offee is controversial in the world of longevity. Some experts like cell biologist Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., swear off morning brew for intermittent fasters. Others, like Peter Attia, M.D., can’t start their day without a cup of joe.
Research on the topic is, generally, pro-coffee. People who drink coffee in moderation may reap longevity benefits like reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, dementia, and all-cause mortality, according to Johns Hopkins. And a 2018 study that followed 500,000 participants’ daily coffee habits found that drinking a few cups of decaf or caffeinated coffee each day greatly reduced the risk of death (1).
Here’s the exact brews that longevity experts opt for.
Peter Attia: French Press Coffee
Top longevity doctor and Outlive author Peter Attia, M.D., has changed his mind on several of his protocols like intermittent fasting and heat therapy. But there’s one thing he won’t budge on: his daily French press coffee.
Research suggests that compounds like kahweol and cafestol exist only in unfiltered varieties of coffee, like French press coffee and espresso (2). These compounds may have neuroprotective benefits against conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s.
“Animal studies comparing coffee to caffeine indicate that caffeine in isolation cannot replicate all of the neurological benefits of the whole beverage,” Attia writes in a blog. “Many of these compounds demonstrate anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifibrotic, and antimicrobial properties, each of which may contribute to enhancing neurocognitive function.”
David Sinclair: Sugar-Free Coffee
While biologist and Lifespan podcast host David Sinclair, Ph.D., is a big fan of matcha green tea, he still opts for a daily morning sugar-free black coffee to boost his energy.
Sinclair eschews sweeteners but adds a splash of milk to his brew. Some research suggests this may increase the anti-inflammatory properties in coffee because the amino acids in milk improve the bioavailability of coffee’s polyphenols (3).
Mark Hyman: Dalgona Coffee
Got a major sweet tooth? Unlike Sinclair, longevity doctor Mark Hyman, M.D., doesn’t skimp on the sugar. Instead, he enjoys his own healthier rendition of frothy, Dalgona coffee (a milk-based beverage topped with coffee foam) every morning.
He uses Four Sigmatic’s Instant Coffee with Lion’s Mane, a mushroom which a study in the Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research suggests may support cognitive function and mental clarity (4).
“I love that the combination of coffee and lion’s mane gives me energy that is much longer-lasting, along with a better sense of focus and calm,” Hyman writes in a blog. “Instead of that jittery feeling and without the late-morning caffeine crash.”
Hyman’s Dalgona Coffee Recipe:
- 2 packets Four Sigmatic Instant Coffee with Lion’s Mane
- 1 tablespoon monk fruit sweetener
- 1 tablespoon hot or cold water
- 6 to 8 ounces non-dairy milk
Use a mixer to whip together coffee, sweetener, and water until frothy. Pour milk into a glass, and dollop the froth on top. Mix and enjoy.
Dave Asprey: Danger Coffee
The self-professed Father of Biohacking, Dave Asprey, launched his own mineral-boosted and toxin-free coffee brand, Danger Coffee in 2022.
The beans claim to be lab-tested and mold-free and contain electrolytes that may boost healthy cell function (5). Asprey takes his favorite—medium roast coffee—to the next level by only using filtered water to brew to further filter out potential toxins.
Dan Buettner: Ikarian Coffee
Italy is known for its fragrant cappuccinos, but a coffee recipe from a neighboring Mediterranean island may boost longevity, per Blue Zones author Dan Buettner.
He starts his day with a cup of Ikarian coffee, which is also commonly referred to as Turkish or Greek coffee. Ikarian coffee is boiled instead of brewed and filtered like most American-style beans.
“The fine grind delivers more concentrated antioxidants, which is one key health benefit,” Buettner told Well+Good. “Ikarian coffee is also boiled instead of getting brewed and filtered, which extracts more of the healthy compounds in the coffee. And finally, the resulting cup of coffee will contain less caffeine than a typical American cup of coffee.”