How to make healthy coffee (and actually enjoy it) | Simple Green Smoothies
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Hey there! I’m Jen Hansard, mom of two, ultra runner and lover of green smoothies, coffee & tacos. I took my family's health into my own hands while broke and without health insurance...and have helped 1 million+ other families along the way.

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How to make healthy coffee (and actually enjoy it)

Just like I believe in a daily green smoothie, I also believe in a daily ritual of healthy coffee to kick start the day. Coffee’s not just a caffeine boost, but an opportunity to infuse a variety of health benefits into your daily routine. Not all coffee is created equal… and it’s starts with the beans. 

I learned a lot about beans and the impact they can have on farmers, soil and health benefits from Raj Jana, founder of JavaPresse, a small-batch coffee company. We were at an event in New York City together a few weeks ago and I had a great conversation about morning routines with smoothies and coffee. (go figure, right?!) Java Presse has a coffee subscription service and created a special offer for only SGS Rawkstars where you get a FREE burr grinder when you sign up right here. You pretty much great coffee and a great grinder for just $20… it’s an insane deal.

Yet that’s not why I am blogging today. I really want to take you on a deep dive into what I learned from Raj about how we can get the most out of our daily cup of coffee by making it even healthier. 

A hot mug of coffee isn’t just any drink for most of us—it’s the launch pad for each day. And yet, we often treat our morning coffee like an indulgent treat, rather than an opportunity to start each day with a healthy, life-enhancing habit.

I also am trying to be more intentional with my entire morning routine. Enjoying a cup of coffee while reading a good book has been a recent experience for me. Right now I’m reading Rachel Hollis’ book, Girl Wash Your Face and feel like she’s been inside my head and talking right to me. You should read it if you want a good laugh and good “wake up and start living your life” pep talk from a new friend. 

Back to my point: Your morning mug can be so much more flavorful, rewarding, and healthy (if you choose to embrace it!)  Here’s some tips on how you can do it:

 

1. Keep your coffee simple

I used to say “I like coffee with my half and half,” which was the truth. I would pour in the cream to make the coffee less bitter and much creamier. Over the years, I’ve transitioned from love for cream to grass-fed butter in my coffee… and the results are where it’s at! Removing loads of dairy from my coffee has helped with tummy troubles, acne and bloating. And the extra dose of healthy fats keep me satiated, create a creamy coffee and also kick start my digestive system. That’s all I need to make a perfect cup of coffee.

Maybe dairy never has been a thing… maybe it’s sweetener. Well, it’s time to remove the sweeteners, which are creating artificially energy at the sake of leaching nutrients from your body. It’s a short term win (happy energy) for a long term loss (weight gain, nutrient deficiencies). Try adding a dash of cinnamon or ground vanilla bean to naturally sweeten it.

Or, maybe even try drinking black coffee. According to Raj, this is the BEST way to get the most out of a cup of coffee. And yes, there is a way to do it without gagging from the bitterness or harsh acidic bite. Here’s how:

Buy specialty coffee and brew it the right way. A good specialty-grade bean ground fresh and made in a french press—bitterness? Gone. Gross acidity? Gone. It’s incredibly balanced and full of flavor on its own. No additives necessary.

2. Buy from the right farms and roasters

Not all coffee is grown equally. Buy from roasters who work with farmers focused on quality and sustainability. Did you know…

  • Commercial coffee is heavily treated with chemicals at the farm level
  • For a 100% pesticide-free coffee, buy from farmers obsessed with environmental sustainability

To ensure his beans are naturally grown and healthy as can be, Raj only sources coffees from farmers as excited about sustainability as he is—and they are almost always certified by an environmental organization.

By the time coffee beans have been extracted from the coffee cherry, roasted, and brewed into rich coffee, there’s hardly any chemical residue left from pesticides. However, especially with low-grade commercial coffee, many of the pesticides being used abroad are actually banned in the United States. This means there’s always a small chance you could be negatively impacted if one of these chemicals finds its way to your beans.

But here’s how you can easily avoid this risk: by buying naturally grown coffee.

