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Does Coffee Contain Sulfites? (You Must Know the Truth!)

  • 6 min read

Coffee is a great breakfast option for most people as it gives the body the energy to start the day. But, Does Coffee Contain Sulfites? Yes and no; after reading this article, you will know why.

Most coffee available does not have sulfites. But, coffee may get some sulfite during roasting and packing. Though not poisonous for most individuals, it may cause serious complications for asthmatic people.

If you would love to avoid consuming sulfites, this article is for you. Read on to know what sulfites are and sulfite-free coffee.

What are Sulfites?


Sulfites are naturally occurring oxy-ion sulfur compounds. Sulfites help inhibit bacteria or fungi growth in foods, preserve the color of food, and prolong their shelf-life. Some companies also use it as a cellophane while packaging foods.

Does Starbucks Coffee Have Sulfites?

Most of the Coffee Starbucks sells is made from organic coffee beans, which do not have sulfites. But, when Starbucks is roasting the coffee beans, there can be a possibility of exposing the coffee beans to sulfites. Thus, if you are allergic to Sulfites, always check the ingredients on the label.

Sulfites in Instant Coffee

Sulfites in Instant Coffee

The coffee beans in instant coffee are brewed at very high temperatures and later packaged. Most instant coffee brands, such as Nescafe, has sulfite compounds but at lower levels. Sulfites are added to enhance the coffee's taste, flavor, and shelf life.

Sources of Sulfites

Sulfites occur naturally in some foods, such as

  • Eggs
  • Tomatoes
  • Dried Cod
  • Salmon
  • Lettuce
  • Corn starch
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Soy products

Which Coffee Does Not Have Sulfites?

Which Coffee Does Not Have Sulfites

Sulfites may not suit everyone as they may cause an allergic reaction. If you want Sulfite free coffee, here are some great choices you can consider.

Keuring K Cups

Keuring k Cup is Coffee in a plastic container with a cartilage seal. There is a plastic ring with a foil cover on the cartilage seal. The interior of the coffee capsule contains a material that filters the coffee and keeps it intact as it brews.

To brew the coffee, you put the coffee capsule in a brewer. The needles in the brewer pierce the lid, and water enters the capsule, and after it brews, the coffee comes out from the bottom side. This coffee is easy to prepare and does not have sulfites.

Unflavored Coffee

Flavored coffee has extra flavors, such as spices, herbs, or oils. Unflavored coffee does not have Sulfite, but again, it has less flavor and aroma than flavored coffee as the sulfites are the ones that give it the taste.

Decaffeinated Coffee

The coffee beans used to make decaf coffee have at least 97 percent of the caffeine removed using organic solvents, Carbon dioxide, or water. After removing the caffeine, the coffee beans are then roasted and ground.

Decaf coffee has less taste and aroma, unlike regular coffee. It also has no sulfites making it a great option if you are allergic to sulfites.

Are There any Risks of Consuming Sulfites?

In most cases, Sulfite does not pose any risks when you consume it, but some people may be allergic to it. Sulfite may affect you differently from someone else, depending on how sensitive your body is to this allergen.

However, asthmatic people must be extra careful because Sulfite can be risky. Sulfite may even cause death in some severe cases if it's not treated early.

Signs of Sulfite Allergy


If you are allergic to Sulfite, these are some symptoms your body will show.

  1. Vomiting
  2. Difficulty in breathing and swallowing
  3. Hives (bumps on the skin that are red)
  4. Dizziness
  5. Diarrhea
  6. Low blood pressure

Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee.

Caffeine is a natural stimulant that energizes you and helps improve your mood and memory. Coffee beans also have many botanical compounds rich in Vitamin B, riboflavin and potassium.

The phenolic compounds in coffee help your body's immunity and protect against inflammation.

Lastly, moderate coffee consumption reduces the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.

Is Overconsuming Coffee Harmful?

Coffee has some health benefits if you drink it moderately. Overconsumption of Coffee is harmful and can cause these effects.

  • Insomnia
  • Irritation
  • Headaches
  • Muscle tremors
  • Increased urge to urinate
  • Nervousness

The Daily Recommended Amount of Coffee

The Daily Recommended Amount of Coffee

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, a healthy individual should not drink over 400mg of caffeine daily. If you are drinking a caffeinated drink, check the label carefully to know how much caffeine it contains.

Expectant mothers should limit their consumption to 200mg of caffeine. Too much caffeine can cause the fetus's heart to beat faster and cause a miscarriage. Caffeine is healthy, but you should drink it responsibly to avoid insomnia.

How Can You Reduce Coffee Consumption?

When you reduce the amount of coffee you take, you may develop withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and insomnia. But here are some effective ways you can use them effectively.

  1. First, be keen about how much coffee you take in a day. Check the labels of the foods and drinks you consume in a day.
  2. Gradually reduce how much coffee you take. For instance, you can reduce how many cups of coffee or cans of caffeinated drinks you take daily.
  3. You can also switch to decaf coffee. The coffee beans used to make decaf coffee are thoroughly washed using solvents or water to reduce the amount of caffeine. Unlike regular coffee, decaf coffee is great as it has lower caffeine.

Other Names That Refer to Sulfites

Sulfites are also known as

  1. Sulfurous acid
  2. Sodium sulfite
  3. Potassium bisulfite
  4. Sodium dithionite
  5. Sulfur dioxide
  6. Sodium bisulfite


Some coffee contains sulfite, which acts as a preservative and improves the coffee's taste and aroma. Starbucks and decaf Coffee do not have sulfites, so they are good choices if you are asthmatic. The main disadvantage of drinking sulfite-free coffee is that it has less taste and aroma the regular coffee.