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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

I am just wondering how many Vegans use coffee. I know a lot of downsides, as well as a few upsides. I know there are a lot of coffee joints that have vegan options, more so than "normal" cafes, often. I have even known some medicinal uses for it, but when taken daily, less useful. So, I'm just curious how many of you use it, why or why not, and what reactions y'all have from it and so forth. Thanks y'all.

Responses (40)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by HM at 09/03/08 01:37:40

    I don't drink coffee regularly. Once in a great great while I do and am reminded why I don't. Personally it makes me super jittery and very very off mentally. I do however drink tea, and I have an entire shelf dedicated to various teas, mostly loose, and most of it also is chai varieties. Tastes good with a little agave or raw, unrefined sugar, and almond or hemp milk:)

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    Posted by Mir at 09/03/08 18:28:15

    I drink coffee, not every day but often. It brings my energy up (temporarily) and I like how it smells and tastes. I do feel a bit down afterward, but not too bad. I would say one cup of coffee is equal to two cups of strong tea as for caffeine and its kick. I would not drink coffee a lot, but if you do it once in a while, it is not worse than consuming sweets made with sugar (even raw sugar).

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by HM at 09/03/08 18:48:42

    I don't know.... I drink tea all day at work and don't get the effects of a cup of coffee.
    My coworker brought in some special brew today, and as I realized I only had enough tea for one cup, I drank a cup of it... ugh... I should have known better, as I feel like a bag of poop that's been left to burn on someone's doorstep.
    yeah... really.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Katylynn2000 at 09/04/08 09:17:19

    I love coffee! It tastes fabulous with a little vanilla soy in it - especially French Roast. It just warms me up inside. I am hypersensitive to caffiene, I swear! 1 cup is perfect for me.

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    Posted by Tatiana at 09/04/08 11:47:37

    I love the smell and taste of coffee. I am perfectly fine, no ups/downs in mood or alertness, but if I drink way too much, I get a stomach ache and sometimes heart palpitations (like during college, haha). I drink coffee daily, but in moderate amounts. It's not a big deal for me to miss a day for coffee, I don't get some of those "withdrawal" effects some people get, like headaches or GI problems. I think the effect is so individual with coffee, some people may need to limit it more than others.

    I also love tea, just about any kind. In order to watch my caffeine, I will drink decaf teas and coffees if need be, I just love the flavor.

    I did do a "detox" week of absolutely no caffeine to see if it made any difference and it didn't really do anything either way for me. Others could be different, though.

    Disclaimer - man, I need this autocited for me and it's annoying putting this in so many posts, but...*Any nutrition/medical information given is for informational purposes only and should never replace a visit with your healthcare provider*

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by gr8vegan at 09/05/08 01:45:43

    "Coffee raises blood pressure, cholesterol and risk of heart disease. Bowel problems from indigestion to diarrhea are caused by coffee." Dr McDougall

    he's got a whole section on it and weens people off it at his clinic, but if you're not having problems with it or your health, then why not.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kindlizard at 09/06/08 02:31:49

    hey actually, i'm more interested in the human experience. rather than quoting a website, would you care to share your thoughts or experiences? i have all the reading materials and them some.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 09/06/08 18:16:54

    Actual humans / friends created the website quoted by gr8vegan - fully accountable individuals.

    Here is the page linking to 3 fine coffee / tea related articles -

    This article is my favorite -

    This section of the article really focused my attention - after a trip to West Africa where I drank excellent tasting Lebanese coffee daily & yes my cholesterol went sky high - excerpt -

    + Raise Your Cholesterol by 10% +

    Coffee contains several hundred different substances (in addition to well-known caffeine) and many of these have powerful pharmacological effects on the human body. Two cholesterol-raising substances – cafestol and kahweol – are found in coffee beans. Not only do they raise total cholesterol, but also "bad" LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, too. On average, cholesterol is increased by 10%; but very potent boiled coffee can raise total cholesterol by as much as 23% (that could mean a 50 mg/dl increase for someone starting with an average cholesterol of 210 mg/dl). Triglycerides may be increased by a similar amount.

