There are reports that terpenes in coffee made without a paper filter raise cholesterol and risk of atherosclerosis / heart disease. (See Coffee and Cholesterol and Warning: Going to the Coffee Shop Can Raise Your Cholesterol Level.)

I like paper-filtered coffee, but I like french-pressed a lot better. I'm also starting to like moka-pot coffee. Now I'm concerned that those preferences may be increasing my risk of heart disease.

One thing I can control is the darkness and freshness of the roast I use. After watching the TED Talk, what you didn't know about coffee, I've started freshly-roasting my own coffee, which allows me to control a couple of variables that may affect terpenes. In contrast, people who buy coffee from a store may not have as much control as I do over these variables.

What I would like to know is whether the roast level or the age of roasted coffee affects the level of terpenes. Can I reduce terpene levels by roasting lighter or darker? Can I reduce terpene levels by waiting longer before using my roasted coffee or using it sooner?

2 Answers 2


Terpenes are the lipids (oils) that give the main flavor to your cup. Therefore, you don't want to reduce them normally. However, if you really want to reduce them, best choice is, as stated thick filtered drip machines. (One can be seen in this post: Coffee in Breaking Bad )

Another brewing methodology that may be used is Turkish coffee. As coffee is heated from room temperature to near boiling points, you have (somehow) control over which lipids will evaporate during the process. You may modify the triple heating cycle of the Turkish coffee brewing to a single heating near or a bit over boiling point. (See this answer: Triple heating of the Turkish coffee )


From healthline.com -

Research has shown that drinking five cups of coffee daily from a French press brewing method can increase blood cholesterol levels by 6 to 8 percent.

Five cups, every day, for an increase of 6 to 8 percent. That's a ton of unfiltered coffee. If you just have one decent-sized mug or so even every day, you should be fine, sounds like.

Healthline article

  • who drinks only one cup of coffee (6oz) I start each day with two mugs of french press. (which is about 5-6 cups)
    – Mayo
    Sep 7, 2016 at 18:26
  • You start each day with over a quart of French Press coffee? I'd suggest you are on the high end of the bell curve on that. I have 16 oz each day. I will edit my answer to reflect "mug" instead of "cup." In any case, if OP wants a lot more, he can also use drip coffee, which has the paper filter to take out the LDL-raising compounds. The point is that he can have moderate amounts of French Press, even daily, and not really increase his health risk, which is more practical than trying to remove them while retaining the French Press flavor. Sep 7, 2016 at 18:32

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