French Press is the most rewarding and simple coffee brewing method. With the French Press, you can prepare a rich and bold cup of Coffee without having a lot of fuss.
But Is French Press coffee good or bad? This is the hottest question in the coffee World. Every French press lover wants to know that is there any harmful effects of the French Press on their health. But some die-hard fans of French Press simply don’t care.
I also love French Press coffee very much, and I used to hear this from people that drinking French Press coffee can ruin your health. So, I decided to do research on the topic that what are the benefits and dreadful effects of French Press coffee on health. Whether the benefits dismiss the dreadful effects or drinking how much French Press coffee is safe for you.
I came to know about some interesting facts during my research which I am going to share with you.
How is French Press Coffee different from other brewing methods?
French Press is an immersion type of brewing method. In this method, coffee grounds are steeped in water for an extended period; during that time, the water extracts the flavors from the coffee grounds. And the metal strainer of the French Press keeps away the coffee grounds from your cup.
As French Press only uses metal strainer, so it is essentially an unfiltered type of Coffee. Coffee grounds release more than 1000 compounds during extraction. Some of these compounds are harmful to health and can’t be filtered through a metal strainer.
Traditionally, no paper filters are used with the French Press brewing method. Yes, you can use a paper filter with French Press coffee. But, I must say that if you are a coffee enthusiast, you will notice a considerable difference in the taste after using filters. The flavor will not be as rich or bold as without the paper filters.
Why French Press Coffee might be bad for you?
The main reason why French Press is bad for health is the presence of Cafestol and Kahweol compounds in the coffee grounds. These compounds can’t be filtered by the mesh strainer of the French Press coffee maker, and they can raise the level of Cholesterol in your body.
What are Cafestol and Kahweol? And how bad are they?
Cafestol and Kahweol are the organic compounds present in coffee drinks prepared through brewing methods that use no proper filter, like Turkish Coffee or French Press.
Cholesterol is a natural substance found in our body; in addition to its natural occurrence in the body, we also get cholesterol from the food we eat. Cafestol is the most dominant culprit for raising the level of Cholesterol in our body. And too much Cholesterol can put you at risk of cardiovascular diseases.
But in addition to harmful effects, Cafestol and Kahweol also have many health benefits. These compounds contain anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory components, which protect our bodies from life-threatening diseases. According to a recent study.
“Cafestol and Kahweol are natural diterpenes extracted from coffee beans. In addition to the effect of raising serum lipid, in vitro and in vivo experimental results have revealed that the two diterpenes demonstrate multiple potential pharmacological actions such as anti-inflammation, hepatoprotective, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-osteoclastogenesis activities. The most relevant mechanisms involved are down-regulating inflammation mediators, increasing glutathione (GSH), inducing apoptosis of tumor cells and anti-angiogenesis.”
How much Cafestol does French Press have?
French Press has 20-27 mg/L of Cafestol, which can surely raise the level of Cholesterol in your body.
This amount is not that much if you drink only 2 to 3 cups of French Press a day. According to Dr. Eric Rimm, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
“Five to eight cups a day of unfiltered coffee may actually raise your ”bad” LDL cholesterol.”
If you are drinking more than 5 cups of French Press coffee, it can put you at risk of higher cholesterol levels. So, you should seriously think about reducing the amount you are consuming or using paper filters.
But it’s also the fact that almost 80% of Cholesterol is produced naturally in the human body, and only 20% comes from our diet. That means you can only control 20% of Cholesterol through your diet.
Some people have the genetic problem of producing more Cholesterol. So, if your body has those genes, then cutting the cups of French Press coffee will not make a considerable difference.
Dark roasted coffee beans are slightly less in Cafestol than dark roasted coffee beans. And also, Robusta coffee beans have less Cafestol than Arabica coffee beans.
Do filtering Coffee removes the Cafestol?
Paper filters remove almost all the Cafestol and Kahweol present in the Coffee; hence it reduces the risk of bad cholesterol levels.
There are three methods of using paper filters with French Press coffee. We have prepared a detailed guide on How to filter French Press coffee with paper filters. Have a look at it if you want to learn about it.
If you are not using paper filters, I recommend you always leave behind the last 1 to 2 sips in your cup. These last sips are very sludgy and oily, and most of the Cafestol is present in these last sips.
Do using paper filters affect the flavor?
