Gluten free coffee?

So, I run a coffee shop right? Hopefully soon, I’ll be running a vast number of coffee shops, but let’s just talk about this first one. After much consternation, I decided to carry various pastries, oatmeal and all of the other stuff that goes with coffee. But I digress; the inevitable question that I receive the most is regarding the gluten content of the different foods that I offer. But technically, coffee is a food, and because it is a food that I happen to make, I want to be able to educagluten freete my customers the best that I can. Is there such a thing as gluten free coffee?

Let me put on my science guy hat on for a quick second to get the “gluten-ignorant” up to speed. (Don’t feel bad, I am still trying to get this gluten thing figured out!)

Gluten is a plant protein found in a number of grains, like barley, rye, and wheat. It’s been rumored that in a quest for food karma, (sounds good) Buddhist monks, who are notoriously vegetarian, were searching for a meat substitute. They discovered that after dough is submerged in water for a time, starch washes off and a meat-like gummy mass hangs around. That stuff, goo and all, is gluten. Dough that contains gluten has elastic properties that help it rise and keep its shape when baked.

So, like all of the food that we buy in the grocery stores the cheaper and longer lasting the product, the more attractive the product is to most food manufacturers. Make sense?

Now, let’s discuss gluten and coffee. Which is why you’re reading this right? When it comes to coffee and gluten the key is a term called, cross-reactivity. Cross-reactivity in short means, how two different items cause a reaction when they’re put together. Coffee itself doesn’t have a protein, however, to keep coffee shelf stable in grocery stores, often gluten is added. I bet you knew where I was going with this. Contrary to popular belief, coffee does have an expiration, gluten added or not. Fresh roasted coffee, particularly Darrin’s Coffee, doesn’t have gluten.

So what’s safe for the gluten free coffee drinker?

If you find that you have some sort of gluten sensitivity, generally the most common cross-reactive substance with gluten is dairy that contains casein protein, and what do some coffee drinkers dress their coffee up with most of the time? Cream. SO.. If you have a problem with gluten. KEEP THE CREAM OUT OF YOUR COFFEE*! (Most milk too!!)

So, if there are two things that you can take from this. One, buy fresh roasted, gluten free coffee from Darrin’s Coffee and second don’t put cream in your coffee. I’m just sayin’. Oh yeah, here’s a link to some very inexpensive GLUTEN FREE milk options.