    The overall effect of elevated cholesterol could be a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes. Heavy consumption – greater than 4 to 9 cups of regular coffee a day – does appear to actually translate into an increased risk of heart attacks. In relevant numbers, a 10% increase in cholesterol could boost your risk of death from heart disease by 20% to 30%. Considering, that cholesterol-lowering medications (statins) accomplish about a 10% reduction in cholesterol; you may decide to stop this daily drink, rather than start daily drugs.

    Fortunately, these substances lose their potency when poured through a paper filter. Most coffeemakers in use today drip water through coffee grounds held by a filter. The paper effectively traps the cafestol and kahweol; and as a result, a person's cholesterol and triglyceride levels are little affected by this filtered beverage. Instant coffee is almost devoid of cafestol and kahweol, and would also be a good choice for someone only concerned about the cholesterol-raising effects of coffee.

    Decaffeination does not reduce the levels of cafestol and kahweol; you can expect similar raises (10%) in your cholesterol and triglycerides with decaf coffee, just as you would with unfiltered regular coffee. But switching to decaf can be expected to reduce nervousness and insomnia from the caffeine.

    You may be able to negate the cholesterol-raising effects of coffee with a paper filter, but not the other heart disease- and stroke-producing consequences of this beverage, such as an elevation in blood pressure.

  • Fallon's avatar
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    Posted by Fallon at 09/06/08 18:24:49

    i drink coffee very rarely, since going vegan i have discovered how awesome tea is! the caffine has no effect on me. when i was drinking it everyday i would have one or 2 cups and then go right to bed. lol

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kindlizard at 09/07/08 03:18:59

    johnny, first please reread the first post. it says that we all know what is said about coffee; the question in this topic is about personal use. second, it may be better if you don't respond to my threads/posts, as i won't respond to your threads. hows that? your silence is a golden agreement.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 09/07/08 18:36:21


    OK - I just re-read your first post.

    There is no "we all know what is said about coffee" on my screen.

    Who are "we"?

    My comment was triggered by my cholesterol going sky high recently after consuming too much Lebanese coffee for a few weeks (plus too much olive oil) - very much a "personal use" relevant comment.

    Your other suggestion about "don't respond / won't respond" is too strange for me - it has already been established that supports freedom of speech.

    I respond to threads which interest me.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kindlizard at 09/07/08 21:18:15

    Thanks all for contributing your personal experiences w caffeine and coffee. So far, I have a very similar experience with tea and coffee. Though I know the difference of caffeine per charts and so forth, I am much more interested in the experience of it. I love the Plant kingdom, except poison oak and a few others, so I try to see the good in plants. The tea I am most alright with is herb teas. The black or green are fine in the morning, just as long I don't jolt the groove too close to bed.

    Tatiana, like you I don't get withdrawal symptoms. But I do notice it in other ways.

    HM, I love tea w/ agave, but still not so much w coffee. Damn the NW coffee is so good, its hard to lay off when back up here!! Tea though, herb-wise, is very fresh too, so the best of both worlds.

    Kat, I think I'm in your boat, though the flavor is so good its hard to stop at just one.

    My favorite coffee is Cafe Mam. Better than any other I have ever had, still.

    When I was in South America I saw the hills of coffee beans piled up on the sides of the roads. Very cool sight. Anyhow, the plant aspect intrigues me, I love how plant life can be inert in some cases, and active as well.

    Hey y'all, lets keep talking about this; either your thoughts or experiences. PEACE

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by gr8vegan at 09/08/08 01:53:02

    I think I'm understanding. Johnny and I cite sources because we are not MD's or nutritional researchers, just students of those topics. We're trying to provide information to help users make educated decisions, which does of coarse include personal experiences. We're assuming the audience here would like to also read the sources from where we based our understanding from. If you'd have titled the post "Personal experiences with no medical info" I'd have kindly posted "Caffine messes me up! I haven't had it regularly in years, but when I need to pull an all nighter I go for the YerbaMate, which is like rocket fuel to my system. It also takes me days to get right after consuming caffine."

