Is French Press Coffee Bad For You?

If you drink a french press every morning, you will want to read this article. The french press method has emerged as one of the most popular methods to make coffee. Not only does it taste great, but it’s extremely easy to use! And whether you like hot or cold coffee, the french press can accommodate both.

But according to the Harvard School of Public Health, there are signs that the french press method has negative effects. We don’t know exactly why french press coffee is bad for you, and the jury is still out on its effects. That said, you’ll want to read this article if you’re a regular user of the french press. We’ll give you the inside scoop on what happens when you drink the french press, and what you can do to protect yourself.

french press bad for you

You mean my french press is bad for me?

Well…maybe. For those not in the know, the french press is a coffee method that mixes water and coffee grounds directly. You grind coffee beans, put them in the press, heat water and mix the beans. After a four-minute steeping period, you press the plunger and trap the coffee grounds at the bottom of the press. This contrasts with a traditional drip coffee maker that runs the mixture through a filter, ensuring no grounds enter the coffee mix.

Because there’s no filter in the french press method, some of the oils from your beans enter your mug. Called diterpenes, many coffee experts claim it adds to the taste of your coffee. The rub is that diterpenes are shown to have a bad influence on your cholesterol levels. A bit shocked? We were too. Read more to see what Harvard claims.

What Exactly is going on with the French Press?

According to Dr. Eric Rimm, epidemiology professor at Harvard School of Public Health, “five to eight cups a day of unfiltered coffee may actually raise your ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.” While that’s a lot of coffee, the french press method passes more caffeine and other nutrients than the traditional drip coffee method. Even a single cup of french press coffee is considered equivalent to 2-4 cups of drip coffee.

If you’re like me, you’re willing to take a little risk considering how good french press coffee tastes. French press has not been linked to an increase in cancer risk or other dangerous illnesses. That said, Dr. Rimm suggests you keep an eye on your cholesterol levels, more specifically LDL (the bad kind of cholesterol). He also says you shouldn’t have more than four cups of unfiltered coffee per day, and five filtered cups per day.

In addition to cholesterol, french press coffee can also give you too much caffeine at once. Too much caffeine can lead to jitters, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. Dr Rimm suggests not consuming coffee after 12 PM in order to make sure it does not interrupt sleep. The negative effects of too much caffeine do go away after stopping caffeine consumption.

So is Coffee good for me, or bad for me?

The answer is unfortunately the answer to most questions – “it depends.” There are still many known positive health benefits of coffee. Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s, cirrhosis, and gout, and others come to mind. That said, the biggest risks of coffee come from what you put in it. Creamers, sugar, and syrups are fattening and the most common additions to morning coffee. As long as you keep it light on these additives, we think french press is still a good risk to take. And if that’s the biggest risk you’re taking…well…you’ll probably live a long time.