To shed light on these concerns, researchers delved into data from the U.K. Biobank study made up of 500,000 individuals across the U.K. between 2006 and 2010. In a study of 9 million British male and female adults, coffee drinkers had a slightly lower risk of death over 10 years (10 to 15%) than those who didn't drink it regularly.
Researchers say this suggests caffeine wasn't responsible, but as the study was observational more research is required to determine what is behind the benefit.
The live-giving properties of a cup of joe even stayed in place for the survey's 10,000 respondents who drank eight cups or more a day.
"These findings suggest the importance of non caffeine constituents in the coffee-mortality association and provide further reassurance that coffee drinking can be a part of a healthy diet".
PHOTO:A woman drinks an ice coffee in this undated stock photo. Drinking coffee is associated with a lower risk of early death - virtually regardless of how much you drink and whether or not it's caffeinated, concludes a paper published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Whatever it is, there have been multiple studies that point to coffee's health benefits.
"But here's a situation where there was always some feeling of, 'Oh, can't be - I enjoy it too much, it can't be good for me.' And now we're finding out that it's good". A 2014 study found that there was zero evidence of dehydration with moderate daily coffee intake.
And even those who got through eight cups a day or more - roughly twice the maximum amount of caffeine recommended by the UK Food Standards Agency - saw mortality rates cut by 14%.
The researchers (who, by the way, are federal scientists, not from anything like the Starbucks Institute for Coffee Research) say there is data on diet about some of the study participants that could be mined to parse apart the difference between people who have, say, cappuccinos or lattes or espressos. But non-coffee drinkers were more likely to have died than coffee-drinkers.
The study looked at 500,000 people in the United Kingdom, of whom 387,494 were coffee drinkers. Part of the benefit, he points out, is that coffee simply makes people happy.
Some people have a gene that metabolises caffeine particularly fast - about four times faster than those with the slow variant of the gene.