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kindlizard at 09/08/08 02:36:45

    Yerba mate contains mateine, not caffeine.

    glad to know.

    There are a lot more reputable spurces I have access to than online cites, namely NDs, MDs and so forth. I know what "they say". What "they say" is not what I was curious about. Why would it be? I think I could google the question easily enough. I think the others got the point rather well.

    Being vegans, I believe our systems are cleaner, more efficient than others. And I also believe all of OUR systems would be more sensitive to stimulants. thus the question/ topic. It is for discussion purposes, not to be told what's right/wrong. Clear it up for you?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kindlizard at 09/08/08 03:30:37

    if you wish to debate the mateine vs caffeine debate, which I am sure you are going to off track this thread with, please pm me.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Mir at 09/08/08 07:38:20

    Kindlizard, mentioned black or green tea in the morning. I cannot drink tea in the morning - it upsets my stomach really bad (especially, green tea). However, coffee seems to be fine. I don't advocate for coffee, but it seems to be fine for me (in moderation of course).
    I wonder if anybody else has the same problem with tea drinking in the morning (just to clarify - I don't add anything to my teas).

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by HM at 09/08/08 10:52:53

    Gf8vegan you are real funny. I have not seen you bring in any source other than DrMcdougall...which is fine... but it does appear, as I read other posts, that you are a promoter for it or something. Not that I am saying you are, but really, anything that has to do with nutrition you quote mcdougall.

    I myself have every ability to look up medical info on any matter. However in a forum I'm more interested in people's personal experience and that is what I read. If I specifically want to look up info, I have an array of growing book marks to such resources. Found through search engines and groups I belong to in real life.

    It is interesting, regardless of what medical info there is, even in this forum there is a vast array of personal experience with drinking coffee, tea, yerba matte or what have you.

    As I said earlier, I don't drink coffee. I don't have it in my home. I do have almost 2 full shelves dedicated to teas. From herbal to caffeinated. Chais are the most common in multiple varieties, as I like spice. I'm always picking up more.

    I've never had an adverse reaction to tea, except with senna... but I had just made it a little strong when drinking it the night before. No biggie, I just went to work a bit late. I had taken it during a cleanse and well, it was likely a bit more potent than expected and my body reacted according. I cut the potency in half the next time and no problems at all.

    Back to the teas. I drink it primarily with either oat or almond milk. Not a big fan of soy milk in my drinks. I also like hemp milk but it tends to curdle like soy and rice, which reminds me too much of cows milk, even through I know it's not. Kinda sensitive and I get grossed out by it.

    Coffee on the other hand... talk about jitters, rise in heart rate, sudden drop in energy out of the blue, shortness of breath, silliness, forgetfulness, etc... just off a cup of it. Odd, because I can drink tea ALL DAY LONG and not get anything like that. Granted it is not something I ever drank on a regular basis, never been much of a fan of the taste, and as most things with an acquired taste, I never really try to acquire it when there are other options.

    back to the links:
    I'm sure they are appreciated by some, so I don't mean to discredit or discourage them. Just pointing out that maybe when someone ONLY brings up one resource it does tend to make one wonder how much research they have done, as there is not just one place to turn for "medical info". Also, how much weight does one want to put on medical knowledge? Something based on science, which is ever changing and never fact. (ie... how many planets did we have 10 years ago? How many do we have now? also, we all know that the vegan diet when followed properly and with an understanding of nutrition is the healthiest, as said by countless professionals who have done the research... However what is the most typical diet of physicians? Not vegan!) I don't discount mcdougall... great info, nothing new to me. However there are other resources out there that are also very good. Just like the vegan diet should be of variety, so should the info we seek)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 09/08/08 18:57:47

    OK - here goes - my contribution -


    I love the taste of many coffee's.

    I now only drink coffee very occasionally as it raises my cholesterol levels.


