I dropped coffee cold turkey 6 weeks ago after realizing that my favorite stimulant was why I was dragging through the days. Had some serious withdrawal symptoms for about a week. Now I only use green tea and Spike for caffeine. BTW: supposedly coffee with sugar increases cortisol levels 3 or 4 fold for like 18 hours...
The "moderation" tag is a bit too simplistic to apply wholesale - we seem to be saying this when it comes to nearly everything.
IMO, If you want to live an "optimal life" you might consider that coffee can be VERY stressful on the body, even one cup per day. Between the said cortisol effects, coffee requires plenty of buffering thus it can contribute to an acidic pH in your body, it kills of tons of essential flora in the gut, and it is addictive (decaf too).
I think it goes on a person to person basis, as with most things - ask yourself this: how healthy are you and how well do you eat? If you are eating holistically with minimal processed crap, eating tons of veggies, drinking plenty of water, etc, then I believe you can afford to moderately consume sub-optimal foods/beverages at times. But, if you are having any fatigue, headaches, adrenal burn-out, cancer/risk of cancer, osteoporosis, then I think coffee is out of the questions for you. These conditions are mutli-factoral of course, but coffee and caffeine can certainly exacerbate these issues.
to echo everyone else, one cup is fine, especially if you are drinking it in the morning.
I find that one espresso in the morning sets me up for the rest of the day but if I have it after noon then all the caffeine does is make me irritable rather than energised. So I stick to a morning coffee and herbal or green tea at any other time.
You are correct - coffee could be considered holistic as it is natural (but only truly natural if its organically grown). I was actually making the point of how holistic one's entire lifestyle was. The more holistic - optimal is a better word here - the less havoc a substance like coffee might reek on their system.
Cup for cup, green tea is just far superior, plus it does indeed give you a caffeine fix if need be. And again you are correct in that even too much green tea may not be optimal as it can elevate floride to unsafe levels, thanks to acid rain. 50 years ago this would probably not be an issue.
Once again, the word moderation is relative, which is why I don't think you can slap that on anything that is discussed. A "moderate" amount of mercury in tuna may be fine for some people but that same amount may cause brain damage in others. Same with aspartame, alcohol, etc, etc. Moderation is tied to the individual's situation - some can get by with a daily cup of joe, others should avoid it. In other words, "everything in moderation" doesn't address the potential issues with the substance.
Original poster: if you don't mind posting, what is your general health like? What kind of diet do you eat?
I could find just as many studies that confirm negative side effects as you can find positives ones on coffee. At some point you have to weigh-in the facts and decide how to procede considering your own personal situation.
Sounds pretty decent, although I don't know how much of what.
How many veggies are you getting a day (cups)? How much water do you drink per day (ounces)? How many protein grams from whole food and how many from supplmentation do you get per day? Do you feel yourself having a daily fatigue pattern or headaches more than once per month? Any IBS/GI issues? Do you get hypoglycemia easily?
If you where a client of mine, these are the questions I would ask to see if coffee might have a negative impact on your health.
As a scientist who works in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry I have assayed coffee and tea for their levels of caffeine and antioxidants using HPLC and chemiluminescence and in my findings black coffee, when compared to green and black tea, has exceedingly higher levels of antioxidants with a broader chemical profile.