If you are an old-school coffee addict, you are most likely a fan of french press coffee making – however, have you ever wondered why is french press coffee bad for you?
Over the past couple of years, pressed coffee has garnered great amount of fame for coffee lovers around the world. It’s not hard to see why that has happened.
Some other names for French Press are cafetière, cafetière à piston, caffettiera a stantuffo, press pot, coffee plunger or coffee press. Let us walk through the details, negatives and positives of the french press.
Read more: Buy the best coffee beans for French press
History of French Press
French press coffee brewing device was first introduced in the year 1852. Mayer and Delforge – two French people were the brains behind this invention.
It has undergone multiple design variations since its first original design was developed in 1852. It gained popularity in 1965 when Michael Caine was seen using it in the movie The Ipcress File. It was primarily made popular in Europe.
After experiencing a lot of modifications in the past, the modern French press now consists of a cylindrical beaker that is generally made of glass, if not then it’s made up of plastic. It has a metal or plastic lid depending on its outer body and has a wire made of stainless steel. It also contains a mesh filter.
Why is French Press Coffee Bad For You?
Even with its convenience, easy to make and carry properties, it is not always rainbows and butterflies with French press coffee. Drinking French press coffee can be bad for you.
Let us have a look why is that:
French Press Cholesterol:
The coffee brewed using a French Press potentially increases the level of cholesterol, as research signifies. This unfiltered coffee, known to raise cholesterol levels contains a compound called cafestol.
Cafestol is a diterpenoid molecule which is found in coffee beans.
As the French press brews unfiltered coffee, the amount of cafestol in French Press coffee is significantly higher compared to that of filtered coffee as the filter paper retains most of the quantity, letting only a small or negligible amount to pass via filter.
Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that drinking coffee using a French Press will be the only factor that increases your cholesterol, however, it is imperative for people with high cholesterol problems to avoid French press coffee.
People with LDL Cholesterol
People with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol particularly are the ones who must avoid French press coffee or have it in moderation as it can have the harmful effects on them.
LDL cholesterol is considered bad cholesterol. It builds up cholesterol in your arteries. When there is a high concentration of LDL cholesterol in your blood, then LDL cholesterol, along with some other substances forms plaque.
This plaque slowly and gradually builds up in the arteries. It causes the arteries to become narrow and hard, interfering the blood flow to the heart.
Blood is responsible for carrying oxygen to the heart and with the reduced blood flow to the heart because of hardening and narrowing of the arteries, one might experience minor chest pain, also known as angina.
If the damage becomes severe as to complete blockage of blood flow to the heart, this eventually results in a heart attack.
Effects of Excess Consumption
We can understand why the caffeine addicts prefer French press coffee over the filtered coffee, it’s the caffeine rush they get with unfiltered coffee that makes them prefer it more.
Even though one or two cups a day does not do damage of raising LDL cholesterol, but as they say, excess of everything is bad. And having unfiltered coffee in excess is no exception here.
The caffeine addicts who consume five to eight cups a day can potentially face the adverse effect caused by this coffee. Increasing their LDL cholesterol levels.
Coffee Oils Taste Good, But Have Adverse Health Effects
For caffeine addicts, the coffee oils that end up in French Press coffee make it taste better but these substances, known as diterpenes, cause the LDL cholesterol level to get higher, having damaging effects on the heart health.
For those who are hooked on to the French press coffee and find it a bit too late to shun it altogether, it is important to get their tests done on a regular basis that monitor the levels of cholesterol in their body.
Unfiltered French press coffee offers a taste that the others cannot match, but this taste must not make you compromise on your heart health – necessary for your survival.
Other Factors that Play a Vital Role
Some of the biggest risks also arise from what you put in your coffee – some people love adding sugar, cream or syrups in their coffee. These add calories and saturated fat in your coffee, leading you to gain weight.
The question arises, how to make French Press coffee healthy enough so one does not have to worry round the clock about its adversarial effects on health?
Moreover, it takes significant amount of time to brew coffee using French Press machine. The lifestyle nowadays requires us to get things done quickly. Moreover, no one has the time on their hands to wait a long time only to sip on their coffee. It is not the ideal choice for people with extremely busy lives.
What is Unfiltered Coffee?
In the simplest of definitions, any coffee that does not require a paper filter is unfiltered coffee.
Unfiltered coffee is also called ‘boiled’ coffee and the most common types of unfiltered coffee would be the espresso and french press.
How to Make Coffee using French Press
Even though French Press coffee is a bit time-consuming, yet it is easy to brew. All you need to do is:
You simply grind the coffee beans, boil the water and let it cool for about a minute. Then add the water in French press, stir it and let it sit for about 4 minutes. Then you plunge the press and your coffee is ready.
Using a Filter Paper with French Press
In order to make your French Press coffee healthier, you can use paper filter to remove the excess cafestol and for that extra filtration! The mesh filter present in the machine does not filter a lot and thus you can buy paper filters to remove the harmful substances from your coffee.
Some filters might be big for the French press coffee machine. In such cases, you can cut the filter out according to the size of your French press machine. You can also filter the micro ground coffee from the steel mesh of the French press machine.
French Press Coffee VS Drip Coffee
Numerous factors account for French Press coffee being better than the drip coffee. Firstly, it can sustain coffee’s oils in larger amounts, which is certainly what a coffee aficionado likes to have in his or her coffee.