 

Healthy coffee environmental certifications

There are a few environmental certifications you can look for to ensure your coffee’s grown naturally. These have strict standards about what kinds of chemicals can be used (making them a safe bet):

  • Certified Organic
  • Bird-Friendly
  • Rainforest Alliance
  • UTZ Certified

There is a potential downside to only sticking with Certified Organic coffee, however. Most coffee farms don’t have enough financial security to invest in that particular certification (which can be costly for these small, rural families). By only buying Certified Organic beans, you may unknowingly penalize incredible farmers that cannot afford the certification—so make sure you enjoy beans with some of the other less costly certifications mentioned above as well.

 

Our take on healthy coffee | Simple Green Smoothies

3. Go with the lighter roast

Light and dark roast coffees are both full of healthy nutrients.  Yet you’re going to reap slightly more benefits from coffees on the lighter side. To get the maximum health benefits, opt for a light to medium roast when you’re picking your next coffee instead of a darker Vienna or French roast.

Research has shown that light roasts have 10-15% more chlorogenic acid concentration than dark roasts.  This means this lighter coffee has a greater ability to reduce inflammation and maximize the efficiency of antioxidants. So while light roasts have only slightly more antioxidants than dark roasts, your body uses them more efficiently when paired with those chlorogenic acids. I am loving the Fresh Start coffee beans that Raj sent me for the coffee of the month— and if you order now you can get them too for June! 


By now, you can tell my love for coffee run deep (almost up there with a green smoothie!). Yet you have to make sure you’re drinking coffee a certain way to reap the health benefits. These tips will help ensure you’re maximizing those rewards and eliminating risks.

COFFEE GIVEAWAY!

6 months of free coffee, a grinder, and a french press ($174 value)

JavaPresse is doing a giveaway exclusively for all you Simple Green Smoothies Rawkstars out there!

One lucky person will win:

  • 6 months of fresh, organic, coffee grown by sustainable-minded farmers (one bag a month)
  • 1 burr coffee grinder (most-preferred style of grinder to unlock rich flavors and freshness)
  • 1 french press (portable coffee brewing system)

To enter, all you have to do is scroll down and leave a comment below sharing your favorite way to make coffee from home!

The winner will be contacted on June 21 via email.

Print

Use a French Press to make Healthy Coffee

  • Author: Jen Hansard

Description

Using a fresh press coffee system allows you to effectively extract essential oils from your favorite beans and deliver bold flavor into each cup of healthy coffee.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 50g (10 Tbs) Coffee Beans
  • 850ml (28 oz) Water

Instructions

  1. Grind the coffee at a coarse setting just before brewing to preserve the freshness and flavors and pour into your press.
  2. Heat your water to boiling, then pour it over the grounds.
  3. Start a stopwatch.
  4. After one minute, take a spoon and gently submerge the grounds that have formed a ‘crust’ on the surface.
  5. After four minutes, press down the plunger, pour into a few mugs, and enjoy.

Notes

  • Standard pre-ground coffee is generally too fine for french press brewing and may get stuck in the mesh filter, creating a lot of resistance when you try to plunge.
  • After plunging the filter, make sure to decant all the coffee—otherwise it will slowly continue to brew and become bitter within the press.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3
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  1. Hannah

    June 16th, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    My favorite way to drink coffee is black! I feel the benefits of coffee without the sluggish side effects of sugar. Although I still occasionally have a macchiato… 🙂

  2. Katie Lewis

    June 16th, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Thank you for this blog post. I’ve been wanting to try a French press. My favorite way to enjoy coffe is a protein latte; fresh brewed coffee, scoop of your fav protein powder (cappuccino is mine for this recipe) tbsp. Of grass fed butter, MCT oil, scoop coconut powder and dash of cinnamon. Blend in a shaker of vitamin and enjoy! Keeps me satisfied all morning, and doesn’t spike my sugar levels. This is my breakfast!

  3. Ty Heath

    June 16th, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    I’m of Jamaican heritage. I love coffee in the morning with a touch of condensed milk to sweeten. Not the healthiest choice but it is delicious. I will have to try the lighter roast and grass fed butter!

  4. Angelique

    June 16th, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    OMG, what great insights into coffee. Good to know about anti-inflammatory quality of coffee too. I love an Americano with cream, so I am up for trying a lighter roast with butter in a French press.

  5. Jan

    June 17th, 2018 at 9:17 am

    My husband always brews the coffe and I enjoy it with grass fed butter, coconut oil and cinnamon. I’ve always wanted to try a French press because I love the simplicity of it.

