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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


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. Zadora

    June 14th, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    Drinking coffee is one of my favorite rituals! I love mine with a bit of steamed coconut milk or almond milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

  2. Arielle Vicenti

    June 14th, 2018 at 11:54 pm

    I enjoy using a French press. I like that it gets a bit of froth on top and it just tastes sooo good. Not much for words, but I do love coffee, especially from a French press. 🙂

  3. Chona Navarro

    June 15th, 2018 at 12:10 am

    I use a French press, always. Usually buy coffee beans that are certified organic and fair trade. For each cup of coffee I add,
    1T collagen hydrosolate, 1T grass-fed beef isolate protein powder, and 1 tsp. grass-fed butter, and… sometimes I add 1 tsp. MCT oil. I don’t always add the protein powder and butter… depends on whether I’m cutting down on fat. It’s delish!!

  4. Hannah Vera Ralph

    June 15th, 2018 at 1:05 am

    Hello! My favorite way to make coffee is in my Yield french press. It’s such a pretty amber color and makes the whole coffee making process that much more special 🙂 Then, I blend with 1/2 tsp coconut butter and a teaspoon of Four Sigmatic functional mushrooms. It’s such an enjoyable ritual for me, I love it!

  5. Brooke Russell

    June 15th, 2018 at 1:10 am

    I am embarrassed to say that I use a plain old coffee maker. I make a full pot one day and drink leftovers the next (yuck!) I’m in need of a coffee makeover..

  6. marie

    June 15th, 2018 at 2:00 am

    Hi Brooke, please don’t be embarassed, this is great coffee and believe me (except for great expresso machines of course). We also drink leftovers the next day ahaha ! But the pot is closed so that’s ok :)).
    Marie

  7. Angie

    June 15th, 2018 at 1:27 am

    My usual is to plop a kcup into the Keurig and add coconut creamer and stevia. I do buy organic kcups, but I’m going to try this French press thing again. Last time I tried I think I left it in too long and it got bitter. Love my morning cup of coffee.

  8. Lizzet Mendez

    June 15th, 2018 at 1:54 am

    The way I brew my coffee is to bring water to boil in a small pot with a cinnamon stick, then add Folgers medium roast coffee and add more water, let that come to a boil. Then I serve myslef a cup and only add my favorite Trader Joes Coconut Cream and enjoy ! I know it sounds a bit weird, which is why it would be so awesome to get the chance to win this cool french press.

  9. Marie

    June 15th, 2018 at 1:56 am

    Hi there ! I am impressed to see how many people use a French press…as a French person, I didn’t know it was related to us :))) I use it when I am out of filters or my coffee maker is not functioning. Usually, I take grounded coffee from Colombia or Bolivia, organic and fair-trade. The flavour is medium strong, quite perfect, We always had a drip filter coffee machine and unbleached filters. I don’t use tap water, only bottle water. 1 tsp / 1 tsp 1/2 per small cup depending on how strong the coffee has to be. I would suggest avoiding at all cost any dairy, coffee alone make your body react, it like a bomb if you add dairy products. I only drink 2 cups a day

  10. Natalia

    June 15th, 2018 at 2:56 am

    I typically make my coffee old school in that I brew it in a regular coffee pot. From there I pour it in my blender with some grass-fed butter, a dash of cinnamon and a few drops of SweetLeaf sweetener. Creamy and delicious, but I have been wanting to upgrade to a French Press (it just seems fancier and takes up less room on the counter than a regular coffee pot).

  11. Amanda Gilbert

    June 15th, 2018 at 4:07 am

    We grind organic coffee beans and use a Keurig reusable pod. Before I brew I add a spoon of collagen peptides and dried rosehips. Then after my coffee is ready I add delicious organic heavy whipping cream. Delicious and nutritious!

  12. Deana Johansen

    June 15th, 2018 at 4:15 am

    I’m a cold brew girl myself, but willing to try a French Press.

  13. Bethan

    June 15th, 2018 at 4:22 am

    I drink mine black – sometimes with a spoonful of coconut oil. Delicious!
    But I am careful about which coffee I drink. Some coffee contains histamine, which gives me an instant headache.

  14. Lacey Brown

    June 15th, 2018 at 4:27 am

    My husband and I recently got a BUNN coffee maker and are loving it! He grinds beans from our local coffee shop. We really love the flavored creamer, but after reading some of the other tips here, I’m interested in trying some of them to better my health. Thanks so much Rawkstars!

  15. Megan

    June 15th, 2018 at 6:40 am

    I make my organic coffee a great start to every day by sprinkling lots of organic ground cinnamon & ginger (or sometimes nutmeg or cardamom, depending on my mood) over the ground coffee before I brew. It ones out infused with a delightful taste & aroma.

  16. Shana

    June 15th, 2018 at 6:41 am

    French Press all the way, baby! Easiest way to get the portion I want — 1 perfect cup — w/out wasting precious grinds. I’ll try the oil or butter options suggested, since I know for me, cream (half/half or nut creamer) is all about the fat…it’ll be interesting to experience black (looking) coffee with a little “thick” to it 🙂

    Thx for this article…Coffee is the hardest thing to give up; now I don’t have to!

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