Almost half a million older people were studied and it was determined that the more cups consumed, the less was the risk of death.
Dr Neal Freedman, of the National Cancer Institute in the United States – where the research was done – said drinking two or three cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of an early death by 10 to 15 per cent.
But he added that drinking more than two to three cups were of little benefit, because those who drank more – up to six cups – did not seem to reap any more benefits.
The participants, aged 50 to 71, were followed for 12 years and revealed a clear trend.
Dr Freedman said the main obstacle to coffee drinkers who wanted to increase their longevity was smoking.
‘In our study, the participants who drank coffee were far more likely to smoke cigarettes, which is a very strong risk factor for death,’ he said.