Coffee & Tea
February 26, 2023

Why Do People Drink Coffee After Dinner? Is It Healthy?

Why do people drink coffee after dinner?” It isn’t unusual for people to enjoy coffee after a nice meal in the evening. It is a nightly tradition for various cultures across generations, as well as a highly recommended drink to complement a healthy diet.

Joana Regulacion
Table of Contents:

Ah, Coffee ☕ + mornings 🌅 = it just makes sense! It is undoubtedly the go-to drink to get yourself energized at the start of the day.⚡It makes me wonder: “Why do people drink coffee after dinner?”

It may sound counter-productive, but drinking coffee is not a bad habit to consider incorporating into a dinnertime routine.

It is not unusual for people to enjoy coffee after a nice meal in the evening. It is a nightly tradition for various cultures across generations, as well as a highly recommended drink to complement a healthy diet.

Is it good to drink coffee after dinner?

Your first likely concern about drinking coffee in the evening is how it could disrupt your sleep schedule. 

Coffee and mornings are almost synonymous. And coffee at nighttime sounds like trouble. 😳


Consuming caffeine before bedtime has been shown to disrupt sleep. There is empirical support for sleep hygiene recommendations to limit caffeine consumption. This is for at least 6 hours before bedtime. 

You might think drinking decaf coffee before bedtime is your saving grace. However, decaf can cause the same sleep issues as regular coffee. Not to mention some people suspect that decaf coffee is bad for your kidneys.

So ideally, you should avoid caffeine completely before bedtime to ensure your body and mind are prepared for a full night's sleep.

Most cold brews also have less caffeine than hot brews. Cold coffee contains 20mg less caffeine per 100g than hot coffee. 

But you might have a way of preparing your coffee fix in a way that is appropriate for a post-dinner drink. And it can potentially provide multiple health benefits overall.

Let’s read on to find out.

Drinking coffee after a meal may help digestion

Coffee with food helps your tummy digest simply because it stimulates your digestive system. This is perhaps why it’s a good idea to have a cup after dinner.

Does coffee after dinner help digestion? Yes, it does.

Caffeine stimulates the muscles of the body intestinal muscles to speed up digestion. Some studies find that on top of this, caffeine also encourages the growth of healthy bacteria.

This makes drinking coffee after a meal a good preventative routine against constipation. Sometimes it works too well that you need to know how to stop the coffee from making you poop.

Although it should not be mistaken for an actual fix for digestive disorders. If you really can’t help it, you could try other coffee alternatives for caffeine

Drinking coffee after dinner; weight loss solution?

Since drinking coffee can help with digestion, it is no surprise that it may also have a hand in shaving off unnecessary weight.

You could find out how to make black coffee for weight loss. Devoid of additives like cream, milk, or sugar you will end up with coffee containing little to no calories.

This makes it a perfect guilt-free beverage for those on a diet. Furthermore, the acids in coffee also help burn fat, especially for those who do end up making it a part of their post-dinner habit.

Some companies sell enzyme coffee for weight loss claiming it can keep unwanted pounds away. Some people even add baking soda to coffee for weight loss —which I strongly advise against.

How coffee works most effectively for weight loss is that it is an effective appetite suppressant. Drinking coffee after dinner benefits include preventing you from giving in to the urge to grab seconds.

I guess it makes sense why some people might consider an espresso before they end up loafing all the meatloaf. 🥩(get it?)

But remember, we’re talking about taking your coffee black. If you absolutely have to, try out coconut creamer for coffee as a creamer alternative or use healthy sweeteners for coffee.

Coffee helps fight sleepiness after a full meal

Did you ever have to force yourself to stop dozing off right after a full meal? Well, coffee might be just what you need to stay away until your food digests.

Sleepiness especially happens to me after indulging in a carb-rich dinner. Ugh! Those yams! And before I start feeling relaxed it makes a turn and make me feeling lethargic. 

A small serving of coffee after a meal is an effective drink to perk you up quickly. Caffeine counters the sleepiness you feel when your body enters homeostasis.

📢 Fact: 

Homeostasis is a condition where the body compensates for the sudden spike of sugar levels in the bloodstream. This enhances the release of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for sleepiness.

Homeostasis occurs as the body starts to digest the food after a heavy meal full of calories and carbohydrates. 

But unless you intend to make it through the night a bit longer, try not to get overwhelmed and consume more than one cup of your favorite americano

 Just drink enough coffee to get an instantaneous burst of energy. 

Why do people drink coffee after dinner?

First of all, you can enjoy coffee’s health benefits —which is enough for many to add it to their post-meal routine. But there are a lot of other reasons why people drink their coffee after dinner.

Some just plainly prefer it as a standalone drink. While others love it as the perfect pair to most desserts. 

Why do people drink coffee after dinner? Other people find that it completes the experience of socializing at the dinner table. There is a certain vibe enhanced by the scent of coffee after eating good food. 🤌👨‍🍳

Cultural Tradition

Although the coffee after-dinner tradition is not as popular among the younger generations, people still bond and reconnect with beloved family and friends over a cup of coffee after a nice meal.

This after-dinner practice can be quite different depending on the country, but people all over the world agree that it’s a great opportunity to catch up with loved ones.

Let’s list some examples featuring some European countries and how their citizens indulge in caffeinated drinks as a post-meal habit. 

  • Italy

For Italians, there is the right type of coffee for a certain time of day. Cappuccino, which is essentially espresso with milk, is usually not a good after-dinner beverage for them.

