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#66 Coffee Shop
Does a coffee shop need a Hechsher?
According to most Poskim, with regard to coffee in general there is no Issur of Bishul Akum, of having a goy prepare and brew the coffee, because coffee is primarily water, and one is allowed to drink water that has been prepared and heated by a goy. However, it is known that the Arizal was stringent with regard to drinking coffee prepared by a goy. Nevertheless, most Poskim say that it is not an issue. Of course, this is said about a case in which there is no concern about Keilim, the utensils used, for example the coffeemaker being used for other drinks that are forbidden such as Cholov Akum, or milk that is not Kosher, and possibly other forbidden liquids. Even if there is no such possibility affecting the Keilim, it should be noted that many Poskim say that a Shoimer Nafshoi Yirchak, a person who protects his soul should stay away from drinking in a Beis Kafei shel Goyim, in a non-Jewish coffeehouse.
Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.
Text by Miss Esther Rochel Elkaim