Is coffee gluten free?

by | G+ Amy Leger

coffee-3I received and email recently from a reader of The Savvy Celiac who asked me whether coffee is gluten free.

“I have been recently diagnosed with celiac disease and wanted to get your input on coffee with regards to how it affects our bodies with celiac. Some articles are saying it is ok and others say 10% of coffee is a protein that cross reacts with gluten antibodies. See below. Any information would be helpful. Thanks so much!” – Carrie

Carrie linked to this article from The Healthy Home Economist which reports: “10% of coffee is a protein that cross reacts with gluten antibodies”.  

Is Coffee Gluten Free?

First of all, I want Carrie to know that I have a ton of people I know who happily and safely drink coffee every day and either have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.  

Secondly, Dr. Stefano Guandalini of the University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center talked about this at the International Celiac Disease Symposium in 2013.  He said yes we can have our coffee.  The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness  and registered dietitian Rachel Begun put it this way:

“Celiac disease expert Stefano Guandalini, MD addressed this very question at the International Celiac Disease Symposium back in September 2013. He confirmed that there is no evidence that coffee has a protein that cross-reacts with gluten antibodies.” -Rachel Begun, MS, RD

However, please be aware that flavorings and other things you add to your coffee could have gluten in it. You will want to look into your favorite coffee shops and your favorite coffee supplies at your local store to ensure you’re not adding gluten to your coffee.

A few tips:

CoffeeMate says its Liquid, Natural Bliss, and Powder are gluten free

Caribou Coffee recently answered this question for me.  Click here to see what they had to say about gluten in their shops.

Starbucks Coffee takes a much more conservative approach saying basically nothing is gluten free.  Jane Anderson sorted it out at

Keurig Coffee:  According to the company, “All of the coffees offered in K-Cup® packs are gluten and gluten by product-free. The Café Escapes French Vanilla Café-au-Lait K-Cup® pack contains small amounts of wheat. The Timothy’s Lemon Blueberry Tea K-Cup® pack contains malted oats.”  I don’t love the sentence that says “gluten and gluten by product-free”.  Very messy — which at first-read, I thought they were saying it had gluten in it.

I hope these tips help you out a bit as you move in for your next cup of java.



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