We Brew Coffee

From Prohibition to Possibility: The Future of Coffee in Mormonism

Mormonism is a religious practice that has been growing in popularity for years. It is a faith that was founded in the early 19th century when Joseph Smith alleged to have received revelations from God.

From then on, the faith has grown and evolved, and it now boasts millions of adherents worldwide. One thing that has been of interest to many non-Mormons is the question of coffee consumption, as it is one of the areas of practice that distinguishes the faith from others.

In this article, we will explore the historical and current stance of the Mormon faith regarding coffee consumption.

1) History of Coffee in the Mormon Faith

The Word of Wisdom and Hot Drinks

One of the most significant documents in Mormonism is the Word of Wisdom. The Word of Wisdom is a revelation given to Joseph Smith on February 27, 1833.

It is a section of the Doctrine and Covenants, and it outlines the guidelines that members of the faith should follow concerning their health. Among the things prohibited in this document is the consumption of “hot drinks,” which has been interpreted to mean coffee and tea.

While the use of tobacco and alcohol was explicitly addressed in the wording of the revelation, coffee was not mentioned by name, but members of the faith have come to interpret the revelation as including coffee.

Mormons and Coffee in the 19th Century

In the early days of the Mormon faith, members were traveling a lot, and they were frequently subjected to persecution. These experiences led many members to adopt a practice of avoiding coffee, as it was an easy way to identify themselves as members of the faith.

As the practice became more widespread, coffee came to be viewed as something of a taboo within the faith.

The Role of Habit-Forming Substances in Mormon Doctrine

The Word of Wisdoms intent is to keep members free from addiction. It is this reason why there has been such a strong emphasis on avoiding not just alcohol and tobacco, but also coffee.

The idea is that members should not be controlled by substances. This perspective includes coffee shops, which may lead to addiction and dependence on coffee.

2) Current Mormon Guidance on Coffee

Official Church Guidance on Hot Drinks

The current guidance given by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints is that members should avoid drinking coffee and tea. The emphasis is on avoiding addictive substances and not on caffeine specifically.

Hence, decaf coffee and tea are not exempt from the prohibition.

Loopholes for Herbal Tea and Hot Chocolate

However, there are loopholes in the guidance for those who don’t want to avoid hot drinks entirely. Herbal tea and hot chocolate, for instance, are generally acceptable alternatives.

The emphasis is on the absence of any harmful ingredient to the health of the body and on avoiding addiction to habit-forming substances. As such, there is no specific guidance on chocolate-containing drinks like mochas.

Perceptions and Adherence to the Word of Wisdom

Youth adherents to the church often perceive the Word of Wisdom as a suggestion rather than a requirement. In an article called The Next Mormons survey, recent research shows that millennials have a more lenient view of the Word of Wisdom amounting to word-of-mouth guideline rather than an explicitly-followed rule compared to the previous generation.

However, it is worth noting that adherence to the Word of Wisdom is crucial, and members who choose to drink coffee may experience scrutiny and judgment from peers.


In conclusion, coffee has a long and complicated history within the Mormon faith. The Word of Wisdoms explicit prohibition of hot drinks has been interpreted to include coffee and tea, leading to the widespread practice of avoidance.

While the current guidance is still to avoid coffee altogether, herbal tea, and hot chocolate are generally acceptable. However, it is up to individual members to decide whether or not to adhere to the Word of Wisdom’s guidance, knowing the consequences that may come with such decisions.

The Mormon faith has been growing for many years, and as a result, the practices and customs of members have been evolving as well. One area in which there has been speculation about possible change is surrounding the consumption of coffee.

In this expansion, we will explore the possibility of changes in the future regarding coffee within the Mormon faith.

1) Softening Views on the Word of Wisdom

Gen X, Vital, Change

One factor that might influence the Mormon Church’s attitude towards coffee consumption is the changing views of younger members, particularly Generation X. According to recent studies, younger members of the church are more likely to view the Word of Wisdom as a guideline to be considered rather than a strict rule to be followed.

As they are a vital part of the church’s future, their views might influence the church’s policies eventually. The changing times could also signify the possibility of a reexamination of the interpretation of the Word of Wisdom.

The church has slowly shifted its position on other matters, such as the use of birth control and interracial marriage. There may be space for a new interpretation of the ‘hot drinks’ prohibition that could allow for the inclusion of coffee consumption.

2) Rumors of Coffee Becoming “Legal”

Skepticism, Scientific Findings, Benefits

There has long been skepticism in the Mormon community regarding the health benefits of coffee consumption. Still, recent research has shown that coffee may have several health benefits, including reduced risk of depression, stroke, and heart disease.

These scientific findings may lead to a change in attitude towards coffee within the faith. Despite the health benefits and its growing cultural popularity, the institutional church has not made any public statements regarding changing their stance on coffee consumption and remains committed to their otherwise unchanging guidelines in the Word of Wisdom.

However, there has been no lack of speculation in the community, and rumors of the possibility of coffee becoming “legal” within the church have been making rounds for some time now. As widely speculated, coffee’s presumed long-term benefits could outweigh the church’s original concerns regarding coffee consumption.


In conclusion, it remains to be seen precisely what the future holds concerning the Mormon faith’s attitudes towards the consumption of coffee. While the church has been committed to the Word of Wisdom, younger members, more progressive views and scientific findings could reshape the interpretation of the Word of Wisdom sooner-than-later.

Besides, there has been much speculation around whether coffee will ever become “legal” within the church, making it a safe yet healthy choice of beverage. If coffee ever gets to be part of the approved drinks, it would represent a significant shift in the Mormon faith’s stance concerning this matter.

In conclusion, the Mormon faith has had a long-standing prohibition regarding coffee consumption. However, changing attitudes in the younger generation and scientific research on coffee’s potential health benefits create possibilities for a future change in interpretation of the Word of Wisdom regarding coffee consumption.

While the official guidance remains strict, herbal teas and hot chocolate are acceptable options for those who prefer a hot drink. As the church’s views evolve, what will remain constant is the emphasis on avoiding addiction to substances and maintaining physical and mental health, which is essential to the church’s beliefs.

Overall, this topic highlights the significance of religious practices and how they intersect with everyday life and health choices.

Popular Posts