Full disclosure: I’m a French press guy. It makes great coffee, cleanup and storage are both a breeze, and you never find yourself half-asleep at 7am in the morning wondering, “Shit. I’m out of filters. Will a paper towel work instead? What if it’s a Brawny?”
But those know-it-alls at Harvard University – who’ve probably invented some magical coffee making machine they’re hiding from the rest of us riffraff – recently issued a warning about the potential side effects of French press brews. No, it’s not that you might reach a dangerous level of coffee enjoyment. (Why is that never the warning!?) Instead, the dire advisory is that too much unfiltered coffee – like the kind that you get from a French press – can potentially raise your bad cholesterol.
According to recent article on the Harvard Health Blog, not filtering your coffee allows oily substances to slip through known as diterpenes. People who know their coffee will tell you these oils are what help make French press coffee taste better, but health professor Dr. Eric Rimm says they can turn you into a ticking time bomb: “Five to eight cups a day of unfiltered coffee may actually raise your ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol,” he said – all thanks to these oils.
Granted, five to eight cups of coffee is a lot of coffee. At those rates, your life is probably already packed full of activities. But Dr. Rimm suggests adding regular cholesterol checks to that list. Or just play it safe and limit your unfiltered coffee intake to a max of four cups a day.
After that, I guess it’s back to Rockstar Energy Drinks.