Gone are the days when ordering coffee was simple. When all you had to worry about was deciding how big your decaf or regular cup of “Joe” was going to be. Nowadays, it seems like you need to brush up on coffee lingo before getting in line at the coffee shop.
It’s become so confusing that many of us even question the basics. Like, what’s the difference between black coffee and normal coffee? The simple answer is, black coffee is coffee that has been brewed with water and has nothing else added to it. Normal coffee is coffee that starts out black and then has other ingredients added to it.
Those ingredients can include things like:
- sugar substitute
- chocolate sauce
- whipped toppings
- flavored drizzles
Basically, black coffee goes straight from the pot to the cup, and into your belly with no pit stops at the condiment counter. As soon as you add some treats in there, it becomes normal coffee.
What Types Of Black Coffee Are There?
It may seem like a simple concept, black coffee is just black coffee, right? Not exactly. There are many degrees and variations of black coffee. The strength and flavor depend on what type of beans are used, the amount of water used, and the type of machine that processes both.
Some different styles of black coffee include:
1. Drip Coffee
One of the most common types, this coffee, is made in a traditional drip coffee machine. The water drops through the coffee grounds.
One of the strongest black coffee varieties, it’s produced by using dark roast beans with a small amount of water under high pressure.
This style is similar to an espresso, but it’s diluted with more water. Great for people that love the taste of espresso, but find it a bit too much.
The Red-Eye is created by combining a double shot of espresso with drip coffee. This makes for a super energizing cup of coffee.
What Are Some Types Of Normal Coffee?
We now know that “normal” coffee is coffee that has milk, sugar or other ingredients added to it. But we may not think of these examples as normal coffee when we’re getting ready to order them. But some examples of normal coffee include:
Basically, an espresso with steamed milk and/or milk foam added.
2. Light/Sweet Drip Coffee
What most of us think of when picturing normal or regular coffee.
This popular variation has more milk than coffee.
4. Cafe Cubano
This bold version of a normal coffee includes a shot of espresso with a few teaspoons of sugar.
These are just a few examples. In reality, a normal coffee is whatever is normal for you.
What Are Some Benefits Of Black Coffee?
While some people add things to their black coffee because of its robust, sometimes bitter taste, there’s no denying that it has its good points.
1. Black coffee contains more antioxidants than regular coffee. This is because it’s not been diluted. Antioxidants have been shown to fight off certain diseases as well as have anti-inflammatory effects.
2. Weight loss can also be aided with black coffee. A typical cup averages only 5 calories. It also has no fat, cholesterol, sodium, or sugar. So, if your watching your weight or have specific dietary needs, black coffee is a great healthy choice.
3. Black coffee has undiluted caffeine. Caffeine helps stimulate the nervous system, which in turn gives you energy and helps keep your memory active.
4. It’s a diuretic which means it can help flush excess fluid and toxins from the body.
How Can You Make Black Coffee Less Bitter And Acidic?
One drawback to black coffee is that it can be bitter due to the acid level. Acidity is measured by the pH scale which ranges from 0 to 14. Water is 7, which is considered neutral on the scale.
The closer to 0 on the scale, the more acid an item contains. A lemon, for example, is a 2 on the scale, meaning it’s very acidic. Black coffee lands at an average of 5 on the scale, which means it’s fairly high in acid content.
This not only can literally leave a bitter taste in your mouth, but it can also spell trouble if you’ve got acid reflux. In cases like this, many people decide to dilute black coffee with ingredients like milk or cream. But there are ways to solve this problem (to an extent). You can:
1. Choose the right beans. Arabica and darker roasts will have less acid. Arabica are better quality than other beans like Robusta. Darker roasts have been roasted longer, so some of the acid has been burned off.
2. Make sure the grind size is right for you. The courser the grind, the more acid there will be.
3. Brew the coffee in cold water. Cold water reduces acidity.
4. Add more water after brewing.
What Are Some Healthier Alternatives For Normal Coffee?
Normal coffee does not mean just adding milk or sugar. As we said, normal coffee is whatever is normal for you. If you’d like to have the added flavor that extra ingredients bring, yet cut back on the fat and calories that cream and sugar bring, check out some of these alternatives. These are also great for people that may be lactose intolerant.
- almond milk
- oat milk
- unsweetened cocoa
- unsalted butter (if mixed with an immersion blender, just a tablespoon creates a nice low calorie froth)
- chicory root
- protein powder
- coconut oil