Is French Press Coffee Really All It's Cracked Up To Be?
For almost a century, coffee enthusiasts have come to know and love the French press. However, this method of brewing should be weighed carefully. Medical professionals are concerned about the adverse health effects associated with drinking French press coffee.
For those versed in other brewing methods, the French press is a testament to design and ease of use. Grounds are mixed with boiling water in a glass pitcher. After 5 to 7 minutes of steeping, a plunger attached to a metal filter is placed on top. Pressing down on the plunger drives the filter and loose grounds to the bottom of the pitcher completing the process.
So what’s the dilemma?
French Press Coffee is Unfiltered
The key difference between this method of brewing and others is the lack of a paper filter. The metal counterpart serves only as a means of straining the finished coffee of loose grounds. Enthusiasts know that pressing the plunger down too quickly can results in grounds slipping past the filter and finding their way into the brew.
This filter does not perform as well as its paper alternative. Brewing methods utilizing a paper filter guarantee grounds stay out of the coffee while also filtering out undesirable substances. Because the French press lacks a paper filter, coffee made using this method is considered unfiltered.
Unfiltered Coffee Can Raise Bad Cholesterol
Unfiltered coffee contains oily substances, known as diterpenes. Advocates of French press brewing feel these oils add a better flavor to their coffee. However, doctors claim that diterpenes raise levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, in the bloodstream. As many Americans know, high cholesterol can lead to heart disease and other serious medical complications.
There are numerous health benefits to drinking filtered coffee, including increased productivity, better moods, and the prevention of certain diseases. But unfiltered, the benefits do not merit the risks of high cholesterol and heart disease.
Who Should Avoid The French Press
This research does not merit panic, so don’t toss your French press just yet. People at risk of high cholesterol and those drinking more than five cups of coffee a day should avoid the French press on a regular basis. The professed benefit of these oils on the palette does not warrant the added risk of heart attack or stroke.
However, it’s never too soon to consider a healthy change for your office coffee service. Swapping out that French press for a filtered approach lets you enjoy all the great benefits coffee has to offer without the stress of high cholesterol.
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