“It’s ground very finely and then boiled, and that process seems to bring out these oils, these polyphenols that are good for your heart,” he says. In fact, a 2013 study in the journal Vascular Medicine found that elderly participants who drank boiled, Ikaria coffee had improved endothelial function (which plays a role in blood clotting and overall heart health). And on the subject of polyphenols, one large study in Europe reported that a higher intake of these powerful antioxidants was associated with a longer life span.
If you can’t get your hands on this special type of coffee, don’t fret: Buettner asserts that the drink itself is a Blue Zones staple. “Coffee is also common in Sardinia; it’s common among the Nicoya,” he adds. “I just think it’s one of those beverages that you can enjoy with impunity, and it’s probably good for you as well.”