As coffee-consumption is a widespread tradition, its possible impact on health has been of considerable interest. This review examines the effects of coffee on cardiovascular risk, outlines underlying biological mechanisms, and discusses implications for public health. In the past, coffee was often viewed as a cardiovascular risk-factor. However, in meta-analyses of recent well-controlled prospective epidemiologic studies, coffee-consumption was not associated with risk of coronary heart disease and weakly associated with a lower risk of stroke and heart failure. Also, available evidence largely suggests that coffee-consumption is not associated with a higher risk of fatal cardiovascular events. In randomized trials coffee-consumption resulted in small increases in blood pressure. Unfiltered coffee increased circulating LDL cholesterol and triglycerides concentrations, but filtered coffee had no substantial effects on blood lipids. In summary, for most healthy people, moderate coffee consumption is unlikely to adversely affect cardiovascular health. Future work should prioritize understanding the effects of coffee in at-risk populations.