Bishul Yisroel Beverages

Must brewed coffee or beer be bishul yisroel?

Can I purchase coffee which was boiled by a non-jew ?

Chazal prohibited food cooked by a gentile (bishul akum), and two reasons are offered: (1) To prevent socialization that could lead to intermarriage; (2) to avoid being served non-kosher food. Food that was cooked by a Jew who doesn’t yet keep Shabbos is prohibited lechatchila, since the second reason is still relevant.

Not all food is included in this prohibition, and there are two primary exceptions:

(1) Food that is regularly eaten raw in that locale. Foods that aren’t commonly eaten raw – such as eggs that some swallow raw – require bishul Yisroel.

(2) Food not fit to be served at a royal feast. The reason is that people don’t invite others to eat unimportant types of food, and the concerns aren’t relevant. This determination follows the current standards. Thus, although potatoes weren’t considered a royal food in previous times, today they are.

What about beer or coffee?

Regarding water which a gentile boiled the halocho is that it does not require to be bishul yisroel as it is something which one eats/ drinks raw as one drinks regular non-boiled  water regularly, and it is therefore not subject to bishul akum.

Although beer must be brewed, the barley is secondary to the water (as evidenced from the bracha being shehakol) and bishul akum doesn’t apply7 Coffee brewed by non-Jews is permitted by many for the same reason. Moreover, since roasted coffee beans are edible but not fit for a royal feast, the prohibition doesn’t apply to their subsequent cooking.9 In addition,  Another point given over there is a machlokes / discussion amongst halachic authorities  if something which isn’t actually eaten with bread rather it is  served as a desert is it considered to be oleh al Shulchan Melochim, some Achronim hold that the coffee drink is not considered oleh al Shulchan Melochim it is not fitting for a royal feast  to be eaten in a meal (with bread) and thereby it is not prohibited due to the prohibition  bishul yisroel. With others disagree and hold that also a desert requires bishul yisroel. Some say that although a dessert requires bishul yisroel yet if it is a drink it does not require bishul yisroel.

For these reasons the consensus amongst halachic authorities is that coffee does not require bishul yisroel.

Yet there are some who are scrupulous and require bishul yisroel by coffee, the reasoning given based on the Ariza"l  who his  own practice was not to have coffee which was brewed by a gentile. Others distinguish between brewed coffee, where only a taste is transmitted into the water, and instant coffee, where the actual beans are dissolved into the water.  However others  contend  that in truth there is no difference in between the two types of coffee  as they contend thatInstant coffee is not ground beans that dissolve in water. It is produced by taking brewed coffee and removing the water component. What's left is dried essence of coffee. Basically brewed coffee without the water.

Some contend that if a Jew adds the sugar or milk to the coffee, it is considered that the “cooking” was completed by a Jew.

In practice, the widespread custom is to permit all types of coffee and beer.

(This does not address the potential issue of machines being contaminated with chalav akum or drinking in non-Jewish company.)



ראה גמ' ע"ז דף ל"ז ע"ב ושו"ע יו"ד סי' קי"ג ס"א. ראה גמ' ע"ז דף ל"א ע"א ורא"ש שם,וראה יו"ד סי' קי"ד ס"א. רדב"ז ח"ג סי' תרל"ז.פר"ח סי' קי"ד סק"ו. ראה שו"ע יו"ד סי' קי"ג ס"א, וראה ערוה"ש סי' קי"ג ס"ז. וראה שד"ח מע' בישולי גוים אות י'

ראה שו"ת באר עשק סי' ק"ה. ראה שו"ת בעי חיי חיו"ד סי' קמ"ה. ספר הכשרות פי"ט סכ"ה

[1]  גמ' שם דף ל"ח פר"ח יו"ד סי' קי"ג סק"ג,[1] הבנה ברמב"ם מאכל"א פי"ז הט"ו, אבל ראה שו"ע יו"ד סי' קי"ג ס"א וש"ך סי' קי"ג סק"ב'.

ראה יחוו"ד ח"ד סי' מ"ב.

[1] תוס' ד"ה ותרוייהו ע"ז ל"א ע"ב.