Understanding Why Mormons Don’t Drink Coffee: Religious, Historical, and Cultural Insights

Curious about why Mormons don't drink coffee? This blog post provides comprehensive and informative insights into the religious, historical, and cultural reasons behind this abstinence. Discover the fascinating story behind this unique practice and gain a deeper understanding of Mormon beliefs and values.

Ever wondered Why Can’t Mormons Drink Coffee? You’re not alone. This intriguing question has puzzled many, from curious onlookers to those deeply interested in religious and cultural practices.

Mormons abstain from drinking coffee due to a combination of religious doctrine, health considerations, and personal beliefs.

But why is this simple beverage, beloved by billions, so controversial in the Mormon faith? I’m here to unravel this mystery for you. With years of expertise in religious and cultural studies, I’ll guide you through the labyrinth of Mormon beliefs, from the Word of Wisdom to the Doctrine and Covenants, and even tackle those burning questions like, “Can Mormons drink decaffeinated coffee?” or “What are the alternatives?” So, grab your herbal tea or hot chocolate, and let’s dive deep into understanding why that cup of joe is off-limits for Mormons.

Key Facts:

  1. Mormons are also known as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  2. The prohibition against drinking coffee is rooted in religious counsel from Church leaders and God.
  3. Coffee is considered one of the “hot drinks” mentioned in the health-code.
  4. The prohibition on coffee consumption is not solely due to caffeine; it is based on divine revelation.
  5. In 1833, Joseph Smith received a revelation, now canonized as Doctrine and Covenants, which includes the guidance against coffee.

Why Can’t Mormons Drink Coffee?

So, why can’t Mormons drink coffee? The answer is a blend of religious doctrine, health considerations, and personal beliefs. Let’s break it down.

Table: Comparing Mormon Dietary Restrictions with Other Religious Practices

ReligionRestricted FoodsAllowed Foods
MormonCoffee, TeaHerbal Teas, Fruit Juices
IslamPork, AlcoholHalal Meat, Fish
JudaismPork, ShellfishKosher Foods
HinduismBeefVegetarian Foods

Religious Reasons Behind Coffee Abstinence

The primary reason Mormons abstain from coffee is the Word of Wisdom, a section in the Doctrine and Covenants. This is divinely counseled and considered a religious observance.

The Body as a Temple

Mormons believe that the body is a temple, housing the Holy Ghost. Consuming coffee is seen as disrespecting this temple, thereby affecting one’s ability to receive guidance from the Holy Ghost.

Health Reasons for Avoiding Coffee

Coffee is known to cause anxiety, insomnia, and dehydration. Mormons believe in maintaining a health code that promotes well-being, both physically and spiritually.

Coffee and Mental Health

Coffee’s high caffeine content can lead to anxiety and insomnia, affecting one’s mental health. Mormons prefer to avoid these potential pitfalls.

Other Reasons for Coffee Abstinence

Some Mormons abstain from coffee due to its addictive substances and view it as a waste of money.

Personal Preferences and Coffee

For some, it’s a matter of personal preference. They find the taste off-putting and prefer coffee alternatives like herbal teas.

Common Misconceptions About Mormons and Coffee

One common misconception is that Mormons can’t have caffeine. This is not true; the prohibition is specifically against coffee and tea.

Can Mormons Drink Decaffeinated Coffee?

The Church’s stance on decaffeinated coffee is still a no-go. It’s not just about the caffeine but the coffee itself.

Alternatives to Coffee in Mormon Culture

Popular alternatives include herbal tea, hot chocolate, and smoothies. Some even opt for a Mormon coffee substitute made from barley.

Historical Context of the Word of Wisdom

The Word of Wisdom came into being in 1833 when Joseph Smith received divine revelation, now part of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Evolution of the Word of Wisdom

Over time, the Word of Wisdom has evolved, but the core principles, like abstaining from coffee, have remained constant.

FAQs About Why Can’t Mormons Drink Coffee

Why is coffee not allowed in Mormon?

Coffee is not allowed in Mormonism due to religious doctrine, health reasons, and personal beliefs.

What is in coffee that Mormons can’t have?

It’s not just an ingredient like caffeine; it’s coffee itself that is prohibited.

Why can’t Mormons drink hot drinks?

The term “hot drinks” in Mormon doctrine specifically refers to coffee and tea.

Can Mormons drink caffeine?

Yes, Mormons can drink caffeine, but they can’t drink coffee or tea.


In summary, Mormons abstain from coffee due to a blend of religious doctrine, health considerations, and personal beliefs. The prohibition is rooted in the Word of Wisdom, a section in the Doctrine and Covenants, and is considered a religious observance. So, next time you’re sipping your morning brew, ponder why some choose to skip it—it’s a blend of faith, health, and personal choice.

Key Takeaway: Understanding the reasons behind why Mormons don’t drink coffee can foster greater religious tolerance and cultural understanding.

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Nick Cho
Nick Cho

Nick Cho is a Korean-American entrepreneur and specialty coffee expert. Cho is a writer, speaker, and social media influencer, inspiring excellence in the specialty coffee industry.

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