Coffee - Is It Kosher Everywhere?
Shailah of the Week by Rabbi Zvi Nussbaum
Rabbinic Coordinator, Kosher Hotline Administrator for the Orthodox Union
Convenience stores, rest stops, and kiosks? If unflavored, it’s OK.
These establishments generally do not prepare non-kosher food, or, even if they do, dishes and utensils are washed by hand in a sink and not in a dishwasher.
Non-Kosher Certified Restaurant? It depends!
Investigation has shown that theoretically, coffee served in a restaurant may be kosher even if the equipment used to prepare the coffee is washed in a sink together with other non-kosher items. However, there may be several determining factors such as the introduction of soap, water temperature, the method of washing (kli rishon versus kli sheini), etc. Due to the uncertainty and ambiguity of each situation, the OU as a rule does not recommend the consumption of coffee prepared in a non-kosher restaurant.