Cold Brew and Gluten-Free Diets

If you’re one of the 8% of people across the United States who’s gone gluten free, you know the pain. You come across a new food or beverage that looks delicious. You delight in the possibilities. Then, you read the label.

Yep. Gluten.

Why does it seem like anything remotely delicious has gluten in it? Fortunately, you’ll find that coffee is one of those rare beverages that seems to fit about any diet—including going gluten free. Here’s what you’ll need to know.



In short: yes. Cold brew coffee adds zero gluten to what is already a gluten-free beverage. To answer why that is, let’s take a quick look at gluten.

The word gluten refers to a family of proteins that give bread doughs (especially wheat doughs) their glue-like consistency. In fact, that’s where the prefix glu- comes from. When you think “gluten,” think of a chef tossing a pizza in the air. The strong gluten within the dough is what keeps the crust together…

...and, unfortunately, makes pizza so delicious.

But that doesn’t mean everything delicious has gluten in it. Coffee is one example. It’s not hard to find gluten-free cold brew because—well, as long as we don’t put a pizza crust in your cold brew, you’ll be safe. Cold brew is simply the result of coffee grounds and water. No hand tossing necessary.

Brewing coffee is about as simple a beverage as it gets: grow coffee, roast it, grind it, brew it with water. Fortunately for dieters around the world, this minimally processed brew fits a wide range of diets. But what about another diet making the rounds?



The idea behind the “Whole 30” diet is simple. For 30 days, you cut out foods like sugar, grains, legumes, alcohol, and other additives. The aim is giving your body something of a nutritional reset.

But what about mixing coffee beans with water? Aren’t beans legumes? Turns out, “beans” is just a nickname. Coffee beans are really coffee seeds or coffee pits

This is good news. If you’re wondering “is cold brew coffee Whole 30 compatible?” then the answer is: maybe. As long as you avoid adding anything else on the Whole 30 no-no list, coffee can be a healthy, delicious drink you don’t have to give up. The same is true for either hot brew or cold brew coffee.

What does it all add up to? It’s possible to go on a diet and enjoy a cup of guilt-free, gluten-free, Whole 30-compatible coffee. Enjoy.