May 8, 2012 in Nutrition
When it comes to having a healthy cup of coffee there are a lot of things to consider. If you haven’t read our coffee science review yet. Please read it so you will understand why we have gone the lengths below to bring you a healthier cup of coffee.
Even the best coffee can become spoiled if not served in the proper container. Ceramic is the least toxic material you can use. Make sure it is lead free as well. The second best option is stainless steel. For those enjoying a cup at home, a ceramic mug is an easy way to go. For those of you traveling with your coffee or drinking it on the go, you may have a bit more work in store for you. The cleanest option I have found is the eco cup. It is a ceramic mug with a silicon lid. The lid comes off and on easy, and silicone is resistant to heat and has not been shown to release any toxins. If you decide to go for a stainless steel thermos, you will have a lot of options. The hard part is finding one that does not have plastic that comes in contact with the liquid. There are BPA free options out there, which is better than those with BPA, but plastics in general release compounds when heated, so BPA free or not, eliminating all plastic from any heated food or beverage is your best option.
Coffee is one of the most heavily sprayed products. These chemicals and residues are not good for your body, so buying organic is a must. Another important factor if you want the most benefit from your cup of joe is freshness. Coffee contains powerful antioxidants and polyphenols that are very good for you, but the amount of these will vary from different sources and will decline the longer the coffee grounds are stored. Light and air exposure should be limited. You want to buy fresh coffee from tropical areas. The high sun exposure helps ensure that the beans will be higher in antioxidants.
Purified water is preferred, and is easy to come by. If possible avoid this being from a plastic source as well. If you do have to buy water in plastic, make sure it hasn’t been exposed to heat or sunlight. These exposures can cause the plasticizers to leak into the water. Sometimes your best bet is to go to a place that allows you to fill your own container. I use a delivery service that delivers Mountain Valley Spring Water in glass 5 gallon containers.
Electric kettles are very convenient, however most of them do have some plastic parts. Once again there are BPA free options but for a completely plastic free kettle you might have to do some research. My kettle originally had a plastic piece inside that held the pour filter, but it was removable. Even though the lid is a BPA free plastic, I have minimized the plastic that comes in direct contact with the liquid. There are some completely plastic free options out there, but they come with a hefty price. A cheap stainless or ceramic stove top kettle does the job if you don’t mind waiting for the water to boil.
This is the least important part to be plastic free because it does not come in contact with anything heated or liquid. I choose a manual one here so that I could still grind my coffee with or without power. This makes it feasible to take camping etc. It also is considerably quieter than an electric grinder. So if you don’t want to disturb the sleep of your kids or spouse etc. this might be a good option for you. The nice thing about the Hario I use here is that it allows you to adjust the size of the grounds as well, cost nothing to use, and comes with a portable ground attachment incase you wanted to take some grounds to go for the day.
The biggest difference between this method and machine brewing is the ceramic Hario dripper I use. Even brewers with stainless or gold filters, still have plastic exposed to your heated liquid. It takes barely over a minute to pour the coffee through a dripper. If you grind the grounds fine, you will have a very bold and rich flavor as well. This slower form of brewing also helps extract more nutrients and caffeine from the coffee. Inside is a number 2 unbleached cone filter. Bleached filters contain chlorine, which is toxic to the body and can deplete your body of antioxidants.
- Start heating water
- Measure beans out (12g is a standard cup, about 1/4 cup)
- Grind beans to desired size
- Fold and place filter in Dripper
- Rinse filter once with hot water
- Place dripper over coffee mug
- Add grounds
- Pour over hot water in a circular motion until it reaches the top of the grounds
- Repeat until you reach the desired coffee volume
- Remove dripper and add organic cream if desired
Healthy Coffee Checklist
BPA Free/ Plastic Free
Fresh Organic Coffee
Non Chlorinated chemical free paper