You can choose and maintain the temperature of the water. You also get to decide how long you want to steep the ground coffee.
As mentioned earlier also, the French Press coffee machine does not require electricity. Thus, you also save power! French Press coffee machine is relatively easier to clean than other coffee brewers.
With French Press coffee, there is a direct contact between water and ground coffee, which gives you a stronger coffee with better aroma. It smells more refreshing.
Drip Coffee is Easy & Quick
If you are thinking of serving coffee at a large gathering such as an office workplace, restaurant or family functions, then drip coffee makers are your go to coffee brewers.
These coffee makers can brew coffee for large numbers of people, saving time and you get to serve coffee to a large number of people in lesser time.
Drip coffee makers make coffee rather quickly compared to the French press coffee. Even though it is highly dependent on how long you let the coffee steep for.
Cons of Filtered Coffee
The filtered coffee comes with its good share of disadvantages, too. Main ingredient found in coffee is caffeine. Consuming too much coffee ultimately means consumption of higher amount off caffeine.
Excess amount of caffeine in body is considered to be 300 milligrams. Consuming 300 milligrams of caffeine on a daily basis may give rise to sleeplessness, irritability, palpitations and anxiety.
Research found that consuming caffeine after sleep is most likely to lead to insomnia – a disorder in which you find it difficult to go to sleep or sleep for good, long hours. It leads to nervousness and anxiety if prolonged.
Some college students who are under pressure of studies, with so much to do and less time to accomplish it all, they resort to consuming large amounts of coffee in order to stay awake and meet deadlines for their projects and assignments.
Little do they realize that they are doing damage to their body and in the long run, might develop some chronic conditions, as investigated by research.
Consuming caffeine in large amounts also causes the blood pressure to increase even if you don’t have high blood pressure. Researchers say that caffeine blocks a hormone that keeps the arteries widened.
Benefits of Coffee
Don’t get overwhelmed by the negative side of drinking caffeine in excess. The compounds such as magnesium, potassium and niacin present in coffee are good for health.
Consuming caffeine in moderate amounts is actually helpful for the body to boost energy, maintain focus, staying alert and reducing lethargy.
Coffee has antioxidant properties. Free radicals constantly remove proteins from our body. They also damage the DNA.
Coffee is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and protect against aging. Not just that many diseases are caused by oxidative stress – cancer is one of them. Coffee also helps prevent that.
Coffee contains hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols. Hydrocinnamic acids also prevent against oxidative stress.
Polyphenols are particularly useful and prevent a number of diseases from attacking the body such as heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and even cancer.
These ingredients delay the absorption of blood sugar, increase the metabolic rate which is the rate at which our body burns calories and energy and help blood vessels contract and relax. It helps in reducing weight as we age.
Benefits of French Press
Like any other type of coffee beverage, French Press does have its positive side too:
Convenience & Portability
One of the major benefits of a french press is that it offers convenience. It is easy to make compared to other coffee makers. It is portable and easy to carry as well.
Now, if you have to go on a road trip, you certainly don’t need to worry about your morning coffee.
Lower Price Tag
It is much cheaper compared to K-cups and traditional coffee makers, so it does not put a big dent on your pocket. It does not require electricity to make coffee.
Essential Nutrients in Coffee Oil Pass Through
The design of French Press is such that it allows raw grounds in contact with water instead of being filtered out. This lets essential oils to be disseminated thoroughly in water, instead of being removed via the filter. It has thicker and less watery texture compared to other coffees.
Hence, as a result, certain beneficial and healthy nutrients as well as antioxidants stay in your coffee, rather than just the adding of its flavor and the rich aroma.
Give a More Refreshing Effect
Another benefit of French Press coffee is helping in concentration and better recall in the morning. Most of us tend to feel lazy and dizzy even after getting sufficient beauty sleep. This helps us focusing better and makes us alert, giving the morning boost we search for in our coffee.
It also helps protect the mind from Alzheimer’s and the cognitive aging we all go through.
Neurologically, it can prevent Parkinson’s disease and even dementia. It reduces the risk of cancer significantly as well.
If you are a fan of drinking pure and more earth-friendly coffee, then French press brewed coffee is a good option for you to get your everyday cup of Joe.
With this machine, you don’t have to go through the process of filtering which can even have some harmful health consequences (though unknown as of yet). The coffee used is in less quantity whereas the taste achieved is the same.
Our Final Thought on French Press Coffee
Having explained the pros and cons of French press coffee, we now pretty much know why is french press coffee bad for you.
We can evidently say that while this method of drinking coffee is convenient, simple and cheap, care must be taken as to consuming this coffee.
Make sure your daily intake does not exceed four cups or so as it can raise the “bad” cholesterol in your body even if you have never faced the problem of cholesterol in your life before.
If you are having health problems, particularly related to cholesterol, then it might be a good idea to cut down on the French Press coffee. Keep in mind that consuming excess amounts of the coffee won’t do you any good though you do enjoy each and every sip of it.
However, if you are not ready to give your everyday French press coffee, due to its impeccable taste and long-lasting aroma, then make sure to use a filter paper to filter your coffee so the harmful substance cafestol does not make its way into your cup.
Enjoy your coffee without having to worry about health-related problems!