To press (coffee) or not to press?

European pressed coffee has become more fashionable in the U.S. But it may have a negative impact on health if you drink too much, according to nutrition expert Eric Rimm of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Pressed coffee is made by mixing ground coffee beans with boiled water in a special glass pitcher called a French press. After the coffee steeps, you press a mesh plunger down to strain the liquid and trap the coffee grounds. There’s no coffee filter, so some of the grounds can wind up in your cup—and they contain oily substances called diterpenes that may pose a health risk.

“Five to eight cups a day of unfiltered coffee may actually raise your ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, said Rimm, professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard Chan School, in an April 29, 2016 article in the Harvard Health Blog.

On the other hand, drinking coffee has also been linked with positive health effects such as lower blood pressure, slower weight gain with age, and reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurological diseases.

The upshot? If you drink unfiltered coffee, Rimm recommended that you check your cholesterol levels regularly to make sure your LDL levels don’t get too high, and drink no more than four cups a day.

For filtered coffee—whether it has caffeine or not—one to five cups per day are associated with health benefits, Rimm said.

Read the Harvard Health Blog article: Pressed coffee is going mainstream—but should you drink it?