Coffee: Gluten Free or Not?

As a purveyor of the gluten free diet, I like to read up on research, ideas and points of view on what others view as gluten free, naturally gluten free and totally unsafe territory.

It’s often difficult to determine, at first glance, if a food is truly gluten safe. In fact, some people choose to view all things as unsafe, until proven otherwise. I get it. Once you have been poisoned, you tend not to take these things for granted.

Recently, I was reading some posts about the controversy of coffee. Hot or cold, pour over or cold brew, the writers perspective was that most coffee was not gluten free. This got me to wondering… is it?

I sat down for a quick cuppa and chat with Tony and Debbie Zancanaro, Owners of The Well Coffeehouse in Fishers, IN and asked them some questions about the nature of coffee and what would make it gluten free… or not.

As physicians, they were both familiar with celiac disease and the application of a gluten free diet. They even explained how they make available gluten free pastries in their coffeehouse, outsourced by a baker who exclusively makes gluten free treats and delivers them in plastic containers, only housing gluten free goods.

They shared that their beans come from a single source, grown at high altitude (where growing cross-contamination is not an issue) on a bush, are harvested from the pit of the cherry (which would be protected by it’s outer shell). Then the pits are laid out and dried, stored in plastic bins (that only house these beans) and shipped in bags. Their beans do not have anything sprinkled on them either.

Like anything, all coffee beans are not created equal. I’m going to continue searching and will be posting more as I discover processes, sourcing, roasting and flavor norms. Keep an eye out for more info and in the mean time, feel free to stop in at The Well Coffeehouse for a gluten free cup of coffee and scone!


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