Coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This association does not depend on race, gender, geographic distribution of the study populations, or the type of coffee consumed (i.e., caffeinated or decaffeinated). This review discusses the strength of this relationship, examines the possibility that the pattern of coffee consumption could influence the association, and evaluates the possible relationship between coffee consumption and other risk factors associated with diabetes. Particular attention is paid to the identification, on the basis of the scientific evidence, of the possible mechanisms by which coffee components might affect diabetes development, especially in light of the paradoxical effect of caffeine on glucose metabolism. In addition to the role of coffee in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the possible role of coffee in the course of the illness is explored. Finally, the possibility that coffee can also affect the risk of other forms of diabetes (e.g., type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes) is examined.