BACKGROUND: Sarcopenia is an age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. Coffee has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to be inversely related to the mechanism of sarcopenia. While there have been some studies on the effect of coffee on sarcopenia in animals, studies on the topic in humans are rare. Therefore, we investigated this relationship in elderly Korean men. METHODS: The cross-sectional data were derived from the 2008–2011 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. After applying the exclusion criteria, the study sample consisted of 1,781 men who were at least 60 years of age. Study participants were identified as having sarcopenia if their appendicular skeletal muscle mass divided by height squared was less than two standard deviations below the gender-specific mean of this value for young adults. Daily coffee consumption amounts were categorized as <1 cup, 1 cup, 2 cups, and ≥3 cups. RESULTS: Compared to the group of individuals who drank less than one cup of coffee a day, people who consumed at least 3 cups (adjusted odds ratio, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.20 to 0.94) showed significantly decreased sarcopenia; however, the decrease was not significant when the daily coffee consumption was 1 or 2 cups. In multivariate logistic regression models, significant associations were observed between sarcopenia and coffee consumption (P for trend=0.039). CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that consuming at least 3 cups of coffee per day was associated with a lower prevalence of sarcopenia in elderly Korean elderly men.