Is Coffee High in Histamine? Hot Tips Helping Histamine Intolerance!

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Table of Contents
A cup of coffee with steam.

Key Takeaways

  • Coffee contains histamines and caffeine, which can exacerbate symptoms of histamine intolerance.
  • Histamine intolerance is different from allergies and involves difficulty breaking down histamine in the body.
  • Managing coffee consumption with histamine intolerance can involve choosing low histamine coffee brands and adjusting brewing methods to minimize histamine levels.
  • It’s important for individuals with histamine intolerance to monitor their symptoms after consuming coffee and consider alternatives if necessary.

Is Coffee High in Histamine?

Coffee contains low levels of histamine, but the level of histamine in coffee can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the beans, the roasting process, and storage conditions. Caffeine is what contributes to higher histamine levels. So, it’s important to choose the right type of coffee if you have histamine intolerance.

Do you often feel unwell after enjoying your morning cup of joe? It may surprise you to know that coffee contains histamines, which can cause reactions in those with histamine intolerance.

This blog will delve into the intriguing connection between coffee and histamine sensitivity, offering insights on how coffee impacts your body’s histamine levels. Read on to discover how managing your daily brew just might improve your overall well-being!

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine intolerance is a condition where the body has difficulty breaking down histamine, leading to an accumulation of this chemical in the body. This can cause various symptoms such as headaches, digestive issues, skin rashes, and respiratory problems.

Histamine intolerance is different from allergies and does not involve the immune system’s response.

Impact and symptoms

Histamine intolerance can significantly impact an individual’s daily life, often resulting in uncomfortable or disruptive symptoms. Those suffering from this condition might experience headacheshivesdigestive issuesdifficulty breathing, and heart palpitations.

While these symptoms may resemble those of a typical allergy mechanism, it’s important to note that the reaction from histamine intolerance differs distinctly. In some instances, consuming coffee triggers these responses due to its natural histamine content and caffeine’s ability to exacerbate symptoms by blocking the action of diamine oxidase.

Unfortunately for coffee lovers with this sensitivity, even their beloved brew can become a source of discomfort unless alternatives like low histamine coffee substitutes are used instead.

Difference between histamine intolerance and allergies

Histamine intolerance and allergies may seem similar, but they are actually different conditions. Allergies involve an immune response to a specific allergen, such as pollen or peanuts.

The immune system produces antibodies to attack the allergen, leading to symptoms like sneezing, itching, and swelling.

Histamine intolerance is not an immune response. It occurs when there is a buildup of histamine in the body due to an inability to break it down properly. This can happen because of low levels of diamine oxidase (DAO), the enzyme responsible for breaking down histamine.

The symptoms of histamine intolerance can be similar to those of allergies, including nasal congestion, headaches, and digestive issues. Unlike with allergies where specific triggers are involved, people with histamine intolerance often react to a variety of foods and beverages that contain histamines or trigger the release of histamines in the body.

The Link Between Coffee and Histamine

Coffee affects histamine levels by containing both histamines itself and caffeine, which can exacerbate symptoms of histamine intolerance.

How coffee affects histamine levels

Coffee can affect histamine levels in a couple of ways. Coffee itself contains small amounts of histamines. This means that individuals who are sensitive to histamines may have a reaction when consuming coffee.

Coffee is not considered to be high in histamines compared to other foods.

Caffeine, which is present in coffee, can contribute to histamine intolerance symptoms. Research suggests that caffeine can block the action of diamine oxidase, an enzyme responsible for breaking down histamine in the body.

As a result, individuals with histamine intolerance may experience an increase in symptoms when consuming caffeinated beverages like coffee.

The role of caffeine in histamine intolerance

Caffeine has a significant role in histamine intolerance. It is known to block the action of diamine oxidase, an enzyme responsible for breaking down histamine in the body. When this enzyme is inhibited, histamine levels can increase and lead to symptoms such as headaches, hives, and digestive issues.

Caffeine itself can cause some individuals to experience allergic-like reactions or heightened sensitivity to histamines. This means that even if coffee has low amounts of histamines, the presence of caffeine can still contribute to adverse reactions in those with histamine intolerance.

The presence of histamine in coffee

Coffee contains small amounts of histamine. Histamine is a naturally occurring compound found in various foods and beverages, including coffee. The levels of histamine in coffee are relatively low compared to other high-histamine foods.

Despite this, individuals who are sensitive or intolerant to histamines may still experience adverse reactions when consuming coffee due to its histamine content. Those with histamine intolerance to be aware of the potential effects that coffee can have on their symptoms and consider alternative options if necessary.

Managing Coffee Consumption with Histamine Intolerance

To manage coffee consumption with histamine intolerance, individuals can choose low histamine coffee brands, adjust brewing methods to minimize histamine levels, and consider other factors such as acidity and mold contamination.