They consider it a rich meal when milk is concerned, and the Italians only advise having cappuccino early in the day. Good old espresso is the only thing why coffee after dinner makes sense as opposed to its milky counterpart.

Italians frown upon drinking cappuccino after noon. And you'll rarely see them order a cappuccino after dinner. It's (sort of/sort of not) sacrilegious in Italian culture but probably more because the milk and foam are too heavy.

It is definitely filling enough to make it a replacement for a meal. Lastly, they think all that dairy upsets digestion.

  • Netherlands

On the contrary, locals in the Netherlands love a koffie verkeerd.

📢 Fact: 

Koffie verkeerd loosely translates to “reverse coffee.” But it’s more famously referred to as “wrong coffee” because only a teeny bit of coffee is added to a glass of milk. Its purpose is to aid in digestion.

Oh, the dutch really like coffee. Check out this conversation about coffee after dinner I found on Quora. 👇

The Dutch are pretty much one of the biggest coffee drinkers in the world. They drink an average of about 4 cups a day. That’s 8.3kg of coffee per capita.

The Dutch drink coffee every single time of the entire day, and it's often part of a social event.

  • Saudi Arabia

The nightlife in Saudi Arabia involves coffee instead of alcohol. 🍺❌

Saudi Arabia has a very conservative environment. You won’t be finding bars or nightclubs because religious law prohibits the sale or consumption of alcohol throughout the country. 

Yes, while we go around getting wasted, the Arabs spend the night sipping Qahwa. 

Arabic coffee is made from lightly roasted coffee beans. These beans are usually infused with fragrant spices such as cardamom, ginger, cloves, and saffron.

Traditional Arabic coffee is usually unsweetened. But sugar can be added during preparation if the drinker prefers it.

  • Turkey

People in Turkey drink strong, black, sweet coffee after dinner as part of the dessert.

Why is coffee served after dinner in Turkey? Turkey is famous for its street foods and drinks. Coffee is likely enjoyed along with well-known Turkish sweets like halva or Turkish delight. 

However, coffee is not simply a drink for Turkish people. It is also a big part of their culture.

People in Turkey drink coffee when they want to share their problems and happiness with their friends.

  • French

Meanwhile, in France, coffee is found anywhere and anytime. 

Even black coffee paired with cognac is considered a huge part of their national culture.

The French love alcohol in their after-dinner caffeine fix. Coffee is also served in a sweet but intense mocha-liqueur-flavored coffee drink called Café Granit for this purpose.

The French are crazy about coffee, especially after a heavy meal. They’re not as fond of milky lattes and cappuccinos though. Instead, the french enjoy short pulls of espresso all day.

According to traditional French restaurant etiquette, you can only drink coffee with food at breakfast. But if you plan to drink coffee in the evening, you can drink a café noir.

📢 Fact: 

Café Noir has twice the concentration as that of the usual morning pick-me-up. Before coffeemakers were a thing In the 1800s to early 1900s, cookbooks were used to list down various recipes for brew methods. It is how Café Noir was popularized in these cookbooks as the after-dinner drink.

Coffee is naturally a stimulant, which is probably the last thing you would want in an evening beverage as we have body clocks to maintain.

How generations past compensated for this by using a tiny ceramic cup called the demitasse. This is where a post-dinner coffee is served in.

📢 Fact: 

Demitasse coffee is served in a half a cup. Each demitasse cup can hold approximately two to three ounces of coffee. These small coffee cups stand about two to two and a half inches tall.

Just like how the Italians prefer espresso as their evening meal coffee, cafe noir is prepared as a strong black coffee with little to no sugar.

Recipes in cookbooks advise against adding dairy to coffee after a meal like milk or cream. Mixing additives is going to be counterproductive to coffee after-dinner benefits.

With the absence of dairy and keeping it as a small serving, you need not worry about ruining your sleep schedule. Instead, just savor the experience of cafe noir after a nice satisfying dinner.

Is coffee after dinner good or bad?

An after dinner coffee could be either good or bad, maybe even both, depending on what you need the drink for.

Is it good to drink coffee after a meal? If you drink it post-meal for the health benefits it provides to improve your diet. It also helps in digestion making it the most accessible and convenient pick.

But if you have trouble controlling your sleep schedule, you should say ‘pass’ to coffee for now.

You might also want to consider watching your caffeine consumption first and then adjust your coffee serving accordingly.

You can look up what coffee recipe and serving size you should incorporate into your dinner routine.

If you are expecting people, for example, it helps to know how much coffee you need to make coffee for a big group. Are you expecting a dozen people? It could help to know how much coffee for 12 cups you need

It could also be that you have no plans to end a really good dinner conversation. You can hardly go wrong when catching up with your loved ones post-dinner over a cup of coffee.

Why coffee after dinner is a good idea

Coffee after dinner benefits also includes how it holds an impact on the dinnertime rituals of families across cultures. Not to mention that has been around for generations.

Just imagining sharing feelings and stories during a routine like this already gives that cozy, warm feeling, doesn’t it? Does coffee have a place in your after dinner routine? Let us know in the comments below! 👇

About the author
Joana Regulacion
Joana is an engaging content writer and dynamic virtual assistant. ✍️ She helps business owners and entrepreneurs deliver a clear message to everyone and attract and engage the perfect audience. She is a proud wife, mom, and animal lover.‍ She believes that her love for learning new things is her key to writing engaging content.

Start a coffee business online

Start free trial