  • Report Abuse

    Posted by HM at 09/08/08 20:16:31

    The original post:
    (sounds pretty clear to me... who of us uses it, why/why not, our reactions (I assume personal), and so forth). How is it he is looking for argument? Later he says he has a lot of reading material, and just is looking for personal experience. I don't see any negative tone...
    anyway... cut/copy/then paste below:

    I am just wondering how many Vegans use coffee. I know a lot of downsides, as well as a few upsides. I know there are a lot of coffee joints that have vegan options, more so than "normal" cafes, often. I have even known some medicinal uses for it, but when taken daily, less useful. So, I'm just curious how many of you use it, why or why not, and what reactions y'all have from it and so forth. Thanks y'all.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by gr8vegan at 09/08/08 20:17:36

    HM, Dr Mcdougall's does an awesome job on his website of putting together and explaining citations from the Medical Journals. I could of course post the study directly, but he really should be high up in everyone's vegan tool box. He's been doing this for decades and treats 1000s of patients so he's always my first "go to" on any health related topic and 99% of the time he's addressed it in a newsletter or his website with a degree of expertise and experience that I've been unable to find elsewhere.

    KindLizard- Yep, was aware that Yerba had a different form of caffeine. Brendan Braiser has an awesome Book "The Thrive Diet" where he talks about using it and caffeine for performance.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by HM at 09/08/08 20:50:38

    Gr8 I know...
    thing is?
    Yes, I read, I'm educated on the matters, I have materials myself and I've got the site bookmarked under my info.
    I'm not debating that.
    I was pointing out however the vast variety in reaction to coffee regardless of what journals say.
    Some people, such as myself, prefer to come in here and get personal experience unless I specifically ask otherwise, because I KNOW how to find the information from an expert.
    My bookshelves contain very little by way of fiction, as most of what I read is non fiction.
    Anyway, it's my personal opinion that forums are just that, and my personal reason for reading them, is thoughts and experience, not links to other sites unless I ask for them.
    Which is why I pull the tab down under community in order to find it.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kindlizard at 09/08/08 21:28:48

    Thank you HM.

    I think if anyone could find this site, we could find another that informed us of the various properties of this or that. You know, if someone posted saying they are 75 y.o and have no idea how to use this crazy internet thing, then go ahead and link, but c'mon, enough McD commercials. We get it, you love him, he's your hero, you disbelieve anything else and believe everything he says. Congrats, but most of us at Happycow don't, which isn't inherently a knock, but either go to his forum to celebrate your bliss or just be cool and chill out here. Or don't man, your trip...

    By the way, mateine is NOT another form of caffeine; but I 'll leave that for you to explore in research.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kindlizard at 09/08/08 21:47:43

    braser is the triathlete who made vega,i ran into a saleslady this weekend. if he talks about using those for performance i doubt i will ever use vega, more than i already had anyway.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by HM at 09/08/08 22:45:15

    Hold on Kindlizard... no need to be too defensive.
    McD is good information. If I hadn't already heard of it, I'd be grateful if I were looking for a link.
    I was just stating that I keep seeing it. Maybe I am just looking at the forums that happen to see it, and possibly not others.
    I don't know that anyone can see your skin color as you have a dancy guy for your picture.
    Anyway, I think there are good points in this forum. I was actually trying to point out that there is a lot of different information, all valid, regardless of outside info or personal experience and even opinion brought about by both.
    Anyway, have a great night.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by gr8vegan at 09/09/08 04:37:00

    HM- I assume that lots of new people come to these forums and search and just want to provide the link back to Mcdougall for those who haven't heard of him when its relevant to the topic.. I also agree with what you're saying on personal experience. I'll try to pick and choose where I link up McDougall, however, the glut of my personal experience has been on the McDougall Plan.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 09/09/08 06:06:36

    I recently received a packet of Ethiopian wild coffee in the mail - instead of roasting it & drinking it myself I am going to have to see which of my friends would most like to receive it.

    It came with some Myrrh - a few grains of which I am burning right now.