Low histamine coffee brands

  • There are several low histamine coffee brands available for individuals with histamine intolerance.
  • These brands have been specifically produced to have lower levels of histamine compared to regular coffees.
  • Some popular low histamine coffee brands include Mount Hagen Organic CoffeePuroast Low Acid Coffee, and Trucup Low Acid Coffee.
  • These brands use specific methods during the production process to minimize histamine levels, such as using specific bean varieties or special roasting techniques.
  • Individuals with histamine intolerance to carefully read labels and choose coffee brands that are explicitly labeled as low histamine.

Brewing methods and their impact on histamine levels

  • Different brewing methods can have varying impacts on histamine levels in coffee.
  • The level of heat and duration of brewing can influence the release of histamines.
  • Longer brewing times or higher temperatures may result in higher histamine content in the coffee.
  • Cold brew coffee, which involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, may have lower histamine levels compared to hot brewed coffee.
  • Filtering methods like drip brewing or using a French press can also help reduce the amount of histamines in the final cup of coffee.
  • Instant coffee, which undergoes a different processing method, may have lower histamine levels compared to freshly brewed coffee.

Other considerations for coffee lovers with histamine intolerance

For coffee lovers with histamine intolerance, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind. Choose low histamine coffee brands that have been tested and certified for their lower histamine content.

The brewing method can also impact the levels of histamine in your cup of joe. Opting for methods like cold brew or using paper filters can help reduce the amount of histamine present.

It may be helpful to listen to your body and monitor any symptoms after consuming coffee. If you notice adverse reactions such as hives or heart palpitations, it might be best to avoid coffee altogether or consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on managing your histamine intolerance while still enjoying your favorite beverage.


Understanding the relationship between coffee and histamine intolerance is helpful for individuals who experience adverse reactions to histamine. While coffee does contain histamines, it is not considered high in comparison to other foods.

The caffeine content in coffee can exacerbate histamine intolerance symptoms by blocking diamine oxidase. By exploring low histamine coffee brands and adjusting brewing methods, those with histamine intolerance can still enjoy their daily cup of joe without triggering unwanted symptoms.


What is low histamine coffee?

Low histamine coffee refers to coffee that has been tested to have low levels of histamine. These coffees are specifically produced and processed in a way that minimizes the histamine content, making them suitable for individuals with histamine intolerance.

Does caffeine affect histamine intolerance?

Caffeine itself doesn’t directly affect histamine intolerance. However, some individuals with histamine intolerance may also be sensitive to caffeine, which can exacerbate their symptoms. It’s best to monitor your own tolerance and determine whether caffeine consumption worsens your symptoms.

Can I drink decaf coffee if I have histamine intolerance?

Decaf coffee is generally considered lower in histamine compared to regular coffee. However, decaf coffee can still contain some amount of histamine, so it’s advisable to choose decaffeinated coffee that has been processed and tested to have low histamine levels.

How is coffee decaffeinated?

Coffee can be decaffeinated through various methods such as using organic solvents, carbon dioxide, or water. These processes help remove most of the caffeine content from the coffee beans while minimizing the potential histamine levels.

What is Purity Coffee?

Purity Coffee is a brand that specializes in producing low histamine coffee. They prioritize sourcing high-quality coffee beans and using a unique roasting process that ensures low histamine content. Purity Coffee is specifically designed for individuals with histamine intolerance or sensitivity.

Can I drink decaffeinated coffee if I have high histamine levels?

Decaffeinated coffee can still contain some histamine, although in lower amounts compared to regular coffee. If you have high histamine levels or histamine intolerance, it’s advisable to choose decaffeinated coffee that has been tested and certified to have low histamine content.

What is a low histamine diet?

A low histamine diet is a dietary approach that aims to limit the intake of high histamine foods. This diet is often recommended for individuals with histamine intolerance or mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS). The diet typically involves avoiding or minimizing the consumption of histamine-rich foods and beverages, including coffee.

What are the symptoms of coffee intolerance?

Symptoms of coffee intolerance may vary from person to person. Common symptoms include gastrointestinal issues (such as stomach pain, bloating, or diarrhea), headaches, migraines, heart palpitations, anxiety, and skin rash. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and advice.

Can coffee trigger histamine release in the body?

Coffee contains compounds that can potentially stimulate the release of histamine in certain individuals. If you have histamine intolerance or are sensitive to histamine, consumption of coffee may trigger histamine release and contribute to symptoms associated with histamine intolerance.

About the Author:
Oliver Bennett, a seasoned barista, focuses on the technical aspects of coffee-making. His journey from local cafes to specialty coffee shops has equipped him with skills in the science of coffee, from grind size to latte art. Oliver's articles and how-to videos delve into brewing techniques and coffee science, fostering a community of home baristas and elevating the home coffee experience.