In addition to Cafestol, paper filters also remove many flavorful oils from Coffee. If you are a coffee lover and your taste buds are sensitive, you will surely notice a difference in the taste.
Filtering French Press with a paper filter removes the richness and boldness of your favorite drink.
So, if you are not a cholesterol patient and don’t overdrink Coffee, I will not recommend you to use paper filters.
But if you want to want to remain on the safer side, use paper filters.
Can I drink French Press coffee if I am a cholesterol patient?
Regretfully No! It’s not advisable to drink French Press coffee if your body has a bad cholesterol level or if you are a heart patient.
Although you can drink French Press by using paper filters, I recommend you consult your doctor first. Doctors usually recommend shifting to drip coffee to such patients.
And I must say that there is not much difference in the taste of filtered French Press and Drip coffee.
And also, even if you are not a cholesterol patient but a die-hard fan of French Press who over drinks French Press coffee. It is recommended to check your cholesterol level at least after every six months.
Benefits of French Press Coffee
We have discussed how French Press coffee is different from other brewing methods and in which way it can adversely affect our health, and how to prevent these adverse effects by using paper filters.
So, let’s now discuss the benefits of brewing your Coffee with French Press over other brewing methods.
Simplest Brewing method
French Press is undoubtedly the simplest and easiest way of brewing your Coffee—no need for electricity, no need of heavy machines. You just need a French Press Jar and a plunger assembly which you can buy easily at a very low price.
And even with minimum brewing skills, you can brew a perfect cup of Coffee.
You have complete control over your brew
While preparing Coffee with French Press, you have complete control over your brew. You can adjust the brewing temperature according to your preference. You can choose the grind size of your liking. You can choose whether to steep your Coffee for a longer or shorter period.
So, in short, you can control the taste of your drink by adjusting these variables. In automatic coffee machines, you don’t have control over all these variables.
Thick and Rich taste
French Press brewing method essentially results in the thickest and boldest cup of coffee you have ever had as there is no proper filter used in this brewing method, so all the oils remain inside your cup, making it more flavorful.
French Press is a healthy drink
Besides the adverse effects of Cafestol and Kahweol, there are many ingredients in Coffee that have health benefits. According to the study:
“Dr. Rimm and his colleagues believe the combination of those ingredients may delay the absorption of blood sugar, help cells draw sugar from the blood, increase metabolic rate, and help blood vessels contract and relax. Those actions, they suspect, account for Coffee’sCoffee’s association with lower blood pressure, a slower rate of weight gain with age, and reduced risks for developing type 2 diabetes or dying from cardiovascular disease or neurological diseases.”
This brewing method doesn’t use electricity (if you are not electric kettles for heating water), so it doesn’t contribute to carbon emissions. This brewing method also doesn’t use pods, so it does not have any plastic waste. And even if your French Press gets damaged, it’s completely eco-friendly to discard it as they are made of completely BPA-free material.
You can use it anywhere
French Press is a compact and lightweight coffee machine, so you can take it anywhere you want.
French Press brewing method is the most commonly used method for making coffee while camping or traveling.
After researching on this topic, my findings are that French Press is only bad for you if you drink it in excess or you already have bad cholesterol levels. Otherwise, it’s completely fine.
As we know, excess of everything is bad, so does apply to French Press coffee. It’s completely fine even if you drink 1 to 2 cups of French Press coffee per day.
But if you are suffering from cardiovascular diseases, you have to stop drinking French Press coffee or start using paper filters. Or you might take consultations from health experts.
How many cups of French Press can I drink per day?
French Press can cause high cholesterol levels in our body because of the presence of a compound known as Cafestol. But it’s completely fine to drink 2 to 3 cups of French Press per day if you are not already suffering from bad cholesterol levels.
Which coffee brewing methods have the most Cafestol?
Turkish Coffee, Moka pot, and French Press have the highest amount of Cafestol present in them as these brewing methods don’t use proper filtration.
Which coffee brewing method has the least Cafestol?
Drip coffee, Chemex, and the coffee brewing methods which use proper filtration methods have the least amount of Cafestol.
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I am Johny Morrisson! Founder of CoffeeAbout
My love for coffee dates back to my childhood. I love trying out different coffee machines and recipes.
As a coffee enthusiast, I decided to start my blog last year to provide users with useful information on brewing methods.
During this journey, I have discovered many new things and facts about coffee that I will share with you here.