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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

  • 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. Kate

    June 19th, 2018 at 11:50 am

    I love my french press, we use it as a treat for the weekend. I add a little cinamon, grassfed butter and MTC added, shake in a mason to make my morning “late.”

  2. Heather

    June 19th, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I love to add just a bit of local honey to my coffee. 🙂

  3. Sarah

    June 19th, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    My favorite way is pour over but most days I use my Keurig because I have three busy kids 6,3 & 1!

  4. Cynthia

    June 20th, 2018 at 7:26 am

    I’m a coffee snob at heart. Although normally I’m left with a coffeemaker that makes ugggghh coffee and I fill it with creamer to mask the flavor. The one time I had some beautiful coffee by itself was from one of my professor’s who roasted coffee beans as a hobby and by golly was it delicious no cream or sugar. I hope I can find that again because I’m tired of crap coffee!!!

  5. Nagahyah

    June 20th, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Right now I just brew it in a regular Coffee Maker but after reading this information I will be getting a French Press maker and different coffee. I will thank the person who sent me to your site.
    Thanks for offering this great prize!!

  6. Jessica

    June 20th, 2018 at 7:32 am

    We LOVE our French Press! Our guests are always so impressed with the coffee we make them that we’ve inspired many of our friends and family members to purchase ones for themselves! We sorta feel like French Press ambassadors sometimes… 🙂

    My favorite way to enjoy that morning cup is to add in a little black strap molasses, almond milk & cinnamon, or sometimes I’ll just stir in a spoonful of full-fat coconut milk. SO DELICIOUS!

  7. wilma Miller

    June 20th, 2018 at 8:28 am

    would love to find and try coffee that is less acidic – I drink 3 cups a day most days, but begin to get sores in my mouth from all the acid – I use my french press to froth my coffee into a latte – coffee, milk, honey, collagen, coconut oil and inulin, sometimes MCT oil – pump the handle up and down until its frothy! The only way I like coffee.

  8. manda shank

    June 20th, 2018 at 11:48 am

    I just got an aeropress but I think using a chemex makes my favorite at home cup of coffee. Thanks!

  9. Paul Daukas

    June 20th, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    I love having my fresh brewed coffee early afternoon while reading a book. What is a little unusual is that I add ground up flax seeds to get my omega-3’s !!

    Thank you…. Paul

  10. Dani

    June 20th, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    I’m a pretty boring coffee drinker, regular coffee maker, regular coffee and drink it plain! Thank you for the opportunity!

  11. Colleen

    June 20th, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    I drink coffee from my keirig.. And use flavored creamer…would love to get away from all the sugar…

  12. SGS Rawkstar Amanda

    July 9th, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Congratulations Colleen. You’re our winner!! I’ll also send you an email – which should be in your inbox shortly! Congrats! 🙂

  13. Rosanna

    June 21st, 2018 at 11:24 am

    When we went to Costa Rica,we toured a coffee bean farm.They actually do this recipe in a carafe too,the only difference is they pour the coffee in a “coffee sock”what we know here is the “pour over”.Their coffee was organic,smooth and mouth watering delicious,and without cream or sugar.Ive been making our coffee like that since.

  14. Cheri McVay

    June 21st, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    I’m excited about trying coffee this way. I adore coffee and have struggled to adapt my coffee palate after going “green” following my 21 day cleanse with Jen. I used to use sugary flavored creamer, but now I’m sugar-free and processed food free among other things.

  15. Cathy McCra

    June 25th, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Excited to try this system. I have a Kurig, I fill it with water, pop in a pod, and drink it black. I LOVE my morning coffee! That is my current coffee routine. Warm Regards, Cathy

  16. Corina Thorne

    June 27th, 2018 at 10:15 am

    I use a Keurig when in a rush with a re-usable k-cup. The best way is with a french press and the best coffee I have found I found in the Dominican when I was there.

  17. Julie

    June 29th, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    I look forward to my one cup of cappuccino every morning and can’t do without it! I used to make my coffee in a French press but now use a Bialetti espresso maker and a hand-held whip to foam up my half and half.

  18. Susannah S

    July 5th, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    I use a French press.

  19. Sara B

    August 8th, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    My coffee used to be sweet enough to be dessert. A few years ago, I decided to cut sugar out. Now, I’d like to cut the dairy out and stop using half and half. I can’t wait to try this new way of drinking my morning coffee and learn how to enjoy it black. Thank you!

  20. SGS Rawkstar Amanda

    August 9th, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    Hey Sara,

    That is so great you cut out sugar! I know you will be able to do the same with dairy too.

    Let us know how you like your morning coffee with this new recipe!

    Cheers!

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