  6. Mary

    June 17th, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Horrors, I use a Keurig because it’s quick and easy but on a recent trip my brother brought his French press and I really liked it. I purchased one but didn’t like it because it didn’t clean easily. My brother’s didn’t have this problem but his is old and no longer available. I’ll keep looking because the flavor was better.

  7. Marissa Stockton

    June 17th, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I love making pour-over coffee. I’ve never owned an actual coffee pot only a French press and my pour-over. My parents don’t drink coffee and growing up all they had a was perkalotor when guests were over, that’s how I learned to make coffee. I used to add sugar and flavorings but now add only cream and a drop of essential oils… sometimes I blend coconut oil into it. So yummy and much more enjoyable than all that sugar. Helpful tip: if your coffee is too bitter add a little bit of salt instead of sugar, works like magic.

  8. Michelle

    June 17th, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    I love coffee any way I can get it! We brew ours with a bunn but I love pour over and chemex brewed. I am normally a vanilla creamer gal, and switched to a natural one but the sugar wasn’t good. I’m now using 1/2 and 1/2. Love all your smoothie recipes!

  9. Peggy Ogden-Howe

    June 17th, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    How can I keep coffee hot from a french press without using a thermos? Also, what is your opinion and/or experience with mushroom coffee?

  10. Jane Bell

    June 17th, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    What a great article! I love coffee and am glad to hear about it’s health benefits. I am trying to make the switch to black coffee. Currently I do add skim milk. But 6 months of good quality coffee for free would probably help me make the switch for good.

  11. Lia

    June 18th, 2018 at 12:34 am

    I have my morning coffee with cinnamon, raw honey and mct (liquid coconut) oil. Supposed to be really good for sugar levels, brain and appetite.

  12. Rebecca

    June 18th, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Someone gave me a cup of French Pressed coffee straight up black and I was IMPRESSED! Coffee had never tasted so good! I’m in the market for one and I’m thankful to have run across this post!

  13. Arlene

    June 18th, 2018 at 9:33 am

    I have had my morning coffee the same way for so long- moka pot for espresso, and I drink it with milk and sugar. I have been learning so much through wellness mama and I am trying to change this habit, as I know dairy makes me bloated and a little sugar makes me crave more! Thank you for this article and the opportunity to win some awesome coffee!

  14. Pamela

    June 18th, 2018 at 9:37 am

    I have been trying to go healthier, my favs…1. straight black 2. with ghee, collagen and MCT oil and 3. full fat coconut milk, cinnamon and vanilla. I do love coffee and have always wanted a French press ☕ thanks for the opportunity.

  15. DJ

    June 18th, 2018 at 10:53 am

    I love making coffee flavored with cinnamon and a bit of real maple syrup (not the maple flavored corn syrup stuff). As a married college student with three jobs… Coffee is life.

  16. Amanda

    June 18th, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Love some Cinnamon, Coconut oil and Ghee blended together in my morning cup!! Would LOVE to try a french press!!

  17. Paul

    June 18th, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I use a Bialetti espresso maker, filtered water and freshly ground espresso. Put a pinch of cinnamon in the coffee mug then add the freshly brewed espresso, and off i go to work.

  18. Jennifer Perron

    June 18th, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    I don’t have a French press, so I haven’t tried that yet, but I love my coffee. I don’t drink it for it’s caffeine-necessarily. I love to sit and hug with my coffee cup in the morning for a about 15 minutes while I wake up. I drink it at night too. We’re BFFs. I switched to half-caff about 10 years ago, so I could drink it at night. Coffee and me….we’re like peas and carrots. 🙂 Thanks Jen Hansard and thanks JavaPresse!!

  19. Patricia Guin

    June 18th, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    My morning routine is freshly ground coffee (organic) in a Moka pot on the stove. I steam whole milk and add to coffee at 50/50 ratio and add a scant spoon of raw sugar. I thoroughly enjoy the time of this ritual. The days I do not have time and miss, having to just grab a drip coffee cup is a day that isn’t as great. I would love to try a burr grinder and see the difference!

  20. Lindsay

    June 19th, 2018 at 12:48 am

    Nespresso with Cinnamon and Half and Half. Or an Americano with the same!!
    Wish I had time for a French Roast!

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