wine. It does not improve with age.

If you purchase a large quantity of wholesale coffee put the larger amount in an air tight container and take your daily coffee out of a smaller container, replenishing as needed. Small and airtight containers can be store in the freezer but only until the first use. The same rules apply for regular coffee and healthy organic coffee. Coffee ages and it ages more if it is warm, wet, and exposed to the air.

It turns out that the most important factor if you want organic coffee with the most antioxidants, you need to buy new and not old beans, store properly, and grind just before making your coffee.

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