French Press, Press Pot, Coffee Press, Coffee Plunger, Cafetière, Bodum

Does coffee made in a French press raise cholesterol?

The short answer seems to be yes. Apparently coffee doesn’t contain cholesterol, but it does contain cafestol, which “is the most potent dietary cholesterol-elevating agent known,” according to How Coffee Raises Cholesterol in the Science Daily. Additionally, “French press coffee, boiled Scandinavian brew and espresso contain the highest levels of the compound, which is removed by paper filters used in most other brewing processes. Removing caffeine does not remove cafestol, however.” Specifically, they are talking about it raising LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Other references online:
MSNBC: Coffee and Cholesterol
CoffeeGreek Forum Discussion – Includes links to research
BMJ paper about Netherlands study
NY Times Commentary – Questions research
INeedCoffee article – Also questions research

Sadly, it appears the very thing that makes French press coffee more flavorful also makes it less healthy, but this also applies to espresso, though espresso has lower levels of both cafestol and caffeine (based on what I’ve read). The study referred to in the Science Daily article had people drinking 5 cups of French press coffee per day for 4 weeks. I don’t know about you, but as much as I like coffee, I drink less coffee than that. Some also point out that there are other factors affecting both cholesterol and our health than just what kind of coffee we drink. If anyone has any more commentary on this or can point to additional research, please do.

6 Responses to “Does coffee made in a French press raise cholesterol?”

  1. I was looking into purchasing a coffee press. Now I am rethinking about it as I already do have high cholesterol level…. Thanks for all the info you have on your blog, I am a coffee-holic!

  2. I love coffee in all shapes and forms.
    I drink drip style coffee throughout the day. (I am a baby about it, but I MUST have it with 1/2 and 1/2!)
    I treat myself to espresso when I feel like I can afford the treat.
    I love the Vietnamese style, ‘cafe su dah'(sp?), iced espresso and sweetened condensed milk.
    I have a small stove top espresso maker to make my own.
    Bottom line is, I enjoy my coffee. Without it, I would feel that my life would be less enriched. If I am not happy, well, all of the good health wont mean much to me.
    AND, moderation is always the best tactic, for those “moderates” out there.

  3. Lster921, I could not have said it better myself. totally agree with you. 🙂

  4. I wonder about the cafestol content of cold brewed coffee.
    Would the lower temperatures make a difference?
    Would the reusable Toddy filters effectively trap the oils?

    Judging by the delicious taste, I’d expect it to be rather high in oils.

  5. I just purchased a French press and have been enjoying the best coffee

    ever! I stumbled across more than one research on this. The amino acid

    Homocysteine and another diterpene, are the culprits. Increased

    Cholesterol levels by 10% in two-weeks!! Are you kidding me. It’s a no

    brainer…use a filter. (:

  6. moderation and an otherwise healthy set of dietary habits seem the reasonable alternative to paper filtered coffee. I wonder if omega rich fish oil caps along with breafast would counter any potentially ill effects of enjoying a full flavored coffee?