A close-up photo of a worn Bible, open to a page with scripture about God's blessings, while a steaming cup of coffee rests beside it, symbolizing a soothing morning ritual.

What Does The Bible Say About Coffee?

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks, with billions of cups consumed every day. For Christians who enjoy this caffeinated beverage, a common question arises: what does the Bible say about drinking coffee?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: the Bible does not directly prohibit or restrict drinking coffee. There are no verses that specifically mention coffee. However, there are principles and passages about food, drink, and the body that can provide wisdom when partaking of any earthly pleasure, including coffee.

In this comprehensive article, we will examine biblical principles regarding food and drink, look at some indirect references to coffee, and consider how Christians can apply biblical values to their coffee consumption.

Biblical Principles Regarding Eating and Drinking

Moderation in All Things

The Bible promotes the principle of moderation when it comes to eating and drinking. As 1 Corinthians 10:31 states, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” This verse reminds us that God cares about our motives and attitudes regarding food and drink.

We should aim to honor God by practicing self-control and not overindulging. As Proverbs 25:16 wisely counsels, “If you find honey, eat just enough – too much of it, and you will vomit.” This is a vivid example of the importance of moderation.

Taking Care of Your Body as a Temple

In addition to moderation, Scripture teaches that we should care for our bodies because they are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This means honoring God with our physical health through wise nutritional choices and avoiding substances that could prove harmful if consumed in excess.

Paul writes in Philippians 4:5, “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Here he connects the principle of moderation with an awareness that the Lord’s coming is imminent, suggesting we should live moderately in reverent anticipation.

Foods to Avoid According to Scripture

While the Bible does not outright forbid coffee or other specific foods and drinks, there are some guidance regarding what followers of God should avoid consume. For example, as stated in Acts 15:20, believers are to “abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.”

The apostles and elders wrote this decree to Gentile believers to avoid behaviors that might offend Jewish believers. Additionally, the Bible consistently condemns drunkenness (Ephesians 5:18; Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:21; 1 Peter 4:3), suggesting followers of Christ should avoid drinking alcohol in excess.

Overall, Scripture promotes wisdom, moderation, and thoughtfulness when making decisions about food and drink.

Indirect References to Coffee in the Bible

Wine and Strong Drink

The Bible contains several indirect references to coffee and caffeinated drinks even though coffee was not widely available at the time. One of the main references is to “wine” and “strong drink.” In Biblical times, wine was often mixed with herbs and spices both for flavor and medicinal purposes.

According to historical records, one popular additive was the seeds of the coffee plant which contains caffeine. The stimulant effect of the caffeine would have made the wine stronger.

For example, Isaiah 5:11 says “Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them!” This verse suggests that some alcoholic drinks in Biblical times gave people a stimulant effect to keep them awake.

While we cannot say for certain that coffee was added, it is likely that caffeinated herbs were commonly added to wine to make it “strong drink.”

Herbal Drinks

In addition to spiced wines, the Bible makes references to herbal teas and medicinal drinks that may have contained caffeine. For example, in 1 Timothy 5:23, Paul urges Timothy to “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.”

This indicates people in Biblical times drank more than just water and wine, but other herbal remedies as well.

According to archaeologists, at least 66 different plants were commonly brewed into drinks or medicinal teas in the Middle East during Biblical times [1]. Many of these plants contain caffeine including ephedra, African rue, senna pods, and citrus plants.

Therefore, it is likely that people in Biblical times brewed and drank caffeinated herbal teas, even if they did not have access to coffee itself.

While the Bible does not directly mention drinking coffee, there are several references to caffeine-containing drinks. Spiced wines and herbal teas would have provided some of the same stimulant effects as coffee does today.

So while coffee may not be mentioned by name, caffeinated botanical drinks were known in Biblical times.

Applying Biblical Values to Coffee Drinking

Exercising Self-Control and Temperance

The Bible encourages temperance and self-control in all things. As 1 Corinthians 6:12 states, “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.”

When it comes to coffee, it is wise to drink in moderation and exercise restraint. The caffeine in coffee can be addictive, so be intentional about how much coffee you consume each day. Consider limiting yourself to 1-2 cups of coffee per day as excessive caffeine can cause anxiety, sleep issues, and other health problems.

As with any pleasure in life, use wisdom and discernment to partake in a balanced way.

Avoiding Addiction and Gluttony

The Bible warns against addiction and gluttony. Proverbs 23:20-21 says, “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.” This verse advises avoiding overindulgence.

While coffee in moderation can be fine for most people, drinking too much can lead to a dependence on caffeine. If you find yourself unable to function without coffee or reaching for cup after cup out of habit rather than intentional choice, it may be time to cut back.

Ask God for help overcoming any addictive tendencies and for wisdom to know when enough is enough. Moderation and self-control are key.

Being Wise Stewards of Money and Time

As Christians, we are called to be wise stewards of the resources God has given us, including our money and time. Stopping for an expensive specialty coffee drink everyday can add up quickly, costing over $1000 per year according to one estimate.

Consider making coffee at home instead to save money for other priorities. Likewise, spending too much time at coffee shops when that time could be used more productively can be unwise. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says there is a time for everything – make sure to balance time for enjoyment with other responsibilities.

Consider studying at coffee shops occasionally for a change of scene, but avoid making it a daily habit that takes time away from work, family, church, and rest.


In conclusion, the Bible does not directly address coffee, but provides principles about food, drink, and caring for our bodies that can guide our intake. Moderation, self-control, and stewardship are key values to apply.

Most importantly, our consumption choices should avoid controlling us or harming our walk with God and others. When drinking coffee, Christians should aim to glorify God, whether they partake a little or a lot.

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