Excelsa Coffee Benefits

Different Benefits of Excelsa Coffee + Side Effects

Table of Contents

Excelsa coffee has risen in popularity among specialty coffee drinkers for its fruity, intense flavor profile. Excelsa beans come from the Coffea liberica coffee plant, which produces beans distinct from the more common Arabica and Robusta varieties.

But what does the research say about the potential upsides and downsides of drinking Excelsa coffee? This in-depth article reviews the Excelsa coffee benefits like energy boosting and reducing oxidative stress, alongside the possible side effects and safety concerns.

What is Excelsa Coffee?

Excelsa coffee comes from the species Coffea liberica, which originates from western Africa. The Excelsa varietal gets its name from the “Excelsoides” subtype of liberica plants.

Compared to Arabica and Robusta beans, Excelsa coffee has a unique chemical composition that lends a fruitier, more aromatic cup. The beans tend to be larger and elongated. Roasting accentuates Excelsa’s intense, berry-like flavors.

While not as widely grown as other different types of coffee beans, Excelsa has achieved popularity among specialty coffee producers in Southeast Asia. It makes up about 7% of the world’s coffee production [1].

Below is an overview of the research surrounding Excelsa coffee’s effects on health and potential benefits and side effects.

Excelsa Coffee

Potential Benefits of Drinking Excelsa Coffee

May Provide a Boost in Energy and Focus

Caffeine Content

Like all coffees, Excelsa contains the stimulant caffeine. The caffeine content of Excelsa beans falls between that of Arabica and Robusta varieties, ranging from 0.86 to 1.13g per 100g [2].

This equals around 100-140mg of caffeine per 8oz cup, depending on the different types of coffee brewing method. While less than some coffee types, this moderate dose can still enhance alertness and focus for most healthy adults.

How Caffeine Works

Caffeine exerts its stimulating effects by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that builds up over the day and causes drowsiness [3].

When caffeine occupies these receptors, it leads to increased firing of neurons. This enhances the activity of stimulating neurotransmitters like dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

Together, these actions boost energy, mood, concentration, and physical performance in the short term. However, caffeine tolerance can develop with regular use.

Energy and Performance Benefits

Most research shows that caffeine intake from Excelsa coffee is likely to provide a temporary boost in:

– Energy and alertness
– Focus and concentration
– Reaction time and cognitive performance
– Endurance exercise performance
– Strength and power output

However, the benefits will depend on the individual’s sensitivity to caffeine and may diminish with habitual intake.

Potential Health Benefits

By reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, polyphenol antioxidants may help prevent chronic conditions like:

– Heart disease
– Neurodegenerative diseases
– Cancer
– Diabetes

The polyphenols in Excelsa coffee show antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity in lab studies. However, human research on Excelsa itself is still lacking.

Based on studies of other coffee types, drinking 2-3 cups of Excelsa coffee per day may help reduce risk factors for chronic disease. But results can vary substantially between individuals.

Potential Mechanisms

Both caffeine and chlorogenic acids in Excelsa coffee may aid weight control through several mechanisms, including:

– Boosting metabolic rate and fat burning
– Suppressing appetite and calorie intake 
– Enhancing exercise performance and capacity 
– Regulating blood sugar and insulin levels 

This suggests that for some individuals, Excelsa coffee could make it easier to maintain an energy deficit and manage weight. Benefits are likely greatest when combined with a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

Potential Side Effects and Safety Concerns

While moderate intake is generally fine for most healthy adults, drinking too much Excelsa coffee or caffeine can cause side effects. Those sensitive to caffeine may also need to limit intake.

Caffeine Overdose

Consuming over 400mg per day of caffeine from Excelsa coffee may cause:

– Jitters, anxiety or nervousness
– Rapid heartbeat
– Insomnia
– Headaches
– Upset stomach
– Muscle tremors

Drinking a large Excelsa coffee on an empty stomach could even trigger more serious symptoms like heart palpitations in sensitive individuals.

Those prone to anxiety or heart conditions should limit Excelsa intake to 200mg of caffeine or less per day. This equals around 2 small cups.

Pregnancy Risks

High caffeine intake from Excelsa coffee is associated with increased risk of miscarriage and low birth weight.

Pregnant women should cap Excelsa coffee at 200mg of caffeine per day max and avoid it if possible in the 1st trimester.

Digestive Issues

The acidic and caffeinated nature of Excelsa coffee may provoke:

– Heartburn
– Ulcers
– Loose stools

These effects are most likely when drinking Excelsa on an empty stomach or in excess. Cold brewing may help reduce acidity.

Those with digestive issues like GERD may need to limit or avoid Excelsa coffee.

Cholesterol Effects

Unfiltered coffee, like espresso, contains compounds called cafestol and kahweol that can raise LDL cholesterol levels.

However, the paper-filtered brewing of regular Excelsa coffee removes most of these compounds. So, drinking moderate amounts should not affect cholesterol levels in most people.

Medication Interactions

Caffeine in Excelsa coffee can potentially interact with numerous medications. These include:

– Clozapine
– Lithium
– Ephedrine
– Adderall
– Thyroid medications

Check with a pharmacist about any suspected interactions with Excelsa coffee or caffeine.


Excelsa coffee shows promise as a moderately healthy beverage when consumed in normal amounts of 1-2 cups per day. It provides antioxidants plus a modest caffeine boost for increased energy and focus.

However, drinking too much Excelsa coffee, especially on an empty stomach, can cause unpleasant side effects in some people. As with any food or drink, your individual tolerance is key.

While more human research on Excelsa itself is needed, the evidence suggests moderate intake may be part of a healthy, balanced diet for most non-sensitive adults. Listen to your body and adjust your coffee habits accordingly to optimize the benefits versus risks.

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