  • Report Abuse

    Posted by gking92 at 09/24/08 17:02:17

    There is something seriously wrong with your body if one cup of coffee makes you feel like a bag of poop. there really isn't enough caffeine in a single cup of coffee to make a huge difference.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kindlizard at 09/24/08 20:29:58

    the heading is about vegans and coffee; as a non-veg your system may be different/ less clean or pure (no offense) than what long time vegans may be. but thanks for signing up on the site to respond!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ElaineVigneault at 09/26/08 23:06:45

    I drink it partially because I gave myself permission to keep one bad habit when I quit smoking. I don't have any problems related to coffee and I truly enjoy it and it's socially acceptable. Also, I buy fair trade coffee, so I don't think it's a terrible thing. Sometimes I read something that makes me think I should stop drinking it, but I haven't quit yet. Don't know if I ever will.

    Currently I enjoy my coffee with soymilk or soy creamer.

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    Posted by Yoshi at 09/27/08 06:09:50

    I love the taste of coffee, and I used to drink it like crazy when I was younger, but not so much anymore. Maybe a cup or two a week. I have to drink decaf, since regular coffee makes me feel as if I'm about to have a heart attack. No other caffeinated drinks bother me, but there's something about coffee. I can drink tons of Dr. Pepper, tea, etc... without a single side effect. After reading elaine's post above, I was thinking about what she said concerning 'fair trade' coffee. I have a feeling 'fair trade coffee' means about as much as 'free range eggs.' Just a thought.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by veganinvegas at 03/09/09 10:38:58

    Chiming in here.

    Addicted to organic coffee. I drink at least a pot a day during work... Sometimes more. No physical problems like shaking etc. Would be on intravenous coffee if I could stand the thought of needles!

    I drink it black with just a bit of agave or stevia to sweeten it. The darker the roast, the better. If I can see the bottom of the coffee cup, I'll take it back! Very rarely will I have a cappacino etc - usually when I get the coffee card filled up and its time for a free drink :)

    I REFUSE to go to starbucks et al. I stick with local non-chain merchants.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Bronwethiel at 05/01/09 11:24:33

    I'm not a vegan...but I'm

    Here's my two cents. :P

    I don't really do much with coffee...'cause one cup makes me feel a bit jittery. I love tea, though. And I love the smell of coffee...just not the taste...

    But for some reason the smell of coffee makes me hungry. :P

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Chase Morgan at 09/26/10 15:14:46

    I was one of the lucky ones who didnt need to find a creamer substitute being ive like my coffee black since age 11 but i do put vanilla soy in iced coffee. I think the worst problem i have is with my teeth being that coffee is acidic otherwise ive heard the majority of the problems with coffee consumption are the excess milk and sugar neither of which i put in my 8 cups a day

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    Posted by Cascadian at 09/26/10 20:25:48

    I like to have coffee once in a while, usually as a soy mocha, but would be just fine if I didn't have it.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by AndyT at 09/27/10 08:49:50


    to be honest, soy milk in my cappuccino was the worst change I had to endure when I went vegan ... but I survived it :-)

    I also love Espresso, if I am in a place where they do not have soymilk as an option.

    Best regards,

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ForestNymph at 11/18/17 04:28:10

    I like coffee and don't know what being vegan has to do with it, tbh.

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    Posted by betterMonica at 11/21/17 20:53:00

    I do drink coffee sometimes, though trying to avoid it for every day use

  • andyz's avatar
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    Posted by andyz at 11/28/17 10:10:44

    I drink coffee at least twice a day, can't live without it

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    Posted by betterMonica at 11/29/17 15:12:45

    By the way, I do drink coffee.
    Surprisingly Vegan Starbucks. The basic drinks are vegan: Get yourself a hot or an iced coffee with soy, coconut milk, almond milk (coming soon!) and any flavored sweetener syrup (like vanilla, caramel, or hazelnut), and you're set! Hot or iced tea is always vegan as well.

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    Posted by Claudi at 12/07/17 17:48:57

    I must admit I'm quite a coffee-junky. Especially during periods of hard work and all-nighters, coffee is my cozy, warm friend. But under normal circumstances, I usually have about 2 cups per day. Though, I usually go for fair trade and organic.

    I'm also wondering why coffee consumption should be significantly different amongst vegans.

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