I’m Jen Hansard, mom of 2 and lover of green smoothies, coffee & tacos. 
I transformed my family's health with a mostly plant-powered diet and helped 1 million+ families do it.

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How to make healthy coffee (and actually enjoy it)

By: Jen Hansard | last Updated: 6.14.2018 | COMMENTS: 278


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.

Print

French Press to make Healthy Coffee

  • Author: Jen Hansard
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: beverage
  • Method: One-pot
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

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.

Keywords: french press coffee recipe

Tags:    /   Categories: Plant Based Drinks, Recipes 

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COMMENTS
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  1. Samuel Deavers says:

    One of the simple pleasures of life. Your passion for coffee beams through in your easy to read article. Thank you!!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      So glad you liked this post, Samuel! We are obviously big-time coffee fans over here at SGS. 😀

  2. Jan says:

    Love my French press! Use it every morning for me and my Hubby! Trying to kick the cream habit. Cashew cream comes pretty close. I like the cinnamon idea. Thanks!

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      We so love cashew cream here at SGS!! It really is so delicious, so glad that you love it too!!

  3. Sara B says:

    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!

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      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!

  4. Susannah S says:

    I use a French press.

  5. Julie says:

    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.

  6. Corina Thorne says:

    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.

  7. Cathy McCra says:

    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

  8. Cheri McVay says:

    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.

  9. Rosanna says:

    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.

  10. Colleen says:

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

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

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

  11. Dani says:

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

  12. Paul Daukas says:

    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

  13. manda shank says:

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

  14. wilma Miller says:

    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.

  15. Jessica says:

    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!

  16. Nagahyah says:

    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!!

  17. Cynthia says:

    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!!!

  18. Sarah says:

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

  19. Heather says:

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

  20. Kate says:

    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.”

  21. Lindsay says:

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

  22. Patricia Guin says:

    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!

  23. Jennifer Perron says:

    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!!

  24. Paul says:

    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.

  25. Amanda says:

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

  26. DJ says:

    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.

  27. Pamela says:

    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.

  28. Arlene says:

    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!

  29. Rebecca says:

    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!

  30. Lia says:

    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.

  31. Jane Bell says:

    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.

  32. Peggy Ogden-Howe says:

    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?

  33. Michelle says:

    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!

  34. Marissa Stockton says:

    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.

  35. Mary says:

    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.

  36. Jan says:

    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.

  37. Angelique says:

    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.

  38. Ty Heath says:

    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!

  39. Katie Lewis says:

    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!

  40. Hannah says:

    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… 🙂

  41. LaDeana Nelson says:

    I’m excited to try a healthy coffee and brewing technique!!

  42. Tina says:

    I transitioned from having creamer in my coffee sometime last year. I drink it black with nothing added. I have learned to enjoy the taste of the actual coffee itself. I use Bulletproof ground coffee–1 Tbsp. decaf and 1 Tbsp. French Kick.

  43. Ursula B says:

    I love coffee!!!! If I don’t buy some from Starbucks, I use instant coffee, cinnamon, collagen and sweet cream. I could definitely use a coffee press and this organic coffee to make a healthier change in my morning routine. Now that I know about the butter, I can use that until I get a coffee press. Thank you for this information!!!

  44. Bernadette says:

    I broke my Frech Press when I moved months ago and have not replaced it. I like the coffee it makes… it’s better than drip!

    • Chantelle says:

      My fave way to make coffee
      Nesexpresso coffee pods using my keurig and a spalsh of cocnut milk

  45. Angela says:

    I too have tried to stop drinking coffee but love it too much. I can’t remember where I first saw a recipe that included vanilla, ground ginger, cinnamon, syrup, milk and topping it off with nutmeg but that is how I drink my coffee most days. The butter and MCT oil is a good choice for me as well. Of course, smoothies are of great importance to me as well.

  46. CARMELLE says:

    My birthday is on the 22nd. What a wonderful gift this would be. Thanks for opportunity to win

  47. Marie says:

    Great article! I love coffee! I drink my coffee black, and currently buy whole beans (light/medium roast) and grind them at home. I don’t have a French press, but would love to have one!

  48. Nicole Hall says:

    My Cuisinart grind n’ brew coffee maker. I’ve been wanting to upgrade to a French press for awhile now. I like my coffee black and before reading this article I always drank dark roast but might have to switch to a light/medium roast. Thanks for the wonderful info!!

  49. Lauren Snider says:

    French press coffee at home, with frothed almond milk and a drop of cinnamon bark essential oil!

  50. Alisa says:

    My favorite way to enjoy coffee is using our french press at home. I drink black coffee but also love adding coconut oil, ghee butter or MCT oil. Coffee is probably 1 of the top 5 things I look forward to in each day and I cannot imagine life without it!

    My husband and I have been buying the same coffee for quite some time now and looking for something new. Also, I’m expecting a baby boy in August and could use the extra jolt!

    • Jen says:

      I love that coffee is in your Top 5 list. Congrats on the baby boy coming in August. My daughter is an august baby 🙂

  51. Tiffany says:

    I was drinking it black for a while. I will have to try it again black. We just switch back to a regular coffee machine to save $$. Right now tho I am in love with my coffee cream….but i think its that comfort I get from it. When I was doing black I could have one and be done and start my day….with cream I could drink coffee all day.

  52. Amy Noehre says:

    I would like to drink more coffee on a healthy basis. I use creamer and am definitely going to try the above listed suggestions.

  53. Jessica says:

    I was never a big coffee drinker until a year or so ago. Of course, I couldn’t like black coffee so now I am trying to “wean” myself from the sugar and coconut or almond creamer I’m currently using as I realize it’s good for me. I don’t drink much coffee every day, just 1-2 cups (and I mean normal size cups 8oz cups) and even then it’s not daily. I’m more of a winter coffee drinker than anything.

    • Jessica says:

      coconut and almond creamer is NOT good for me…crazy how a little omitted word can change the entire sentence!

  54. Brittany Bolenbaugh says:

    I used to go the Keurig route for speed and simplicity, but I’ve since ditched that machine and bought a little french press! Currently doing a SGS Cleanse and not drinking coffee for the next couple weeks 🙂 But, normally I add a little flavored creamer and a few spoonfuls of sugar. Definitely interested in trying the stick of grass-fed butter!

  55. Nicole Evanisko says:

    I love black cold brew coffee that I brew in a mason jar in my fridge! French press used to be my wintertime fav! I never decanted the coffee after plunging though!! And I never thought about the pesticides on my coffee beans!!! Ugh!! You’ve opened my mind to a whole new world!

  56. Dixie Helm LMT says:

    I love
    to add some coconut oil in about half of my coffee and then whip it with a stick blender and add the rest. My version of bullet proof coffee lol

  57. Tega Edwin says:

    Coffee with butter?? That sounds interesting, I’d love to try that. I currently stick to just flavored creamer in my coffee.

  58. Erika Zapata says:

    My favorite and most delicious coffee at home is when I use French press and coffee I personally toasted and grounded. My uncle in Mexico grows coffee beans for personal use but he has one rule, we have to toast and ground our own and we can take as much as we want. So sad I ran out of coffee and have not been able to go visit the last couple of years, my French press has been collecting dust. Your blog has encouraged me to bring it out and try other coffee, Thanks!

  59. Courtney says:

    I usually buy locally roasted beans and make fresh coffee, just black and I add collagen peptides!

  60. Jenn McLain says:

    I would like to eventually get to drinking my coffee black, but I really enjoy using my milk frother to froth some 1/2 &1/2nto drink with my coffee.

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