What we call a coffee bean is actually the seed of the coffee plant, and grows inside the fruit frequently referred to as a cherry. So yes, that makes coffee about as vegan as you can get!
Of course, generally speaking there can be a few more ingredients in your brew which probably don’t tick the box. The obvious one is milk, but fortunately there are a number of alternatives available, many of which are indistinguishable in coffee and make no difference to the foam quality in your morning cappuccino.
What doesn’t perhaps spring to mind are any syrups and sauces you might usually add to your beverage, and something you might want to consider asking about on your next visit to your favorite coffee shop. Whilst the majority do easily tick the vegan box, there are some exceptions depending on variety and manufacturer, and it’s definitely worth asking the question.
There are of course some wider implications to the whole issue. Whilst veganism may be a simple dietary choice for some, for many more it’s a reflection of their lifestyle choices and subsequently there are many more things to consider when choosing where to go and what to have. Despite the big movement towards the use of recyclable cups, they’re still not compulsory and many cafes are still opting to use the cheaper standard ones. Little extras such as straws and plastic cutlery can also have an impact, and often overlooked even by those even with the best intentions.
It’s also worth considering the farming methods used in growing and cultivating coffee plants, and the subsequent effect they can have on the environment. Traceability has become more and more important within the industry in recent years, and many a quality barista worth their salt will be able to tell you more about where your coffee comes from. And if they can’t, they should be able to find out.
Anyway, returning to the question. Yes, providing it isn’t adulterated coffee is very much vegan : )