Recent Blog Articles

Harvard Health Blog

Pressed coffee is going mainstream — but should you drink it?

April 29, 2016

About the Author

photo of Heidi Godman

Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

Heidi Godman is the executive editor of the Harvard Health Letter. Before coming to the Health Letter, she was an award-winning television news anchor and medical reporter for 25 years. Heidi was named a journalism fellow … See Full Bio
View all posts by Heidi Godman


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.


May 14, 2016

Sorry but at 74 I find that using a plastic coffee makers seem to affect my memory. Switching to a french press was a big improvement. I always do not drink the last bit of coffee because of the grounds that find their way into the cup.

All this leads me to ask if it really is healthy to brew coffee ( an acid) with boiling water. Is it possible that chemicals may leatch out of the plastic baskets used to hold the coffee?

Jim Ratliff
May 8, 2016

A very disappointing article, and doesn’t meet the standard I typically expect from Harvard Health. One example:
“But you should know that diterpenes have been shown to have a negative impact on health.” And then there’s no follow up on this claim at all! No further mention of diterpenes. No detail on what the “negative impact on health” is. No citations!

May 6, 2016

Did someone mention Joe?

Coffee is a natural product and the benefits of drinking it in moderation keep stacking up.


Arthur Sudler
May 2, 2016

I would like to see the scope of the article expanded to include cold brew coffee and the usefulness – or lack there of – of using material such as cheesecloth to filter pressed and cold brew coffee.

Drinking cold brew coffee may benefit some people in that it may eliminate the need for a sweetener.

May 2, 2016

The coffee press I used has a mesh filter. The problem starts when the beans are grounded too fine.

May 2, 2016

Those stress cost your blood presser to go up

May 2, 2016

I suspect that that decaffeinated coffee give an irregular heart beat. Has anyone else found this.

T. E. Somerville
May 2, 2016

“You make pressed coffee by mixing boiled water (hot or cold)….” What do you mean by boiled cold water? Water that has been first boiled and then allowed to cool? And if so, does anyone really make coffee this way–except perhaps in areas where there is reason to believe that the water supply may be contaminated?

May 2, 2016

Adding water at 100°C burns coffee and ruins the taste. It is recommended to wait for few minutes for it to cool down to about 80°C before pouring.

Vera Ericscon
May 2, 2016

In reply to the “boiled water” issue, I remember the old fashioned “Navy method”, as we called it: into 1 cup of boiling water (in a saucepan,) drop 1 teaspoon of ground coffee, bring to a boil again. Let simmer for approx. 3 mins and BON APPETIT.”
Don’t forget to use a sieve when pouring coffee into your cup!

HS, Ph.D.
May 2, 2016

How can I believe your “trusted advice from Harvard” when there are no responses to so many comments that challenge your article?

May 2, 2016

The cholesterol-raising effect of coffee oils has been known for a long time (de Roos and Katan. Curr Opin Lipidol 1999). To combat mildly elevated cholesterol, I switched from French press to pour over about two years ago and saw a 10 point drop in both LDL and total cholesterol that has persisted since. Make of it what you will – an uncontrolled study and sample size of one 😉

May 2, 2016

Nothing wrong with anecdotal evidence. Used to be called case studies and written in journals. And what difference does it make what happens to others – you don’t have their biological terrain or their coffee habits. What matters for each individual is what happens to them – and A/B, A/B testing on the self is fine. And when you go to the doctor he looks at your numbers, not an average from a study. Double blinds were designed for agricultural studies originally. The designers did not think them appropriate for drug studies but the drug companies loved them because the outcome was easier to control. I learned all this at Stanford, dept of stat, back in the day.

Paul B
May 2, 2016

Also, actual citations would be helpful for some of the claims in here, beyond “Dr. Rimm said…”.

Paul B
May 2, 2016

This article could benefit from some serious editing, particularly for logical consistency.
Also, advising against drinking 5-8(!) cups of coffee a day seems like a non-starter — yes, it does seem like that would cause insomnia. But that is unrelated to whether or not the coffee is pressed, no?

May 2, 2016

Is there association with. drinking too much caffine from coffee and tea , and ringing in the ears (tinnatus)?

May 1, 2016

Can you comment on the risks and benefits of making coffee the Italian way, with a Moka pot?
Thank you.

Dr Mick Foster
April 30, 2016

Coffee receives accolades one month and warnings
the next month.. No wonder physicians are having
credibility problems..

April 30, 2016

No mention made of instant coffee – regular, not decade. I’d really appreciate information about that,
advantages , disadvantages, same compounds that contribute to good health.

April 30, 2016

Are you saying you never use hot water in a french press?

Rumpert Roamer
April 29, 2016

Is pressed coffee the one called Expresso Coffee in Italy? Thanks., Robert R

T. Kasper
May 2, 2016


April 29, 2016

It’s a cafetiere not a coffee press!

Nannette Kredlow
April 29, 2016

How about coffee made in a traditional espresso maker?

Tom Somma
April 29, 2016

Pressed Coffee? Since when is pressed coffee made with boiling water? That would make it as bad a regular coffee. I only use cold water, and refrigerate it 12-24 hours. This is what was recently reported in the latest issue of Consumers Report. Using cold water is the standard whether using just a carafe or one of the many automatic systems in that issue. Where did you ever come up with the idea of using boiled water?

Arthur Sudlet
May 2, 2016

I was first introduced to it as “French Press.” In my opinion it does produce a more robust flavor than drip. I enjoy cold brew in the summer months. But whether it is drip, press, or cold brew the quality of the bean, the quality and type of roast, and individual preferences are all factors.

Commenting has been closed for this post.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!